Karito Kids from Kids Give is one of our favorite award-winning collections of multi-cultural dolls this year. The collection has been updated and features a range of dolls from all over the world. When I was growing up I had dolls from other lands — but these were all no-touching dolls. The ones meant to be put on a shelf and appreciated. The only one that was able to play with was my London go-go girl. She had hair like Marlo Thomas and she had white go-go boots just like mine. Maybe she wasn’t meant to be played with either–but since I so rarely played with dolls, my mother never said a word.
I love that these dolls are meant to be enjoyed. Their clothes reflect modern girls from all over the world. The books that come with them aren’t my favorite…but it doesn’t take away that these dolls do help introduce girls to a more global view. Here’s my visit with founder Laura Rangel. The company also has a commitment to giving back to the communities where the dolls come from as well as new bracelets that are being made here in the USA by people with disabilities.
Astrid, Josephine and Harper are the new Lilydolls from Manhattan Toy. They all have stitched faces, velvet hair, quirky outfits and an old fashion folksy feel to them. You’ll really either love them –or not. I didn’t really play with too many dolls as a kid–but I did have one from a folk art festival that kind of reminds me of the Lilydolls. At $49 each – they aren’t just an impulse doll.
One of favorite collections from last year, So In Style Barbie, is also continuing. Created by Mattel designer, Stacey McBride, these dolls celebrate our diversity by featuring dolls of color. You can see Ms. McBride talk about the series on this video. I love that she also made mentoring part of the line. The first sets all included a big doll and a little doll (big sister/little sister). Bravo to Ms. McBride! Below, some of this year’s new collection. I’ve been trying to interview Ms. McBride about the collection–I hope we get a chance to talk soon.
Last week I talked about this doll as one of the top five hottest toys in toyland on the TODAY Show. But because I only had two minutes to discuss five toys, I didn’t have time to demonstrate why this particular Princess Doll is so much fun. Watch our toyportfolio.com video and you’ll see the interactive/light up features of this talking doll.
Right after my segment, I got an email from Disney–reminding me that there were less expensive Princess Tiana dolls…so true. You can get your Princess fix for under $16. The Just One Kiss doll retails for $24.99–and I already see lots of price gauging. There are plainer Princess Dolls–but we have not personally seen or tested them–I do see some complaints on line about the quality of the least expensive version–but we can’t confirm. We’re thrilled that Disney is featuring the first African-American Princess. If you’d also like a book, we’d recommend Princess and the Royal Ball by Natasha A. Tarpley/illustrated by James Finch)–a full review is on our site.