Unpacking the Impact of “Black Barbie” on Netflix: A European Perspective

Netflix has once again delivered a gem with the documentary “Black Barbie,” a film that dives deep into the history and cultural significance of the Black Barbie doll. As someone who grew up in Europe with a limited view of Barbie dolls, this documentary was both an eye-opener and a poignant reminder of the diversity we often missed out on.

A Well-Made Documentary That Hits Home

From the very beginning, “Black Barbie” is captivating. The documentary is meticulously crafted, with a narrative that is both engaging and educational. It brings to light the important contributions of Kitty Black Perkins, the designer behind the original Black Barbie. Perkins, who I’ve read about but never seen before, is a central figure in the documentary. Her insights and experiences add a personal touch to the story, making it even more compelling. Below you can see what I have from the Shani Asha line.

Kitty Black Perkins: The Designer Who Made History

Kitty Black Perkins’ journey is nothing short of inspiring. As a trailblazing designer at Mattel, she played a pivotal role in creating the first Black Barbie. The documentary does an excellent job of highlighting her career, her challenges, and her triumphs. Seeing her speak about her work and the impact she hoped to achieve was a highlight for me. It’s one thing to read about such an influential figure, but seeing her and hearing her story firsthand added a new level of appreciation for her contributions.

The Birth of Black Barbie: A Riveting Tale

The story of how Black Barbie came to be is as fascinating as it is important. The documentary delves into the socio-political climate of the time and the pressure on Mattel to diversify its product line. The arrival of Black Barbie wasn’t just a business decision; it was a cultural milestone. For many, this doll represented a significant step towards inclusivity and representation in the toy industry.https://www.netflix.com/de/title/81716193

A European Childhood with Limited Diversity

Growing up in Europe, my experience with Barbie dolls was quite different. The shelves were predominantly filled with fair-skinned, blonde Barbies. The diversity we now see in the Barbie lineup was largely absent. I remember seeing the occasional Benetton Christie doll, but Black dolls were a rarity. The documentary made me reflect on my childhood and the limited options we had. In the mid 1990s however one Shani was available in Europe. She was back then not super interesting to me because I already had one Barbie with the Paint n Dazzle feature but you can see from the box that she was made for the European market with a multi-lingual box.

The Appeal of Shani: A Missed Opportunity in Europe

One of the standout dolls mentioned in the documentary is Shani. I couldn’t help but think how well Shani would have been received in Europe. She would have brought much-needed diversity to our toy stores. As children, we would have found Shani fascinating and appealing. Her absence in European markets felt like a missed opportunity for greater representation and inclusivity.

The Desire for More Variety

The documentary also made me ponder the limited selection we often encountered. In Europe, it felt like we only got a subset of the full Barbie range available in the US. More variety would have certainly been welcomed. While blonde Barbies were a staple and had their charm, it’s important to recognize that not everyone in Europe is blonde. The range of hair colors and styles available to us was quite limited. Having more options would have allowed for better representation and a richer play experience.

Representation Matters

“Black Barbie” reinforces the importance of representation in toys. Dolls like Black Barbie and Shani offer children the opportunity to see themselves reflected in their toys, which is crucial for developing a positive self-image. They also teach children about diversity and inclusivity from a young age. This is something that, looking back, was sorely lacking in my own childhood toy collection. Seen from my childhood perspective I’m not sure if anything was lacking because I didn’t know any other reality or any other dolls. The information and pics we had back then were limited. The internet later made it easier to learn about Barbie and her distribution worldwide.

Conclusion: A Call for Continued Progress

“Black Barbie” on Netflix is a must-watch documentary that sheds light on an important chapter in toy history. It celebrates the achievements of Kitty Black Perkins and the significance of Black Barbie in promoting diversity and inclusion. As someone who grew up with a limited view of Barbie dolls, this documentary resonated deeply with me.

The story of Black Barbie is a reminder of the progress that has been made and the work that still needs to be done. It’s a call for continued efforts to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, have access to toys that represent them. Diversity in toys is not just a trend; it’s a necessity for fostering a more inclusive and accepting world.

In Europe, where we often had a limited selection of Barbie dolls, the introduction of more diverse dolls like Black Barbie and Shani would have made a significant difference. They would have enriched our play experiences and broadened our perspectives from a young age. As we move forward, let’s hope that the toy industry continues to embrace diversity and offers children everywhere the chance to see themselves in their toys.

Exploring the Hidden Treasures: More Congost Barbie Dolls

Introduction: More Congost Barbie

In the world of Barbie dolls, collectors are always on the lookout for rare and unique finds. Today, we delve deeper into the captivating realm of Congost Barbie dolls, showcasing a few gems that you may not have seen before. These hidden treasures from Spain, produced by Congost under license due to Mattel’s limited production capacity, offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of Spanish Barbie dolls. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover these exquisite dolls and learn more about their captivating history. There are more Congost Barbie dolls than you might imagine.

1. Unveiling the Spanish Beauties:

In our previous blog post, we introduced you to some of the remarkable Congost Barbie dolls. However, our collection extends beyond that, with even more dolls waiting to be explored. These dolls have a distinct charm that sets them apart from the rest but they tend to loose their hair or have vanishing Make up. That’s at least a sign that you have a Congost Barbie in front of you.

