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Appropriate Dolls

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

My 4 1/2 yo DD is enamoured with Barbie. We don't have Barbies. I don't like them. None of her friends have them, so I'm not sure where the love came from.

So, what alternatives to Barbie are there? I'm talking about more real looking dolls that have tons of different clothes to change into. I'm trying to simulate some of the Barbie "experience" but with a bit better doll. I think some of the love of Barbie is the pretend play with an older & adult like doll. I found the Only Hearts Club Dolls on the board, but I'm wondering what else is out there.

Thanks all! This feminist mama needs some help!

post #2 of 28
Sorry, no real ideas here... I just thought I'd share a "DOWN WITH BARBIE" with ya I never played with them as a girl myself... I always thought they were bratty, and don't get me started on Bratz... but DD does have some little victorian china dolls that I got from the local dollar store. They are real china! The things you find there... anyway she likes those fine, but I don't pay much attention to dolls so I don't know of any adult-like ones.

post #3 of 28
Check out Get Real Girl
post #4 of 28
I haven't been able to find where the Get Real Girls are sold. Are they still making them?

Anyway, I commiserate. I hate Barbie. I don't like the Only Heart Club dolls either, I think their faces are weird, almost alien looking. I like Tonner's dolls, but they are $$$.


I also love some of the anime dolls, but because they are pretty much all imported at the present time (why???) they end up being expensive too.

Sorry, not much help. Does anybody know what it would take to have a vinyl doll made? I have fantasies about designing my own...
post #5 of 28
Well, shoot! I didn't know they stopped making them (it's been a couple years since I bought one for my neice). I did find a couple on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Get-Real-Girl-Ad...QQcmdZViewItem
post #6 of 28

not adult-like, but 'older'? tons of clothing.
post #7 of 28
What I've seen of the American Girl stuff looks good. Too bad I'm in Canada!

Groovy Girls are popular with some kids I know. A good friend has only three rules - no gum, no pop, no Barbie. Her kid has virtually all the Groovy Girls. They are soft, very diverse looks and way more funky clothes than Barbie.

Thankfully none of our friends or family have bought DD any Barbies. I'm not going to ban them, but yech! However, the other day I suggested that DD take a little Ty doll (soft but with bendy limbs and silver platform sandals). But DD dissed the idea, saying the other girls all have Barbie! At 3.5 yrs, she seems content with rag dolls.... for now....
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, aside from being expensive, the Tonner Dolls are VERY white. They even make the Halle Barry Catwoman barely fucking beige. Ugh.

I like Groovy Girls, & DD has a couple, but I think she likes the Barbie type. The Only Hearts Club isn't my favorite either!


post #9 of 28
We do not allow barbie. Sometimes I am not sure why? I had Tons of barbies growing up. But hey look at me, all overweight and body issues now. Partly I just don't like having a ton of mainstream stuff in the house. Payton is almost 4 and has a Waldorf style playhouse in her room. She has a heck of a lot of Groovy Girls already. She's actually playing in her room right now with her GG's. I just went back there and she was "cooking spicey eggs for my daughters, because they like spicey food."

Payton does have a good number of friends with Barbies unfortunetly, and one even has Bratz dolls, which I think are the worst! They all have Polly Pockets too which I think are super annoying. So in exchange for not having Polly's, the Groovy Girl Co has put out mini-GG's. You can't chance their clothes or anything, so no tiny pieces around the house. they stand about an inch and a half tall, unlike the 1/2 inch polly's. My dd loves the mini's.

Payton does talk about Barbie quite regularly after she's been around one of those friends, or whever we see them in a store (they seem to be everywhere) I just keep telling her that mommy doesn't want Barbies in the house, but she's allowed to play with them at friends houses, as I can't control what she's doing there unfortunetly. GG's are not even close to the type of dolls that Barbies are but they have tons of clothes, accessories and furniture now.
post #10 of 28
Posting again...... just found a cute pair of dolls in a catalog called Young Explorers(.com). http://www.youngexplorers.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=Y511164X

I think you may like them, they look cute!
post #11 of 28
I don't have any girls yet. As a kid I always loved Barbie and still do today. I just played with Barbie yesterday, with a ten year old boy.

I just Barbie. What is wrong with her? I am a very natural mama and can not see the harm in letting a little girl play with her. Barbie today comes in all colors, unfortunatly she only comes in one size. I'd like to see heavy set and super skinny Barbies. Other than that I have nothing bad to say about her.

Well, yes she is a bit materialistic, but that is just the package! My Brbie changed the world. She loved animals and stopped poaching. She had a lot of drama but she was awesome! She was a veggie, and a great mama. My Barbie played out what I wanted to be and became. Doll play is important.

Anyway, I like the american girls series too. Barbie is materialistic. I played with her a lot and did not turn out that way. I don't think the type of doll really matters. Boys and girls both need access to dolls. I'm not convinced that doll type really matters.
post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by mama_kass
Barbie is materialistic.
I think you sort of answered why I don't like Barbie right there. Sure, you didn't turn out materialistic, but what percentage of kids do? Most of them! It's the basis for our economy, and Barbie is just one more thing that encourages that reckless consumerism. Further, it was deliberate on the part of the manufacturers as a way to exploit children. Barbie lives a luxurious life - look at all the other accessories you can buy to help Barbie manifest her dream-life! A dream car! A dream house! A dream airplane!

