Great Dolls for Girls – Me Dolls and American Girl Dolls

Photo of Girl Dolls

The American craft store Michaels has wonderful dolls that are similar to American Girl dolls. American Girl Dolls are very popular dolls in the United States. The girl who gets one is supposed to have a doll that looks just like her. The problem is that American Girl Dolls cost $90.00 (they come with a book and cd). Extra clothes cost about $28.00. Most of the kids I know who have them keep them in their closets. (To be fair, my daughter’s only 6. The dolls may be meant for older kids who would keep them nice and neat and clean in their bedrooms.) It’s a lot of money to spend on a doll to have it out in the real world getting all messy. Yet in my mind, a doll should be out in the world with your kid. So when my daughter got this similar doll from Michaels for her birthday, that I knew cost much less, I was very happy. I knew she could play with it as much as she wanted and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

The doll from Michaels costs a little over $16. Then you have to buy it at least one outfit, since it comes unclothed. The outfits cost about $8. The shoes are about $3.

We call the doll from Michaels a “Me” Doll – though they officially call them The Springfield Girls. Most of the girls in the neighborhood think it’s an American Girl Doll – though I’m told that you can tell that the hair isn’t as nice. But for about $27 you can get a girl a nice gift that she can play with – without your worrying about a $90 toy getting ruined.

Michaels has about 5 variations or so, but if you or one of your relatives feel like splurging on an American Girl doll, there are many more dolls to chose from. They have over 30 different dolls in their line. Some are interesting “historical” dolls that come with a story about them. One doll called Addy is supposed to be from 1864 and was a slave who escaped to freedom. Kirsten is a doll who’s supposed to be an immigrant to the US in the 1850’s. There’s a series of books you can buy to read about her experience.

Lastly, you can visit one of the American Girl stores – there are 5 of them in major US cities. They’re not just stores to buy products. You can have your doll’s hair “done”. You can have a tea party with your doll, see a musical (no kidding!) or eat dinner! It’s probably a good idea to make reservations first.

For now, my daughter and I will stick to playing with her dolls from Michaels!

-Mama Lisa

UPDATE: Ed Gawlinski wrote to me about the benefits of American Girl Dolls which I posted in a later entry called Can American Girl Dolls and Their Books Be a Good Role Model? You can get yet another point of view by reading One More Word about American Girl Dolls. Feel free to join the discussion in the comments below or on one of the later blog posts. -Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 7:20 pm and is filed under American Girl Dolls, Countries & Cultures, Dolls, Gift Ideas, Mama Lisa, Me Dolls, Parenting, Recommendations, Toys, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Great Dolls for Girls – Me Dolls and American Girl Dolls”

  1. Dawn Says:

    Maybe you should share some hair control ideas. The ponytail tie-backs could be put into place before the hair gets out of control. This would save a poor, unsuspecting aunt from spending time on Thanksgiving combing a dolls hair.

    P.S. Which doll is your daughter’s me doll.

  2. Lisa Says:

    That’s my sister Dawn who wrote the comment above. She tried to help me fix my daughter’s doll’s hair the first time it got messy. She ended up tying it back with ponytail holders.

    When I worked on it this past time, the knots were really bad. It really took me about an hour to get them out. Then the hair was frizzy so I had to put it in a braid to make it look good. Then I put a tiny bit of gel on it to smooth it out. (I was a little worried about putting gel on a doll’s hair, but it seems like it was okay to do).

    I think it might be a good idea to put the Me Doll’s hair in a pony tail or braid right away. That way it’ll be kept neat right from the start.

    Btw both of the dolls in the photo are my daughters! Her wonderful aunt bought her so many clothes that she ended up getting doubles – so she took two sets back and got a 2nd doll in its place. Now she has 2 Me Dolls, so a friend has one to play with during a play date!

    -Mama Lisa

  3. Laura Modrell Says:

    American Doll Treasures offers affordable 18 inch Doll Clothes, Doll shoes, Doll furniture, and doll accessories for your 18 inch American Girl Type Dolls and Bitty Baby type dolls. http://www.americandolltreasures.com

  4. laura Says:

    My girls have dolls that have nice brushable hair and are CHEAP. They’re the “My Friend” dolls from Fisher Price we purchased off of ebay. We paid about $3 for them and they are SOOOOOO durable. Little kids can thrash these dolls and you just put them in a pillow case in the washing machine and they’re almost like new. Their hair has never frizzed and has lasted literally decades, as these dolls were made in the seventies and eighties. I have been very pleased with them. My daughter’s American Girl, Kirsten has terrible hair that lasted a week. She is nine and very responsible. DO NOT try to style her hair even though she is advertised as a doll with “stylable” hair. Our Samantha doll by American Girl is nice and durable although I’m disappointed that I supported a company that was dishonest about the quality of Kirsten Larsen. We purchased our dolls at almost the same time or I would not have trusted that Samantha would have nice hair.

  5. Pamela Says:

    I have Samantha, Kit, Ruthie, Felicity, Lanie, and Kirsten. I have styled all of their hair and they are in PERFECT condition, with no knots or tangles. American Girl backs their products 100%. If you had a problem with Kirsten’s hair, you should have notified the Company. They would have made it right. The “My Friend” dolls are nice as well. I have “Mandy” and “Jenny”. All doll hair requires maintenance. Moisturizing is essential to keep the hair from drying out. If done properly, your doll will last a lifetime.

  6. Christine Says:

    What kind of moisturizer should we use for doll hair? Is spray on detangler ok?

  7. Susan Says:

    found this very affordable shop on etsy that makes AG and MyTwin doll clothes (18″ and 22″) for $5-$15.

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