Complete Guide to Ethnic Mixed Race & Afro Dolls (Updated!)

by Mixed Up Mama

Why do Afro dolls matter to our mixed kids?

It’s a message that can’t come early enough. Kids as young as 3 notice race, and they quickly become aware that race or colour is given meaning in our world. Princesses, featured in books and movies, our kids’ teachers, role models, ballerinas and royalty. All white and straight haired.

In a 1940s experiment, African-American children given the choice between white and black afro dolls overwhelmingly chose the white doll and assigned it the more positive character traits. The study has been replicated over the decades with other minority kids and similar results.

Two weeks ago one of my children received a doll. With black skin. A beautiful ballet dancer afro doll complete with a tutu and pointed toes. My other daughter looked at it and turned her face saying, “I don’t like it”.

I knew why.

We concentrated a lot on my oldest to make sure she grew up with a healthy sense of who she is/ was, where she came from so that she is proud of both the skin colours that make up her being.

We neglected our middle daughter, perhaps thinking it would sink in by osmosis. But, we were wrong. It doesn’t. We’re up against it.

ALL of her teachers are white. Her friends all seem to be white (not that there isn’t a healthy mix of diversity in her classroom but she’s purposely… or not- it’s too early to tell- chosen out her few friends from amongst the bluest eyes and blondest hair).

Despite being surrounded by cousins and grandparents, Aunties and Uncles who are all a dark chocolate complexion. Not to mention her most influential male, her most devoted dad who she is so close to, is brown skinned.

And yet, there it was. Is it a phase that children go through, I wonder? Because she certainly has a healthy circle of diversity surrounding her. Was it to shock us?

Of course I went into a whole tirade of reasons why what she said was unreasonable and unfair and ‘what if someone doesn’t like you because of your skin colour?’ etc etc. My husband told me to relax.

I spoke to her about it later reminding her about all of the people around her who have dark skin. And one by one, she made exceptions. Realising afterwards that she didn’t actually dislike everyone with dark skin.

The fact that she wanted to. That she’s been unconsciously cultivating this preference towards lighter skin is alarming but also scary to think how easy racial bias creeps in. Representation matters, oh boy, does it ever. 

How early should we start?

Experts recommend that parents buy ethnic or afro dolls from birth as one way to surround daughters and sons with positive images from the outset. When introducing afro dolls later on, you don’t need a big speech about the doll’s ethnicity, though. Just let their imagination run wild.

So here you go. It’s all here, your go-to guide to buying the perfect ethnic afro dolls for your kids craving diversity in their lives. From dolls to figurines, Hispanic, Chinese, Mixed Race to African, it’s all here. And the best part? You don’t need to order from across the pond! Click on the picture direct to purchase from a UK retailer.

**NB: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.**

Our Generation 18 inch Deluxe Doll – Macy

WHY OUR GENERATION DOLLS: More than just your average doll, the OG dolls believe in making a difference in their world. They want to build a community of friends and help your little one to learn new hobbies and always do the best they can

Barbie Fashionistas Ken Doll, Hip Hoodie

White sneakers complete the look. This Ken doll will be the man to complete your barbie set. 

Thimble and Doll bespoke soft dolls

Handcrafted in the UK, these are the perfect first doll for your loved one. You can request a perfect representation of your child- from skin tone to favourite outfit to the mole on their right cheek. And what better time to shop local and support our Mumtrepreneurs.

JP Barbie JPL63345 Barbie Sparkle Deluxe Styling Head – Afro Hair

  • Brush Barbie’s hair with the pink Barbie comb!
  • Give Barbie fashionable up-dos with the hair extension, sequins, and hair clips!
  • Customise hair clips with fun pop-in charms!

PlayMonster 5941 Superhero Marco, Wonder Crew Buddy

Wonder crew combines the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a stuffed animal to give children a best friend! The 15″ buddy has a smooth vinyl head, arms and legs, and a soft huggable body! James comes dressed as a superhero with a cape and mask! Also includes a matching cape and mask for the child to wear on their adventures!