2. The Story Behind Congost Barbie Dolls:

Congost, a Spanish company, began producing Barbie dolls under license from Mattel when the demand for these iconic dolls grew after the death of Franco beyond Mattel’s production capacity. This collaboration allowed Congost to create unique Barbie dolls that catered to the Spanish market, highlighting their cultural diversity and aesthetic preferences. Although a huge part of the population in Spain is black haired or brunette, Barbie dolls were almost always available as blonde version. Link to the first article about Congost Barbie https://barbie.final-memory.org/the-enigmatic-spanish-barbie-dolls-from-congost-unraveling-the-untold-story/(opens in a new tab)

3. Identifying the Hidden Treasures:

As we present these additional Congost Barbie dolls, we invite you to join us in identifying and appreciating their distinctive features. Through your help and expertise, we can shed more light on these dolls, further enriching our understanding and appreciation for Spanish Barbie dolls. At first I thought I had almost all Barbie dolls from Congost until I found more Congost Barbie dolls on a certain platform. By the way here’s one more of them https://barbielistholland.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/1959-2014-fityfive-years-big-changes-of-the-barbie-doll-part-i/1978-congost-superstar-barbie-casino-doll-nrfb-mib-spain/

4. A Glimpse into Spanish Barbie Fashion:

One of the most captivating aspects of Congost Barbie dolls is their fashion. Reflecting the vibrant Spanish culture, these dolls don exquisite ensembles that showcase the country’s rich heritage. We see here a lot of variation from the normal Barbie dolls made for the US- and European market which were unknown to almost all of us but the ones being in Spain in that time for vacation. From Alta Coutura dresses to traditional regional costumes, each outfit tells a unique story and adds to the allure of these dolls.

5. Collecting more Congost Barbie Dolls:

For avid Barbie collectors, uncovering these hidden treasures can be a thrilling experience. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a novice enthusiast, these rare Congost dolls offer an exciting addition to any Barbie collection. Their scarcity and unique designs make them highly sought after among collectors worldwide. Due to a quality not as good as the US version Barbie dolls a lot of them did not survive the millenium. That’s at least what I was told when asking a friend with an apartment in Spain.


In our quest to explore the world of Barbie dolls, we’ve discovered the enchanting realm of Congost Barbie dolls. These hidden treasures from Spain, produced under license by Congost due to Mattel’s limited production capacity, captivate collectors with their distinctive charm and exquisite fashion. With your help, we can further identify and appreciate these Spanish Barbie dolls, adding to our knowledge and enjoyment of this fascinating hobby. Embark on this journey with us and uncover the beauty of Congost Barbie dolls, a testament to the allure of the Barbie universe.

The Enigmatic Spanish Barbie Dolls from Congost: Unraveling the Untold Story

Introduction of Spanish Barbie:

Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost, produced from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, have captivated collectors and enthusiasts alike. These dolls have sparked a range of emotions, with some embracing their unique charm while others dismiss them as an acquired taste. Despite their intriguing allure, the history of these dolls remains largely undocumented in any known book. In this blog post, we delve into the enigmatic world of Spanish Barbie dolls, shedding light on their production limitations, exploring the divided opinions they evoke, and uncovering the untold tales behind these collectibles.

Production Limitations Under License:

The production of Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost was subject to certain limitations imposed by the licensing agreement. These limitations partly contribute to the scarcity of information surrounding these dolls. Congost, a Spanish toy company, held the license to produce Barbie dolls during this period, but due to various factors, their production output was restricted. The limited availability and distribution of these dolls have only added to their allure, making them highly sought-after items among collectors.

Love and Hate: Divided Opinions:

Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost have generated polarizing opinions among collectors and Barbie enthusiasts. Some individuals adore their unique characteristics, which set them apart from the more mainstream Barbie dolls produced by Mattel. Others, however, remain skeptical of their unconventional design choices and perceive them as departures from the traditional Barbie aesthetic. The love-hate relationship that these dolls evoke has only deepened the mystery surrounding them, fueling curiosity and intrigue among collectors who seek to understand their true essence.

The Quest for Documentation:

The lack of comprehensive documentation on Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost has created a void waiting to be filled. While various fragmented accounts and anecdotes exist, a comprehensive and definitive resource on these dolls is yet to be discovered. This knowledge gap presents an opportunity for collectors and researchers to piece together the puzzle and contribute to the understanding of these elusive dolls. By pooling information, sharing insights, and collaborating, enthusiasts can collectively unravel the untold story of Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost. I did restore the one in the blue dress several years ago. You can read a bit about Congost here https://en.barbiepedia.com/blog/barbie-congost.html


Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost remain an enigma, with their limited production under license, divided opinions, and lack of comprehensive documentation in any known book. As a result, the quest to learn more about these dolls continues to intrigue collectors and enthusiasts around the world. By delving into the history, examining the production limitations, and exploring the love-hate relationship they evoke, we can begin to uncover the hidden narratives behind these unique dolls. Let us embark on this journey together, as we strive to shed light on the captivating world of Spanish Barbie dolls from Congost.

The fascination of Congost Barbie dolls

I have collected some of the Congost Barbie dolls but my collection is anything than complete. I don’t have any reference book but I’m always happy when some fellow collectors from Spain share their knowledge about Congost Barbie dolls with me. There’s no full documentation in form of a book.

The search for Congost Barbie dolls

I’m always looking around to find these dolls. Sometimes it’s easy to find them and sometimes you have months in which you find nothing. If you like the idea of sharing my knowledge of these dolls here, you are welcome to let me know. I know I’m not the only one loving these Barbie dolls from Congost. I have some more dolls that I could share with you but I think this ok for the start. Hope you like my little idea here. I have written down some more information about Congost Barbie in a follow up article which you can read here https://barbie.final-memory.org/exploring-the-hidden-treasures-more-congost-barbie-dolls