Sunday, June 9, 2013

Asian-Pacific American Playscale DAFs, Part 1

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage month in the United States. The purpose of heritage months is to acknowledge and to celebrate a racial or ethnic category distinct from the overall American population.

Initially, I thought this Asian and Pacific American DAF post would be an easy one. Just select the Asian American action figures and dolls, copy those names, and then paste the names into a Blogger post. Easy, yes and no.

The technology was the easy part. The problem was choosing which characters to include as Asian and Pacific American. I realized that when I counted my APA dolls and action figures, I had been including not just Asian and Pacific American characters but also the Asian DAFs from other countries as well as DAFs by American companies whose dolls’ storyline anchor the dolls overseas. Puzzled?

Take Asian action figure Linh by Dragon. Dragon’s background for Linh is that she is Vietnamese. So Linh cannot be an Asian Pacific American figure. She is a Vietnamese action figure. What about many of the DAFs produced by American companies? How about Integrity Toys’ playline Jade? On the back of a Janay/Jade/Alysa box, Jade is described as being Japanese.

So I have below the DAFs with specifically a Asian American background. Why does the story origin count here? I mean, for my personal storytelling, any doll can be assigned or re-assigned any ethnicity or race that pleases me. My DAF world, my background. I restrict my criteria here to show how few Asian and Pacific American dolls exist. Oh my.

I will list Asian dolls and action figures with overseas Asian identities, in a separate list. Please refer to that post-to-come for DAFs that can be borrowed/usurped into an APA collection.

Photos of Asian and Pacific American dolls or action figures that I own will follow in a separate post.

Get Real Girl

Skylar Ron (Technically, Ms. Ron is Canadian Asian. For the purists.)

Get Set Club (GFive)



Aja from Jem

Banee from Jem

G.I. Joe Special Response Team

Additional reading about Asian and Asian or Pacific American DAFS by LorenJavier and
Peter J. Chen's homepage

Jakks Pacific

Alex from GirlForce
Jaz from the G.I.R.L. Force series
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson



Claudia Kishni from The Baby-Sitters Club series.


Information about Mattel's Asian-American and Pacific-American dolls came from Wikipedia, KattisDolls, BarbiesAsianFriends, and Peter J. Chen's homepage.

Hawaiian Barbie
Hawaiian Superstar Barbie (Canada only)
Hawaii Barbie from the 2012 Dolls of the World collection
Becky from Barbie and The Sensations
Mari Nakano from Generation Girl

MGA Entertainment

Jade from the Bratz
Sidney America's Next Top Model

Playmates Toys Inc.

1998 Kristi Yamaguchi Stars on Ice

R and D Dolls


Sideshow Collectibles

Odd Job



YNU Group

Emerald (Technically, Emerald is Canadian Asian. For the purists.)


Muff said...

I know of course that this list is no where comparable to the sheer number of other races and ethnicities representd in doll form, but dang, it's good to see even this many were created.

I collect Black and Asian dolls and my Asian doll collection is woefully small. I do have to wonder if their rarity is a part of the appeal.

Your list is awesome and I gotta say that as a HUGE Jem fan and I had no idea that Aja was supposed to be Asian. I just thought she was blue haired.

Phyllis said...

Love this post, it is very helpful to have this kind of listing. I have 2 daughters of Asian decent (I adopted them from China)and I have always been on the lookout for Asian dolls. I did notice that you listed the Raquelle doll as being of Asian decent. I do not believe she is, at least as Raquelle. As Fashionista Raquelle, she is described as Ryan's twin sister, who is clearly not Asian. Mattel does use her face mold to represent Asian dolls, but with a different face up (such as the Asian Barbie for president)but she is not "Raquelle" in those face ups.

Note that when my kids were small, there were only a few Asian fashion dolls in the US, so I bought several Yu Se WaWa dolls from China-both when I was in China and online.

Thanks for listening!

D7ana said...

Hi and thanks for commenting, Muff and Phyllis!

Muff, wait til you see the other manufacturers' Asian dolls and action figures. I'll be listing some I have or have had next. I had to give up on the volume of Asian DAFs in playscale overall.

Phyllis, thanks for the notice about Raquelle. I was not sure if she were Asian as well or if just her face sculpt was used for some of the recent Asian dolls. Then there is some confusion in Mattel listings as to whether she is dating Ryan or if she is his sister. Another collector, Lubo, drew my attention to that discrepancy ;-{

You are both welcome to the lists. Glad to have contributed ;-)

D7ana said...

@Muff - I thought Aja was Japanese-American - boing! She is Chinese-American. Prancetron has a bio about Aja.