Darlie, (黑人, hēi rén, or “black people”) is a toothpaste brand of the Hong Kong-based company Hawley&Hazel. Meanwhile it belongs to one of the US based multinationals. The original name when I started using it (about 25 years ago) was “Darkie”. Darky, or darkie, meanwhile is a racist term used primarily in America and the UK to refer to black people. The package featured an image of a wide-eyed, big-smiling, dark-skinned Black male wearing a top hat and tie. Because of the contrast with very dark skin, it was a common perception that the teeth of people of African descent were exceptionally white.
Due to changing sensibilities regarding race and racism, over time the brand has gone through several re-naming and re-packaging activities. However, the Chinese name of the brand, “黑人牙膏” (in English, “Black Man Toothpaste”), has not changed; a Chinese-language advertising campaign reassured customers that “Black Man Toothpaste is still Black Man Toothpaste”. This is because the term “黑人” does not have any negative meaning in Chinese. The phrase 黑人(hēi rén) in Chinese is a general term for persons of African descent.
“Mr. thumbs-up” was actually created by Qianbaimei Daily Chemicals Co. Ltd. , a famous toothpaste manufacturing company based in Guangzhou spilling out over 350 million toothpastes a year. More of their products under the Meiyijie-Label can be found here 美怡洁.
See how Darlie has evolved over the years here.