Talk to me about American Girl dolls - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know nothing. Well, except that they come in different ethnicities. We are going to go to NYC in a few months and i believe there is a big American Girl store there. DD has a waldorf doll made by me who she doesn't care for at all. She seems to really like other kids' "babies". Are they safe? Made ethically? Is there some sort of political/value based schtick that I am missing? Thanks!


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#2 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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I don't know much about their manufacturing, but they are owned by Mattel, so infer from that what you will. most dolls come in different ethnicities now, so if safety and ethical manufacturing are priorities I would look for brands that fit that. 


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#3 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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I don't know much about how they're made, ethics-wise. I'd be interested to learn though. I've really liked the positive messages about being a girl that my DD1 (6 years old) has found in the books, though. The regular dolls are targeted at an older range of child-- they say 8 and up, although my 6 year old has one. They do have smaller dolls-- they're Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins (which are meant to be toddlers, I think) and these state that they are for 3 and up. All of them are extremely expensive, but they are very well-made quality dolls. The whole culture surrounding these dolls though can seem a little like money-sucking, for me at least, because they have EVERYTHING in the way of accessories and clothing and furniture available, and all of it is expensive. So I have mixed feelings. I think your DD is very young, right? It may be too early for her, for these, but then again she may love them.

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#4 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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They are very well made, and you pay for that, but these dolls nor the items will not be falling apart anytime soon. One earring broke on one of our dolls, we brought the doll with us when we went to Denver next time (American Girl store there) and they went on about how they shouldn't happen, replaced it free of charge, and fawned over DD1's doll much to her content. The big dolls are made for older girls, they are quite large. The Bitty Twins are great for younger children, we got DD2 some when she turned 3. For the real American GIrl dolls, you can buy cheap clothing and horses, etc... at Target,Wal-Mart, other stores like that. The quality difference is huge though. 


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#5 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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I have two American Girl dolls from when I was a girl. I got them when I was probably 10-12 years old? They are still in almost perfect condition, and I will let my girls play with them when they are a little older. They are up in the closet right now so they don't get destroyed. I am thinking of getting DD1 a Bitty Baby or Twin for her birthday.


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#6 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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According to your signature, you dd is only 2.  That is way too young for American Girl Dolls.  The dolls are really geared towards older girls (at least 5 or 6) that would enjoy dressing them, reading their stores, using accessories, etc.  They're not baby dolls for toddlers to drag around.  They are more a doll for an older girls to enjoy dressing, doing the hair, planning tea parties with, etc.,   The character age of the doll (in the stories) is I think around 9.

 

They do make bitty baby dolls which are for younger kids, but again they're fairly expensive.  However, they are geared towards toddlers and preschoolers.  They are well-made dolls, but I probably would wait until a child is around 3 and better able to understand taking care of things.


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#7 of 19 Old 01-01-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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I didn't realize that your DD was just 2. Ya, I wouldn't buy one for a 2 year old. My oldest is almost 4, and I haven't let her play with mine yet. She might enjoy going to the museum though to see the dolls or getting a bitty baby doll(but they are expensive).
 

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Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

According to your signature, you dd is only 2.  That is way too young for American Girl Dolls.  The dolls are really geared towards older girls (at least 5 or 6) that would enjoy dressing them, reading their stores, using accessories, etc.  They're not baby dolls for toddlers to drag around.  They are more a doll for an older girls to enjoy dressing, doing the hair, planning tea parties with, etc.,   The character age of the doll (in the stories) is I think around 9.

 

They do make bitty baby dolls which are for younger kids, but again they're fairly expensive.  However, they are geared towards toddlers and preschoolers.  They are well-made dolls, but I probably would wait until a child is around 3 and better able to understand taking care of things.




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#8 of 19 Old 01-02-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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My DD will be two in March and she just got a Bitty Baby for Christmas. She adores it. It's heavier, so I think it feels more real to her. They are very well made. If anything ever happens to it, you can take it to a store or mail it in (send it to the "hospital") and get it fixed. My niece did that once and hers came back in a hospital gown with hospital bracelets, my niece loved that.

 

I definitely wouldn't get the actual American Girl Dolls yet. The Bitty Baby is good for this age range.


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#9 of 19 Old 01-02-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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That is so cute about the hospital!

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Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post

My DD will be two in March and she just got a Bitty Baby for Christmas. She adores it. It's heavier, so I think it feels more real to her. They are very well made. If anything ever happens to it, you can take it to a store or mail it in (send it to the "hospital") and get it fixed. My niece did that once and hers came back in a hospital gown with hospital bracelets, my niece loved that.

 

I definitely wouldn't get the actual American Girl Dolls yet. The Bitty Baby is good for this age range.




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#10 of 19 Old 01-02-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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I love AG, I had two when I was little, my sister has a couple, and if I ever have a daughter I will buy one for her as well, but I agree, 2 is way too young. 

 

They have a website, I would google it, they do have baby dolls that would be age appropriate for your LO, but the historical dolls are meant for older girls.


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#11 of 19 Old 01-03-2011, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was the bitty babies i was looking at - sorry should have been more clear. DD is def too young to deal with lots of hair!


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#12 of 19 Old 01-03-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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the AG dolls are great!  I don't have a bitty baby, but my doll collection is at my parents and those dolls are perfect!  Even after being played with, hair brushed, braided, everything.  I'm sure the bitty baby's are also amazing!

