Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Playdate with the Proletariat

One of these dolls will run you upwards of $150, including the dress and the shoes. The other costs $29.95, and she comes with clothes, shoes, a baby brother doll, a storybook and some little plastic chachkas to help care for her brother and manage her long hair.

The ritzy one has an exclusive cachet. She's an official "American Girl" doll -- a doll so incredibly special, according to the company marketing materials, she will not just offer superior doll companionship, but allow little girls to "follow their inner star." (Right. All the way to the American Girl store, where the extra accessories necessary for following those inner stars add up to truly astronomical amounts.)

The budget doll, however, can be found at Target, with a slew of multi-cultural friends. You could buy the whole gang with a few wardrobe changes and still spend less than one of those inner star-following high-brow dolls.

"Mommy," Little Bit said to me the other day, "some of the girls at school say that American Girl dolls are the only good ones. I don't get it. I like my Target doll better than my American Girl. My Target doll is just as fun, plus she doesn't have those weird teeth."

(Atta girl!)

16 comments:

TheChieftess said...

Agh! Memories of Barbie and knock off outfits!!!

Judy Williams said...

I prefer the one from Target too. It's all about marketing I guess.

Most of the knock off Barbies weren't up to par, though. I remember being lucky enough to have the 'real thing.' I wish I'd kept my original from 1959 in pristine condition. Oh wait, toys are meant to play with, no?

Dixie Jane said...

I agree with Little Bit about the weird teeth.

ben wideman said...

Awesome. Your daughter is brilliant.

Mister Earl said...

Good for Little Bit. I hope she can keep standing up to the pressure of the mindless masses.

Anonymous said...

Your kid is so wonderful. I care for a lot of 6 year olds in a day care environment and they are already status oriented and into "mean girl" behavior. I have already seen girls made fun of for not having the American Girl doll. I wish parents paid more attention to what their children do and say to other kids.

Love your blog, by the way.

Shanna said...

I wonder if Judy still has the doll clothes I made for Barbie one Christmas. One outfit included a black velvet cape with yellow rick-rack!

alex said...

Doll's eyes will always creep me out.

also, Little Bit has it right.

Anonymous said...

Damn, the status junk starts in first grade now? Great post.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

and so it begins.....social status based on "status junk"

they own your desires

Anonymous said...

Clearly you've forgotten the old saying, "you get what you pay for." The Target doll is cheaply priced because it's cheaply made. Thin rooted hair that snarls when you look at it or falls out in clumps even when it's brushed gently, buggy eyes, too-bright face paint that belongs on a hooker, and clothes so poorly sewn together that they fall apart the first time you try to put them on the doll.

The Target knock-offs are garbage, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Nice try. While I would never say that any child has to have an expensive American Girl doll to have fun, the OG dolls are NOT the same quality. The wigs, vinyl, eyes are nowhere near the quality of AG. American Girl dolls are designed after a German doll known as "Gotz" and the German's only make things that last. (In fact, Gotz made some of the first AG dolls.)

Recently a friend bought her daughter an OG doll for Christmas. The very next day the doll's hair started coming out! She called me on the 12/26 asking if I could hook her up with an American Girl doll at an affordable price, as she knew that I collect and refurbish the AG dolls. With a little hunting I was able to get her daughter a very nice AG doll with a cute handmade outfit, shoes and a few fun accessories for $57 shipped. She and her daughter were very happy when Santa made good on the returned OG doll.

Catherine said...

Memories of Barbie and knock off Barbies come back when I read this. Yes, some of the knock offs were prettier in many ways. I'm glad the little girl likes her OG doll, and good for her. But having seen both doll, I have to agree that there is a great difference in quality. I think in 20 years that AG doll, unless abused will still be in great shape but that OG doll....well, let's just say her secondary market value will not likely be anywhere near the same proportionatley.The older OG dolls, under the Battat label were more like the AG dolls, and I have a few of them. I don't like these new ones. However, a reasonably priced, adorable Target and other toy store brand is Hearts4Hearts or something like that. They seem to be well made, inexpensive, have great themes and stories and are really cute. Check them out But any beloved doll is priceless and if you daughter loves that OG doll, it is the best doll for her, bless her.

Anonymous said...

I disagree on them being the same quality. We have had both and the target doll just wasn't the same. Try putting a high ponytail on the target doll, not only does alot of hair come out but you have alot of spaces where the scalp of the doll shows. Personally I like the teeth on American girls as well. And the American girls don't start at $150.00. They start at $105.00 and shipping which for that order total is 13.95. Also each doll is put together by hand not mass-produced by machine. You are getting what you pay for. If you want a doll that can be passed down to generation to generation of girls and last American girl is the doll you want.

MommyOntheEdge said...

I have to agree w/ the others who say, "you get what you pay for". Good for your daughter for sticking up for her doll, but quality is quality, and OG's don't have it. As the above poster said they do not start at $150, they start at $105 and that includes a complete outfit w/ shoes, shirt, pants, and underwear PLUS a code for the girls to play online games w/ the doll they chose for the My American Girl(look alike) line. OR. Complete period appropriate outfit, and book for the Historical dolls.

I do agree the price is a tad high, however American Girl also provides "hospital" service to get your dolls restored if they get ruined...no, it's not free, but OG offers nothing. They are disposable and that's why they are cheap to buy and cheaply made.

my .02

Anonymous said...

"The budget doll, however, can be found at Target, with a slew of multi-cultural friends."
There are literally dozens of different dolls with different skin tones, hair, eyes, and even face mold combinations to choose from at American Girl.

Is someone jealous?