I found a Latina magazine article from 2009 that stated that although toy makers began to diversify their products years ago, most parents are still hard-pressed to find dolls that reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of today’s families. That statement is as true in 2012 as it was then. Disney’s recent release of its newest princess, Sofia the First, spawned an early controversy in the media as to whether Sofia (with an “f”) was Latina enough to satisfy both the Disney execs and the self-appointed “Brown Police” who protest any Latino character on television that is not produced by one of them. The success of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and the introduction by American Girl of a variety of ethnic dolls like Addy, Josefina and Kaya—may mean more dolls with brown faces on the store shelves, but toy companies still have a long way to go before their products truly reflect the rich diversity of our communities. And this makes simple gift buying a monumental undertaking.

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