You just sounded like a smart kid. I have to admit, that when I was a kid, my barbies weren't saving the world. I was playing silly little, irrellevant things with mine. But, to my credit, me and my brother roll played our 'saving the world' scenarios -- we were "Jamie and the Rescue team!" We didn't need anything store bought for that!

Against my better judement on consumerism, I still like the American Girl series, and will probably buy one for my dd when she's old enough.
post #13 of 28

Here are my current fave Barbie alternatives...


They are beautifully made - up close there is such detail. They look like real young girls, and they don't have odd proportions or that bursting-out-of-their-clothes, heavily-made up Barbie look.

Also their bodies are soft which I think is the best attribute of all - you can snuggle them

Oops, just realized you already found these.... aaah, well, I thought I'd leave this as a shameless plug for them

Michelle in NY
post #14 of 28
My dd and I really like the Only Hearts dolls. They have soft bodies which is great because she likes to cuddle with her doll sometimes. My niece is so into Barbie and the Disney Princesses, that I wanted something with a positive message for my dd and my niece to be exposed to. IMHO, they are very real looking and they also have books that you can order as well.


post #15 of 28
I'm not sure what you mean by real? More real than Barbie who looks utterly fake (unless she was in a strip joint?)

I like the Groovy Girls, but haven't shown them to my Dd yet.
post #16 of 28
Too bad the WonderWizzy site is down. She takes discarded Barbies, customizes them, and makes them into cool, amazing characters! She has step-by-step instructions on her site for "deconstructing" Barbie and links to patterns for funky clothes.

And there's always Feral Cheryl
post #17 of 28
there's a really great doll on the inside cover of the Hearthsong catalog that came in the mail yesterday. She has clothes to change, and even wigs to chang her hairstyle!! I think she is soooo cool, and my 2yr-old kept pointing to her and saying "oooh" ETA Hannah Wiggins

my 4yr-old loves Barbie, and has a huge collection of Kelly Club or Little Friends of Kelly dolls. I especially like that they are little kids with little kid clothes and little kid bodies. Plus, there's a red-headed Jenny friend of Kelly (and my DD is Jenny with red hair).
post #18 of 28
By realistic looking, I mean they aren't like the "Bratz" dolls that have large eyes, lips, wear make-up, wear belly shirts and they do not look like little seven year old girls. The Only Hearts dolls have soft and gentle eyes, no make-up, are in proportion and are dressed like little girls, not teenagers.


post #19 of 28
Just thought you might be amused - my Mom was a fairly strong feminist, and when I asked for Barbie I received her younger (undeveloped) sister, Skipper (this was in about 1969, when there weren't a lot of alternatives). I hated Skipper b/c she didn't have breasts. I cut off her hair.
post #20 of 28
I am going to be brave here and admit that my daughter plays with Barbies! She got a few of the Disney princess Barbies as a gift earlier in the year, and I don't mind. Don't get me wrong, I understand everything you all are saying about the image of Barbie, and the commercialism aspect. But, aside from that, I also don't see the harm in Barbie, frankly. I played with tons of Barbies as a kid - and it was a real creative outlet for me. I started sewing clothes for them at the age of 8, and I created furniture and accessories. My sister and I were very into them -and we didn't even have that many. We saved our money for them, and bought our own "stuff" for them. Our parents didn't buy us a lot of accessories or "dream" anything, so we created our own stuff. As we got older, we experimented with them and drew tatoos on them or "dyed" their hair with a magic marker. We also played with trucks, Star Wars action figures (I still have a few that my DD now plays with), and all kinds of other things. I spent a lot of time as a kid creating things - drawing pictures, designing things, making toys, etc. Barbie was only a small part, but a significant one in retrospect.

As for kids not "saving the world" with Barbie, sometimes I think kids need to be allowed to be kids. Play and role-playing is part of learning how to deal with situations with other people. It helps them. If all they are doing is dressing them in clothes, then I can understand the materialistic aspect. But my DD is very into role-playing with all her toys right now. Sometimes, I smile when I listen to her stories and games that she is creating. Obviously, we keep a watch on the commercialism aspect. I won't buy her a lot of "stuff" for her barbies because I just don't do that. I will make her some clothes if she wants, but she doesn't seem to care right now. Maybe the Barbie thing will peter out for her, who knows. I want to let her find her own outlets and joy.

Another point I wanted to make is that they might have changed the body size of the Barbies. These princess Barbies that DD has have a thin, but more realistic looking body than traditional Barbie used to. They are not as "stacked" and their hips are more realistic looking, if it matters to anyone. Frankly, I don't think I ever tried to measure myself up to Barbie as a kid. It didn't even dawn on me.

Just another perspective. We all have different comfort levels with this stuff.
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