dolls of color in the UK

As we here in America are finally getting a American Girl of the Year who is dark skinned, the UK seems to be witnessing the same phenomenon we struggled with for so many year…no dark skinned dolls in stores.

The BBC has a fine article out here: (Reference only PDF: where-are-the-black-dolls-in-high-street-stores_-bbc-news)

What made me really sad about this article is that I looked up what I know was a best selling black doll in the UK from the dolls house…and she’s gone, the whole website is.


This was Star. Hopefully it’s a glitch on the website and not a farewell (although lack of mention it the BBC article doesn’t leave me super hopeful).


Grace is still available (in several outfits/themes) from My London Girl (yes, she’s a Lotus doll!) as is Jermaine (a boy!)…(click on images for links)


But these ARE mailorder so the in store issue seems to be as real across the pond as it is here. You’ve heard me complain that I can’t find dolls of color at my local Targets but I can if I go to Targets in other areas even ten minutes farther.  Our Toys R Us’ are generally better, I think, only because they serve larger populations that the Targets who clearly “target” racially. However, our Walmarts have the same problem.

Is it wrong to target sales racially? Heck yes. If the norm is that only white dolls are seen by kids in stores then there is no normal for children of color to see the world as anything else. It’s time to end that.

My 2017 message for the doll play world is that we’ve fought the battle in equality for boys and girls having access to dolls; it’s time to teach how important dolls of color are no matter what continent you’re on. The new American Girls Gabriela and Melody will help with that (despite their “whitewashed” features) but it’s up to us to support those making the dolls of color with natural, varied skin tones with non-European features if we want to see changes in doll availability and frankly, how our world works.

I’ve made it no secret that I’m disappointed with Mattel for what appears to be a poorly executed copy of so many other of their products with GOTY Gabriela’s line. It’s been nice to read on LADL and my Facebook groups that others share this assessment. Small Dolls in a Big World has a great commentary on the new items as well as an awesome story called Out with the Old, In with the New that is well worth checking out.

If you’re a little disgruntled, like me, you might want consider these dolls of color as alternatives or friends for Gabriela and Melody (click on images for current sale sites).


This is Kayla from Adora.


Meet Honey, Kayla and Monica from Curly Girls United


These are the Izuki dolls (there are a couple new ones too).


This is Sabrina, a limited edition Lotus doll from Today’s Girl available via Constructive Playthings.

Sabrina is a cloth bodied doll, like American Girl dolls. The others are slim bodied dolls. I have most of these that I bought without endorsement and I appreciate them all. Being a curly girl myself, I am thrilled at the masterful production of the Curly Girls United.

Of course, there are Our Generation dolls from Target: Abrianna, Anaya, Cecee (retro), HadiaHaven, Maeva, Jewelry MaevaMeagan, and Nahla who share the original Battat Vanessa face mold. And Nia and Neveah who share a new face mold (first used for Zuri, who may be available in stores but was not listed on Target’s current website).

I also want to give a mini shout out to the Divah Dolls although, good luck finding them (some Targets and Walmarts depending on where you are as well as Amazon). Check out the line at Dollation here.

There are dolls of color in other popular lines such as My Life As and Journey Girls that I’m not mentioning here because well, they’re all the same face mold as their other dolls. (boo)

So…let’s support the movement towards inclusion with our wallets and emails. Let companies know what matters to you.

Here’s to a colorful 2017! Love you, Dollings!


PS: Another thing I do when I see dolls of color on clearance is scoop them up to donate to our local charities. We have plenty of children in need of dollies! Those sales count for manufacturers too.

Lotus pizza and ice cream sets on Zulily



For anyone looking for the Newberry sets available only in Canada, New York Doll Collection has another version for those of us stateside. They are available now on Zulily for a limited time.


Ice Cream

Links will likely not work if you are logged into a Zulily account already. To search Zulily, type in the item name as it appears in the screen shots above.



The box clearly says New York Doll.


If you’re in Canada or just want to compare, here are the links for the Newberry versions:


Ice Cream

How exciting that these sets are now available in the US at all!

