It's the world's No 1 - a fashion doll that is outselling Barbie as little girls everywhere pester their mothers to do as the packaging urges them and 'collect all five'. In Hong Kong, however, that's not as easy as it sounds because the Bratz dolls have gone on sale with one notable absentee - Sasha, the black doll. Chinese doll Jade, South American doll Yasmin, Caucasian blonde Cloe and redhead Meygan have all been in the shops since last month in various guises - standard Bratz, Slumber Party Bratz, Funk and Glow Bratz and the pocket size Lil' Bratz - and selling in their tens of thousands. But Sasha is nowhere to be seen, not even in the display panels showcasing the range of Bratz dolls at Toys R Us, which was the exclusive retailer at the launch. Mothers who have inquired about Sasha to help their daughters complete their collections have been given a startling explanation. One mother who rang distributor Hasbro Hong Kong was told by a customer services representative: 'We're not selling Sasha in Hong Kong. Market research has shown black dolls are not popular. We couldn't market this doll here.' A spokeswoman for Hong Kong Against Racial Discrimination, Vandana Rajwani, was shocked at the explanation and said the launch should not have gone ahead without Sasha. 'I'm very disappointed, especially as Hasbro is an American company which should be sensitive to racial issues and to the law,' she said. 'A toy manufacturer does have an important role to play. Children are so influenced by the toys they play with. By not having this black doll in the range, Hasbro is perpetuating racial discrimination in Hong Kong.' The US-based manufacturers of the dolls, MGA Entertainment, was similarly shocked at the explanation, saying the dolls' 'multi-ethnicity, multicultural' quality was paramount to the brand. 'We don't even market them as belonging to a particular race,' said a senior MGA Entertainment executive. 'We have little girls in South Africa who think Sasha is South African, girls in Samoa who thinks she is Samoan and girls in the United States who think she is from Harlem.' Hasbro Hong Kong, which holds the licence for Bratz in Hong Kong and Taiwan, denied Sasha's absence had anything to do with her colour, saying the customer services representative had got it wrong and that the company had not done any market research. 'The launch in December was a soft launch and we wanted to catch the Christmas season,' said Hasbro Hong Kong head of marketing Daisy Kwok. 'As a result, we just got what was available. All the Bratz are in short supply and the factory assortment we got just happened not to include Sasha. We're planning the main launch in March or April with TV advertising and that will feature the full range, including Sasha.' When contacted by the Sunday Morning Post, MGA Entertainment's chief executive, Isaac Larian, promised Sasha would be in the shops within weeks and that in the meantime he would personally get the doll for any little girl who wanted one. 'In retrospect, I think we shouldn't have launched Bratz in Hong Kong without Sasha. She is one of our most popular dolls, but she was in short supply,' Mr Larian said. 'Everyone is in a frenzy to get the No 1 toy worldwide and we are struggling to meet demand. It's a good problem for us to have, but it means we can get into this kind of a situation.' 'We had a similar problem in Venezuela, where they launched with just one doll, the blonde, and didn't even have the South American Yasmin. 'Of course, I am concerned it will send out the wrong signal, but at MGAE we pride ourselves on the multi-ethnicity of the brand. She [Sasha] is on order and will be in the shop in about a week.' Mr Larian said Bratz had been a sell-out in Hong Kong and Taiwan since the soft launch in mid-December. The prices of the dolls range from $59 for a Lil' Bratz to $299 for a special edition. In Singapore, Bratz is the most popular girls' doll, with sales of US$6 million (HK$47 million) by the end of last month. The doll was launched in 2001 and is believed to have generated about US$150 million last year.