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)