The Doll Dilemma

As Christmas is approaching, if you are doll shopping for a little girl, I’m sure you have been thinking about the pros and cons of buying an American Girl Doll verses a retailer store brand like Target’s My Generation Doll or a toys r us doll. You have asked yourself and your Facebook community to chime in on this delimma of which would be best how the quality compares? Here are a few insights geared to help you choose. 

1. Quality comparison

First off I want you to consider how your child “plays”. If your delicate little daisy sips red koolaid in a glass tea cup on white carpet in a white dress and can walk away just as clean and daintily as she arrived then it doesn’t matter what kind of quality you buy. Your princess will be kind and gently and loving to even the most delicate doll. 

This being said, my child may or may not be gentle but her little brother sure is not!! And by the way I would never give my little flower koolaid while wearing a white dress on white carpet! 

The standard of the American Girl Doll quality is far superior to that of any box retailer brand doll. Why do I say that you ask? Because the American Girl Doll Company wants your business for a lifetime…they are in the business of dolls and the world of a doll. They don’t offer deodorant and dvd’s during your shopping experience but detailed doll accessories and vignette play to create a environment for your doll  a hair salon not for you but your daughter’s doll, and of course a bistro that will have a high chair for your doll while you eat and then return to shop of course. 

When baby brother takes your little ones favorite doll and gives it swirlies in the toilet and then a new marker makeover and haircut what can you do? I’m sorry to say most retailer dolls end up in the trash and it can be hard to find another “like” one. Now you did only invest $25 or so which isn’t the end of the world but it is to your delicate flower. American girl has a doll hospital that will repair your daughter’s favorite American girl doll for a fraction of the price of buying a new one. And you can teach your daughter that when we get hurt we don’t get thrown away but we can go to a doctor and get better.

2. Customizable options

American girl dolls can be customized to the skin tone, eye color, hair color you desire and then have matching clothes for your daughter. A lot of Box retailers have preselected combinations.

My daughter could care less what combination of a doll she has. So this isn’t a big deal to our family. My daughter was completely happy with the $50 American girl doll Craigslist special she got last year that had the black square beauty mark in her leg from a non American girl black sock whose color transferred and couldn’t be removed or sent into the hospital in time. 

3. Price

Hands down the box retailer dolls and accessories will be less expensive. American girl dolls and accessories are meant to last and be a doll that your daughter will hand down to her daughter. American girl dolls can range in price from $125 to $150 depending on set combination accessories etc.

 Costco currently has a deal for American Girl Doll gift cards. The gift cards can be combined with discount codes and in store specials. $100 of gift cards for $79.99. So hurry to your local store. Essentially you could save $20 on a $100 purchase. Also keep an eye out for Jill’s steals and deals for crazy flash sales on the American girl dolls as well as zillily.

Here in our household we have chosen to mix box store salon chairs, dogs and carrying cases with our American girl dolls, dogs and beds. My daughter has a our generation doll she got for her birthday and it’s nice but I will tell you brushing it’s hair and dressing the thing is more challenging by far. My daughter asks why the arms are hollow and why it looks different but still plays with it. 

I don’t believe in spoiling a child or overindulging them but if I had a choice between a mega block and Lego brand we all know which one will last. If you are thinking about which doll remember regardless how much you pay that doll will be played with, it will be loved and it will be swung around and thrown by a younger brother or even drooled on. Knowing I can get anything repaired gives me the peace of mind. 

4. Know your child

My daughter doesn’t have to have new. She wears a mix of new clothes and goodwill clothes plays with toys from toys r us and toys from the dollar store. Kids just love to play. Buying her the AG doll was something I wanted to do because my mother had scraped and saved for me to have one for my Christmas  present when I was young. I did the same for mine and decided to sell stuff on my local yard sale site to get her a used AG doll. It makes me see feel good to know her doll has been loved and played with since last Christmas and that if she ever chooses to resell it she could get back the $50 I paid for it. The our generation doll will become a goodwill find one day for $3.00.

I want to add that the American girl doll store makes every effort to service in the salon and bistro all dolls regardless of manufacturer. The hair salon styled my friend’s daughters target doll and made no mention to the little girl that it wasn’t an American girl doll. 

Don’t go into debt for a doll. Your child loves you and will be happy with anything that is bought with love. If you choose the box retailer’s doll don’t worry. If your daughter ever wants the American girl doll help her earn the money to buy one new or used, it will mean that much more to her if you are on the fence because of cost. 


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