Have you ever wondered why there are not more diverse toys in the toy store? Here in America, there are people living here from all over the world, but many of the toys are quite American. That’s fine, we are in America, but wouldn’t it be nice if toy companies also created something a bit more international,fun, and educational?
Well, it looks like toy companies are finally coming around, and I’m about to show you what you can find now on your toy shelves.
1. GIFT ‘EMS BY JAKKS PACIFIC: Jakks Pacific has a new line of toys called Gift’Ems. Gift’Ems are these little dolls that come in little gifts, hence the name Gift’Ems. But the cool part about these toys is that they Gift’Ems represent different parts of the world. They represent different continents and countries, and the box has little fun facts about their country. So far, they have dolls representing 35 countries, and many cities within those countries. Also, some of the doll parts are interchangeable, so you can place the parts on another dolls. This is such a great toy. I am still waiting for them to make the Ghana doll, but I personally own the Gift-Ems dolls representing the US, Nairobi, and a few other countries. In terms of African nations, the Gift’Em dolls currently represent Kenya and South Africa.
2. STUDY ABROAD dolls by MGA Entertainment: MGA Entertainment is known for their Bratz dolls. But did you know they also own Little Tikes, and make all the Project MC2 dolls, and they also own Lalaloopsy? Yes, well now MGA Entertainment is bringing an international flare to their dolls with the introduction of their Study Abroad dolls. These dolls first hit the market around 2015, and they can be found at various retail shops. There are five dolls who are “studying abroad” and the boxes and their fashion represent where they are : Cloe-China- traditional Chinese fabrics; Raya-Mexico; Sasha: Britain; Yasmin- Brazil; and Jade – Russia .
Now many of you probably do not know this, but I actually did an internship with a federal government agency, where my sole job was to study international students’ data and US study abroad data. OK, now based on that internship, it is very important for all of you to know that as of 2015, the TOP TEN Countries that US students were studying abroad in were , from the top : UK(12%), Italy (11%), Spain (9%), France (6%), Germany(4%), China, Costa Rica ,Australia, Ireland, and Japan.
Now, for students who were not getting credit for their study abroad trips, the top three countries were Mexico, Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic.
So if you are going to make a doll and only focus on certain countries, it’s a good idea to focus on UK, Italy,Spain, France, and Germany because that’s where kids in America tend to be studying. But at the same time, it’s good that dolls are representing various countries, but rather unfortunate that none of the dolls represent the Middle East or Africa. Why is that? I hope that will change soon.
3. JOURNEY GIRLS ( created by Toys R US): These dolls have been on the shelves for a while at Toys R Us, but the packaging is quite lovely , and so too is the story behind each Journey Girl. There are eight Journey girls, and they are all friends in their magical world. Chavonne, Dana, Kelsey, Meredith, Kyla, Callie, and Mikaella are the current dolls, and they have travelled around Europe. I don’t think they have travelled to Africa yet, but hopefully that will happen in the future.