Heart For Hearts Girls Rahel from Ethiopia Doll

  • Rahel – a girl with a giving heart, is a courageous and caring 10 year-old girl who dreams of one day becoming a doctor
  • She is determined to help her village fight the terrible illness Malaria. Read her mini book included to learn how Rahel bravely ventures to out to bring back medical supplies for her friends and neighbors
  • Hearts For Hearts Girls mission is to inspire girls to celebrate diversity, be agents of change in their lives, and positively impact the lives of those in their community, and ultimately the world!
  • For each doll purchased – Hearts For Hearts Girls donates $1.00 to World Vision to support their humanitarian programs that better the lives of those in each dolls represented country
  • Rahel is a 14″ 100% vinyl doll with an abundance of curly black hair, a bright shirt, woven skirt, and authentic jewelry. She comes with a girl sized friendship bracelet, comb and a story book about her life

TERABITHIA Mini 11″ Black Alive Reborn Baby Dolls African American Silicone Full Body Girl

  • Size:11inch(28cm) Weight:about 0.3-0.4KG(0.66-0.88LB)
  • Material:silicone vinyl full body
  • Hair:no hair,painted hair
  • Eyes:High Quality Acrylic,can not blink
  • Cloth:Handmade.According to the doll size,The doll will come with the clothes

Lots to Love  Baby Bath Time Doll 14IN Hispanic

Let your little one enjoy bath time even more!

The Puppet Company Medium Sized Puppet Buddies Girl Hand Puppet – Dark Skin Tone

  • From the collection that offers a selection of boy and girl puppets with three different skin tones. There are other sizes in this range enabling sibling groups to be assembled.
  • Full mouth movement and an embroidered face gives this puppet a distinctive personality.
  • Access at bottom of back.
  • Dressing up costumes available, offering more play options.

DC Super Hero Girls Bumble Bee 12″ Action Doll

  • Her ability to shrink makes her the ideal Super Hero to secretly find out what Super-Villains are up to without them knowing
  • It’s how she makes sure her team is never surprised by their plans

Funko Pop! Marvel: Black Panther Movie-Erik Killmonger (Styles May Vary) Collectible Figure

  • The DC Multiverse collector range offers 12) with loving details, 15 cm Achtion figure of characters from the animated series and the Batman best-selling from DC Comics.
  • This Superman figure and all other figures from series (available separately) fitted with 20 hinges, detailed painting and a unique look.
  • Wer all figures catches, can the enclosed additional pieces the Justice Buster together for use.
  • POP! Vinyl
  • Marvel: Black Panther
  • Chase variants are dispatched at random
  • Please note chase Variant cannot be ordered as an individual line

DC Comics Multiverse Superman Earth 23 Action Figure

  • The DC Multiverse collector range offers 12) with loving details, 15 cm Achtion figure of characters from the animated series and the Batman best-selling from DC Comics.
  • This Superman figure and all other figures from series (available separately) fitted with 20 hinges, detailed painting and a unique look.
  • Wer all figures catches, can the enclosed additional pieces the Justice Buster together for use.

Cabbage Patch Kids 9″ Tallulah Tiger Zoo Cutie

  • Includes thumb sucking feature
  • 22cm soft cuddly body with plastic head showcasing the traditional Cabbage Patch Kid look!
  • Soft and cuddly
  • Contents: 1 x Cabbage Patch Kids Cutie

Nice2You Black Doll African Girl Baby Doll for Kids Fashion Play Doll 12inch Perfect for Birthday Christmas Gift

Choose this black doll to accompany your kids, play with them together, sleep with them together. Besides, they can dress the doll up according their preferences. You know, In the kids’ world, that is everything

  • ❤Fashion And Cute Girl Doll – She is 12 inch tall with high grade acrylic eyes, but it seems that they are unable to blink. The black exploding hair is implanted by handmade, you can play you imagination to change hairstyles for it.
  • ❤Harmless Material – Made of vinyl PVC material which is harmless for kids and environmentally friendly. It is not soft enough like the cotton doll but still comfortable to touch.
  • ❤Flexible Structure – 100% handmade craftwork with hand painting. Joints of arms, legs and head can rotate 360°. Head and limbs can move and active, and it can sit or lie down but can not stand and speak. Clothes on dolls can be taken off to clean.
  • ❤Perfect For: This fashion doll will be the ideal gift for kids or old people who need to be accompanied .

