Updated Jul 21, 2023 - World

New line of Latina dolls to hit stores amid "Barbie" mania

The dolls in the Latinistas series (from left): Lola, Liv, Julianna and Dani. Photo: Courtesy of Purpose Toys LATIN

The first line of Latina dolls to be sold by major U.S. retailers is scheduled to hit the shelves next month amid a renewed love affair with all-things "Barbie."

Why it matters: Diverse toys are important because they are learning instruments that can help develop self-esteem, problem-solving skills and positive interactions with others.

Details: The Latinistas line, out next month from Purpose Toys, features four dolls with varied skin tones and hair textures.

  • They're named Dani, Lola, Julianna and Liv and were given bilingual mottos and back stories.
  • Purpose Toys, a small company founded in 2020 and made up of a multicultural team, also has a line of Black dolls with natural hairstyles and one representing alums of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

What they're saying: The dolls' creators say they're excited to disrupt the toy industry with products that celebrate "the joy and pride of the Latino community" and its cultural nuances.

  • "In designing our characters to be distinctly Latina, we've made them more than the 'friend' or 'sidekick' character and made it possible for children of the community to celebrate and be celebrated for who they are," Jovanna Rosado, head of Purpose Toys LATIN, tells Axios Latino.
  • "We want our kids to feel that 'main character energy' beyond a moment in time and to carry that confidence with them throughout their lives," she adds.

Of note: The growing attention to representation in dolls can also be seen in the "Barbie" movie, whose diverse cast includes actress America Ferrera.

  • She tells ScreenRant that she did not own a Barbie growing up, but that she's excited that now such a big movie centering on "something so iconic and archetypal and culturally dominant" took the opportunity to show more faces.

Go deeper: Listen to the Axios Today podcast, where Felix Salmon and Marina E. Franco share more details about the first ever all-Latina doll line.

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