Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Dolls From Around the World - Canada, Too

The intent of the "Black Dolls from Around the World" blog series this month was to focus on dolls actually manufactured in the countries or on the continents of focus.  However, a revelation and change of heart occurred while writing the previous blog about black dolls from Canada.  As a result, today's blog focuses on the Canadian-based company, YNU Group, Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and its Mixis dolls.  While the dolls are made in China, manufactured for YNU Group, Inc., their concept was made in Canada.

Mixis Dolls
Front and Center:  Sunshine Opal wearing "Apres Ski" fashion
Back, L-R:  First edition Opal in original outfit, Sunshine Emerald (wearing an Asian-inspired outfit*), first edition Rosa, and Sunshine Opal with curly hair wearing "Rockabilly Girl" fashion

I love these dolls for several reasons:
  • Representing mixed races, there is a doll for everyone.
  • They encourage exploration and acceptance of other cultures.
  • Their fuller lips and fuller hips result in realistic facial features and proportionate bodies.
  • They can stand without the aid of doll stands.
  • The second edition dolls (the Sunshine Collection) have articulated elbows.
  • With the exception of Sunshine Opal with curly hair, all have rooted hair.  Curly haired Opal's hair is a non-removable wig.
  • Their clothing is fashionable, everyday wear, and very well made as are the dolls.
  • Each doll has its own identity, history, likes and dislikes.  No two Mixis are alike.
  • The dolls are well presented in a durable box and can be easily removed from it!
  • Each has a certificate of authenticity.

L-R:  First edition Opal, Sunshine Emerald, and Sunshine Opal

So who are they?

Opal is of Ghanaian and British descent.  Her best friend, Emerald, "refers" to herself in her blog as Black American, Japanese, and First Nations. 
First edition Rosa and Sunshine Opal

Rosa's mom is Latina and her dad is Jewish.  She enjoys photography, visual design, reading, and listening to music.  As shown in the close-up photos, Opal can wear her hair straight (with the aid of a flat iron) or naturally curly (not really... the collector will have to buy both versions and pretend).

*The Asian-inspired outfit worn by Emerald in the group photo was a gift from a Mixis doll vendor who indicated she was not sure if the fashion was ever mass produced.

For more information about this delightful, diverse collection of dolls (including the one that is MIA from my collection, Houda), please visit the company's website and the following link of the person who inspired me to explore this diverse collection of dolls:

A Philly Collector (and Mixis enthusiast)




  1. Hi Debbie I am so glad I found your blog I am a new follower. Thank you so much for the information on these dolls I have never heard of these dolls before. They are a must have
    Peace and Blessings
    Cheryl...Snatch JOY~!

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    I'm glad you found me! I hope you continue to enjoy my blogs.

    Peace and blessings, to you, too!


  3. Aw, I missed this post! Thanks for writing and sharing that photo of that neat outfit on Emerald.

  4. Debbie, I enjoyed discovering your blog through the blogjog.

    Thought you might enjoy reviewing www.Corolle.com which are Dolls from France. Their offer includes black dolls which are just beautiful.


  5. NatalieK

    I am glad you stopped by and enjoyed what you saw here.

    I own a few dolls by Corolle. The next time I feature dolls from around the world, I'll try to remember to include my small collection of dolls made by Corolle of France. Thanks for the suggestion!


  6. Hello, I'm a little confused by this line " With the exception of Sunshine Opal, all have rooted hair". I wasn't sure about purchasing Sunshine Opal curly hair because on the Mixis website it says "cap wig". But the straight hair doll looks rooted. Is the curly hair Sunshine Opal doll's hair not rooted? And if not, is the straight hair Sunshine Opal rooted? Also I noticed your post says their arms are articulated what about the legs can you bend them? Love your blog BTW. Thanks.

    1. Anonymous - My statement about Sunshine Opal's hair is a bit confusing. To clarify: The hair used for Sunshine Opal with the curly hair is a non-removable wig. All other dolls, including Sunshine Opal with straight hair, have rooted hair.

      Thanks for stopping by and for bringing that statement to my attention!


  7. The Sunshine dolls have articulated arms - but the limited edition dolls have straight, non-bending arms. Both sets of dolls have click bend knees like 1970s Barbies. Swinging back to submit some of DBG's Mixis posts into my Pinterest Mixis board - which would be incomplete without DBG's posts ;-D - I noticed Anonymous's other questions.

    Thanks for this terrific post, DBG!

    1. Thanks for the additional information about the Mixis dolls and for the pins to Pinterest, D7ana.

      I took a peek at the Pinterest Mixis board. It looks fantastic!



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