The PopCult Toybox
A few weeks ago I recommended Fresh Dolls in The 2021 PopCult Gift Guide, and three years earlier I’d recommended the diverse fashion doll line, along with their male counterparts, The Fresh Squad, and I thought it might be good to take a post to elaborate on why this is such a cool line of dolls, and also tell you about why the company is so special.
It all comes down to Dr. Lisa Williams (right) , internationally recognized as an academic trailblazer, founder of a multi-million-dollar company, an award-winning speaker and author. Through hard work and perseverance Dr. Lisa attained unprecedented success by becoming the first female professor to receive a multi-million dollar endowed chair, the first African American professor to earn tenure at Penn State University, and the first African American to receive a doctorate in Logistics from The Ohio State University.
Then, at the height of her career, Dr. Lisa did the unthinkable when she left the academic life to blaze a new trail as an entrepreneur. In 2003, she founded the World of Entertainment, Publishing and Inspiration (World of EPI), LLC. Less than two decades later, EPI is a leading multicultural toy manufacturing and design firm with a global supply chain that crisscrosses the world from the US to China and other worldwide destinations. EPI is an industry innovator having created both the Positively Perfect, Simply Fresh, Fresh and Fresh Squad Doll Collections. The doll collections represent African American, LatinX, Asian, Caucasian, and other ethnicities.
Dr. Lisa Williams was inspired to change how African American children viewed themselves through dolls, and what started as a side hustle, turned into an extraordinary, black-owned doll company. Intentional, and mission-driven, Dr. Lisa set out to give young girls of color something they didn’t have – dolls who reflected their beauty and brilliance.
It’s an inspirational story, and it brings us to the toys themselves, which are high-quality, distinctive and are now being widely imitated by the larger fashion doll companies. Let’s take a look at the World of EPI toy lines:
THE FRESH DOLLS: DIVERSE LINE OF FASHION DOLLS
REFLECT ETHNICITIES AROUND THE GLOBE
Created so all children could see their beauty, brilliance, and power reflected back to them, The Fresh Dolls is a one-of-a-kind diverse line of fashion dolls reflecting ethnicities found around the world – African American, Afro-Latina, Latino/Hispanic, Caucasian, and Mixed-Race/Bi-Racial. They are designed with custom blended skin tones, authentic facial features including beautiful full lips, noses and gorgeous eyes, a variety of hair textures and styles, and uniquely designed bodies more representative with fuller hips and thighs.
Fresh Dolls Career Collection
The Fresh Dolls Career Collection celebrates women of color with three fashion dolls who mean business.
Meet Mia – one of the world’s finest surgeons. Navaeh – President of the United States heading to a security briefing. And Luna is a beloved teacher preparing to inspire bright minds with next week’s lesson plans. As Black and Brown girls come in all shades, Fresh Dolls feature custom blended skin tones that represent multicultural people around the world.
These relatable dolls are sure to inspire the next generation of professional leaders, healers, educators, and more to Dream Big and they were featured in Target’s Project Dream endcap beginning in November. Standing 11.5 inches tall, these three Fresh Dolls are packaged together, ready for anything! Ages 3+, SRP $29.99, Available at Target.
The Fresh Dolls
Standing approx 11.5 inches tall, Fresh Dolls are bendable and articulated to foster imagination during positive play. They also feature soft washable hair, stunning wardrobe and accessories. Age 3+. $17.99. The Fresh Dolls are available at Target, Walmart, Amazon and other retailers.
Mia -Mia has big beautiful brown natural curls, big bold dreams, and a big voice that hits the notes pitch perfect every time. She hits all the right notes in her purple and black lace outfit with matching black shoes. She is Curtain Call Ready!
Marisol – Marisol is wearing a shimmery gold dress with matching gold shoes. Combine that with her fiery red hair, and she is Golden Glam!
Lexis – Lexis has beautiful brown hair that frames a warm smiling face and heart full of love for dance, the one thing she adores as much as the animals. Lexi is wearing a lovely dress with white “heart” skirt bottom and red shoes to match!
Sylar -Just like the sky her favorite color is blue and her hair is too. A gamer, gadgets for her are a no-brainer! Skylar sports denim shorts with a “Fresh” sunshine yellow crop top and comfy pink kicks.
