90’s Kenya Doll Returns To The Market

by Yesha Callahan

As a kid, I was never the girl that was into dolls, but my sisters were. I remember one year they each received a Kenya doll and played with that doll until the arms fell off, literally. Outside of their white barbies, and the white barbies painted brown, Kenya was their first doll specifically geared towards little black girls. Well, as of this Autumn, Kenya is making a comeback and she’s bringing her friends with her.

According to Kenya’s website:

In 1992, Kenya was introduced to African-American girls during the Christmas holiday season. An incredible success, little girls everywhere fell in love with this special doll – Kenya sold out by year’s end. Kenya, launched in multiple skin tones with exciting fashion options, evoked such a spirit of pride and self-identity, response was overwhelming. Kenya became the most popular African-American doll in history. In Autumn 2012, Kenya returns! Classic Kenya is back with the beautiful features and fashions that first endeared the doll to girls everywhere. Moms who fondly remember Kenya can now share this special doll with their own daughters and granddaughters. Look for Kenya to once again become the hottest doll for African-American girls. With the fashion, friends and styling accessories, this doll will be a young girl’s most prized possession. Establish your own legacy with Kenya. See retailers near you for all Kenya products.

Along with the “classic” Kenya, there’s also updated version of Kenya dolls, which looks as though they were styled with “fashion” in mind. Kenya, along with her friends Denise, TJ and Keyshia will come in different skin tones and hairstyles. In keeping social media in mind, Kenya also has a blog and music video. The artist portraying Kenya is actually Beyonce’s cousin, Shanica Knowles. Proud’s lyrics express sentiments of Kenya being proud of her beauty, inside and out, as well as being smart.

  • http://audiogumbo.wordpress.com ohsowrite

    I used to love my Kenya doll. It’s nice that she’s making a comback, but with the rise of natural hair on the scene, I’m surprised that there’s not a doll with natural looking tresses. Can we get an Afro or something?

  • http://www.[email protected] Mieshia

    Awesome!! I do think I’ll be purchasing Denise for myself lol. Judge me all you’d like. I’m a little sad they don’t have baby Kiana who was Kenya’s little sister back in the day but perhaps she’ll show up later on. I think these will surely be under Christmas trees everywhere this year.

  • http://edenhansom.com/ Eden H (@edenhansom)

    I could’ve swore the Kenya doll used to be bigger than this. I had a babydoll….

  • http://beautyandthestreetmag.blogspot.com Amber

    My mom hated the kenya doll, I grew up with black dolls including huggie bean, ones from a company called Olmec, and Shanie. She said perpetrated a ‘ghetto’ stereotype. I mean really……….magic lotion to straighten her hair? lmao. Nonetheless, they are classic 90s dolls..

  • http://beautyandthestreetmag.blogspot.com Amber

    correction: she believed the kenya doll perpetrated a ghetto stereotype.

  • Lady P

    I’ve never owned a Kenya doll. However, it’s great to see them resurface.

  • vvenson1

    It was, they is kenya and crew… the remix lol

  • Tia

    This is NOT Kenya…they need to stop. Kenya was baby doll size! I’m not here for Urban Barbie.

  • http://www.yeshacallahan.com Yesha Callahan

    These are the “fashion” Kenya Dolls.

    There are also the “Classic” Kenya dolls as well:


    The link was included in the post

  • jourdan

    YAY! Also, I attend LSU and our school’s Barbie Doll is surprisingly BLACK! Btw, did anyone watch that video about the little black girls who chose white dolls over the black ones?

  • C

    Oooh, I remember Huggy Bean dolls. I was trying to think of the name recently and couldn’t remember. I used to love them.

  • C

    That song is horrible. Anyway, I used to love Kenya. I never had one of my own, because my mom wouldn’t buy it, but my best friend and I had “shared custody” of her doll, so I’d take her home in my backpack on Fridays after school and return her on Saturday nights.

  • http://gravatar.com/ceecollegegal CeeCee

    Omg Kenya Dolls. I still have my Kenya dolls (yes my mom bought me two), and I have them pushed back in my closet. I told myself that if I ever had a girl that I would pass my two Kenya Dolls along to her.
    Anyway, I like the message of the song, but I find the song and video annoying. .

  • Jenn
  • Ros

    So glad to see the Kenya dolls back…they are a little pricey at family dollar.but Igot my daughter one anyways…

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