Kat Chow, NPR
(NPR.com)—In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel’s classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has “about 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.”
For some context, we’ve been seeing the alabasterness of dolls become more of an issue in America as of late, including this recent skit on Saturday Night Live. Last year, American Girl Doll discontinued some of its nonwhite dolls — Ivy Ling, an Asian-American doll, and Cecile Ray, an African-American doll — to much controversy. In 2013, Mattel came under fire for its Mexican Barbie, which was marketed with a passport and a chihuahua.