Black Model Creates Afro-Caribbean Doll Line to Fill Void
Meet Maisha, Mala B, Malina and Mhina. Four sophisticated Black women with big Afros and personality to match.
This new doll line, created by St. Lucian model Mala Bryan, features Afro-Caribbean-inspired dolls who serve Black girl fierceness with various skin tones, hair textures and style.
Bryan created Malaville Toys after not seeing more reasonably priced Black dolls.
In an email chat with Huffington Post, Bryan explained, “I made the decision to go ahead with the dolls because I could not find affordable kinky or curly haired black/brown dolls to add to my Barbie collection.”
Right now there are about six companies with a Black doll line. With the blowout sale of the now-famous Ava Barbie, more Black mothers and fathers are gravitating toward Black-inspired toys for their children. Bryan’s dolls retail at $20.
“There are lots of adult doll collectors that would reroot black Barbie dolls with more natural hair but they are usually quite expensive… I notice[d] that there was a high demand for them so that was one of the main things I noted,” Bryan told Huffington Post.
The international model used to decorate dolls in St. Lucia but became flustered when the dolls she used were white. Last year, Bryan opened Malaville Toys. It took nearly eight months to produce the four friends while she also created a Malaville world for the dolls to live in. While they’re out living their busy lives you can keep up with the girls, their jobs and their travels via their Instagram.
“I believe that diverse representation is extremely important because children tend to associate their dolls with their playmate,” Bryan said.
Bryan designed the dolls with different complexions and curly-kinky hair. Malaville will expand to include more dolls with diverse facial features, complexions and hair color. Bryan also revealed she is working with a few African and Caribbean fashion designers to create a Malaville clothing line.
Bryan loves the support her doll line has received and its significance on Black girls.
“Somehow they bring out a certain type of joy in me and that one of the things I’m hoping that they’re able give lots of happiness and joy to those to get them,” Bryan said.