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Global News Feature: Dolls Celebrating Asian Diversity

I am thrilled to share the news that Joeydolls, the line of dolls celebrating Asian diversity that I created, was featured on Global News Toronto! It was an amazing opportunity to share my story and the inspiration behind Joeydolls with a wider audience.

During the interview with Melanie Zettler, I talked about my struggle to find play dolls that represented a variety of Asian cultures when my daughter was born. As a Chinese Malaysian mother married to a Korean husband, I felt it was important for my daughter to see dolls that looked like her and reflected her cultural background. I worked on the concept and researched sourcing materials for two years, ensuring that the dolls had diverse skin tones and culturally accurate clothing.

The rise in anti-Asian hate during the pandemic motivated me even more to create Joeydolls. I believe that representation is crucial for children to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, no matter how they look or where they come from.

Being featured on Global News Toronto was a dream come true. It was amazing to see Joeydolls showcased on one of Canada’s major news networks during the 5:30 PM news segment. I am grateful for the opportunity to spread the message of representation and diversity to a wider audience.

I also had the chance to talk about how to purchase Joeydolls and shared that they will be available for pre-order on our website starting May 10 for $55. I believe that Joeydolls will be a fundamental shift for children, allowing them to see themselves as valued and capable of achieving anything they want.

Overall, I am overjoyed with the news of Joeydolls being featured on Global News Toronto. It is a significant achievement for our brand, and we are excited to see the impact of Joeydolls on children’s self-confidence and the greater conversation about diversity and representation in the toy industry.

Video Transcript

Samantha Ong 0:00
No matter how she looks, you know, no matter who she is, I want her to really be proud of who she is and where she comes from feeling comfortable and confident in her own skin.

Melanie Zettler 0:11
That was this mother’s wish for her daughter when she gave birth and later struggled to find play dolls that represented a variety of Asian cultures.

Samantha Ong 0:20
I’m Chinese-Malaysian, and my husband’s Korean. So as I was growing up, you know, playing with blonde Barbie dolls, were not really being able to see myself represented I felt that really impacted my own self-confidence and my self-esteem which one’s your favorite?

Joey 0:37
This one, this one!

Samantha Ong 0:39
As a new mother through the pandemic, ong watched the rise in anti-Asian hate, and came up with the idea for a line of dolls Joey dolls named after her firstborn, that would celebrate Asian diversity.

Chinese doll, Indian doll, Vietnamese doll, Japanese doll Korean doll and the Filipino doll.

I worked for two years on concepts and research sourcing materials that reflected diverse skin tones and culturally accurate clothing.

Melanie Zettler 1:07
How do people purchase and how much are they?

Samantha Ong 1:09
Yeah, so they are $55 and they’ll be ready for pre order on May 10. On our website.

I really think that this is such a fundamental shift for children to be able to see themselves as someone that is truly valued and that they could achieve anything they want to.

Melanie Zettler Global News


  • Jocelyne Yan Sun Yuen

    I welcome “Mei”, Chinese doll from Joeydolls collection, embodying joy, good fortune, wealth, and prosperity. I would add confidence. Joey is almost part of my name – Jocelyne. This Mother’s Day, when my 2 daughters , also mothers, offered Mei to me, to be received in November 2023, I was surprised.

    Samantha Ong, when I read your mission and vision, I can proudly say that I stand in confidence in your beautiful and empowering message to the world through Joeydolls.

    I am Chinese, married to a Swiss. My daughters are mixed, and their respective husband is also mixed, their children are mixed…

    Human race is ONE, let’s raise awareness in Unity. What we all long for despite our skin colour and culture are:
    Love, peace, and harmony.

    N.B: Samantha, how did you come with the name Joey. What is the meaning of the name? I am curious. Thank you.


    • Hello Jocelyne,

      You’re exactly right – this is what I’m hoping for. To be more united around the world while celebrating our differences.

      That’s lovely that you have a connection to the name Joey! Actually it is named after my daughter, Joey. It is short for her full name is Josephine which means “to grow” and my husband chose “Joey” after a baby koala. I grew up in Australia and Joey is slang for a young child. So we thought it’d be cute for the dolls to be a “little young friend” for children around the world. Hope that makes sense!

      Thanks so much for asking! If any other questions, please let me know 🙂


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