Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Move Over, Fulla! Hayati Girl's in Town!

Back in 2003, a modestly dressed doll named Fulla hit the marketplace here in the Middle East.  Fulla was introduced as an alternative to the Barbie doll, being about the same size as Barbie.  Fulla had dark eyes and hair and was heralded as Barbie's more traditional, more moral, more religious cousin.  Fulla wore the hijab (scarf) on her head, and in Saudi Arabia, she wore an abaya (the black cloak women wear).  In other markets, Fulla dressed modestly.  Well, at first she did anyway. 

After a while I noticed Fulla dolls were available without the hijab, even wearing knee length skirts and short sleeve tops. This may have just been that the dolls for other markets outside KSA had made their way to the kingdom.  Interestingly enough, unlike Barbie, who is completely naked when her clothes are removed, Fulla has undergarments painted on to her plastic body.  I remember when I first moved to Saudi Arabia in 2007, there was actually a ban on the sales of Barbie dolls and her image here.  But over the years the ban was lifted and now Barbie is readily available.  Strangely enough, nowadays Fulla has become more and more difficult to find here.  

But there is a new kid in town ... Hayati Girl!

Hayati Girl seems to be fashioned after the American Girl dolls and are of a similar size.  Hayati Girl wears the hijab and also dresses modestly.  I think her face is very similar to the American Girl dolls.

Hayati Girl dolls are priced in the stores here at 200sr, which is about $53 US.  But I saw the Hayati Girl Prayer set (same one as above and below) selling online for 282sr, which converts to $75 US.  It looks like these prices are right in line with the cost of the American Girl dolls, which average $60 US.   


William Kendall said...

It doesn't surprise me that there'd be a demand for that sort of toy there.

Lois said...

How interesting! My granddaughter has two American Girl dolls and I think both were over $100 each.