POLL: Would You Buy the American Girl Doll?

Updated on November 17, 2011
M.D. asks from Washington, DC
44 answers

So my husband found out she costs $100. Woops! I handle the money and never buy anything big like that without letting my husband know first, but I wasn't going to tell him this because I know he'd flip. The conversation had me laughing and him flaming mad...but still! So...our daughter is 8.5 and has been asking for one for a few years now. This year we can do it, and I want to do it for her. It would be half of her big gift. Would you buy one if money was not an issue?

His argument is that it doesn't DO anything and we don't plan on spending a fortune on clothes from AG for her, we'll find them cheaper elsewhere.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

Yes, I would if she was responsible, gets good grades and is an all around good kid. Will she take care of it or will her hair get matted down and she will play with her for a week and toss her aside?

You can get clothes on eBay or ask friends or relatives to buy her some clothes since you are getting a doll.

ETA - you could spend $100 on a video game and stare at the screen all day or spend $100 on a doll that she will love and play with for years. Men just don't "get" dolls.

7 moms found this helpful

X.O.

answers from Chicago on

I would buy the doll itself, because they are of a very high quality and American Girl stands behind them and will fix them. For the clothes, however, I'd go elsewhere to some of the cheaper dolls' clothes. I never had an AG doll, but quite a few girls in my class did and I always felt left out :( It was the only time I felt bad growing up poor. (I don't have a daughter, but I plan to buy once for my niece when she is old enough.)

4 moms found this helpful
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K..

answers from Phoenix on

No... my DD isn't into dolls, and even if she was, there's no way I would spend that much on a material item she may or may not still like in a month. There are plenty of other dolls out there that are similar... I just couldn't justify spending that much.

3 moms found this helpful

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D.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I would NOT. For some reason I find the entire concept highly offensive. The whole ridiculously expensive doll with the clothing and furniture and the matchy matchy make your kid dress like her doll. The expensive birthday parties that by their very nature exclude boys. The line outside the flagship store stretching around the block. The people (women) leaving the store carrying 4-5 giant size shopping bags. The whole industry freaks me out. I had a niece who was into it - we called it the gimme gimme gimme doll.

Waldorf dolls - way more creative and way more open to both girls AND boys playing with them.

4 moms found this helpful
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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, I would. Now I don't advise going behind his back exactly, but I think you should be firm. They are beautiful dolls. And good toys DON"T DO ANYTHING. Good toys are about imaginative play. Not lights and beeping and stuff.

PS - I don't buy it for the brand name, although it does come along with it. I bought the doll because they are so nicely made and the service is so good and I am into the whole "history" experience and because there are some toys I want her to have to give her own kids. Yes, it is fabulous manipulative marketing, but you also get what you pay for. I buy plenty of money saving knock-offs, but when quality counts I buy the expensive stuff. Just this morning I was remarking how gkad I was I bought my coat at Walmart last year since it doesn't look cheap. I turned around an my husband pointed out a huge rip in the seam. That's what I get for buying a $19 coat.

4 moms found this helpful

⊱.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I bought Target's knock off doll for our daughter's Christmas this year. Honestly, she doesn't care what brand it is. The $35 price tag sold me.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Honestly if she is 8.5, and has been asking for one for years now, I think an AG doll would make a terrific Christmas present, as long as it is in your budget. They also make really historical good books to go with the dolls. A fun way for girls to learn about history.

Yes, they are expensive. But, they are very high quality. I agree that the hair is wonderful. And they have excellent customer service. My older daugher had hers a few years when the eyes started sticking (I think a younger guest of ours played with it a little too rough). So we mailed her off to the doll hospital. I figured this would cost me a bundle, but they actually sent her back with an entire replacement head for FREE. As well as a cute little hospital gown and doll balloon. My DD was elated!

