So I wanted to give an overview of all our Asians. We currently have four gals, three guys, a five year old (Kelly), a toddler and a baby.
Our Nikki was originally an Animal Lover when she was released in 1989 but is now dressed as a police officer because I’ve never seen an Asian Police officer. I’m sure they MUST exist. The Basics Line dolls are re-bodied on LIV Hayden bodies.
We love our Dolls of the World 2011 Japanese Ken. We changed him into “street clothes” and I thought I was going to cut his hair but decided not to. He’s our only ken with facial hair. So he’s great in three ways – 1) Asian, 2) Long hair on a man, 3) facial hair.
Takeo Mizutani is a great doll. He’s made by Integrity toys. He’s part of their line called “Fashion Royalty”. He’d probably be easier to find on eBay than on the Integrity Toys website. He was very expensive and his price will only continue to climb. I had not been able to find any other Asian male prior to purchasing him and after a few months mulling it over I saved up and bought him.
The third Asian man in our current collection is an action figure I found on eBay. Most action figures are just too short for barbies but I bought him anyway. There’s a lot I don’t like about action figures: they look terrible without shirts, their heads are too small and their necks are too long. We’ve only used him as a villian so far.
Asian children are rare. Kelly sized Asian girls are usually available only as part of Kelly and Friends gift sets that include a panoply of ethnicities. I am not aware of any Asian Kelly that was ever sold alone. I have probably seen about five different Kellys that would be considered Asian. Only one of the five had an actual eye paint difference. The one shown above has the standard Kelly eye shape.
An Asian toddler was created as part of the Happy Family series. Nikki’s one year birthday party included a red-haired toddler, an Asian toddler and a brown skinned boy with curly hair. The best way to find the toddler is to put “Barbie Toddler” or “Happy Family barbie” into eBay.
Asian babies have only been produced once by Mattel (more below) so I tried to paint my own. I didn’t have the right paint brush so even after ten attempts the result is pretty bad – but she’s what we have for now.
STUFF I WANT:
Three things on my list to buy are Amazing Nails Lea, Generation Girls Mari and Going Home Barbie. Amazing Nails Lea is just gorgeous to me because she uses the Lea/Kayla Mattel facemold and that is probably my favorite head of all the Mattel heads. Generation Girl Mari is a favorite of mine because she has such a trendy look and Asians in the U.S. are stereotyped as being very bookish.
The Going Home doll set is a sad commentary on U.S. culture. These dolls are given to families adopting from China. So, is Mattel saying that the only way we ever have a need for an Asian baby is when BBBBarbie adopts an orphan from China? Ouch.
LOOK INTO THESE:
While you can’t get a very wide range of Asian ethnicities (they do all tend to look Japanese) you can purchase more ethnic clothing variations from this cool Asia for Kids website. They have barbie sized traditional Korean and Vietnamese dresses for about $10.
Another source for cheap variations on traditional Asian dress styles can be found on the Hometown China website.
Ms. Leo’s blog has a blog entry on “the Cousins Play Outdoors” showing three different Asian Kellys. Plus – the unheard of – a way to make an Asian boy that is Stacie/Janet/Whitney-sized and can wear Todd clothes. Do a search of Ms. Leo’s blog using the word “Asian” or use her keyword/Label “Asian” to find several other interesting entries. Including one showing Samurai Ken re-bodied onto Ken with fully poseable knees and elbows!
Ms. Leo’s blog led me to the Yu-Sai Wa Wa dolls that can be found China Sprout toy shop website. This site doesn’t have the Doctor version of her but that one is exceptionally cute.
A blog called Asian Mommy includes a survey of all Mattel’s Asian Dolls of the World. I would caution however that many of these dolls do not necessarily have what I would call “Asian-looking” faces. You can sometimes find their costumes for sale separately on eBay which will save you money over a New-In-Box doll. But this is a nice overview of the traditional dress dolls available.