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Nigerian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls To Surpass “Barbie” In Sales

By: Krystle Crossman

Taofick Okoya was trying to find a doll for his niece a few years ago. He lives in Nigeria and was appalled at the fact that he couldn’t find a black doll. Barbie has produced dolls of other races but there aren’t many and they are not anywhere near as readily available as the white dolls. So Okoya decided to take matters into his own hands and start up a doll company of his own.

He got a third party company in China to manufacture the doll parts and then when they were shipped to him he would put them together. He then made clothes for the dolls that looked like traditional Nigerian clothing. This made the dolls very unique and business grew very quickly. He sells them in a shop in a shopping mall in Lagos. Each year Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 dolls. He thinks that he has a pretty good chunk of the doll market worldwide and estimates that he holds at least 10-15% of it.

The economy in Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world so it is no surprise that the dolls are selling like hot cakes. Little girls who see them in the shopping mall are excited because there is finally a doll that they can have that looks like them. Okoya says that the key is appealing to the demographic in the area that you are selling in. Having the dolls dressed in traditional Nigerian garb makes them very authentic to the area and the culture which makes them more desirable. It allows little girls to be proud of their heritage and show it off with their new toy.

Mattel and other companies like them have not tapped into this growing market but the longer they wait the better Okoya does with his business. By the time they get into the market it will already be ruled by Okoya’s “Queens of Africa” dolls. The dolls sell for amounts up to $22 (3,500 naira which is the Nigerian currency). These make them very affordable to the people who live in the area.

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33 thoughts on “Nigerian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls To Surpass “Barbie” In Sales

  1. King David

    Love the idea of the dolls! However, they should have black “natural hair” and not look like they have hair weaves. which is a growing problem in Africa as well as America. But I love that they have brown skin!!!

  2. Venna

    I love the idea. How can I assist with assembly of dolls in US working from home.
    I’d also like an outlet to purchase them here, mail order???

  3. Pingback: Nigrian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls To Surpass “Barbie In Sales | Take a Look in Debbies Window

  4. Aaron

    Great venture but the numbers in the report don’t add up, 6,000 to 9,000 dolls is nowhere near a 10-15% chunk of the doll market worldwide. Also why have they got european hair?

  5. Pingback: Nigrian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls To Surpass “Barbie” In Sales. | The Militant Negro™

    • Jackie Parks

      But dont we now have the striaght hair, through weave jobs? So it still symbolizes us as aftican americans, I would love to purchase some of these dolls for my granddaughter

  6. Pingback: THE MOCHA MOGULS™ » Blog Archive » Nigerian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls To Surpass “Barbie In Sales

  7. Pingback: Nigerian “Queens Of Africa” Black Dolls To Surpass “Barbie In Sales | Ear Hustle 411

  8. Mistress Claudia Balzac

    They sure don’t look like Nigerians, or real Africans of any kind.

    But my question is, why have them cheaply made in China, to import to Africa? Why not have native Africans assemble them?

  9. BJThompson

    Where can one be purchase? I would like to start my collection of Nigerian Queens, since some businesses seem to still think White dolls and not Black dolls are what our young Black Girls need or want. One store will stock more of the holiday white doll, so when the Black one are sold out they will not order any more, trying to force one to buy the white one. I would love to know the location.

  10. Pingback: THE MOCHA MOGULS™ » Blog Archive » Wow: Nigerian “Queens Of Africa” Dolls Surpass “Barbie” In Sales

  11. Marilyn D Wynn

    I love the idea of having dolls that reflect our children, our young Queens to be. I would like it we all got behind this dolls and this company. To show the world that we to take pride in giving our daughters dolls that looks like them. Where can I purchase them from. Starting an online store and would love to make these part of my product line. And would like to encourage all black OWN businesses to do the same.

  12. Julie Kumalinga

    Can i purchase these dolls in U.K? Please let me where they can be purchased & also what do they cost?

  13. Kendra

    I’m so glad you did something about this and the clothes put the Queen dolls over the top in my opinion. I can’t wait to buy them for my girls and nieces

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