True, you can spend a fortune on AG, but you don't have to. You can buy less expensive clothes at Target that fit AG dolls perfectly. What I would NOT do? Spend 500+ to have a birthday party at an AG doll store or buy my child more than 1 or 2 AG dolls. There are limits, my girls understand this.

Your DH is sounds all boy, lol! For 100.00 he expects it to "do" something. Like an electronic train set or action figure or video game? Ha-ha, this is a toy for your DD's imagination to do the "doing something" And if she likes dolls and playing pretend, she will love it.

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K.L.

answers from Lafayette on

dd has 3. She is 13 now and they are about the only thing toy-wise she has saved from childhood. I would say yes if she is into dolls. If it isn't in the budget, go the target route...just like any other budget decision.

And the whole point is that you have to act on the doll, use your imagination, etc. I would way rather kids use their imagination than get one more screen that beeps and blips that you stare at. !!

3 moms found this helpful

M.C.

answers from Pocatello on

I have had 2 american girl dolls- Felicity & Kit... sonewhere they are packed away.

I LOVED them, heck I still love them! They are nice dolls... wonderfully made, and so fun to play with and enjoy! For me they were my favorite dolls, and got much more use than other dolls. I knew they were special, and so I kept them nice.

I also read all of the American girl books... they were a great tool in getting me "into" reading. I don't know if the dolls would have been so special to me without the books.

Was is worth the money? Hmm... well I would buy my daughter one when she is school age, especially if she fell in love with one of the book characters. I think the justification is that you give your daughter a few high quality toys, vs. a lot of crappy toys... Like buying high quality wooden blocks or cheap getting plastic ones, I myself would get the nicer ones, but if I did, i would not be getting other things for her as well. If you get an AG doll, make an agreement that you won't buy any more dolls for her for quite a while, and instead you'll get accessories (even if they are target or ebay ones), or books that go with that doll.

As far as the argument that she doesn't "DO" anything.... well I did more with my $100 doll than I ever would have with expensive romote control cars, train sets, video game systems, etc... that some of my peers had. Plus, when I was playing with felicity I was using my imagination and creativity, and I did all sorts of stuff- I learned to sew clothing, I learned to knit, and I read, and read, and read. I guess the doll didn't "make me" do those things, but it helped to have a really special doll to sew for, knit for, and learn about... These dolls are made special by the books, and by learning about "who" they are.

Sure another doll might work the same way- and are they overpriced, I guess... but no more overpriced than a toy that does "a lot" but ends up at the bottom of a toybox.

-M.

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D.B.

answers from Madison on

I did spring for an AG doll for my 6 yr old and she loves her. Her hair is totally worth the money - it's amazing, and the doll looks like her which she loves and it's really fun. I did purchase a dress for my daughter that matched the dress the doll was in. Other than that, we buy clothes from Target (Next Generation brand) - it's a knock off of the AG, but looks different, the outfits are $12.

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I did buy it; saved for it because I think it's an insane amount of money, but it is a keepsake. I think it really is special and my daughter adored hers.

And not to get too "Little House on the Prairie," but I sewed clothes for her doll...you can get the patterns at Simplicity and 1/2 a yard of calico print doesn't cost anything : )

In my book, it's worth it. And I bet I'M WAY cheaper than your husband!

Note to Queen of the Castle: I know exactly how you feel. I went without a lot as a kid. You will feel better after getting one for your niece. I bought one for a friend of my daughter, for the simple reason that I could not stand that every other little girl she knew had one and she didn't : ( Life can be so unfair for kids...

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

Your husband's argument that the doll doesn't do anything is wrong. Your daughter will be using her imagination to learn many things. She'll first of all expand her ability to imagine. She'll learn history thru the doll's story. She'll learn manners by having "parties" with her doll. She can learn about money management thru shopping for clothes and accessories. I learned how to sew by sewing clothes for my generic doll. In reality your daughter will learn much thru playing with her doll. What she learns is only limited by hers and yours imagination.

