Saturday, December 10, 2016

Why are American Girl dolls so expensive?

I am sure most of my friends have already decided that I am crazy for letting Skylar have American Girl.

I was once told by a person who was my friend that she would never spend that much for an American Girl, then she turned around and bought the Girl of the Year from American Girl. She said 1 doll is all they need. 

Sure, I don't even think dolls are a need per say. Who needs that kind of negativity in their life? LOL However in my family we have almost 40 American Girl brand dolls not including the mini dolls. We have 9 Girl of the Year dolls. We have 15 historical (two of Samantha), 4 custom dolls, 4 Bitty Twins, 7 Just Like You/My American Girl/ Truly Me dolls. 2 Our Generation that have never been played with. and 2 Play Wonder 18-inch doll, 1 Magic Attic doll. So, my friends or may think that is excessive... Especially when they see the retail price tag for $115-$120. The thing is I rarely pay retail for my dolls. I can't afford to. I do have limits to my collection. My rules are 1) If we can't take care of them then we don't get anymore. 2) We have certain items out of their collections we want to collect (Dolls, Meet Outfit, Birthday Outfit, their toy doll, and their Holiday dress). 3) I don't go buy a doll just because they just released it but after the Kanani craze I do try to get all the dolls before they retire so I don't have to spend over retail for that certain doll. Look at the secondary market prices for Kanani and McKenna dolls it is mind blowing. We do not own a Kanani because we got on to the AG scene after Kanani was archived. I haven't yet found a deal on her when I have the money to afford her. I haven't been lucky enough to score on that one but I have made several really good scores which I am very proud about not to sound braggy.. 

Anyways I digress.  So, if you take a big box store doll, let’s say Our Generation sold at Target and put her next to an American Girl- even an older American Girl you can literally feel the quality difference in their vinyl. It's like feeling the difference in cashmere compared to wool. You can look at their hair. The Target doll's hair is rooted where American Girl dolls have wigs on. Yes, I am biased overall I like the way the American Girl's look aesthetically more so than the Our Generation and My Life dolls. Some other brands are cuter than OG. I like the Madame Alexander line and the Play Wonder line. Even the Journey Girls tend to be cute and fashionable. I guess it's all in what you prefer isn't it though? American Girl is what I grew up with. American Girl is just as much part of my childhood as the Cabbage Patch craze of the 80's... Yes, I still have my first Cabbage Patch doll too.
Here is an example of three different brands of dolls. Skylar didn't start wanting 18 inch dolls until she was 9 years old. She knew if she ever ever couldn't take care of one I wouldn't let her have one so she took care of most of her dolls. Can you see the difference in their hair? Yes all three haven't been brushed before I took this picture so there was no favoritism toward the American Girl brand.  My Pleasant Company 20ish year old Samantha still has her curls. I was hesitant about when Skylar should get her first AG because I knew the vinyl could be delicate. It can get rub marks and bruising. Since she started with her first American Girl which I got off of Craigslist for $60 thankfully none of them have incurred major damage at her hands. Not many are scuffed, abused, or maimed. One of my best friends whose daughter had one long before Skylar told me they are so delicate but I haven't had that issue myself with the American Girl brand. I have seen a lot of abused American Girl dolls but none have incurred abuse under my watch.  

In my opinion (completely of my opinion) we come from a disposable society of disposable diapers, TV's are cheaper to replace than repair and dolls are no exception. $30 Our Generation dolls once they get makeup on their face, dye transfer from their clothes or matted hair you can simply give them away or throw them in the trash. Then just go to Target and get the newest model. American Girl dolls have a long-standing history of quality, great customer service and great secondary market prices. So, if you pay retail for an American Girl and take decent care of her you have an 80% chance of reselling her for as much as you paid for her or more. Can you do that with Our Generation? My Life? Or even the Madame Alexander 18 inch dolls? It's not likely you can sell one of those for $100.

Hey I know what's expensive. I know the value of money. I am not rich as a matter of fact I was a widow and a single mother for 4 years living off of welfare and working two jobs supporting my daughter. I have learned the art of bargain shopping due to not having enough money to barely cover groceries or bills much less have an excessive amount like having $100 in my bank account to blow on a doll. I am married now and my husband has a great job and right now I couldn't afford an American Girl from the store.. I have less than $100 in my bank account at this moment. 

