Note from BW of Brazil: Well today’s article certainly shows that consumer markets DO respond when enough pressure is placed on them! Not only does today’s piece provide an example of the so-called “Afroconsumo” that we featured yesterday, but it is a direct response to a study presented here a few months back showing that only 3% of dolls for sale on online stores in Brazil are black. The issue goes far beyond simply the idea of consumerism but also delves into important issues of which Afro-Brazilians have organized themselves around for several years: identity and representation. Although I consider this to be a step in the right direction, I must also say that the features of the doll that was released still shows that there still seems to be a fear of presenting a doll that possesses truly African features as the doll in some ways appears to be simply a white model sprayed brown. Maybe I’m just too critical, but I’m jus’ sayin’…
Ri Happy, Fundo Baobá and Estrela launch collection of black dolls
Coleção Adunni presents three black dolls in a project that seeks to educate children about respect and diversity
By Guilherme Dearo
The Estrela brand, in partnership with Ri Happy toy stores and Fundo Baobá (Fund for Racial Equity), has just launched in Brazil an exclusive collection with three black dolls.
The collection was named Adunni. The word, in Niger-Congolese Yoruba, means “a doçura chegou ao lar” (the sweetness has come home).
The toys have a baby doll and also two models of adult women (“fashion doll”), each with a different outfit. According to Estrela, the vibrant colors of clothing and packaging bring an influence of elements of Afro-Brazilian origin. The dolls can be found in Ri Happy toy stores throughout Brazil. The prices are R$79.99 (US$24) (Baby Doll) and R$89.99 (US$27) (Fashion Doll).
According to Ri Happy, the idea of the collection is to break down prejudices and educate children about respect for diversity. In fact, black-skinned dolls run counter to a market dominated by white and blond dolls. Recently, Mattel also announced the creation of new body, skin color and hair formats for its dolls, in an unprecedented move to go against the imposed aesthetic standards (white, blonde, tall and very thin dolls).
Ri Happy will contribute a percentage of each doll sold to Baobá.
” still shows that there still seems to be a fear of presenting a doll that possesses truly African features as the doll in some ways appears to be simply a white model sprayed brown.”
Yeah, I was about to make a comment without even reading the post as I could not really stop laughing when I saw that these dolls were supposed to be black. Who are these guys trying to fool?
I already posted this once, but relevant to this:
“Agencies rarely hire black models. And when they do, they want them to look “like white girls dipped in chocolate.”
Same with the dolls.
And one more thing, and maybe it’s just me, but why the heck does the doll need to have a Niger-Congolese name as opposed to a more common Brazilian name like “Tati”? This is to make clear these dolls are something exotic and not really the norm in a country where more than half of the population is black.