BROOKE HART JONES CREATED THE HBCYOU DOLL BRAND TO HELP PLAYTIME INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO HONOR THE BLACK EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE.
A Hampton University graduate is making moves in the toy industry, by creating a line of African-American dolls with an HBCU theme. That line, that goes by the brand-name HBCyoU, just got picked up by Target.
"It's surreal, it's surreal," said creator Brooke Hart Jones. She said as a consumer, she's always wanted a doll representing historically black colleges and universities to gift a friend- but it didn't exist.
"As a former toy buyer, lifelong doll lover, and HBCU alum, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share the magic of historically black colleges and universities,”
Jones created the line with three main dolls: Hope, the student body president and legal studies major, Alyssa, the cheer captain and physics major, and Nicole, the homecoming queen and pre-med major.
“We’re not just a pretty face or a pretty skin tone, we’re also a doll of culture,” Jones said.
Jones goes on to say they want to promote inclusivity, higher learning, and culture.
“Our core values are academic excellence, leadership, community service, so everyone can relate to those core values,"
The HBCU dolls are available online and in Target stores, with prices ranging from $34.99 to $39.99. They're also expanding to Walmart and Amazon in the coming weeks.
The brand as partnered with seven schools to include Hampton University, Florida A&M University, Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina A&T and Spelman College.
Jones stated that she would like to thank DeeDee Wright-Ward, the founder of Purpose Toys, a black toy start-up, for her partnership with HBCyoU dolls.