American Girl’s “Girl of the Year” for 2017 is African-American Doll Gabriela McBride

The new American Girl doll Gabriela McBride is a dancer and poet, inspiring girls to use their voice to help others. (COURTESY OF AMERICAN GIRL )

article by Constance Gibbs via nydailynews.com

Dollmaker American Girl named its “Girl of the Year” Friday, revealing a new African-American doll named Gabriela McBride.  She’s the first Girl of the Year doll since 2011 who wasn’t white. American Girl, a Mattel-owned company, sells the popular — but expensive, at $115 a pop — 18-inch dolls that aim to teach young girls about different historical eras and perspectives. The dolls also come with books, outfits, and accessories to personalize each one.

American Girl dolls have always been hot sellers, but there has been resurgence in popularity in the last few years. Mattel said in October that American Girl sales were up 15% in the last year.  Gabriela McBride, the company’s newest addition to its “Girl of the Year” line — dolls that are sold just for one year — has a back story in which she dances, teaches children about poetry, and wants to save her community center.

Gabriela comes with a book and dance related accessories.

Gabriela comes with a book and dance related accessories.  (COURTESY OF AMERICAN GIRL)

“The goal has always been to be able to create mirrors and windows for girls to see either a direct reflection of themselves or a window into a life or a culture that may be different from their own,” Stephanie Spanos, an American Girl spokesperson told The Daily News.  Gabriela follows previous diverse “Girls of the Year” Marisol, a Latina girl (2005), and two Japanese-American dolls from 2006 and 2011.

It’s also the first time three black dolls — Gabriela, Melody, the Civil Rights era doll introduced this year, and Addy, a former slave — are on the market at the same time.

“Overall, we’re just really proud to feature a diverse and inclusive set of dolls,” Spanos told the News.

Other permanent dolls of color include native Nez Perce girl Kaya and Mexican Josefina. An African-American and a Chinese-American doll were both archived in 2014.

To read full article, go to: American Girl diversifies with new African-American doll – NY Daily News

TOYS: Nigeria’s “‘Queens of Africa” Dolls Are Coming to America

queens of africa doll

article via eurweb.com

Back in 2007, a Nigerian businessman Taofick Okoya struck gold you could say when he founded the “Queens of Africa” doll line with the motto: “Empowering the African girl child.”

The “Queens of Africa” range of dolls highlight various African ethnicities, as well as a variety of African hairstyles (customers may opt for dolls rocking an afro, or alternatively one with braids or braid extensions), reports Forbes.

Okoya’s mission is to spread a message which enforces young black girls their self-esteem, allowing them from an early age to have role models they can relate to. This summer, Okoya and his posse of dolls will travel across several cities in the United States, to meet and greet American clients, while further expanding the Queens of Africa footprint.

‘I got into the doll business by chance. At that time my daughter was young, and I realized she was going through an identity crisis,’ Taofick tells me when I reach out to the Lagos-based founder over the phone. He further adds, ‘She wished she was white, and I was trying to figure out where that came from. I used to always buy her white dolls, and it never got to me that is was relevant which color her dolls were. On top of that, we have DSTV in Nigeria where children watch the Disney programs, and all her favorite characters were white. I started to understand why she’d feel the way she did, ‘cause it was all that she’d been exposed to,’ the Queens of Africa dolls creator explains.

The report goes on to say that even though the dolls’ body parts are manufactured in China, they are assembled in Nigeria. And here’s the good part. Taofick also empowers local communities of stay-at-home mothers, who make money off of braiding the dolls’ hair and creating outfits.

“It takes about three hours braiding the hair. One of these women has made 60,000 Naira (roughly $300) doing this.”

This summer Taofick will tour across New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Houston, throughout the months of June and July. In April he already made a first stop in Atlanta, to meet with wholesale buyers and customers, as part of the Coming to America tour. At present the dolls are already available for order to the American audience via Amazon, in addition to the Queens of Africa online store. On top of that, the dolls are sold by a Senegal-based retailer, as well as e-tailers based in France and Australia. Ghana, South Africa and Brazil, are next on his list.

‘We’re planning on taking part in American toy fairs where we can meet with retailers. Our ultimate goal is to be sold by the major stores in the US. I personally believe it will be less difficult to sell the dolls in America, compared to Nigeria. In Nigeria the doll culture is still being developed, so it’s easier to sell within a market that is already there, as opposed to having to create that market.’

You can get the FULL story at Forbes.

Buy/See the dolls at Amazon.

Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland Gets Her Own Barbie Doll

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Misty Copeland and her doll (photo courtesy MATTEL INC.)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Misty Copeland has been immortalized by Mattel. The Barbie creator debuted its Misty Copeland doll today and, like Ava DuVernay’s doll, it’ll likely fly off the shelves.

The doll that honors Copeland, who made history when she became the first African-American woman to be named principal dancer at the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre, is just another step in Mattel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and part of its Sheroes Collection.

“I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina, and through Barbie, I was able to play out those dreams early on,” Copeland said in a press release. “It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of kids with my very own Barbie doll.”

The Misty Copeland doll will is available for preorder on Amazon.com and Mattel’s site.

Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard are Getting Their Own “Empire” Dolls

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson (Chuck Hodes/Fox)

article by Nick Maslow via ew.com

Move over, Barbie and Ken — Cookie and Lucious Lyon need some space on toy store shelves. Fans of Fox’s hit Empire will soon be able to purchase a line of collector dolls inspired by Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard’s beloved characters, doll maker Tonner-One World announced Thursday.

