Asheria Brown, a Kentucky mother of three discovered a significant discrepancy between the price of a popular Walmart doll set and the actual product. And sadly, it’s not an isolated incident. Brown’s daughter found a Kid Connection doll set in the toy aisle, but found that only Caucasian options were available in-store.
So, Brown decided to look online for the set’s Black counterpart. She was stunned when she saw the set. “They were 14 dollars and 97 cents more expensive than the white babies I saw in the store,” she told WCPO.
“There are seven Black babies and there are seven white babies,” said Brown about the doll sets previously available on Walmart.com. “But one set is $39.97, the other is $25.”
Walmart has since apologized for the incident and told WCPO, “we lowered the price on a select group of toys, including only one of these dolls, to help drive sales. Unfortunately, we didn’t consider the impact these changes could have on similar items. This was an unintentional error and we sincerely apologize to anyone it may have offended.”
Although Walmart may have changed their prices due to selective sales pricing, customers have reported pricing differences at many retailers for Black and Caucasian dolls.
Target was the retailer in question in 2014. According to some reports, the Barbie Fashion Maker African American Barbie doll was being sold at $49.99 while the Caucasian version cost $23.49.
When alerted to the pricing difference, Target apologized and claimed that both dolls should’ve reflected the same price. This change was not possible due to a system glitch.
Deb Brit, Founder the National Black Doll Museum of History and CultureWPCO spoke with a woman who said that pointing out these discrepancies was one way to bring about change. “People have to go like this woman did, and address it with store managers, to make sure this doesn’t happen again. People have to really speak up,” Britt said.
Brown stated, that she wished moms didn’t have to complain to, “show their kids that they can have a baby that looks like them without paying an extra $15 to do that.”