Wednesday, December 14, 2011

African-American (and Asian) Boy Baby Dolls at Ikea for Under $10!

I was so excited when I learned from my mom that Ikea is now carrying a Black / African-American baby doll... and it's a boy, to boot! Our two year old foster son just loves baby dolls, and we don't discourage him. Some people, especially birth family members, express discomfort at our little boy playing with dolls but I firmly believe that boys need to play at being daddies, and it helps encourage them to grow up to be involved dads.  Doll play encourages the values of nurturing and caring for children in both boys and girls, which we see as a very positive thing. We try to make sure that he has lots of multicultural (especially Black) dolls, toys and books... but sadly, he's no longer deeply in love with his Peter doll from Ezra Jack Keats' timeless storybook A Snowy Day which was his favorite for a long time. We figured it's time for him to have a new baby who is brown-skinned and a boy like him. I personally prefer cloth dolls, rather than plastic ones, for a variety of reasons - So I was thrilled when I found out that for under $10 I could get a brown-skinned boy baby doll at Ikea.

Here's LEKKAMRAT (what? It's Ikea! Did you expect he be named Joey?). The doll costs only $9.99 (!) and is also available in a blond-haired peach-skinned version or a version with black hair and light skin that I imagine is intended to be of Asian descent.

You can see more details here. They are available in Ikea stores only.

The doll has limbs that can be rotated due to plastic joints, but is otherwise made of fabric and totally soft. The skin seems to be made of microsuede that is very soft to the touch. The yarn hair has a lovely texture. The face is not so baby-like, but instead gives the impression of a toddler or older child. Regardless, I think our little guy will love him.

Confession: As I wrote this post, I looked at the outfits available for these dolls and noticed that one of the dolls comes in a pink outfit. So I think they're actually intended to be gender neutral... Which is kind of fabulous. Maybe it's best to leave the doll's gender up to the child who receives the doll as a gift!

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