This is “Soul” from Hasbro’s World of Love doll collection. She has always been my favorite African American doll, even though she’s only moderately articulated.
Why do I love this doll so much? She brings me happy memories of my childhood! When I was growing up in the early 1970’s, dolls who really looked African American were unheard-of. True, they had Barbies who were dark complected, but their hair was straight and their features looked identical to the white Barbies.
Soul had a gorgeous afro, very chocolaty skin (unlike what was available at that time), and truly African-looking features. Her authentic beauty left me captivated, and I would stare at her sometimes, just taking in her amazing design and lovely visage. When casting roles for the stories I would create with my Barbies, I always chose Soul for the starring roles. She was my heroine and my muse.
Fast forward to the 21st century… I’ve chosen Soul to star as Benvolio in my Barbie/Momoko version of Romeo and Juliet. At first, I really, really wanted to cast her as my Juliet, of course. But as I said before, she’s only moderately articulated. Her joints move at the waist, shoulders, and hips, with a head that turns side-to-side and knees that click. Sadly, that’s not enough articulation for the starring role in a stop-motion film. Therefore, I had to seek another doll for the lead role in my show.
Still, Benvolio’s role in Romeo and Juliet is a crucial one. He gets lots of lines, and he’s a key player in the fencing scenes. And honestly, I don’t think Soul minds being cast as a male character. She pulls it off quite well, being an experienced actress and all. 😉
So in honor of the timeless Martin Luther King Junior, leave a comment — it can even be a detailed one — on the African American doll you love most. Why do you love that particular doll? Is it unique? Does it have a history you can share? Be sure and tell us the official name of the doll, so others who read this post can google it and learn more about it. Offer a link, if possible. Thanks for your comments!