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

I personally don't see the excitement in them for the price and the continuing price of accessories. I have to say, I never did like dolls alot as a child, so maybe that's "my" problem. I guess I would have to vote NO on the AG Doll. Best of luck w/ your decision.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

We were actually talking about this last night and decided that DD (5) is too young just yet. I only support the historical ones with books, so once she can read we will get her one. I don't even mind the cost, I had one as a child and LOVED it. Plus, my Gma, who bought me mine, has been chomping at the bit to buy one. I'm thinking age 7.

Side note: I had Samantha growing up, brunette, brown eyes. She was replaced by Rebecca who is basically the same doll, same appearance, similar clothes and accessories, just ten years later (1913 I think). Yesterday when DD was looking through the AG mag, she circled Rebecca and said that was the one she wanted. Seriously my heart melted and I almost ordered the thing on the spot! My daughter had picked out almost the same doll I had as a little girl! :)

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T.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

Both our girls, ages 5 & 8, have one. They got them on their 5th birthdays and used their birthday money from both sets of grandparents. Our 8 year old loves her doll and the history that goes along with her. She has Elizabeth and has enjoyed reading the books and learning about the way she lived way back when. They love to go to the AG store, but we rarely buy anything there. Occasionally we drop the dolls of to get their hair done while we are at the Mall of America, but even that is something that they buy with birthday money or other savings acct. money.

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S.K.

answers from Denver on

My daughter is getting one for her 5th bday next month. I always hear that these girls ask for years before they finally get one so why not just get her one when she starts asking about them. From what I've heard they are build well and hsould last although my daughter will be taught to respect her. You can get their ears pierced etc. I will be buying one. I believe the clothes and stuff you can buy from target that will fit.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

Heaven forbid an imaginative toy.

Instead... it must be electronic and flashing and moving. So the kid just sits there staring at it instead of playing imaginatively.

That's your husband's argument?

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♫.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Personally I wouldn't - I like the books but the doll and accessory stuff is just a bit too pricey for my tastes. We did a compromise with our DD's - they got the Madame Alexander Girlz dolls that Costco sells around the holidays for about $25, and AG mini dolls that came with a book set (another Costco holiday special). I made some clothes for their dolls (you can find free patterns online at sites like this http://agplaythings.com//AG%20Patterns/DollDressPatterns.... , you can also buy patterns at the fabric store)

I think it also depends a lot on the kid - mine went through a phase where they played with the dolls a fair amount but in less than two years they've mostly lost interest, so I'm glad we went with the less expensive dolls. But if you have a child who really enjoys doll play like some of the PPs mention they did as kids, then it could be worth it.

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

If she plays with dolls and would enjoy it so what???! Get it for her for Christmas but she should understand that it is expensive and she will probably only get a few things vs many....Besides if she takes care of it she'll be able to pass the doll onto her kids and grandkids...Honestly....

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P.B.

answers from Austin on

My daughter is 17 now & has her AG collection (some I bought; one was $2 at a garage sale & in good shape) on her shelf now. Yes, I think they are too much (I bought the first one @ around $84?) and I wish I'd never shown her the catalog.

She did play with them a lot (with neighbor girls) & lets her little girl cousins play with them. She also bought some of the accessories with her own money.

edited: I will say that their customer service is very good -- one doll "developed" a weird blue color (my daughter never used crayons on her dolls either and it definitely did not look like crayon/paint of any kind) and we sent it off to the doll hospital. It was replaced free of charge.

also -- We splurged on the dolls partly because we lived overseas & it was a "comfort" item. My daughter is still pretty awesome about shopping for clothes at thrift shops + Plato's Closet, etc.

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I bought one, two actually, and money is always an issue. But they are special, and for special occasions, (b-day, Christmas) they are worth it.

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✩.!.

answers from Los Angeles on

I cherished them when I was a girl and still have them. My dd is 4 but she gets the catalog often and is always asking for her own. I know in time I will.

