LA-based toyco MGA Entertainment is putting a noir touch on dolls with the launch of its new Shadow High line. These six grayscale figures are available for pre-order now and will launch on April 25.
The Shadow High brand builds on the success of MGA’s similar Rainbow High range, which features fashion and art high school students who fully identify with a color in the rainbow, sporting bold ensembles to match. Rainbow High launched in 2020 and was the doll property with the largest sales increase in Europe the following year, according to insights firm NPD Group.
The dolls skew to kids ages six to 12 and come with a variety of accessories that can be mixed and matched together.
MGA is introducing its Shadow High characters in season three of animated series Rainbow High on the brand’s YouTube channel (474,000 subscribers) that premiered on April 1.
The new black-and-white doll brand is also getting its own animated series, but details about the format and release date haven’t been announced yet. Storylines will center on the students of Shadow High—who are sick and tired of Rainbow High getting all the attention—as they work to help their arts school emerge from the shadow of its closest rival.
Doll sales really took off during the pandemic. In the first half of 2021, doll sales saw a 10% global sales increase, according to the NPD Group. And MGA competitor Mattel saw gross billings for its dolls business increase by 22% to US$2.29 billion in 2021.