We have about 39 dolls and I can probably count on less than my 10 fingers that we paid retail for these dolls. Most were bought below retail. I haven't been the lucky one to find American Girl at a thrift store like Goodwill but I have seen brag posts on the AG groups of those who do. I guess the deal is if you're on a budget or you just really don't see the value in spending retail on a doll you have to change your mindset and realize that their is a jewel in the rough with a doll that may be in your price range. First of all almost any American Girl doll can be repaired at the American Girl doll hospital and they can make her look good as new. Sure sometimes that comes at a cost but depending on the services a inexpensive second hand doll + American Girl Doll hospital visit can still be cheaper than buying her brand new. Or there are plenty of resources on this blog and all over the web on how to make your doll look like a star yourself :)

I got this Josefina for $25 at a yard sale.. I believe the previous owner had posted her for sale in my AG group and had her out at the yard sale the next morning. I traveled 30-40 minutes to the yard sale and grabbed her up. She has had her hand chewed off by some shameful puppy more than likely but I ordered her a replacement part on Ebay and I have watched a youtube video on how to replace limbs (link here). Her outfit is just missing her undies she even has her hair bows in. She's gorgeous otherwise and now my husband's favorite doll. So Total cost for Josefina is $40
This is a Just Like you doll from the 90's I believe and she came with extra outfits for $25 the only flaw is her silvered eye which is free to fix with AG. We have opted to not fix any silvering eyes unless they are really bad.

Mia and Nicki both go for well over $100 on Ebay each as they are archived and have been for some time. I got them for $60 with extra stuff for BOTH. Both were nude but I have Mia's full outfit anyways. Nicki's meet I am still working on as it hasn't been a priority I like her Gala Outfit better and I completed that outfit :)

I bought this Just Like you fairly cheap under $50 and just had to replace her wig as she had a haircut. I bought her original wig from the AG Facebook groups and I plan to glue it down myself. Good as new :)

If you're diligent and look (or even ask) on Craigslist, yard sale groups or the AG Boards you can find a good deal but seeing a doll with a scuff, ink mark on their limbs, loose or broken limbs, a bad wig or whatever see the beauty underneath and a few inexpensive repairs she can still be cherished by your little girl. 

Its true American Girl quality isn't what it used to be. It's still top rated as the company is still trying to survive in these hard times and people who think $100 is too much for a doll. An American Girl doll is meant to be played with from the time your daughter is a child and then passed down to her child and grandchild as I have several dolls over 20 years old and still in really beautiful condition. Price is really not the thing here. I buy Mattel Barbies for my daughter that aren't necessarily cared for like her American Girl that her brother now dunked in the tub numerous times and their hair is still relatively nice. a $12 Barbie you can get anywhere. So I don't think price is necessarily the issue.

So why chose American Girl?  1) Educational, 2) It could be an heirloom and an investment 3) an experience -going to the store 4) the dolls (GOTY and Historical) encounter challenges they overcome 5) quality 6) wholesome you won't find really skanky clothes on them 7) Equality 8) body self image... AND the doll hospital is available for all their repairs. Our Generation doesn't have a doll hospital because they are cheap enough to dispose of...

Here are some resources that may help you choose which brand to go with..

Saturday, December 3, 2016

AG Wish List *updated* it wouldn't let me update the original weird.

Our AG Wish List

Currently Looking for, Addy's tartan plaid dress or holiday dress, Julie's white blouse to her Christmas outfit,  Emily's bloomers, , Felicity's PM or second edition meet stockings, hair ribbon, Felicity's meet shoes (black with buckle), Felicity's original round eared cap that matches the Rose Garden Gown (original meet), Garters that go with the Rose Garden Gown, Nicki's Meet Outfit 

**Note we aren't currently in the market for a whole lot this is our ISOs and wish list.

Skylar's "want" doll list will be   a TLC doll or another boy, Gray eyed doll or Ruthie, Kirsten  and possibly Julie and #21, 61, or 65
My "want" doll list is Kirsten (PM MINT/EUC in original braids), Elizabeth
Green Eyed or Blue Eyed TLC doll to make into a boy :) 

If you aren't collector savvy you can always use this link as a point of reference to see what something looks like however it is not good for checking values of things. Any doll under $80 in EUC or GUC is good. Any doll under $50 in GUC or UC is Great... anything less than that snag for me even if she needs a little TLC! If you see something on Craigslist that might interest me or a yard sale site just let me know and I can certainly set up payment arrangements by mailing you paypal funds and have you ship it for me or perhaps the seller will ship. We also collect certain My Twinn dolls, Gotz Little Sister and Magic Attic dolls....Use this website for reference:: 

