Fashion Dolls: Alternatives to Barbie

Here's a hot button topic: are you pro or anti-Barbie? It seems people fall into two camps: those who think girls know better than to believe they should look like a plastic toy, and those who think a doll's body image and message should reflect a more realistic point of view. With the plethora of recent additions - from Bratz to Monster High - I think the question is even more loaded than ever.

A friend just asked me if I had any recommendations for fashion dolls that could provide an alternative to Barbie, and this was the list I came up with. All of these dolls still include a dose of fashion, dress-up, and role play. But each brand is trying in its own way to add more meat to the message. Whether it's giving the dolls well-rounded individual stories, or focusing on less fashion-oriented clothing and activities, or even looking to world travel and cultures, all of them are making a sincere effort.

But what about you, What do you do in your household? Barbie, or other dolls?

Shown Above:
1. Little Miss Matched Dolls
2. Karito Kids, Yuko
3. Liv Dolls
4. Only Hearts Club Dolls
5. Corolle Les Cheries dolls
6. Moxie Girls

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Mari Richards is a product designer, shiny object addict, writer, and professor. With 400+ designs and 30+ industry awards, she is a freelance designer and design blogger at She is also a contributor at and