Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fashion Madness: Picture Perfect

Yla Eason, founder of Olmec Toys pioneered ethnic fashion doll lines with the 1988 release of Naomi (Black Doll Collecting:  Moments in Black Doll History).  Thus, I thought it would be appropriate to start this showcase of the new Kenya Picture Perfect fashions with a model from Olmec Toys. 

Consuelo, Latin American princess, wears a pale pink, tiered dress with black accents at the shoulders and waist. 

The soft knit fabric clings to her curves even though she is not as voluptuous as Kenya.

In 1995, Percy Newsum's Integrity Toys took up the torch from Olmec Toys and made ethnic fashion dolls ubiquitous on the shelves of national retailers such as Toys R Us and Walmart. 

The original Integrity Toys play line bodies were thicker than Barbie.  I have offered Jade the opportunity to upgrade to an articulated body several times but she is proud of the womanly curves that make this red satin dress a dramatic fashion statement. 

This dress will not fasten around her generous endowments but her hair would normally hide that fact. 

It also comes with a glamorous purse. 

Before Mattel’s So In Style line, Barbie had another set of African American friends – Shani, Asha, and Nichelle. 

These dolls appeared in the early 1990s.  Although their hair is improbably long and straight, their faces were sculpted to represent distinctively African American features. 

Like the Kenya dolls, they came in three skin tones.  Shani’s complexion was medium brown, Asha’s was café au lait, and Nichelle’s was dark chocolate.  Shani’s original jewelry coordinates well with the gold-on-black accents in this dress. 

She looks ready to dance the night away with her boyfriend, Jamal.

This fashion pack comes with two pairs of shoes. 

None of the models above could slide their heels through the ankle strap. 

I think this design is likely to break in short order but Kenya was obliging enough to slip them on for us.

Those of us who buy dolls and accessories on a regular basis accumulate large quantities of wire twist ties.  While D7ana of “A Philly Collector of Playscale Dolls and Action Figures” has suggested ways to recycle them, it is good to see Kenya’s World has done away with them all together.  The purse and shoes are secured inside the package with ribbons that you can re-use as fashion accents. 

The plastic “staples” were attached to the dress forms rather than the garments themselves so they left no unsightly holes in the fabrics.  The inner package art is attractive and brings to mind My Scene packaging of yore.

I have not seen these fashion packs at Family Dollar but you can order them on-line from Toys R Us:

Picture Perfect Fashion Pack – $11.99 at Toys R Us

Orange Blossom Fashion Pack -- $11.99 at Toys R Us

My next post will feature the Orange Blossom fashions.

À Bientôt


  1. Delightful post, Paulette! I enjoyed the trip down memory lane thanks to the models used to showcase these Picture Perfect fashions!

    I look forward to your next installment and also look forward to purchasing all the Kenya Madness boxed fashions when I (or my shop-for-me-daughter) can find them locally.


  2. WOW! My store didn't have these... or they didn't have them the last time I was there. I'll have to go back! Thanks for photos and the post!

  3. Nice post! I checked in the store (TRU) for the fashions, but to no avail. Someone on another blog or board posted that they were at TRU. I hope they make it to the store.

  4. Hi Ladies,

    I saw these fashions on TRU's website before they had posted pictures of the product. They were not in an obvious place in the store where I found them. I was looking through the last of the Liv stuff and saw the box on the shelf below. Good luck finding them in your local stores!

  5. Hello from Spain: I love the fireplace. Did you or did you buy it? I like the white dress. It is a very elegant dress. The leopard chair is awesome. I also like Shani. She has beautiful hair. Keep in touch

    1. Hi Marta,

      The fireplace is part of a Gloria play set. You can find Gloria sets on eBay and some sellers will ship overseas.

  6. I like this set, too. My fave is the pink layered dress.

  7. Thanks for showing these outfits out of their package. They look nice on your dolls.

    I rather like some of my rounder-figured dolls in spite of their limited articulation because it is nice to have some figures fuller. (Like your Jade on her original body.)