Friday, December 4, 2015

ToyiToyi Toys Fashion Dolls From S. Africa

The company's name is the design for the brown paper-wrapped white cardboard boxes containing a new line of multiarticulated, playline fashion dolls.

Princess Lulu and Princess Linda by ToyiToyi Toys
Princess Lulu and Princess Linda share the same style head sculpt and multiarticulated body.  They have large brown stationary eyes with applied eyelashes.  Dressed identically in shimmery fuchsia, full-length dresses, the dolls arrived with bare feet.  Both stand 12 inches and can wear clothing made for similar-sized dolls.

Princess Lulu's hair is styled in multiple braids.  Long thick wavy hair adorns Princess Linda's head.
Both dolls have closely rooted mounds of black hair, which is a feature usually enjoyed by the dolls' young-girl target market.  Princess Lulu, as illustrated above, has multiple micro braids while Princess Linda has long black wavy hair.  During their trip from South Africa to America, their hair was held in place with with rubber bands.

To illustrate the amount of thick hair each doll has, the rubber bands that were holding their hair in place have been removed in this photo and in the next two.

Princess Lulu was chosen as the doll of focus for this post to illustrate the dolls' shared facial and body characteristics.

ToyiToyi Toys dolls are articulated in the usual five places.  Additionally, the elbows, wrists, knees, and waist are articulated (the ankles are not).  The torso is fully rotational.

Princess Lulu strikes a standing pose.

Here she shows off her ability to do a perfect split.

Crossing her legs at the ankles is done with ease.

Princess Lulu is also able to cross her legs at the knees.

The fingers on each hand are separate; therefore, they can wear rings, if desired.

Photographed with So in Style Grace to illustrate their similar complexions, Princess Lulu's head size in comparison to body size is large and quite evident in this photo with Grace.
The foot size is slightly smaller than Grace's, but this does not prevent the ToyiToyi Toys girls from wearing most high-heel shoes made for playscale (11-1/2- to 12-inch) dolls.
In this photo, Princess Lulu wears Barbie separates:  top, skirt, and shoes.
Both girls are now dressed in similar Sparkle Girlz fashions and shoes.
They have prepierced ears to which I added coordinating stud earrings.

Princess Lulu and Princess Linda were made in South Africa by ToyiToyi Toys in answer to the continent's dire need for dolls that represent children of color,  which is further explained on their website as follows:

Toyitoyi Toys was born two years ago out of a desperate and urgent need for darker skinned dolls, especially on the African Continent. After reading a newspaper article on a child’s perception of beauty and the value of children playing with dolls that resemble themselves, we started going into toy stores in different countries, and we were horrified at the lack of diversity in dolls skin colours.
A child’s perception of beauty needs to be realistic. Currently, it seems rather warped that black children’s only option is to play with white dolls, and that often their benchmark for beauty is tied to a pale skinned blonde doll. Isn’t it CRAZY that one has to look really hard to find darker skinned dolls in AFRICA? In collaboration with our manufacturers, we have started designing a range of black dolls.
The website also explains the meaning of the company's name and why this particular name, ToyiToyi Toys was selected:

We wanted a fun catchy name that people would remember. In Africa to toyitoyi means:
  • “to dance and sing in protest about some real or imagined wrong by people in authority.”
  • “a dance expressing defiance and protest.” 
  • “from protests to celebrations, the chants capture the emotions of joy, pain, encouragement, heartbreak and solace. Toyi-toyi is a powerful and infectious statement, by which the oppressed may voice their grievances.”

So hence the name ToyiToyi Toys came about. It is a play on the word toyitoyi and ties in with our brand. This is our protest, standing up against the lack of black toys in Africa.  We aim to celebrate our unique skin colours by bringing black and brown toys to Africa, in doing so, we hope to change the way our communities and society define beauty. We aim to be a more positive and realistic role model for our kids.

Princess Lulu and Princess Linda are the first two dolls the company has produced.  Their future plan is to include additional dolls and action figures with darker complexions.

The dolls are priced $15 each plus shipping.  Visit their website for additional information or their online shop to purchase.




  1. Hi Debbie! Thanks for introducing this brand to us. I love their face and the amount of hair. My favourite is Princess Lulu with her braided hair.
    I would love to see the darker complexion dolls when they come out.
    Question for you: How do you like your new dolls?

    1. You're welcome, Arlette!

      Princess Lulu is my favorite as well, but I like them both. They display well together and with dolls with similar head/body proportions. Like my other Tyra.


  2. These dolls are lovely, with beautiful eyes! The message of this company is great, I hope they are/will be very successful!

    1. I appreciate the company's message as well, Linda!


  3. The Princessess are both lovely! I think the one with braids are my favorite. I will check out their website.

  4. Great looking dolls. I wonder why they didn't make shoes for them though.

    1. That's a good question, Muff. I wondered about that too.



Your comments are appreciated. To eliminate spam comments, all comments are being moderated. Thank you!