So, yes, I would get it for her.

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S.L.

answers from New York on

To me it is opening the door to the name brand phenom. Why buy the 17$ boots at Payless when you can get the fancy name for 90$ and be like the celebs? Why buy the 20$ jeans when you get the big name brand for much more to fit in with the other children. If your jacket doesnt have the name brand the other kids are wearing can you really make good friends? So what if you'll outgrow it soon, the other kids will think you're cool!

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T.K.

answers from Dallas on

Yes. If money isn't an issue. It is a big issue for me, so, I wont be purchasing any expensive babydolls. But, your daughter is old enough to really take good care of it. She has wanted one for a few years, so, it's not just an impulse. She really wants it. It's not often we get the chance to buy our kids something they may potentially pass down tot hier own kids.

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H.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have been looking at those target knock offs! They're very cute and have lots of outfits and whatnot to go with the dolls. Thinking of it for Christmas for my 6 yr old. Around 8 or 9, we may go for the AG doll, since she will take care of it better if she's a little older.

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R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Even if money was not an issue I wouldn't. Oh, I was planning on buying one for my almost 7 year old granddaughter for her birthday next week, until I found out that they are made in China. I have no problem with that, other than at this point I'm trying to keep as much money as I spend in the U.S., purchasing U.S. made items.

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J.B.

answers from Houston on

My 11yr old has two of them and she loves them. A lot of the clothing and furniture etc. can be bought at Target. But she really enjoys playing with them. She got the first one about 3 yrs ago.

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T.B.

answers from Chicago on

I buy our little girl the "Dollie & me" line from Sears/Kmart. Same concept much cheaper.

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A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Our daughter is getting one for Christmas from grandma and grandpa. I would totally spend the money but she has two things on her list an AG and a DS...

I told my parents no on the DS as that is what I want to get her. So they agreed that the AG was a great idea. Grandma is picking our daughter up the week before and they are going to pick out the doll and one outfit. Then she gets to wait until Christmas to have her.

I will probably get an outfit for her as well or tell other ppl (we have lots of grandparents since hubs and I both come from divorced and remarried parents)

If that is what they want and money was not an issue then absolutely I would.

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P.R.

answers from Cleveland on

My 7 year old LOVES her AG doll. My almost 6 year old does too though not quite as much. I love seeing her play imaginary games with it. She and her friends will all "play AG doll" so it's been worth the money.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

We have two. Molly and Kit, plus many acessoies.
My mother and MIL both have sewing machines and both have made some of the clothes.

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E.S.

answers from Dayton on

If money was no issue...of course.
When I was 10 or 11, I got Samantha for Christmas.
I loved her, but I was growing out of that doll age. And had no sister to play w/.
So I saved her and took good care of her.
I just gave her to my DD for her 6th birthday last month. Along w/ a near perfect Kit I got for $3 at Goodwill before she was born.

And exactly as Marda said...a doll is a great brain developing toy. Far more than battery operated cheap plastic.

AG dolls have been around for over 20 years...I don't think they're going anywhere. Amazingly, the prices are still the same as they were when I was a kid.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

No, I wouldn't.
I can't quite put my finger on it as to why but these dolls creep me out.
I can just picture a room full of them turning all 'Chucky' and stabbing someone to death.
Dolls that are too human looking sort of make me feel like they are a dead body rather than a doll and I can't imagine playing with that.
Yeah, a therapist would probably have a field day with me but they still creep me out.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

We have our daughter loves her, and we get accessories for her from Target and Sears.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

I did not buy one for my daughter. I just thought the money could be spent better else where. However, I know that the dolls are of good quality and are keepsakes, so if it's in your budget and you know it's something your child would enjoy, then go for it.

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E.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

Yes. If it was important to my daughter (one brand versus another 18" doll).

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C.F.

answers from Portland on

I like the dolls, but would never spend that much on ANY toy, so no.

