Barbie Wiki
Vintage-1991-nichelle-doll-1751-shani 1 dbba4e7fee27614d1e29d6c8dffdf91e

1991 Nichelle Doll

Nichelle is a face sculpt patented in 1990 and first introduced with the Nichelle character in The Marvelous World of Shani.


This face sculpt debuted alongside Shani (Face Sculpt ©1990), Asha (Face Sculpt ©1990), and Jamal (Face Sculpt ©1991) in the aforementioned Shani doll line. The series was discontinued after 3-4 years but the sculpts and even the body continued to see use in the Barbie line ever since. Nichelle's face was used the most often out of the four in the 90's, and immediately saw use in the Barbie line, beginning with Kenyan Barbie Doll. The face was also a staple for collector dolls and as an AA counterpart for Barbie dolls that used the Bob Mackie (Face Sculpt ©1991) since they both had a closed mouth, and occasionally as a face for Christie dolls.

The sculpt was eventually retired in 2002, with Asha's face soon after seeing the most frequent use out of all the faces in the Shani line. The Goddess (Face Sculpt ©1998) face would also become the standard AA counterpart to Caucasian dolls with the Mackie face instead. Nichelle wouldn't resurface again until 2012 where it saw a one-time use for the Louisiana State University Barbie Cheerleader, and then went on another hiatus until 2020 where it was reintroduced as the Jean Michel Basquiat Barbie, resulting in the face seeing more use ever since.

Overall, the Nichelle face saw more favored use amongst collector dolls versus playline, and was even used for the Ruby Radiance Barbie by Bob Mackie, who was a fan of the sculpt.


  • Outside of the Shani line, Nichelle's face never became the official face for any other character in the Barbie line, unlike Shani and Asha. The former's face was used as the official face for the Asha - African American Collection doll line while the latter had her face used as an official face for multiple characters including Christie, Shawnee, Nikki, etc.