For all those people who still think that in Barbie's world dolls are only blondes allow me to introduce you to Kira... or Miko, or Nia, or Dana or Nikki or Marina or Barbie herself!
All these names have sounded with the same facemold, the oriental/Kira facemold since the very beggining of the 80s.
She was conceived as an oriental girl with high cheekbones, slanted eyes and a closed mouth and her exotic features were designed to represent different etnias from the inuit lands through the Pacific to China not without complains on public's part for she was a very generic representation but, we spanish could say the same about the hispanic facemold or Teresa facemold. I supose the costs had a say at the time to make facemolds so the made one that could represent the most groups as possible by only changing the makeup. We can't forget that at that time Barbie dolls were done with a very high level of details so I doubt that could have been posible to make a facemold for each etnia without lowering the quality of the dolls.
As a curiosity, there is a doll with a belittled Kira mold named Trista in the Family Corners, a 1995 line of eight diverse dolls boys and girls of 6,5 inches. The girls came with a wedding dress and the boys with a tuxedo and a baby. The point was to mix them to make diverse and interracial couples with a controverted "but", the instructions: "Inside a baby for you after saying I do" and the words "I need a husband/wife" are written in the box plus the pics show the couples of the same race together and not mixed. This line was rapidly discontinued.
The oriental facemold was launched with Dolls of the World in 1980 but Kira as Barbie's friend wasn't introduced until 1990. She was in the arena ten years more and then disapeared to be reintroduced in 2015 with Barbie Mutya designed by Carlyle Nuera who was inspired by old photos of her mother wearing a Filipino Terno during a beauty pageant in her native Philippines.
Despite complaints that the oriental facemold was generic and the clichés of the line, making children known about diversity is always good and strengthens their self-esteem and culture. In the case of Dolls of the World, for example, we can see how Oriental Barbie claims in her box to be from Hong Kong and wears a Qipao, a garment closely linked to the history of this city, or Japanese Barbie wears her kimono and the Korean representative her hanbok. This should give a starting point to learn to distinguish the different cultures around the world and appreciate them since there are many adults who confuse the Japanese kimono with Chinese culture or place traditional Chinese clothing in another Asian culture.
Definitely, the Kira facemold gave glorious dolls during the 80s and 90s and gave many children pleasant moments. So much so that when those children grew up they asked Mattel for the return of the mold and, at least for this time, they were pleased.