Newberry sale at Kmart – half off


The above Newberry dolls are on half off sale at making them $15 each!


The holiday doll is also half off which reduces her cost to $20!

Newberry dolls are soft bodied dolls made by Lotus Onda, the same folks who make Journey Girls (if you’re thinking that holiday dress looks familiar, it should, the skirt uses the same pattern as previous holiday Journey Girl editions).

The clothing and accessories are not on sale.

my doll Friday – Matthias

MDF purpIMG_5893b Matthius

We have named our new boy doll Matthais but we’ve been calling him Matty. He was a Today’s Girl from Constructive Playthings Limited Edition Sabrina that I picked up on Zulily.

Matty got a haircut but didn’t need anything else to look boyish. The face paint on Today’s Girl is quite a natural one to begin with.


He is a Lotus doll (shown above wearing Carter’s preemie clothes). Lotus also makes Journey Girls, Newberry and espari dolls.


IMG_5887He did not come with paint on his nails. Look at that little foot!

IMG_5888Someone nicely sent me the bike seat from Newberry for my birthday and the outfit was perfect for Matty. The outfit is from the Newberry Biking Set. It came with the shoes, top, shorts and sunglasses.IMG_5890b



While I was sad to see all of Sabrina’s curls disappear, I think Matty’s hair looks great.

I had really wanted a My London Girl Doll Jermaine but at 79 £ plus 29.95 £ shipping, that wasn’t happening any time soon. As you can see, he is also a Lotus doll. If it is not the identical face mold, it’s pretty darned close. (Lotus makes slight alterations to their molds sometimes).


Another contender stateside had been My Pal for Autism Awareness at $54.99 plus shipping.


I got my Sabrina doll on Zulily for $19.99. Can’t beat that!


Matty was chilling with Melody last week. Our newest dollhouse member arrived this week so Matty showed her the ropes. She is an Our Generation Zuri.  She doesn’t quite look like a Zuri to me so we shall see what sticks and report back.

1000 posts to Dollation!

Today I made my 1,000th post on Dollation! Special Thanks to Anika Boelke for posting about Modern Girls on Facebook. I couldn’t resist adding this Germany exclusive Lotus line to Dollation. Check out the Modern Girl line when you get a chance.

1000 post item

1000 post

Should we all celebrate with a give-away? What might you want? Leave a comment below!


my doll Friday – Izzie

MDF very yellow2016-02-27 01.49.18 Izzie

My disappointment at Jacquie’s blue eyes has been solved! MDC Reader Heather pointed out the Kmart’s Lotus dolls, My Sweet Lil Girl, had a brown eyed brown haired girl so…I got her.


Isn’t she adorable?

So…is she the same doll but with brown eyes?

2016-02-27 01.32.32b

Jacquie is trying to wait patiently…fast forward to out of the box (and minus glasses so we can see faces).2016-02-27 01.39.11

What do you think? If you think it’s the same face mold, you’re right! The number on the back of the head confirms they are the same! But let’s check out the hair…

2016-02-27 01.42.27 b

Some minor differences but otherwise pretty darned close. Twinsies!

2016-02-27 01.42.57 b

You can see that their bodies are the same (although they do have tags respective to their own brands).

2016-02-27 01.45.03 b

…and clothing swap!

2016-02-27 01.49.04 b

This is what Jacquie looked like to me! I think the blue eyed Jacquie looks great in … oh, yes, her name, meet Elizabeth who we call Izzie, Jacquie looks great in Izzie’s clothes. The girls wanted one last photo with the new Star Walls action dolls. We were very excited to find Rey, Finn and Poe.

2016-02-27 01.50.13 b

What do you think? Do you prefer the blue or brown eyes? I’m still in love with the brown. My daughter much prefers the blue (so guess who got a new doll?).


my doll Friday – Abigail

MDF redname

Guess who I got? Newberry’s Abigail has been #1 on my Wish List for quite some time and thanks to a generous woman in New York who drove to Canada to pick her up for me, now she’s mine.

