I am so happy to discover Melanites, a new line of dolls created in a “celebration of brown boyhood,” thanks to the wonderful mind of Boston entrepreneur and minority youth mentor, Jennifer Pierre. While we’re always on the lookout for cool dolls for boys, as well as multicultural dolls that represent the varied ethnic and racial identities of our kids who want to play with them, this is one toy line that aims to accomplish both.

Related: Target removes boy and girl toy aisles, Internet implodes.

Jennifer’s goal is to take on the normalization of hypermasculinity, and help more boys of color to feel valued and empowered in society through a series of four 18″ Action Pals, which you’ll notice have interests other than the typical sports or combat skills.

Because as you, our smart readers often point out, while we spend a lot of time concerned about the stereotypes of girls reflected in the toy aisle, the stereotypes of boys reflected there can often be just as limiting.

So instead of an array of weaponry, each of the Melanites has his own personality and set of interests.  Jaylen is an inventor, Aiden is a maker, Marquis is a performer, and Sid is a reader and future world-traveler. Though of course there’s plenty of overlap; performers are thinkers, and readers are doers too.

I’m sure that there’s one that will speak to your own son — or daughter — regardless of skin color. But I do think it’s important that boys of color have more options that reflect their own identities back to them in positive ways.


Two of the proposed Melanites dolls for boys of color, which inspire with a range of positive attributes and skills

2 of the 4 new Melanites dolls, inspiring boys of color with


Related: Naturally Perfect Dolls: A standout at this year’s Toy Fair


I admit that I have yet to see a great picture of what the finished dolls will look like on the site; they are still evolving, and you can only see illustrations and 3-D renderings of some prototypes right now. So here’s hoping the end result is appealing and fantastic. Because this could potentially be a line that a whole lot of kids (and their smart parents) will get really excited about. Plus, I look forward to seeing the proposed book series featuring the characters.

One more cool thing: While a $85 donation to the Kickstarter gets you one of the first dolls shipping in January, 2017, if you don’t have a child of your own, you can specify that your donation be used to provide one of the Melanites to a child in need through a non-profit partner.

Wow, I love that.

Prototype of AG-sized Melanites dolls made to inspire and empower boys of color


Support the Melanites kickstarter before May 11, 2016! You can snag rewards starting at just a $5 contributions: $15 gets you a Melanites poster; $25 gets you a cool Thinker or Magic t-shirt; $85 gets you one of the first dolls. Expected ship date is January, 2017. Also learn more at Brownboyhood.com

h/t elisa camahort page