Although images of the actual dolls are not yet available, the announcement was accompanied by sketches capturing Cookie and Lucious’ signature looks. Clad in a leopard mini-dress and oversized fur coat, Cookie is seen putting one heel in front of the other, no doubt ready to fling one of them across the room should she feel the need. Meanwhile, Lucious exudes cool confidence in a vibrant purple suit paired with a light turtleneck. Continue reading

American Girl Debuts African-American Doll From Civil Rights Era

article via cbsnews.com

American Girl is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Since 1986, the business has sold more than 29 million dolls and more than 153 million books.

This summer, it will release a new historical doll. CBS News went where no cameras have been allowed before — inside the design studio to get the first exclusive look at Melody Ellison, the company’s third African American doll in its BeForever historical line.

For the last 30 years, American Girl dolls have brought countless smiles to faces of little girls.  “I think it’s that we stayed true to our mission and purpose and while it’s easy to call us a doll company, we’ve always seen ourselves as storytellers,” said Julia Prohaska, vice president of marketing.

Prohaska said their dolls come with books that tap into imaginations, while providing a rich history lesson.  “We put at the center stories and advice for girls that really are intended to help them be their personal best,” Prohaska said.

Continue reading

THE GOODS: Gadgets and Goods Holiday Gift Ideas for Teens – GBN

Lesa Lakin

Lesa Lakin

Today we’ve got gifts we think any teen would appreciate. Yes, that age group can be a little tricky to buy for, but we think we’ve picked some good GOODS. Yes, I will certainly be doing the “gift card” thing… but I like to throw the teenagers off a bit and actually wrap a gift that scores and surprises them.

We’ve compiled a short list of goods they just might like.  I’ve certainly got a little perma-teen in me, and I’d love just about any of these…

Skull Candy

SKULLCANDY – CRUSHER – $99.99 (some colors on sale 79.99)

We LOVE the way these headphones look and sound. They come in nine stylish color combos. Crusher brings the sound and feeling that you get from sitting front row at a concert. The headphones’ design features a slider to control the bass and customize your music. Dual ear cup articulation and premium materials deliver long-lasting comfort.

http://www.skullcandy.com/headphones/CRUSHER.html?cgid=1000&color=Bunny %20Teal#6lZUfLFXFpvBWuzJ.97

Naughty or Nice Decorative Pillow, 10" x 14" - 100% Bloomingdale's Exclusive

NAUGHTY or NICE DECORATIVE PILLOW, 10″ x 14″ – 100% Bloomingdale’s Exclusive – $70.00 (each)

These Alexandra Ferguson Naughty And Nice Pillows are the perfect fun gift for anyone on your list. These stylish 10”X14” are pretty fun and irresistible. Machine washable.

http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/alexandra-ferguson-naughty-or- nice-decorative-pillow-10-x-14-100-bloomingdales- exclusive?ID=1538137&pla_country=US&cm_mmc=Google-PLA-ADC-_-Home-NA-_- Alexandra%20Ferguson-_- 818635012752USA&catargetid=120156070000345783&cadevice=c

Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard

LOGITECH K380 MULTI-DEVICE BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD (Blue) $39.99

This multi-device Bluetooth universal keyboard is simply the best we’ve seen. It can go in between devices with the click of a button (Mac, PC, Tablet, Smartphone). This keyboard gets our vote. Comes in blue & dark grey.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0148NPAT0/ref=asc_df_B0148NPAT04049958?smi d=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=cnet-pc-20&linkCode=df0&creative=395093&creativeASIN=B0148NPAT0

Polaroid 300 Instant Camera

POLAROID 300 INSTANT CAMERA $79.99

Remember instant photography? Well here’s a modern version of the old throwback Polaroid camera. Exceptionally stylish –the Polaroid 300 instant analog camera is beautifully designed and comes in different colors. We LOVE the red. It’s one of the more reasonably-priced instant cameras out there and makes a great gift.

http://www.target.com/p/polaroid-300-instant-camera/-/A-13043100#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=polaroid+300+instant+camera

Film: $16.99 (sold separately)

http://www.target.com/p/polaroid-300-film-10-pack-pif-300/-/A-13042872#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=polaroid+300+instant+camera

#GBN #goodblacknews.org #giftideas #teens #Polaroid #logitech #skullcandy

THE GOODS: Holiday Gift Ideas – Star Wars Themed – GBN

Lesa Lakin

Lesa Lakin

This holiday season, awaken the force with Star Wars-themed gifts. Star Wars opens  midnight December 17th, so why not give the gift of Galactic-themed products.

I remember loving Star Wars back in the day. My mom took my sister and I, and it was more than magical. Admittedly, I went kicking and screaming and had no interest in seeing the film, but by the time we got to the parking lot when it was over, I was begging to see it again and acting out every part I could remember. No doubt all generations will love Episode VII.

We’ve found a few items that the child and sci-fi fanatic in all of us might enjoy.

Star Wars The Black Series 6 Inch Finn (Jakku)

STAR WARS THE BLACK SERIES 6 INCH FINN (JAKKU) $14.95

This Finn figure is sure to be a hit. Finn is described to be a trained warrior escaping his past. His adventures drive him down an heroic yet dangerous path.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SD8I0SK/ref=s9_acsd_al_bw_sfg_r0_1_t? pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search- 4&pf_rd_r=1EPPRYKCS8E2DDKVS677&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=2328311462&pf_rd_i =9059017011

 

LEGO® Star Wars Millennium Falcon

LEGO® STAR WARS MILLENNIUM FALCON $149.99

Aim for the stars with the Millennium Falcon, featuring streamlined design, detachable cockpit, spring-loaded shooter, holo-chess board and lots more.

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=54946986&cp=&parentPage=search

Hot Wheels R/C Star Wars Darth Vader Vehicle

HOT WHEELS R/C STAR WARS DARTH VADER VEHICLE $27.14

Star Wars and Hot Wheels team up for the galaxy’s most powerful villain in vehicle form.

#GBN #goodblacknews.org #giftideas #StarWars