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R.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, for lots of the answers you've gotten already - quality, history, customer service, etc. (Don't get a knock-off -- she's 8.5 - she'll know and all her girlfriends will know too - I hated when my mom did that - would have rather not had it at all.)

As for the fact that it doesn't "do" anything. My kids and nieces got lots of electronic gifts at that age that "did" stuff - Leap Frog, all the Fisher-Price stuff that lights up and sings to you. Those things pretty much got left alone after they were opened. Their dolls (American Girl and My Twinn) and fantasy toys (Star Wars esp.) delighted their imagination and imaginative play. My youngest son and his best friend (a girl) have been using that stuff to play American/Harry Potter/Star Wars scenarios since first grade and even now at 10 (but only when I don't look - and if I do I'm not suppose to tell - so that last part is a secret -OK?)

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M.T.

answers from New York on

My daughter had numerous American Girl dolls. I think I only bought her one of them, and my mom bought her one. The rest came from my inlaws. Every birthday and holiday season for probably 4 years, they gave her an American Girl doll plus clothes and accessories. This is what the dolls are and what they cost. They are not an inexpensive item and not for everyone. However, if she understands that this would be her one big gift, she really wants it and you can afford it, I would buy it for her. It doesn't need to "do" anything, it's not a baby doll and at her age, she may have it for some time. Around age 12, my daughter sent hers to the attic but I know of some other girls her age (16) who still have theirs displayed on a shelf in their rooms.

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J.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Well I personally would not, but I have boys. AND I have 3 nieces that love them and have several. And they always ask for clothes for them for birthday gifts, Christmas, etc. And I can hardly buy much they are so expensive. So I understand your husband, but hey, sometimes you just have to get your kid something they want, even if you don't like it, as long as it's not dangerous!!

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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

My 7 year old daughter is obsessed with them. They came out when I was younger so she was able to get 4 of my old dolls (still in mint condition). Since then she has gotten one for Christmas last year and one for her birthday. She is getting another one for Christmas this year. I feel that they are such a good investment and can be passed down to her daughter eventually. Mine were given to me 15 years ago and still look brand new even after her playing with them all the time. Great investment!!

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M.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Try a second hand store! You can usually get them in very good condition for less than half the original price. I get lots of Christmas gifts from second hand/thrift/consignment stores for my kids. If it is that important to her, I would try to find it. But if not, just explain -- but if you can do it anyway for full price, then do it if it seems important IMO. I still remember asking from Santa for certain very important things and not getting them -- broke my heart. Sort of depends on whether she understands the cost or still believes in Santa. Also agree with the Target knock offs suggestion!!

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I would never spend that much money on a doll. Besides, the clothes are crazy expensive as well as the accessories. My kids will not die nor will they be laughing stocks if I don't buy them the "must have" of the season. Watch. AG dolls will be just a thing of the past in a couple of years.
L.

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D.Z.

answers from Washington DC on

I learned about buying things from my mother. If the thing I wanted had a big price tag, was it also for a big part of my life? If it had value to me that would last beyond the next "big thing", and the quality matched the price, then the dollar amount is "priceless". It's all relative to the person's value of the object, and the money just becomes the amount you need to save to be able to get it.

Later in life I experienced spending $500.00 on a dress. I was single with a good job, so I could afford it. But I had trouble thinking I was worth it...

I guess I'm trying to say, that if a doll is important to your daughter, then it's not the $ that's the question. Its the value of the doll. AG provides a great service and history with the doll. The doll brings her own story to add to your daughter's character and sharing. If that is valuable, let the price reflect the value. Analogy: My daycare provider cost a little more, but the service was worth the money because I could afford it and my kids were worth it.

I would also be sure your husband didn't talk about the price tag as part of the doll. I hated it when my father would keep pointing out how nice it was I could take care of the $100.00 toy... because I didn't think of the toy as $.

I vote yes. hope this helps.

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