Friday, May 16, 2014

Mattel's Tika of the Flavas Rebodied

Tika of the Flavas

Going through my collection, I came across my Mattel Flavas dolls. I have previously featured the Choice Awards dolls, but I have more Flavas to share. For example, Tika, another Happy D and another Liam. (Yes, I have three Liams: they do have distinct face screenings.)  I am focusing on Tika for this post. I've wondered if she might  have been intended to represent someone with South Asian ancestry. The heavy eyebrows and the long eyes - even though her eyes are blue for this style - suggest so to me. Then again, with her light-brown complexion and textured dark brown hair, she could also be Black American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American. Her name origin could be Sioux or Hungarian.

P Bo is the tallest of the Flavas girls. Tika is not quite as tall as P Bo who is 11.5 inches - but she is taller Happy D, Kiyoni Brown, and Tawny who are 10 inches tall. I am not sure if Tika has the same face mold as Kiyoni Brown/Tawny. The difference could be that her eyes are painted longer. Her face doesn't have the same smirk as Happy D though. (Happy D's lips curl up on her right side.) Tika's head is not as long as P Bo's.

My biggest problem with the Flavas dolls was not whether they represented "hoodlums" or whether they weren't tough enough to be real thugs. My problem was the huge heads. I transferred my Street Kiyoni Brown head onto a Birthstone Barbie body, my Street Happy D onto a My Scene Vespa Barbie,  and my Party Tika onto a My Scene Vespa Madison body. Why? Because the Barbie Vespa bodies are jointed.

First, I show Tika on her "forever" body - a My Scene Madison Vespa body. Then you can see Tika next to her original body. Improvement, yes? I think so.

Tika Striking Poses

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll swings hair

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll reclines

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll excited - head back and arms in air

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll head lowered

Mattel Flavas Party Tika doll shows her original body

Flavas Waves

Mattel created six waves of the Flavas: Street, Sport, Bike, Denim and Diamonds, Party, and Choice Award. I have these Flavas dolls:

Street Style
Happy D
Kiyoni Brown
P Bo

Sport Style
Happy D  Oops, don't have a Sporty Happy D

P Bo

I have no dolls from this wave 

Denim and Diamonds
Happy D
Kiyoni Brown 


Choice Award

Do you collect any of the Flavas dolls? Is your decision to do so - or not to - based on how Mattel marketed the dolls? On media response to them?