Bitty Twin Girl (Blonde and Brunette x2) Names are Summer and Autumn not sure about the third, Bitty Twin Boy (Blonde) his name is Cole,  GOTY (8/15) Lindsey, Nicki, Mia, Gwen, McKenna, Saige, isabelle, & Grace Historicals (13/19) Samantha, Nellie, Molly, Emily, Felicity, Addy, Kit, Ruthie, Ivy, Kaya, Marie-Grace, Cecile, Caroline, Josefina, Rebecca, Just like you Dolls 6/64- JLY Brunette with Blue eyes (Charlie #13 with the pie-bangs (not revised)) we also have one with brown eyes (Matilda is a #7),  JLY Blonde with Blue eyes (Taylor is #22), #28 whose name is Mariana and #24 whose name is Lily, and #27 whom I called temporarily Sheeran because I haven't decided whether to customize her or what : #44 Jade

My List 

Molly & Emily (Molly joined our family 12/16/2012. Emily joined our family in 2013)
Molly all her items except her Red Pajamas & Robe, Christmas Dress, Purse, Hanky...
*I need her slippers*
Emily All her items except her Meet and Christmas Dress
Aviator pants and scarf? 
Red Cross Doll
Book set
After School Outfit
Mini Molly doll.
Molly's Christmas box and stocking
PM Shoes.
accessories sets

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Molly Learns a Lesson
Happy Birthday Molly (white edition)
Molly Saves the Day
Changes for Molly
Any of Molly's Short Stories or Mysteries books
Welcome to Molly's World
Molly's Route 66 Adventure

Kaya (joined our family Easter? 2013)
pow wow dress
Kaya's Accessories plus the list below
  • Fringed belt
  • Moccasins
  • Hair shells
  • Leather hair ties

Mini Kaya Doll.

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)

Felicity (PM) & Elizabeth ( Felicity joined our family October 21st 2012 our second Felicity joined our family March 2017)
Elizabeth 18 inch doll (on layaway)
Meet Shoes
Traveling Dress
Christmas Dresses (either)
Felicity's baby and carriage
Felicitys Original or second edition Accessories
Felicity's meet shoes and stockings for the original and second edition meet
Mini Felicity and Elizabeth doll
accessories sets
Patriots and Penny's Accessories

Kit and Ruthie (Ruthie joined our family August 2014 - Kit was here prior to that)
Aviator Doll
Kit's Chicken Keeping Set
Scooter outfit
partial meet (cardigan and skirt)
Ruthie's Accessories
Ruthie's Pajamas
New Meet Outfit
Mini Kit and Ruthie doll
accessories sets

Samantha & Nellie (Samantha joined our family April 2013- Nellie came after)
Samantha's Stereoscope
Her doll
Accessories I have the hat
**wish for the Sleigh (or is it Felicity's?)
The rosebud Circlet from the birthday outfit
Samantha's Pinafore for her birthday dress
Samantha's Beforever Meet Outfit 
New books
Hard back books 
Mini dolls
Beforever 18 inch doll
accessories sets

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Samantha's Surprise
Happy Birthday Samantha (the white one)
Samantha Saves the Day (the white one)
Changes for Samantha (the red one)
Welcome To Samantha's World
Samantha's Ocean Liner Adventure
Samantha’s Wedding Memories
Samantha's Scenes and Settings
Samantha's World: A Girl's-Eye View of the Turn of the 20th Century
The Lilac Tunnel: My Journey with Samantha
Samantha's Mysteries and Short Story books

Marie Grace and Cecile (Marie Grace and Cecile joined our family in 2013)
Cécile's Parlor Outfit
Summer Dress
Mini doll
Cecile Summer dress
accessories sets
Marie-Grace Party Outfit

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Troubles for Cécile
Marie-Grace Makes a Difference
Cécile's Gift
The Hidden Gold
The Cameo Necklace
The Haunted Opera

Rebecca (joined our family 7/23/2017)
Doll 18 inch doll
All her items except the Movie Premiere dress
Holiday Dress
Butterfly costume
Rebecca's Lace Dress
new Beforever Meet Dress
Beforever 18 inch doll
accessories sets

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Rebecca and Ana
Candlelight for Rebecca
Rebecca and the Movies
Rebecca to the Rescue
Changes for Rebecca
Secrets at Camp Nokomis
A Bundle of Trouble
The Crystal Ball
A Growing Suspicion

Addy (Addy joined our family before 2014)
Meet & Accessories
Christmas Dress
Addy’s Cape Island Dress
Patriotic Dress
Beforever Meet
Beforever 18 inch doll
Mini Doll
accessories sets

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Addy's Surprise: A Christmas Story
Happy Birthday, Addy!: A Springtime Story
Addy Saves the Day: A Summer Story
Changes for Addy: A Winter Story
Welcome To Addy's World
Addy's Scenes and Settings
A New Beginning: My Journey with Addy
Mysteries and Short Stories

