As you may recall, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education
decision hinged in surprising proportion on an experiment done by sociologist Kenneth Clark
in which black children tended to choose to play with (store-bought) white dolls over (home-made) black dolls,
demonstrating (according to the Supreme Court`s fearless interpretation) that segregated schools damaged black self-esteem.
From a WSJ article
on a Chinese toy manufacturer who is reorienting from the American to the Chinese domestic market:
"The company had some initial hiccups. For the domestic market, the designers` first instinct was to make the dolls with yellow-toned skin and black hair, to match their Chinese owners. The response wasn`t so good: It turned out many Chinese girls preferred dolls with pink skin and blond hair."