No, and the fact that many of them don’t infuriates me. What infuriates me even more is chain stores that position themselves in black communities but don’t carry black dolls. Dollar Tree in the Atlanta area is especially bad about this. Six or seven years ago in New Orleans I could find black dolls in the Dollar Tree stores there, but I haven’t seen any in Atlanta in almost five years.
In 2006 I found a cache of black dolls at a Dollar Tree in Canton, GA. Ironically, Canton is a suburb northwest of Atlanta with a relatively small African American population. This is what the doll originally looked like:
Neither the arms nor the legs could bend, but the dolls could twist and turn at the waist. Unfortunately the hip joints break easily so now I have almost enough dismembered legs to shoot a Nokia N8 Pink commercial!
Each doll came dressed in an evening gown. I was impressed with the designers’ imaginative solutions to dressing the dolls on the cheap. Each doll came with a wrap, a pair of pumps, a crown, and a necklace.
Since the necklaces were glued on, a lot of them broke when I tried to pry them loose. The crowns were glued on as well but since I planned to remove all the hair anyway, I didn’t mind. I scooped up over a dozen of these dolls to use as extras in crowd scenes and was very pleased that each one also came with a stand.
While the quality of the face screening varied greatly from doll to doll, I liked the doll’s features. Here is one that I recently upgraded to an articulated Mattel body:
This young lady now has a regular contract and will appear in future videos. Last night some of her hopeful sisters staged a benefit concert.
A new trio, the Dollar Store Divas, opened the show.
The Lady in Blue
and the Lady in Purple
wore matching satin sheaths
with criss-cross ribbons defining the bodice.
They sang back up for the Lady in Green
A veteran performer, the Lady in Black crooned a contemplative lullaby
as simple and elegant as her classic triple strand of pearls.
The Lady in Red brought her powerful presence
and passion to the stage,
while the Lady in Silver
brought down the house with her radiance and grace.
Ladies like these should be available everywhere in a rainbow of complexions.