This list is a "'work in progress." I realize that while I have written heritage month doll and action figure lists, I have NOT done any such lists for Black dolls. At first, I didn't think there was a need for this list because surely Mattel produced enough Black dolls for any interested person to find one or more. I would be counting forever. Was that true?
I started with Black Mattel dolls I owned. Then, I got some online help from a Wikipedia article, but I've added some figures not listed there. Lastly, I separated my list into four categories:
- Gate-crasher Colored Francie
- Black Barbie, Her Black Family and Friends
- Barbie's Black Friends and Other Barbie-scale Black Dolls
- Barbie-scale Black Celebrities
Why these categories? Shrug. The groupings make sense to me. I consider "Colored" Francie as separate and distinct from all other Mattel Black dolls. She is Mattel's first Black fashion doll.* "Colored" is a historically legitimate adjective: yes, it is no longer popular. But that is how the doll was named during her production run. Then we have Black Barbie and her Black family and friends. Response to Black Barbie is almost 180 degree different to that of "Colored" Francie. Then there are Barbie's Black friends - the default Barbie's Black friends. Hmmm ... and we cannot forget Barbie-scale Black celebrities ....
Anyway, here is the list I offer. Please let me know if I have missed any dolls and which. I thank you in advance for joining me in this research. I need to check all dates, too.
Gate-crasher Colored FrancieThe first Black doll in the Barbie line
Black Barbie, Her Black Family and Friends
Barbie 1980 – Present
Tommy 1997 - present
Alan Sherwood (Happy Family) 2002-?
Midge Hadley Sherwood (Happy Family) 2002-?
Ryan Sherwood (Happy Family) 2002-?
Nicole "Nikki" Sherwood (Happy Family) 2003-?
Cassandra Sherwood (Happy Family) 2004-?
Grandma Hadley (Happy Family) 2004-?
Grandpa Hadley (Happy Family) 2004-?
Barbie's Black Friends and Other Barbie-scale Black Dolls
These dolls have no other racial identity.
Hal Happy (Happy Family) 197?
Hattie Happy (Happy Family) 197?
Hon Happy (Happy Family) 197?
Carla (Tutti-sized. European release only) 1976
Louis Harris (Mattel Star Spangled Dolls; Jazz Musicians) 1976?
Mellie Harris (Mattel Star Spangled Dolls; Jazz Musicians) 1976?
DeeDee (Barbie and The Rockers band) 1986-1987
Belinda (Barbie and The Sensations band) 1988
Devon (Dance Club) 1989
Stacie (Jazzie friend) 1989
Shani (Shani) 1991-1994
Asha (Shani) 1991-1994
Nichelle (Shani) 1991-1994
Jamal (Shani) 1992-1994
Janet (Stacie-size) 1994-2006
Nikki (Skipper friend) 1997–2001
Keeya (Kelly/Chelsea size) 1998-?
Deidre (Kelly/Chelsea size) 1998-?
Tamika (Kelly/Chelsea size) 1999-?
Nichelle Williams Watson (Generation Girl) 1999-2001
Shawnee (Mystery Squad) 2001
Madison (My Scene) 2002
Bryant (My Scene) Bi-racial? 2003
Sutton (My Scene) Black British 2003
Jai (My Scene) 2003
Tyson (My Scene) 2003
Kiyoni Brown (Flavas) 2003-2004
Tawny (Flavas) 200?
Tre (Flavas) 2003-2004
Simone (One Modern Circle) 2003
Simone (American Idol) 2005
Desiree (Fashion Fever) 2005
Nikki (Teen Skipper-size and Barbie-size) 2006–present
Chad (High School Musical) 2008
Taylor (High School Musical) 2008
Zeke (High School Musical) 2008
Grace (So in Style) 2009– present)
Kara (So in Style) 2009–?
Trichelle (So in Style) 2009–?
Courtney (So in Style) 2009–?
Kianna (So in Style) 2009–?
Janessa (So in Style) 2009–?
Chandra (So in Style) 2010-?
Zahara (So in Style) 2010-?
Darren (So in Style) 2010-?
Julian (So in Style) 2010-?
Barbie-scale Black Celebrities
Julia (Diahann Carroll's character from the TV show) 1969-1970
MC Hammer (Rapper, Stanley Burrell. MC) 1992
Stacey Dash (Clueless; Dionne Davenport) 1997
Brandy Norwood 1999-?
Kobe Bryant (NBA SuperStars) 1999?
Scottie Pippin (NBA SuperStars) 1999
Beyoncé (Destiny's Child) 2005
Kelly Rowland (Destiny's Child) 2005
Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child) 2005
Diana Ross 2005
Raven-Symoné (That’s So Raven; Raven Baxter) 2005
Kimora Lee Simmons 2008
Zoe Saldana (Star Trek; Lt. Uhura Barbie**) 2009
Halle Berry (Bond Girl; Die Another Day Barbie**) 2010
Jennifer Beals (Ladies of the Eighties; Flashdance Barbie**) 2010
Normani Hamilton (Fifth Harmony) 2014
|Asha and Nichelle from the Shani line|
* An earlier Black playscale fashion doll is Ideal's Grown Up Tammy, 1965.
** These dolls belong under the Black Barbie category, but since the face sculpts and/or face screenings were meant to represent specific actresses, I re-assigned them to the Black Celebrity category.
Thanks for looking. Hope you recognize some of these ... and maybe can add to this list.