The New York Times once referred to it as “America’s most important doll.”
That’s quite a title to “live” up to — but a beloved doll of tennis legend Serena Williams and her family that has over 152,000 followers on Instagram alone, as well as followings on Twitter and Tik Tok, is surely deserving of it. And now, fans can purchase one of their very own for $30.
Williams recently announced via her Instagram account that Qai Qai is available for sale on Amazon. It’s quite a leap from where the doll’s journey began. “When we first opened @RealQaiQai’s account on Instagram two years ago, it was just supposed to be an inside joke,” Williams wrote to her Instagram followers.
Then, Qai Qai began joining the family on all sorts of adventures, jet setting from the Australian Open to Abu Dhabi. Each journey was documented and shared by Williams — including more recent ones that involve masks and home chores rather than lounging in exotic locales.
But in addition to funny photos, there are also overarching messages about the importance of self care and social justice throughout — indeed, Black Lives Matter is a regular rallying cry on the Instagram account.
It’s not clear where the original doll came from, though The New York Times theorized that it was a seller on Amazon, and Williams didn’t provide details on where she sources her Qai Qai inventory, beyond a note on Amazon indicating that it’s manufactured in China. But it’s all the same now available for purchase — in large part because of the message Williams feels Qai Qai conveys.
“We’ve come to realize that Qai Qai could be the beginning of a new kind of toy story, and one that we’re excited to help bring to life so our daughter and millions of other children can see and play with more toys that look like them,” she wrote.