“Hi my name is Remsen! My mom is Asian and my dad is African American. My parents are from two different ethnic backgrounds. They created me out of love and I am a perfect mixture of both!” Remsen is one of six bi-racial, delightfully plush playthings created by doll designer Courtney Helm. Inspired by the birth of her nephew Cameron and a dearth of dolls that reflected his background, this unique line of dolls is garnering a significant amount of media attention, from NPR to a spot on VH1's In Race We Lust.
Each one of these 17-inch machine-washable dolls is named after a street in Helm's Brooklyn neighborhood. She designed these specifically for the younger set because it reaches kids as they form critical ideas about race. Helm finds herself fielding constant requests for new characters as well as notes of thanks from grateful parents and grown-up kids alike. It all goes to show that these dolls have been a long time coming. —Sita Bhaumik
Molly Toy Inc. Ages 3 and up. $15.99. www.real-kidz.com