Newberry Abigail fall 2014

abigail 2

The above photos from Sears Canada Online show all she comes with. Her red hair and green blue eyes are what drew me to her. I really want to compare her to JG Kelsey but that will have to wait for a future post because I can’t reach Riley (my Kelsey) at the moment. (She’s stuck in the back of the “elevator” in the doll room which has my son’s clothes in it after we had a fire at my daughter’s house).

Riley is back here

Newberry dolls are made by Lotus and only available at Sears Canada. They are soft bodied dolls like Lotus’ Today’s Girls (Constructive Playthings). Lotus also make Journey Girls, espari dolls and many others (see for a list of brands and products and track your collection too).

IMG_5658 b

Abigail came in a dark blue coat. Can you guess that that coat did to Abigail? Yes, nasty stains. She looks like she has matching arm band tattoos right where her shirt ends.


Since I recently featured Newberry Jacquie, we can skip the rest of the naked dolly pics since they’re the same body type. So what should Abigail wear?

IMG_5664 b

This is the Baker Street Steampunk Outfit from Carpatina’s Girlfriends Collection.  My awesome daughter bought both Steampunk Outfits for me for Christmas. The outfit fits well. The collar is a separate piece like a choker necklace so it doesn’t bunch. The wristlets are big on Abigail and slide down. They still look good though. The boots are the only item that is tricky. Her feet fit but you can see how the back of the boot tapers in at the top of the zipper. Well, that meant I couldn’t zip it all the way up. They still look ok.


The outfit is very well made and worth every penny in the details. The skirt fastens in back while the blouse fastens in front. Both have hidden snaps which I love. The gather to the skirt is just perfect. Even without the blouse over it, you cannot see the snap on the waist.

IMG_5670 b

IMG_5671 b

The outfit comes with really cool goggles that don’t quite fit but Abigail can still see.

IMG_5672 bThey make a much better headband for her. Her hair likes to go in face all the time!

IMG_5676 b

I found two more babies this week too. Arthur (left) and Jerome (middle) join Hiro in our baby family. Here they are with Steampunk Abby for scale. My dad got me the bench for Christmas.

IMG_5681 bHere’s Jerome close up. I love the lips, hair and side glance unique to his head sculpt. They all have the same adorable hands and feet (look at those toes!).


I’ve had Hiro for a little while. He was purchased at Barnes and Noble. They are all Corolle Les Minis. They are sold in pre-packaged assortments so you can’t usually pick the one you want online. I found the other two in a local toy store and snatched them up. Some of the Asian boys and girls have painted hair instead of the wigs. I think the wig is cute.


And here’s little Arthur. He also has a unique head sculpt. I like that his eyes face forward (and yes, he reminds me of someone I know named Art).

IMG_5684 b

I also bought some of the Justice pajamas for dolls. This is the 2 piece Cool Penguin set. It’s very soft.


And this photo shows a quality control issue with Newberry dolls quite well. I’ll have to clip that stray hair!


One more shot with the boys.

IMG_5697 b

A little more about Newberry…

LADL 2016

my doll Friday – Dana and Jacquie

MDF very yellowIMG_5652

For a change, let’s look at some more Lotus dolls; you might notice that I didn’t include a dollbook photo for either doll. That’s because I’m not attached to either doll and I may not keep them. Let’s see why…

Here’s my Italian Dana in her TRU glory:


And here’s Jacquie:

Jacquie 2015

Originally I thought I would find Jacquie to be a brown eyed version of Dana. Boy, was I wrong!

First off, Jacquie does not have brown eyes and I am heartbroken over that. Take a look.

IMG_5627The description and box both declare Jacquie is going to be brown eyes. Lest you be disillusioned with her eyes behind the glasses, here’s just how blue her eyes are.


Don’t get me wrong. She’s very pretty but I wanted a brown eyed doll. However, the blue eyes make her more like Dana.

IMG_5620 b

The packaging is pretty different. Dana’s box is clear and meant to be shelf appealing. My Newberry box was a mail order, in store pick up so I don’t know if all Newberry dolls come like this or just under my circumstances. A closer view of the Dana character image looks a lot more like Jacquie to me.