The Ashton-Drake Galleries Linda Murray So Truly Real Tiffany Weighted Poseable Baby Doll

  • This reborn baby girl doll is designed and created by Linda Murray
  • Meticulously handcrafted with soft RealTouch vinyl skin her cloth body is weighted and poseable to feel amazingly lifelike in your arms
  • Her golden stud earrings sparkle in the light, and a hair bow adorned with pink rosette calls attention to Tiffany’s hand-rooted hair
  • Lifelike newborn baby doll wears a soft velour sleeper featuring ribbons and rosettes blooming with sweetness

Barbie Musician Doll & Playset, Brunette

  • Young imaginations can rock with Barbie Musician Doll and Playset that includes two musical instruments — a keyboard and a guitar!
  • The acoustic-style guitar has a detachable pink strap that matches its body and is perfect for practice or performance
  • The keyboard sits on the pull-out shelf of a wood-inspired stand; a cool black bench lets Barbie doll sit or stand to help her hit the right notes
  • The top shelf of the keyboard stand has a smaller stand for the included music sheet and one that holds two microphones — both a recording-style microphone and a pop-filter microphone are included and snap in and out of the stand!
  • Pink headphones and a water bottle can take a story from the studio to the stage

Barbie Club Chelsea Doll, Owl Graphic Outfit

  • Chelsea doll and her friends can play out so many fun stories!
  • Six adorable dolls each wear bright colors and have an accessory
  • Added diversity and more variety in looks and hairstyles provide infinitely more ways to spark imaginations
  • Includes doll wearing fashions and accessory
  • Collect them all for even more exploration and fun possibilities

Barbie Doll Robotics Engineer – 2018 Career of the Year – Brown Hair, Brown Eyes, African American – Includes Pretend Robot and Computer

  • Dream big with Barbie Robotics Engineer doll — this Barbie Career of the Year doll introduces a partnership with Tynker, a game-based platform that teaches kids how to code and inspires them to explore STEM opportunities!
  • ​Barbie doll comes with a silvery robot and a purple laptop — that shows a screenshot of her robotics project.
  • ​A career-themed look includes a white t-shirt with rainbow tech-inspired graphic, a denim jacket, black pants, white sneakers and protective goggles.
  • ​She wears her dark brown hair in a trendy afro style.
  • ​Collect all the Barbie careers dolls to explore all your dreams because you can be anything with Barbie (each sold separately, subject to availability).

Our Generation by Battat- Malia 18″ Posable Fashion Doll with Poodle – for Age 3 Years & Up

  • Are you ready to meet your new BFF (Best Furry Friend)?! Enjoy a walk with a four-legged friend with Malia and her poodle, the 46cm doll & pet pair from Our Generation!
  • 46cm poseable doll with long, wavy brown hair, brown eyes and pet dog
  • Includes doll, outfit, shoes, dog, dog toys and brush
  • Easy to mix and match with other Our Generation dolls and clothes
  • Compatible with most 46cm dolls

Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Doc Doll

  • Doc McStuffins continues her daily medical adventures on the top-rated Disney Junior series! This year, she’s the Chief Resident at her new Toy Hospital, helping toys from all over the world. Just Play’s new line of Doc McStuffins role play toys lets kids heal their toys, just like Doc, and it’s just what the doctor ordered.
  • Includes new toy hospital inspired accessories
  • Ages 3+ and Up
  • Features new toy hospital inspired chief resident outfit

Bubble Guppies Molly Bath Doll

  • It’s a bathtime adventure with your Bubble Guppies friend, Molly
  • Cold water magically reveals a purple highlight in Molly’s hair
  • Molly’s tail is poseable so you can pretend she’s swimming
  • Includes starfish-shaped water scooper & a hair comb 

Miniland 12.63” Anatomically Correct Newborn Baby Doll, Hispanic Girl

  • Soft vinyl, resilient and flexible
  • Articulated and lightly scented body
  • Anatomically correct
  • Suitable for special needs
  • Measures 38 cm height

Baby Alive Magical Mixer Baby Doll Blueberry Blast with Blender Accessories, Drinks, Wets, Eats, Black Hair Toy

  • TOY BLENDER REALLY WORKS – The baby’s ready for a treat! Pretend to make her a blueberry shake in a real working toy blender! Add blue doll food and water into the blender. Then push down button to mix!
  • SHE LOVES TO EAT AND DRINK – After you mix up a sweet treat for the baby, feed her with the included spoon, then give her a few sips of water from her bottle to wash it down. The doll really eats and drinks!
  • SHE ‘PEES’ AND ‘POOS’ – When the baby eats lots of delicious food and drinks from her bottle, you know what she’ll need next: a nappy change! Magical Mixer Baby really ‘pees’ and ‘poos’ her nappy!
  • REMOVABLE OUTFIT AND COMB – This very sweet baby doll comes in a blueberry-themed removable dress with a comb to brush her hair.

Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Fairytale Dress Up Set, Black Hair

  • A world of possibilities: Combine this product with Barbie dolls and accessories (sold separately) for endless story telling possibilities
  • Helps to develop imaginative play skills
  • ​This colourful mermaid doll from Barbie dreamtopia makes a splash in the sea
  • ​Inspired by her home kingdom of rainbow cove, Barbie mermaid doll has an exquisite orange-to-pink ombre tail and wears a pink bodice with teal star-shaped details
  • ​A removable hairpiece with matching star-shape accents looks elegant in her purple and blue streaked hair

Barbie Skipper Babysitters Inc. Doll and Stroller Playset

  • A world of possibilities: Combine this product with Barbie dolls and accessories (sold separately) for endless story telling possibilities
  • Play out classic baby sitting moments with a Barbie skipper baby sitters Inc. playset with a baby sitter doll, a baby doll and accessories themed to a walk
  • The stroller gets imaginations rolling with a bouncing seat: Put the toddler doll in and push to see her bounce as the stroller moves forward
  • The baby doll and kids stay entertained with accessories that include a teddy bear, toy phone and baby bottle the small doll can hold on her hand
  • Skipper doll is prepared, too, with a blue diaper bag that holds her cell phone and a snack for baby
  • Collect all the Barbie baby sitting dolls and accessories to inspire imaginations and explore possibilities because with Barbie, you can be anything (each sold separately and subject to availability)

WWE SummerSlam Action The Rock Figure

  • Kids can recreate their favorite matches with this approximately 6-inch figure created in “Superstar scale”
  • Pose to spar, menace, pair to battle or create mayhem with multiple figures (each sold separately)
  • Offers articulation, amazing accuracy and authentic details like armbands and tattoos
  • A wide variety of Superstars means loads of possibilities for WWE mayhem!

Queens of Africa Black Doll Authentic African American Doll for Kids with Accessories (Azeezah)

  • Intelligence development, interest cultivation, interactive toys, other ability training.

Hi, my name is Bontle. My name means “beauty”. I am Nobhule’s little sister. We are from Johannesburg, the capital city of South Africa. We are African Princesses who love to dress up in colourful clothes and try different hair styles.

Barbie Fashionistas poupée mannequin 85 brune avec robe en dentelle jaune, fournie avec deuxième tenue, jouet pour enfant, FJF70

  • A world of possibilities: Combine this product with Barbie dolls and accessories (sold separately) for endless story telling possibilities
  • ​Mix and match to explore style and story telling with Barbie doll she comes with an additional outfit and accessories for fun
  • ​Barbie doll wears a yellow lace dress with white strappy sandals and a pendant necklace
  • ​A second look is right on trend an orange romper has a colourful boho-inspired print
  • ​A blue bandana hat and black fringe-detailed purse complete her looks
  • ​Her long curly hair has two small braids for a recent style

Baby Alive So Many Styles Baby (Black Curly Hair)

  • Mix-and-match clothes and accessories let baby’s style shine through, cute ensembles with two outfits and accessories galore
  • Baby drinks her bottle and wets her diaper
  • Splish-splash party with rain boots and coat, or fun in the sun with sunglasses
  • Includes 16 style stick-ons for even more customization
  • Includes doll, 1 removable outfit, 1 skirt, 1 jacket, 1 pair shoes, 1 pair boots, 1 diaper, sunglasses, comb, bottle, 16 applique pieces, and instructions. Ages 3 and up.

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Brooke Johnson December 31, 2019 - 2:21 pm

Just made my daughter an American Girl size dollhouse and used pictures i found online for artwork because #representationmatters.

edward December 7, 2021 - 7:04 am

Children should be given ethnic mixed race dolls in order to tell them we all are equal. You can buy these dolls from They have a huge variety.

Parenting Blog January 22, 2024 - 3:07 pm

This is a well thought out comprehensive research work. Well done ✅👍

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