Caroline (Joined our family in 2015)

party dress
birthday dress
spencer and hat
mini doll

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)


  • Traitor in the Shipyard
  • The Traveler's Tricks
  • The Smuggler's Secrets

Craft Books and Activities

  • Caroline's Play Scenes and Paper Dolls
  • Caroline's Color and Craft

Other Books

  • Catch the Wind: My Journey with Caroline


  • Captain of the Ship: A Caroline Classic Volume 1
  • Facing the Enemy: A Caroline Classic Volume 2

Josefina (Josefina joined our family 10/15/2016)
Hair Ribbon for her meet
The Niña Doll
Christmas Dress and Mantilla
Indigo Skirt and Camisa (Josefina's School Outfit) 
Josefina's Navidad Outfit
Josefina's Festival Outfit
Her accessories
Feast Day Finery (Josefina's Feast Outfit)
Beforever Meet
Beforever 18 inch doll

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)

Julie & Ivy (Ivy joined our family Dec 2014)
Julie Mattel doll or Beforever doll
Ivy's Accessories (just the coin)
Julie's Christmas dress (even if its just the white top)
Julie's casual outfit shoes
Julies walking dogs I think I just need the chihuahua
Julies Car wash set
Julies birthday dress
Casual Outfit
Calico Outfit
Beforever Meet
Mini Doll

*books (hardbacks are preferred but will take paperbacks too)
Julie Tells Her Story
Happy New Year, Julie!
Julie's Journey
Changes for Julie
Any of Julie's Mystery Books
A Brighter Tomorrow: My Journey with Julie
Julies Story Collection
The Big Break
Soaring High

Girl of the Year Dolls I'd like or are planning on purchasing.
Marisol, Jess, Chrissa (on payment plan), Sonali (on payment plan), Lanie, and Gabriela

Girl of the Year Items
Nikki's Gala Outfit (Skirt, shoes, and tights)
Saige Hot Air Balloon
Chrissa's party treats cake and lemonade
Saige's dog
Saige's Pajamas for Doll
Lindsey's gloves
Saige's picnic set
Nicki's Meet Outfit
Lea's Celebration Outfit
The Following GOTY Books-
Nicki's Books
Gwen's Friends Book
Chrissa Stands Strong
Designs by Isabelle by Laurence Yep
To the Stars, Isabelle by Laurence Yep
Isabelle's Short Stories
Lea Leads the Way by Lisa Yee
Lea and Camila by Lisa Yee and Kellen Hertz
Grace Stirs it Up by Mary Casanova
Grace Makes it Great by Mary Casanova
Grace's short stories
Saige Paints the Sky
McKenna, Ready to Fly
Lanie's Wildlife set
Bon Bon
Lea's animals
Gabriela's cat

 Isabelle's Dance Case 
  Isabelle's Sparkly Skort
   Isabelle's Dance Skirt '
 Isabelle's Practice Top 
Isabelle's Purple Leotard 
Isabelle's Rosette Leotard 
  Isabelle's Performance Set 
Isabelle's Metallic Dress  
Isabelle's Pajamas

JLY Items
AG curlers
Wooden Stand or White Square stand
American Girl Atlanta shirts
Flapper Dress
Irish Dance Dress* should also go under Samantha
Talent Show
Hanukkah Outfit (96-99)
suitable boy clothes
Cat Costume (I need gloves, face mask, tights, and shoes)
White Daybed
basic dress shoes
plain t-shirts
Sweet Treats Lemonade and Root beer.
 Snow Much Fun Set 

Bitty Twins ( for two girls one boy unless otherwise noted) 
Aqua Argyle 2 girl meet outfits 1 boy outfit (or just the pants)
Kitty Lovie
Bitty Chocolate Cherry Coat and Hat 
Bitty Chocolate Cherry Cardigan and Skirt Set
Plaid and Denim Meets (boy and 1 girl)
 american girl bitty twin astronaut
Wings & Things Costume Set-
Bitty Playdate Outfits (boys shoes, socks and vest) the complete girls outfit)

Mini Dolls and Lumina Room Boxes

Custom Doll items
One Direction Tee Shirt
Skinny Jeans
Distressed Jeans
Head phones
acoustic guitar

Non AG Items
Custom AG Hunger Games, Star Wars, Phantom of the Opera, Frozen (Kristoff, Ana, and Elsa) & Titanic items
ACU (Army Combat Uniform)
Christmas clothes for my AG boys
Boys underwear for my AG boys
replica Peter Rabbit coat
Hippy or Native American Inspired Shirt Dress (see comments for picture)
High top Converse
Items for my custom Avril
*hand painted Skateboard AG sized.
*I have an Avril tee but perhaps a slouchy tee with lace tank top from
Gotz Little Sister meet shoes and anything other than the romper and shirt...

** wishes Kirsten,  Rebecca, Grace & #44 (Is there a JLY with Redish hair and freckles?)
Emily for Zoe', Julie for Carri, a Brown haired green eyed doll for Kilie, , red haired green eyed freckled boy, Mia for Zoe, Julie for Carri, Bitty Twin for Emily. 
*Would love to trade my MIB Samantha (west German tan bodied) for a MIB Kirsten (PC only)


Skylar's List


Kanani (on layaway)
any items

McKenna's Accessories
We only have the doll and she loves it all but again out of our realistic budget LOL

Saige's Pajamas for Doll
Item# F2193
Saige's Necklace for Girls
Item# F9882
Saige's Wrap Bracelet for Girls
Item# F9920
Saige's Painting Set
Item# F2231

 Isabelle's Dance Case 
  Isabelle's Sparkly Skort
   Isabelle's Dance Skirt '
 Isabelle's Practice Top 
Isabelle's Purple Leotard 
Isabelle's Rosette Leotard 
  Isabelle's Performance Set 
Isabelle's Metallic Dress  
Isabelle's Pajamas

Molly & Emily
Molly’s Schoolbag Set $28 or less
Item# F5433
Molly's Dog
Molly's Floral Pjs $24 or less
Molly's Red Slippers 
Molly’s Party Dress $28 or less
Molly’s Tap Outfit $32 or less
Molly’s Skating Outfit $28 or less
Emily’s Accessories $24 or less
Molly’s Skates & Muffs $22 or less


Addy's Christmas Dress
Addy's Patriotic Dress

Kit & Ruthie
Kit's Accessories (buffalo nickle, necklace, hankerchief)
Scooter Dress

Marie Grace and Cecile
Marie Grace Party Dress

Samantha and Nellie
Nellie's accessories

Kaya's Accessories plus the list below
  • Fringed belt
  • Moccasins
  • Hair shells
  • Leather hairties

Pow-Wow Dress of Today I (White)

Julie's Summer Skirt Set
Item# T6698
Julie's Swim Set
Item# F1979

School outfit

Caroline's Winter Coat & Cap
Item# F1364
Caroline's Ice Skating Set
Item# F1378

 Non AG- Converse

JLY Items
Hair Pieces and Glasses
the green shirt from -american girl artist outfit 
Tropical Bloom
Starry Doll Holder
Polar Bear PJ Collection for Dolls
Item# F6604
Guitar Set
Item# F4740
Great Outdoors Tent
Item# W0914
Hiking Outfit for Dolls + Charm
Item# W0906
Hiking Accessories
Item# W0908
Skates & Gear
Item# F3442
Tankini & Sarong for Dolls + Charm
Item# W0922
Mermaid costume
 Campus Cheer Gear + Charm
Item# V6035
School Backpack Set
Item# F5289
Curly Ponytail
Bright Highlights
Sugar & Spice Baking Set
Item# F1732
School Days Outfit for Dolls + Charm
Item# F5261
2-in-1 Ice Skating Set + Charm
Item# F1729
Gymnastics Set
Item# F7732
Volleyball Set for Dolls + Charm
Item# F0749
Dreamy Bedding
Item# W0573
Sleepover Accessories
Item# W0585
Cozy Sleepover Bag for Dolls
Item# W0575
Storage Tower
Item# G2230

Non AG Doll Wish List
My Twinn Toddler David
My Twinn Toddler Julia
My Twinn Toddler Lindsey
My Twinn Toddler Jordan
My Twinn Toddler Sophia
Any My Twinn Toddler clothes/ accessories
Magic Attic Dolls, Clothes and Accessories.
Masterpiece Doll Andy and his sister.
Early 1980's Cabbage Patch Preemie
a 1996 Olympics Red Head doll
Lissi blonde doll
Kidz n Cats doll by by Sonja Hartmann any of these dolls, clothes, or accessories Mareike, Jakob, Amelie, Helen, Lena, Louisa, Tara, Tinka, Bobo, Nikola, Robby, Marietta, Lisbeth, Alister, Galina, Alexis, Grace, Amber, Prinzessin, Olivia, Camille, Mike, Laura, Evita, Ariane, Sabine, Rieke, Anne, Annika, Stine, Elise, Carlotta, Tim, Kiki
Peter Rabbit Barbie
Peter Rabbit Gotz dolls
Gotz Little Sister dolls and items other than Lily...

Interested in JLY'sJust_Like_You_23 JLY 33.Just_Like_You_37JLY 38.Just_Like_You_55JLY 55