How many of us remember the excitement of choosing a doll at a toy store, one that we would create imaginary worlds for that mirrored the lives we thought we might one day have? Except too often, those dolls didn’t mirror us. Their blonde, straight hair and impossibly tiny waists were so ubiquitous that they made us question our bodies and see our differences as imperfections.

Today, the doll industry is making moves to do a better job of representing more girls in their offerings, and where the mainstream toy companies have fallen short, small businesses have taken up the mantle. We believe that young girls will be all the more confident and comfortable in their bodies for it. You only need to watch the 1940’s “Doll Test” once to see the impact of this issue.

Here are fifteen companies that make black dolls.

Note: We previously published this list in 2015 with six companies, but we’ve added to the list to incorporate the great feedback we got from our readers!

1. Corage Dolls

Image Source: @coragedolls

Flora Ekpe-Idang is the founder and CEO of Corage Dolls. After interning at Hasbro to learn about the landscape of the toy industry, Flora was inspired to create a doll that would celebrate Black beauty. Corage Dolls exist to encourage girls of color to be unstoppable, and are reflected in their hero doll, Aaliyah, who is an 8-year-old entrepreneur with curly hair and flexible arms and knees. Parents can enjoy a variety of Aaliyah-based merchandise to accompany the dolls, such as accessories, books, and shirts that reflect her courageous attitude.

Price: $49.99

Where to buy them: On her website

2. Herstory Doll

Image Source: @herstorydoll

If you’re looking for a doll reflective of African descent, look no further than Herstory Dolls. Queen Cee and Queen Dollylama created these 18-inch dolls to reflect brown skin tones and diverse textures. Each doll was created to be a representation of girl characters with distinct personalities spanning interests in crafting, sewing, videography, photography, and more. Your child can unlock their inner creativity with a notebook and pencil to engage with DIY crafting ideas posted on the website to help them engage with their potential.

Price: $120.00

Where to buy them: On her website

3. Healthy Roots

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @healthyrootsdolls

Zoe is the first Healthy Roots doll created with an educational play experience blended with curl care. Yelitsa Jean-Charles is the founder behind these diverse dolls who span different facial features, skin tones, and hair textures that can be styled in multiple ways. As their hero doll, Zoe aims to make new friends like Marisol and Gaïana, who inspired her to love herself and others. You can explore the Healthy Roots universe with a curl power kit you can use to style your dolls hair, coloring book, and satin bonnet.

Price: $84.99

Where to buy them: On her website

4. The Melanie Dolls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: themelaniedolls

The Melanie Dolls are here to transform the character growth and development of girls of color by providing Black representation that is empowering and positive. CEO Datreese Thomas created The Melanie Dolls to help elevate your child’s self-esteem. Each doll comes with its own “Black Girl Mantras” to help encourage self-love and eliminate negative self-love that can come from doubt and hate. The Breonna Doll is currently available on the website now!

Price: $24.99

Where to buy them: On her website

5. Somi The Computer Scientist

Image Source: @innovant_tech

Computer science got even cuter with the Somi doll, the first interactive African American/Black STEM doll for all children. The founder, Bukola Somide, is the brains behind this adorable doll, which was created to support Computer Science education and bring awareness to Cyberbullying. This STEM toy speaks over 220+ words that cover terms in JavaScript, HTML, binary numbers, and more. As an interactive doll, kids have the chance to be exposed to computer science in a fun way and can help cultivate logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Price: $89.00

Where to buy them: On her website, Amazon Prime

6. Melanites

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @brownboyhood

Even boys deserve to play with dolls representing their interests and goals. Jennifer Pierre is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about creating spaces for diversity and empowering children to dream. Melanites celebrates the joy and beauty of boys with Jaylen, a curious thinker who loves to solve puzzles and create inventions. As an action figure, Jaylen is the perfect companion for your child’s next adventure!

Price: $65.00

Where to buy them: On the website

7. Brown Boy Joy

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: ourbrownboyjoy

Racial tensions have been at an all-time high in the past few years, and ten-year-old Lil Dee wanted to find a way to create positive social change from all the discourse. Lil Dee created his own company, Our Brown Boy Joy, to help motivate and inspire boys nationwide with a monthly subscription box with positive affirmations. The “My Friend” character is a plush doll that speaks positive affirmations and will put a smile on their face.

