Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
Baby Hip-Hop Doll
Baby Hip-Hop is billed as the "world’s first educational hip-hop doll." It’s marketed as an 18-inch-tall 3-year-old African-American boy. He "dresses as if he is a real live rap star," in black clothing and bandana, wristwatch and a medallion. The doll’s shirt appears to bear a picture of the doll’s own face.
Push the doll’s tummy to hear him greet you, then launch into a counting rap. The Baby Hip-Hop web site has an embedded MP3 audio sample, but if it doesn’t auto-load for you (like it didn’t for me), try the direct download.
Rap artist and father Danell Stevens, a.k.a D-Shot, invented the doll based on observations of how his own children learn. (He helped his son learn states and capitals by incorporating their names into a rap.)
I found the idea of this doll amusing because I would never view a rap star (or any musical star) as a role model for my daughter. But I suppose the doll is no more amusing than the blond, blue-eyed Amazing Amanda doll. It’s bizarre and undesirable for my family, but maybe perfect for yours.
Now, I’ve often lamented white dolls which aren’t offered in darker skin tones, so I have to ask… why not offer a white Baby Hip-Hop? It’s not as if hip-hop is limited to African-American culture. Don’t young white males comprise a big chunk of the hip-hop/rap listening market? Oh, and hey, how about a hip-hop doll for girls?
In unrelated, but seems to be related, news: Babygadget today has a roundup of Asian dolls.