Niya is a Springfield Collection doll. She was released in 2009 in limited run. She came pre-stuffed but nude. I purchased mine new directly from Springfield last May; they have since run out but seem to still be available here.
Most were sold without a box even directly from Springfield. My Niyas (that’s right, I ordered more than one) arrived in bags ordered directly from Springfield online.
Overstock advertised their stock in boxes though.
One of the biggest complaints/nicest features of this little gem of a doll are her middle parted braids. She was clearly intended to represent a Native American. Just like with other dolls that come with braided hair, like American Girls Kaya and Kirsten, once you take the braids down, they become a challenge sometimes.
I have to admit, I’ve been reluctant to purchase a Springfield Collection doll because they always looked cheap to me online. They looked happy enough but since there was the one face mold and a lack of authentic looking coloring, I resisted. Then I saw Niya whose coloring was exactly what I was looking for. As it turns out, I’ve concluded that I don’t believe most Springfield dolls photograph well with the notable exception of all the dollies on Julie Newman’s 70’s Time Capsule blog. Her blog let me see these dolls in a favorable light and I’m glad of it.
I did purchase two Niya dolls with the intention of gifting one. That intention lasted until I opened the box. Being a twin myself, and always having grown up with two dolls that looked alike in the house, I had not set out to have any doll twins in my 18 inch collection. But the hair! The dolls instantly remind me of . . .
the Penny twins from the 1977 Raggedy Ann movie (which you can watch on youtube). Ok, so they don’t have braids but their coloring is similar, they all have pudgy cheeks and I love that movie (but I wouldn’t argue that is a trippy and slightly creepy since we’ve left the 70’s).
One of my Niya’s became Ashley (on the right, she’ll get her own post someday too).
Since they arrived naked as jaybirds, I was quite pleased to discover these Dollie and Me outfits at Kmart on clearance in the same week (I gave away the matching girl outfits).
Karen Mom of Three’s blog does a nice comparison photo shoot between AG and Springfield here. It’s not Niya but you can see the proportions are slightly different.
More around the web: