Why The American Girl Doll Isn’t Just Some Overpriced Toy

American Girl Doll

A few days ago my daughter got her first American Girl Doll …

Now I know you’re looking at me sideways, like how in the world could you buy a 5-year-old such an expensive toy. But before you start judging my unemployed ass about how I could afford a $60 doll, despite not having a job right now, I didn’t actually buy it. So ha! Lol

Actually, my daughter and I were fortunate enough to receive a complimentary doll to review. However, that doesn’t mean I’m about to sit here and lie to you about why you should purchase an American Girl doll for your daughter (or son, yes they have boy dolls too).

Girl, they couldn’t pay me enough to lie to you! However, I did notice a few things after receiving our doll, and I do know that a lot of women worry that the doll is too expensive. So I figured I’d write this up quickly to ease your doubts.

But before I start ranting about why the American Girl doll isn’t just some overpriced toy, let me introduce you to the newest member of our family!

Meet Kendall

Isn’t she just the cutest thing you’d ever did see?! Lol

Kendall is part of the American Girl’s WellieWishers line, which is for younger girls ages 5 to 7. Perfect for my 5-year-old, soon to be 6 in March! She’s one of “five fun-loving characters”, who “imagine and play in a whimsical backyard garden while learning timeless life lessons on empathy, kindness and the importance of being a good friend”.

FYI – I stole … sorry, let me rephrase that, I quoted all that good copy from the American Girl website. Lol I’m ’bout tired of my professor acting like we out here plagiarizing just for the hell of it. Lol Damn you see the quotes! You know I got it from somewhere. Shesh! You can learn all about the WellieWishers right here.

But Kendall here is just so freaking cute! What drew me to her was her cute little puffs! Riah has had her hair very similar to the puffs before, so I immediately knew that she would love her because they’d be able to wear the same hairstyle!

Sure enough, the very next day she asked me to do her hair the same way. Lol

American Girl Doll

I also love how small she is! Growing up, I only knew of the 18-inch dolls, so when we got Kendall I was beyond shocked at how tiny our doll was! But the size is perfect for younger girls! (Especially since my daughter is tiny herself. Lol) My daughter is extra excited because she’s small enough to fit in my duffle bag, so that means she’ll be able to travel with her. (I already told her she’d be allowed to take it with her when we go back to Philadelphia next month.)

But I know you see those shoes!

I love them so much I had to take a closer shot of them so I could show them to you. LOL Look at them! They even have Wellie Boots (that’s what they’re called) for girls, so they can match their dolls. It’s a pair of see-through boots, and they look perfect for the rain! Riah has been dying for a pair of rain boots so hopefully, we can get her a pair for Spring!

Anywho, “the WellieWishers collection includes beautifully illustrated early chapter books (that young girls can help read), five 14½-inch character dolls (perfect for girls to collect), whimsical garden-themed accessories, Dress Like Your Doll clothing (so girls can match with their dolls), and a free app that allows girls to explore the WellieWishers’ world”. (Once again this amazing explanation was stolen from the American Girl website. Lol) 

But enough about the WellieWishers, even though they are my favorite dolls at the moment.

Girls can play with them throughout the year

You know how usually your child gets a toy, and then within a few days, they’re over it? Well, it’s not the same with an American Girl doll. Not only can girls take these dolls with them to their friend’s house for playdates, even if their friend doesn’t have an American Girl doll, girls can also take these dolls with them when they travel!

Imagine going to the doctor and being able to take your doll with you to comfort you if you know you’re going to get a shot that day. (Actually, my daughter would love this idea. She hates getting shots! Lol) There are special bags and bookbags you can purchase to carry her doll in.

Girls can also sleep with their dolls as well. My daughter has been sleeping with her doll ever since she got it. Lol Look …

American Girl Doll

It’s a little creepy that her eyes are still open, but I’ll live. Lol

However, they can even change their dolls clothes with the weather! We were fortunate enough to receive an extra outfit, along with our doll, and it’s a cute little cape and dress! Kendall basically looks like she’s about to start singing “Let It Go”. LOL

Check out that shoe game though! Ugh! Lol So cute!

American Girl Doll

However, you can also purchase a swimsuit for the doll, not that she should go in the water, as well as some other cute outfits. The best part about these outfits? Some of them are made in bigger sizes for your girls to match with their doll! What other doll do you know has real clothes for girls to wear and match their dolls? I absolutely love the idea of matching outfits and I can’t wait for my daughter to get a pair.

I’ve had my eyes on a cute pair of PJs she and her doll can wear for her birthday.

But that’s not it …

Girls can also be taught life lessons through their doll

Like financial literacy!

Girls can save their allowance (or petty cash they may receive from relatives every now and then) to purchase accessories and extra outfits. This is something my daughter has started doing herself. Last year, she saved up a few bucks and was able to go to Target to purchase an Elena of Avalor costume dress.

But once she got the dress she immediately wanted the accessories to go with it. So I told her she could save up the money she received from others, much like she did before, and when she had enough I’d take her to Target for her to purchase it. It took a few months, but thanks to the money she received for Christmas, she was able to save up enough. I took her to Target, and she got on the self-checkout line and proudly purchased it herself.

I’m planning on doing the exact same thing for her American Girl doll.

American Girl Doll

Not only will she learn to save, she’ll also learn when to spend and when not to spend. She’ll learn that it’s more rewarding to save her money for a big purchase like a new outfit for her doll, instead of spending it all on smaller purchases, like buying snacks here and there throughout the month every time she walks past the corner store.

You can also teach your daughter how to shop during sales or look for coupons to stretch her dollars. Hell, teach her how to manage debt! I know you think 5 may be too young for financial lessons, but honestly, it’s not. Now’s a great time to start learning and if she’s older, even better. You can pay for the doll yourself and then at the end of each month have your child give you a certain amount of their allowance so they can “pay off their debt”.)

Now let’s side track for a bit … look how gorgeous her hair is! Omg! I’m sorry, carry on. Lol

Girls can also be taught to appreciate what they have. Not every little girl is fortunate to get such an expensive toy. Some of her friends may not have one and that’s ok! She’ll learn that not everyone gets everything they want, just like in real life. Maybe one day she won’t be able to get an outfit she really likes because the money is needed elsewhere. Having an American Girl doll can help her understand that it’s ok to just have the doll and that one outfit. You can ask her “is it better to buy more outfits for her doll or her favorite snack for school?” and see what she says. (But don’t be surprised if she says more outfits. Lol)

They can even be taught to clean up after themselves. Having a doll is a pretty big responsibility! Listen, she can play with her doll after school and take out all of her dolls clothes to pretend her doll can’t find anything to wear for her fancy party, who cares. But she’ll also have to learn to clean up after herself when she’s done! Just like we have a responsibility to take care of our household, she’ll have the responsibility of taking care of her doll.

Last but not least …

It creates an amazing experience to last her entire childhood

There are bitty baby dolls, WellieWishers’ dolls, and then the regular sized 18-inch dolls, which range from the Girl of the Year to Truly Me dolls, and more. Each doll gets bigger and bigger, just like your little girl will. And when she’s too big to play with dolls, she can start living out those dreams she had when she was little. Maybe she had a doll that sang and danced, and now she’s old enough to juggle dance lessons with homework. Or maybe her doll was into sports, and now she can join a team. I’m sure you get the point.

Plus girls can visit the cafe on special occasions with their doll, like for a Hearts and Hugs Date with Dad, which is a father-daughter event coming up this year for Valentine’s Day, a BFFs brunch or even afternoon tea (which a new blogger friend of mine wrote about a few weeks ago, and you can read about it by clicking this link). Hell, you can even reward her with a special dinner for getting good grades in school.

She can also get her hair or nails done and bring her doll along for the ride, or even get her dolls hair and nails done as well. Dolls that are 18 inches can get their ears pierced, which I think is cute. And there are even special hotels, (like the Marriot Marquis Times Square Hotel or The Omni Berkshire Place Hotel) that offer beds for her doll which is a special treat when traveling.

There are books for her to read and even a few shows on Amazon Prime that she can watch.

Honestly, you’re not spending $60-$115 for a doll, you’re spending $60-$115 for the lifetime experience that comes with the doll. While these experiences and life lessons may sound extremely small to you, imagine what it’ll do for your daughter’s confidence, her imagination, and even her personality!

I’ve watched my daughter play with her doll over the last few days and several times she’s caught me by surprise. Hell, I threatened just yesterday to not read the next chapter of our American Girl book (The Mystery of Mr. E) because she wasn’t behaving and the next day she was on her best behavior so I could read the next chapter. Lol Granted, my daughter loves it when I read to her before bedtime, but still! I’ve never seen her so hurt over a darn book! Lol

So now that I’ve ranted my entire life away …

What do you think? Do you still think American Girl dolls are just overpriced toys? Or do you finally understand that there’s an amazing experience behind them?

Comment below and let me know! Whether you agree or not!

I’ll also be sharing more about our experience with our new American Girl Doll over the next few weeks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, so make sure you follow me there!

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  • Brittney Barone

    Could not agree with this more! I had two American Girl dolls when I was younger and I still have them!! I plan to pass them on to my little one!

    • Oh wow! That’s so cool! I know when I was growing up people were collecting them but I had no clue people still have them. Definitely proves my point. LOL Thanks!

  • Jenn Hoogerdijk

    I think these dolls are awesome. I’ve never actually seen one in real life though.

    • They’re adorable! Trust me lol I was pretty shocked when we got Kendall. (I had never seen them in person before this too.)

  • SavvyMochaMama

    My daughter loves dolls. I’ve considered buying her an American Girl doll, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I may take the leap on her next birthday. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • You’re welcome!

      But yes! And if you do, take her to the store with you (if there’s one around) instead of just ordering it. It’ll add to the “ahhhh” effect! LOL

  • I added a link to this post on my American Girl Cafe article! Enjoy it when you go!

  • Denes Jafari

    Loved this! Also, genius blog name

  • Rebecca Rice

    This is a great post! At the age of 3 I received a doll as a birthday present who was my best friend growing up, I still have her to this day! Dolls help children grow and develop and are so often looked down own. Glad you are bringing people into the light!

    • OMG! I don’t think I have anything from when I was 3. Lol (But I totally started a memory box for my daughter for that very reason.) But exactly!