Washington, D.C. Doctor Creates African-American Dolls with Realistic Features

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Dr. Daniela Wiggins, an anesthesiologist, has created a new line of dolls called ProdigyrlsTM. The dolls are unique because they have realistic African-American features, including: 1) skin tones; 2) hair styles and textures; and 3) nose, lip, and eye shapes. At 18” in height, the vinyl dolls are similar in size and quality to the popular American Girl® dolls.

Dr. Daniela Wiggins, an anesthesiologist, has created a new line of dolls called ProdigyrlsTM. The dolls are unique because they have realistic African-American features, including: 1) skin tones; 2) hair styles and textures; and 3) nose, lip, and eye shapes. At 18” in height, the vinyl dolls are similar in size and quality to the popular American Girl® dolls. “Shopping for a doll for my daughter was very frustrating”, said Dr, Wiggins. “Either the dolls I found didn’t actually look like black girls, or they didn’t fit the values that most of us moms are trying to instill. So I designed my own dolls and went through multiple rounds of production until they were perfect”, added Dr. Wiggins.

Each Prodigyrl has an inspirational story about a special interest or talent she possesses. Two dolls, Nicole and Janelle, are currently available, and three others are in production, slated for release in 2010. Nicole is a doctor, who became interested in medicine following her asthma diagnosis. Janelle is a chef, who focuses on nutrition to help her diabetic grandmother. The remaining dolls include a judge, soccer player, and chemist, and additional designs are in progress.

The dolls are available for purchase on the Prodigyrls website, http://www.prodigyrls.com, where girls and their parents are also invited to vote for which doll is produced next, or submit original ideas for a new design. A small amount of dolls are also available at select Hallmark stores in the Baltimore/Washington region. Dr. Wiggins discussed her Prodigyrls on the Tuesday, December 1, 2009 episode of National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) Tell Me More program hosted by Michel Martin. During the program, Dr. Wiggins discussed the need for "black dolls" along with Stacey McBride-Irby, the designer of the So In Style line of black Barbie dolls that was released this year.

To hear the program, please click this link: http://www.prodigyrls.com/newsroom.php

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Dr. Daniela Wiggins

Duane Carey
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