In a way you could consider the Heart family dolls to be Kelly's grandparents.
Then came their cousins,
and all their playground and kindergarten friends,
and the Lil Friends of Barbie
and Teacher Barbie's students
and finally the subsequent evolution to the the Lil friends of Kelly that we know and love
In 1992 the Heart Family cousins became Lil friends of Barbie, a direct connection to the Pink Princess. In 1994 Kelly was "born" and became the lil darling we came to love.
The Heart Family sets would celebrate family life, events like birthdays, a new baby, the seasons of summer, fall and winter thru beach playsets, camping and skiing fun sets and mundane things like school, bathtime and the love of their grandparents. The New Arrival set with its mock maternity gown and tiny baby would be the predecessor of pregnant Midge.
The Hearts embodied the entire family unit and set the tone for the Happy Family and Li'l friends of Kelly, including grandparents, friends and cousins in the regular and European release lineups.