Lynette – Lynette shows originality in her look and loves transforming her hair into colorful works of art. She rocks pink and purple, a sparkling pink top, white jeans, and purple shoes!
Mia – African Romper -Wearing a trendy ethnic print romper paired with a cute black jacket, a matching pair of black wedge heel shoes and a cute pair of gold studded earrings Mia wears her hair in a beautiful natural style.
Ebony – Ebony and her beautiful brown natural curls are always looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint and do her part to save the earth. She wears denim jeans and a marine aqua-blue halter top, a reflective mirage of the ocean she adores, along with blue wedge heels.
SIMPLY FRESH, DIVERSE LINE OF FASHION DOLLS AT AFFORDABLE PRICE
The Simply Fresh Dolls™ Collection is designed with the same tender loving care and intricate detail as The Fresh Dolls™ so all children can see their beauty, brilliance, and power reflected back to them. The sculpts are one-of-a-kind pieces of art with custom blended skin tones, authentic facial features including beautiful full lips, noses and gorgeous eyes, a variety of hair textures and styles, and uniquely designed bodies more representative with fuller hips and thighs. The diverse line is reflective of ethnicities found around the world – African American, Afro-Latina, Latino/Hispanic, Caucasian, and Mixed-Race/Bi-Racial.
Standing approx 11.5 inches tall, The Simply Fresh Doll™ bodies are bendable and articulated to foster imagination during positive play. Age 3+. $13.99
KACEY Simply Fresh Dolls™ – Kacey is dressed in a beautiful butterfly design white bodice with a bluish-purple shimmery skirt and matching shoes. Kacey has two cute afro-puffs.
KYLIE Simply Fresh Dolls™ – Kylie is dressed in a delicately detailed beautiful black bodice with a red rose skirt and matching shoes. Kylie has beautiful long brown hair.
KYA Simply Fresh Dolls™ – Kya is dressed in a beautifully detailed pink bodice with a fuchsia skirt and matching shoes. She has big beautiful brown curly hair.
While we’re looking at the Fresh Dolls in the popular fashion doll scale, we also need to mention that Fresh Dolls Fashion Packs are available at many retailers, and the male counterparts, The Fresh Squad, and their own fashions, can be found as an online exclusive.
POSITIVELY PERFECT HUGGABLE DOLLS REFLECT
TRUE REPRESENTATION OF EVERY YOUNG GIRL
Positively Perfect lets every little girl see their beauty and friends reflect ed through their dolls. These soft huggable dolls are made with an authentic variety of skin tones and physical features, that encourage little girls to love their beautiful skin, hair and physical features. Promoting self-love by mirroring family and friends during playtime, while reinforcing true #RepresentationMatters, Positively Perfect dolls also teach children to be more caring and compassionate.
Available in two sizes, 12” (Toddler) and 18” (DIVAH), all Positively Perfect dolls have soft torso bodies, vinyl limbs and washable hair – which allows for styling fun! – Ages 3+. $39.99 The line is available at Amazon, Walmart, Target among other retailers.
Zair – Featuring beautiful shades of Brown skin toned Multicultural girls around the world, from African American, Asians to Afro-Latino girls.
Kennedy – With a full hair of beautiful bouncy curls, Kennedy has a custom blended deep chocolate complexion, made to show true representation of all shades, when it comes to children around the world.
Charlotte – As rare as a unicorn, with her beautiful smile, golden locks and custom blended vanilla complexion.
Stella – Made for all the Mixed Race, Latina, Hawaiian, Filipino, Indian and other Brown cuties around the world, Stella has a custom blended light caramel complexion, made to show true representation of all shades, when it comes to children around the world.
Ava – Ava is cute and cuddly as a bunny, with her long beautiful braided hair. Our Mixed Race Ava baby doll has a custom blended cashew complexion, made to show true representation of all shades, when it comes to children around the world.
Kiara – Boasting lovely full curly hair for hours of styling fun for any toddler, Kiara also has a custom blended almond complexion.
Aaliyah – A beautiful star with soft curly afro puffs, Aaliyah also has a custom blended dark chocolate complexion.
This is a really impressive toy line, and you can find it all more retailers every day.