Price: $49.99

Where to buy them: On the website

8. WorldGirls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @teamworldgirls

Twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King wanted to create dolls that would spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. Worldgirls represents girls from different countries and backgrounds to learn, break down barriers, and explore the world. The Worldgirls dolls come in different skin tones, hair textures, and ethnicities and reflect characteristics like Explorer, Scholar, Rebel, Healer, and Warrior.

Price: $89.99

Where to buy them: On the website

9. My Natural Doll

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @mynaturaldoll

My Natural Doll was created by Cutting It In the ATL’s Mushiya Tshikuka, and like the custom wigs she sells in her shop, the doll’s hair is made with 100% Virgin African textured hair. This feature was important to Mushiya because “in a community where our self-esteem and self-worth beauty is directly translated by the love of our skin and hair, this feature allows little girls to see the dolls model hair as beautiful and thus themselves as beautiful.” Mushiya also designed a Kikwembe (African print”> baby doll dress; the 18-inch doll comes with a song entitled My Natural Doll.

Price: $95.00

Where to buy them: Mushiya’s website Runway Curls

10. The Fresh Dolls (Formerly Positively Perfect Dolls)

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @thefreshdolls

When Positively Perfect Dolls Founder Dr. Lisa Williams was first approached to start a line of dolls, she initially turned down the offer. She had previously been the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. from Ohio University’s College of Business, then became a professor, public speaker, and author. Toys were not her area of expertise. Dr. Williams told The Grio that it was a segment on CNN about the way young black girls react to black dolls that changed her mind, and she then made it her mission to manufacture dolls for minority girls.

Price: $39.99

Where to buy them: Online website, and Target.com

11. Queens of Africa

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls

Image Source: @queensofafricablackdolls

The Queens of Africa dolls were the first Nigerian fashion dolls designed to empower children of African descent. Founder and Nigerian entrepreneur Taofick Okoya created the dolls as part of a Queens of Africa program along with comic books, music, and an animation series to help children of African descent to be more confident. Each doll is made to represent a different Nigerian ethnic group, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, and comes in beautiful outfits of both Western and traditional styles.

Price: Ranging from about $14-60

Where to buy them: Toy stores all over Nigeria, and on their website Queens of Africa

12. Natural Girls United 

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @naturalgirlsunited

You may recognize Karen Byrd’s Natural Girls United dolls from social media. They come with a wide range of hairstyles from twist outs to tribal-inspired braids to locs, chunky locs, braided updos, and afros. There is even a range of hair textures within these styles, like the tight coils and soft curls of the Afro doll, as well as a variety of fashionable outfits. They are designed to help both children and adults recognize their natural beauty.

Price: $$69.99-79.99

Where to buy them: On their website Natural Girls United

13. Malaville Toys

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @malavilledolls

St. Lucian model Mala Bryan created the Malaville line of dolls out of frustration when she couldn’t find affordable with kinky or curly hair for her own personal Barbie collection. She told Huffington Post that “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] a high demand for them.” It’s true, dolls are not just for children! Her dolls come in four models with different skin tones: Maisha, Mala, Malina, and Mhina. 

Price: $19.99-$24.99

Where to buy them: On her website Malaville

14. Ikuzi Dolls

15 Companies That Make Black Dolls
Image Source: @ikuzidolls

Ozi Okaro was inspired to create Ikuzi Dolls by her two daughters, who have two different skin tones. She recognized that most black dolls on the market came in one skin color and failed to represent all of the many shades of black beauty. With the help of her young daughters, she has been working to create dolls with textured hair and African print dresses. You can even buy a set that includes a doll and dress, plus a matching dress for your daughter.

Price: $15-$80

Where to buy them: On their website Ikuzi Dolls

15. HarperIman

Image Source: harperimandolls

The mother-and-daughter duo behind HarperIman is committed to making dolls representing beauty, intelligence, talent, and creativity. They recognized that dolls of color are often underrepresented and wanted to create a toy showing the spectrum of Black and Brown toys. These handmade linen dolls come with set hairstyles of different curls, coils, and waves, showing the beauty of diverse hair textures.

Price: $110-$150

Where to buy them: On their website and Target

Is there a doll you love that we left off the list? Please share it below!

Desiree Johnson

Desiree is a passionate writer who loves to advocate for multiracial and diverse audiences in her writing. She enjoys writing and creating content that challenges and inspires people whether that's through a blog or social media management. As a Content Specialist in Austin, Texas she writes marketing content to help people improve their websites. She is passionate about diversity, education, and looks forward to developing compelling content with brands she loves.

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