The ethnic girlfriends of Barbie®

In 1988 Barbie got a whole new bunch of friends in order to give girls of all races and colors a dollfriend they could relate to. The news now was that they were dolls with their own name, not just a Barbie with a different skin tone. The black community saw the return of Christie and the little Hispanic girls got a new friend named Teresa and all the Asian girls found a new friend in the gorgeous Miko who later was replaced by Kira. In Europe all the Asian girlfriends are called Marina.

Teresa | Kayla | Miko | Dana | Becky | Nikki | Nia | Kira/Marina | Lea 


Teresa entered the scene in 1988 when she was part of the California bunch with roller blades. This gal of Hispanic origin was made with the facemold first used for Spanish Barbie in 1983.

Some years later she took the looks of Steffie after Midge's transformance into the Diva mold. The Steffie era Teresas have some of the most beautiful features of that headmold, but also some really bad I'm sorry to say.

In 1992 Teresa had found her-beautiful-self in an all new headmold with the copyright markings 1990 in the neck. Rollerblades Teresa was seen with the Steffie face in all the ads for 92's news, but when she hit the shelves she had this new face of her own.

Teresa has become Barbie's closest friend during these years and have taken over the part that Midge used to play in the early years. She is the only doll that have shared all the fun events and happenings with Barbie. In Europe she is often the only doll released besides Skipper, Ken and Barbie herself. We seldom see any Christie dolls and even more rarely the Marina dolls.

More faces of Teresa here:

The first mold used for Teresa was this,
showing she was a Hispanic girl.

Cool Times Teresa, 1989 - this doll is
one of those in the 80's that developed
UGLY stains on their legs, and BOY did she?

Spanish headmold
Marked 1983

This beauty was only sold in Europe:
Benetton Teresa, 1991.

Steffie headmold
Marked 1971

A gorgeous version of Teresa's own mold
is this brunette Baywatch Teresa, only
sold in Europe. We DO get some neat stuff!

Teresa headmold
Marked 1990

Florida Teresa
Florida (Vacation) Teresa

Mackie or
Closed mouth mold
Marked 1992

A new version of Teresa has appeared.
The more I look at this girl, the more I
take her in. First dolls I saw were hidious!
Compare her face the the one above and
see it is a bit like that face but looks sweeter.

Chic Teresa, 2006

Headmold marked 2006

Teresa got a new face, yet again in 2008.
This time she has a closed mouth and
I simply adore her! I would be a lot
happier if I found a doll without that
glimmery eye shadow, but I guess
you can't have everything.... Too much of
that in the 2007---> dolls... One positive
note, she has the BBB!

Head marked 2005


Kayla is the newest friend to Barbie along with Lea below. Both girls appeared in 2002. The first Kayla was a very darkskinned lady, probably with Hispanic origin and a totally new headmold. I managed to take the face-shots in the same size and could compare them under a light - they are the same from what I could see. 

Amazing Nails Kayla.

Kayla/Lea headmold (Kay-Lea)
Marked 2000


Miko was a girl that originated from the Pacific somewhere. Probably from Hawaii. The first Miko was part of the Island Fun group in 1988, and Island Fun could only mean Hawaii. The dolls were dressed in bathing suits and had a lei around their neck. This was the first bathing suit line since the Malibu-series in the 70's. Every year since then a new set of bathing suit dolls have been released with one doll of each ethnic version.
Tropical Miko from 1986 is
a beautiful girl with long
black hair in a braid.

Oriental headmold
Marked 1980


Barbie and the Rockers was a group that toured for two years in the late 80's. There were three girls besides Barbie and one of them was the Asian girl Dana.

The second issued Dana from 1987 (seen below) had a bit heavier makeup than the first with her clear blue eye shadow - the other girls had toned down their eye shadow the second time around.

Dancing Rockstars Dana as her name was in Europe.
The US market doll was called Real Dance Action Rockers Dana. This is the second issue.

Oriental headmold
Marked 1980

Dana's bangs got a bit smooshed during her time of storage.


Barbie had yet another rock group in the late 80's. Now she toured the US with her three back singers The Sensations. One of the girls was Becky with Asian origin. In Europe the group changed their name to Barbie and the BiBops and Becky was called Bibi for some reason. The name Becky was adopted by the girl that was called Bopsy in the US, how about that?

(No picture of Becky / Bibi, sorry!)

Oriental headmold
Marked 1980


Animal Lovin' Barbie from 1989 had a new pretty friend called Nikki. They were sold with a little "pet" in the box, and two big animals could be found in their own boxes: a zebra named Zizi and a giraffe by the name Ginger. Nikki had a little lion cub in her arms.
Animal Lovin' Nikki was sold during one year only in 1989.

Oriental headmold
Marked 1980


This doll is actually seen as the first of the Native American dolls, and that is understandable considering her western outfit. I decided to put her here among the Asian girls anyhow and not among my Indian pictures since she was sold in Europe by the name - you guessed it - Marina. (Besides, the Indian dolls are all Barbie)
Western Fun Nia

Oriental headmold
Marked 1980

Kira® / Marina®

This is the doll I consider is the real Marina since she is one of the first dolls I bought when I started collecting, and Kira/Marina is the name that have been used the longest time for the Asian girlfriend. Well, as I've said above Marina has been used for ALL the Asian girls in Europe, but yet I think this is Marina and no one else.
Glitter Beach Marina as she was sold in Europe.

Oriental headmold (do I need to say that again?)
Marked 1980


Lea is a new Oriental friend of Barbie's and she turned up in the bathing suit line in 2002 for the first time. She has an all new facemold (same as Kayla above) and is very pretty. 
The newest Asian girl in Barbie's circle of friends. 

Lea/Kayla headmold 
Marked 2000


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