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#13 of 19 Old 01-03-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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DD is 2.5 and also didn't care for her cloth doll. My parents bought her an American Girl Bitty Twin for Christmas and she LOVES this dolly. You can buy just one Bitty Twin if you go to an actual store, which is nice and more economical. (Online you have to buy the pair.) DD loves that she can brush her doll's hair which was a key factor in choosing the twin over the Bitty Baby. What I don't care for are the American Girl accessories which I believe are overpriced for what you get. (No idea about the quality vs. price of the regular AG accessories.) And honestly, DD's favorite doll accessories from Christmas (she got a few Bitty Twin ones from the grandparents) are the playsilks I bought which are so versatile.

 

I've also heard great reviews about Gotz dolls if you are in the market for a doll like the AG dolls. They are a bit less expensive and available at Amazon.

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#14 of 19 Old 01-04-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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The whole expensive nature of these dolls and the matching outfits for your child and the doll just turns me off completely.  My dd is only 2 now so she has no clue about AG but when she gets older if she expresses an interest, I'm going to be honest with her about my reservations (in age-appropriate terms).  I just feel like for me and our family's values (and of course different families will have different opinions about this) it emphasizes material possessions in a way that goes agains our values (the catalog and visiting the store and "dining" with your child and their doll are all costly experiences with an emphasis on having the "official product").

 

The only way I can see dd ending up with one is the way one of my closes friends' daughter did: she had been asking for one starting at 7 yrs old and her mom kept telling her no and why she objected to AG.  Finally at 9 when she kept asking her mom told her she'd have to work for the money to buy one and gave her the chance to think up a way to earn it.  Her daughter decided to make jewelry to sell to family and friends (mom bought all the supplies and probably spent more than the doll itself on those) and her daughter ended up making some beautiful jewelry and selling all of it and that way being able to buy her doll.  But she also learned a lot about how you set goals and then work towards them, especially money goals.  Her mom was very supportive of her meeting her goals and totally made a big deal when she earned enough to buy her doll.  Even her dd tells the story now with great pride.

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#15 of 19 Old 01-05-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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I had a Bitty Baby when I was little, and my daughter started playing with it when she was ~20 months or so, but one of its eyes had sort of...recessed into its head...and it looked creepy, so we got her one of her own for Christmas when she was 25 months old.  She played with it a lot.  She's 4 now, and still plays with it, and I recently had to pull the creepy-eyed-baby back out for my 16-month-old who was always after her big sister's baby. =)

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#16 of 19 Old 01-05-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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For what it is worth, while I know very little about the dolls, they are headquartered in Madison, WI where I once lived. Mattel bought them a few years back.  I have had many friends work for them in design or office jobs, and they are a very family friendly place to work from what I hear.  My one friend interviewed for them for a very cool job VERY pregnant, and still got the job.  She worked for one week before taking her maternity leave.  I was very impressed at the time, but I don't know where the actual dolls are made....

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#17 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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My daughter (currently 2yr 8 mos) has several "dollies" - she has one that is all plush which she likes, but doesn't pay much attention to. One that is plush body with plastic face which she never plays with. Then she has a AG Bitty Baby. She got that last christmas (1.5 ish in age). She has slept with it every night since. She pushes it in a stroller (we have a cheap doll stroller from a yard sale and the official Bitty Baby stroller she got as a gift - she uses them interchangebly.) The doll is very well made - my daughter drags her around be the arm and yanks her in and out of a backpack and there are no issues. So it is definitely worth it if you are going to get a baby doll - this is one she will play with and love.

 

Out of the blue she told me for christmas she is getting a doll - a purple doll. Since she is very caring, listens well, and has the bitty baby already, we have decided to take the leap to the My American Girl. Yes, it is expensive, but even with abuse, I am sure it will last forever (my nieces have them and are not necessarily gentle - their's are doing well.)

 

I think the key is while they are expensive, they are meant to be played with. There is always a risk that something will happen (drawing on the face, thrown in the bathtub, cut hair) so you have to take a look at your children and your house and see if you you think that is likely to happen and is that ok with you given the money.

 

The other rule we have...no catalog! I gave my daughter a burp cloth, pacifier, and little bottle that were left over from when she was a baby and that is what she uses for the Bitty Baby. She will be getting 2 outfits (one fancy, one casual) with her new doll and that is it. A few cheaper accessories from other manufactures might come along in the future (like a doll bed or some clothes) but that is it. If other people buy her stuff, that is fine, but she will never see the catalog at our house.

 

I live near the HQ - I have heard nothing but good things about working for the company. They do wonderful things for the community - they built a fantastic playground at a local community park, have a benefit sale for the Children's Museum, and I am sure other things that I just haven't seen first hand.

 

Hope that helps.

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#18 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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AG stuff is VERY well made. I did get matching dresses for my daughter & her doll, and it really lasted. It was a little large, but I took it in a bit, but she got several years wear out of it - and it is still in good shape for another girl to wear. Everything we've gotten there really lasted well.

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#19 of 19 Old 12-08-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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so im getting 2 dolls for my b/g twins that turn 2 this month. they have seen the dolls at nursery school and love them. we took them to the American Girl store today since we are lucky enough to be in a town that has one.

they were pretty impressed and both clearly will love them.

 

So the question is, for just turned 3 year olds, do you folks think i should get them the Bitty Baby or the Bitty Twins?

 

the twins have snagged me with the the gimmick of the twin thing and i know that any two dolls can be twins. that said i seems like no hair would be more durable and nice looking for such young kids but that hair would be more "Boy/Girl" and kinda nice like that and also give another layer of interest to play with.

 

what you think, what ind of experiences do you have with hair on dolls and is 2 too young to get the benefit?

 

 

 

 

as a secondary question, if i go with the bald Bitty Baby, is the American Girl brand the right on in that case, or do other folks make just as good or better infant babies?  the soft body dolls didnt seem to want to sit up on their own, do they and im just not good at it?  i have VERY little doll experience, it was not the kind of toy i had much of.


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