To get the dolls out of the boxes, there was also a noticeable difference. Jacquie came out by slitting the tape on the box, removing a cardboard cap piece that kept her head from knocking about and then slipping her out of a clear plastic bag.


Dana, like all Journey Girls, was not that easy to get out. Once the box is open, you have to slide out the inner box that Dana is fixed to with plastic, tape and ties.


Journey Girls are definitely some of my least favorite to debox.

 IMG_5633 b

Out of their boxes, another obvious thing shows up – their heights. While Jacquie’s smaller statue and pudgier physique make her a perfect cuddle doll, next to Dana, she looks more childlike. That, with blue eyes too, make her look more like a perfect little sister for Dana.

IMG_5636 b

I took off their glasses to verify the are the same mold…yup. Both were fixed in identical fashion with clear bands too. IMG_5639

To really see the vast differences in these two Lotus dolls, I stripped them down! (naked dollie warning!)


Then, just to see, I added another Lotus dollie to the mix, espari’s Lily Rae.


Even Lily Rae has a different body type. How interesting! I’m sure you’ve noticed that Jacquie can’t stand on her on so she’s in the AG doll stand. Without her shoes, her soft little body is hard to balance. Her arms and legs are pretty thick compared to these other Lotus beauties. (note to self: compare Newberry and Today’s Girl body types). Lily Rae and Dana do ok standing. It almost look like aside from the cloth part (and head) that these two might be identical molds (but we’re not looking at that today, Nonna, get on with it).


Lily Rae’s hair, though curled, is much closed in color to Jacquie’s. That’s only right since she is a Lotus cousin.


Face to face, the cheeks and chins stand out as being quite diverse. The curl of the noses are also easy to spot in profile.


I didn’t get a picture of Jacquie’s ear behind her hair while the girls were having their staring contest but you can see from below that their ears don’t even start in the same place on the side of their heads (Dana’s is lower).


Oops. I almost forgot the back of the boxes.

IMG_5624 b

By shear count, I think I have too many dolls to honorably keep these dolls but I’m glad I got them to compare. They are much less alike that I thought. I will confess though, Dana would then be the only regular line up JG I don’t have.

Until next time…enjoy your weekend, Dollings!


Comparison – 2 Lotus face molds


You already know espari’s Lily Ria (Gywnne in Nonna’s dollhouse) but have you seen Newberry’s newest version of their Brooklyn doll?

I completely fell in love with her coloring and was blessed to find someone who brought her back from Canada for me. I have renamed her Jyoti.

The dimple on the chin really had me wondering if they were the same face mold because that’s such a unique feature. Side by side, I wasn’t so sure so I flipped them over to check the backs of their heads and guess what?

Lotus 013G 1803 espari Lily Ria

Lotus 013G 1804 Newberry Brooklyn

They’re NOT the same! Lotus 013G 1803 is espari’s Lily Ria (and most of the espari girls) and Lotus 013G 1804 is Newberry’s Brooklyn. It’s really nice that Lotus gives us the reference here (not all their dolls do). I will have to update Dollation! The numbering indicates they’re modified versions of the same mold (my other Newberry dolls have difference number formats).


So even though they have very similar faces, they have very different body types. espari are thin limbed dolls. Newberry are more childlike in their bodies and very soft bodied. See Newberry’s neck? She can’t even stand without the doll stand.



espari bodies actually make me laugh because they kind of poof after the chest plate. Newberry reminds me of Today’s Girl‘s construction (and what I imagine is My London Doll) who are also a Lotus dolls. The hair quality is comparable.

Lotus 013G 1803 espari Lily Ria eye Lotus 013G 1804 Newberry Brooklyn eye

Our espari girl has my favorite green/brown eyes but I love our Newberry’s brown eyes. The eyelashes are completely different too (espari = Maybeline, Newberry = CoverGirl?). You can also see here the sculpting change around the outside of the eye.

I think they’re both great and quality play dolls. What do you think? Do you have a Lotus doll? Does she have a head stamp number?