The marvelous world of ShaniTM and her friends!

This group of dolls doesn't count as Barbie's friends but I want to put them here because there are so many beautiful Barbie dolls that wear their features. Ken and Steven also have got their new look from this line of dolls.

Shani was an black girl with really African looks. I can't ever get these name changes, but in Europe she was sold as Maoni.
On the back of the first big oval box you could read this: "Shani means marvelous in the Swahili language...and marvelous she is! With her friends Asha and Nichelle, Shani brings to life the special style and beauty of the African American woman."

The dolls had an all new arm feature, known today as Shani-arms and the third* set of dolls got a new body shape.
Referring to their skin tones - they are sweet as candy!

There were four sets of dolls in the Shani line:
In the first oval box the three girls was released in 1991* and the year after Shani's boyfriend Jamal joined them.
Beach Dazzle - the three girls only, box marked 1992.
Beach Streak - all four dolls, and the girls had the new body. Box marked 1993**.
Soul Train - named after a TV-show I think, all four dolls dressed in HipHop style. Their hats are made of the same material as the African American Collection Asha doll had her dress sewn from later - she had Shani's face! Boxes marked 1993.

Sears also had a Special Edition with the Beach Dazzle Shani and two sets of clothes**.

*This dating issue has always been a mystery - the box is mostly dated the year before the actual release-date and brings confusion to it all.
**According to Michael Augustyniak's book The Barbie Doll Boom.

Shani herself has a chocolate brown skin tone and a lovely smile.

#1750 Shani

Head marked 1990

Asha has a light toffeelike brown skin tone and a little narrower face than Shani.

#10291 Soul Train Asha

Head marked 1990

Nichelle has a very dark coffeelike brown skin tone and a closed mouth.

#1751 Nichelle

Head marked 1990

Soul Train Jamal was the third Jamal released and he was a really handsome guy. 

#10288 Jamal

Head marked 1991



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