FEELIN’ MY FRO: Model Mala Bryan with her dolls.
MEET MAISHA, Mala B, Malina and Mhina – four sophisticated black women with big ‘fros and personality to match.
The dolls, donning fun African and Caribbean-inspired outfits, are the brainchildren of St Lucian model Mala Bryan.
Bryan, an avid doll collector, created Malaville Toys after not seeing more reasonably priced black dolls.
In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Bryan explained: “I made the decision to go ahead with the dolls because I could not find affordable kinky or curly haired black/brown dolls to add to my Barbie collection.”
The dolls come in different shades of brown with a variety of hair curls, coils and textures.
“There are lots of adult doll collectors that would reboot black Barbie dolls with more natural hair but they are usually quite expensive… I notice[d] that there was a high demand for them so that was one of the main things I noted,” Bryan added.
The international model used to decorate dolls in St Lucia but became frustrated when the dolls she used were white.
So last year, Bryan launched Malaville Toys. It took nearly eight months to produce the four friends while she also created a Malaville world for the dolls to live in. While they’re out living their busy lives you can keep up with the girls, their jobs and their travels via their Instagram accounts.
“I believe that diverse representation is extremely important because children tend to associate their dolls with their playmate,” Bryan said.