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January 13, 2010

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What? You screwed her out of the Playmobile Castle for a,a,a doll? Wait, a half a doll?

My daughter got one American Girl doll for her 6th birthday and another one for her 7th birthday. My family keeps the dolls clothed. I like them because they are more like my daughter than the Barbies that keep showing up in my house. Her dolls go to scouts, school, karate, all things she does (and thank god for people who sew the outfits for craft shows). She also knows they are special and to take care of them. Her Barbies are selfish clothes hogging twits and she rarely plays with them.
My sister in law bought my daughter a Baby Alive doll a few years ago. I hid it after Christmas and sold it on eBay since I could never get the receipt to return the doll.

$150? Holy hell. Thank goodness there are no daughters in my house and no Canadian Girl Dolls either. Jeepers!

I bought my daughter a Baby Alive when she was 2 years old. Brought it home, gave it water, watched it pee; and within 48 hours my daughter was potty trained! Something about her watching the doll do it, just made it all click for her. It was worth EVERY penny and saved me a ton on Pull Ups to boot!

I have to say, the AmGirl franchise has done a really good job with the books. Some of the best children's authors in the industry have written AmGirl branded books, and they do a nice diversity of protagonists.

My daughter is still, mercifully, too young to care which "baybay? baybay? baybay?" a doll is. But I'm pretty sure we'll end of over there in AmGirl land, and the fact that the books are of such quality has me a little less freaked out.

(Yes, I've read them. Not all of them, but 4. I'm a kid-lit geek. I stood in line for 45 minutes to get Lawrence Yep to sign his at the AmGirl booth at the American Library Association meeting some years ago.)

I have heard of the phenomenon that is American Girl but had NO IDEA they were that ridiculously priced!! Hopefully I can keep my baby girl in the dark about these dolls...

But I have to say, $100 for a doll seems a fair trade to keep another doll that shits all over your house out. I have never understood the lure of a doll that actually pees and poops. I guess since kids are fascinated with bodily functions it makes sense. But how about if those same kids then became responsible for cleaning up the shit it leaves all over your house? Better yet, have them responsible for the kitty litter or cleaning up dog shit in your back yard! Problem solved!!

I thought I'd escape the phenomenon - living abroad. But we were gifted two American Girl dolls, and then again two more. I was scowling about them, until one day my 8-year old daughter explained to me how a mortgage works, something she'd learned from reading and re-reading the book that accompanied her depression-era doll. Another friend had a similar story: her daughter learned all about Title IX from the literature that came with her hippie-styled doll. At least there's a little slice of history with these tacky merchandise-driving dolls.

My daughter is 15 now, and doesn't play with her AG dolls, but they (and all their accessories) are packed up carefully and put in the attic for HER daughter. She has four dolls, with a large wardrobe and furniture for each. It represents a lot of time and money from the grandparents and from us.

But.

She loved those dolls, she took excellent care of them (and she was not particularly careful with any of her other things), and she cherished them. Still does, actually.

She's also the only hs sophomore in the senior level AP Government class and she's got a 95 average. She loves history and I can honestly say that AG dolls were responsible.

We're not big believers in our kids having tons of cheap, crappy toys...instead, we'd rather they have a few, well-made and loved things. AG girls definitely fit that paradigm. Sure, you can go ape-shit with the accessories..but you don't have to. And if you have grandparents who have some trouble with limits and boundaries, then pointing them toward AG stuff is perfect...lots to choose from, it can be expensive, and best of all, your kid will actually play with the stuff for years and years.

Girl Child got the American Girl doll - Elizabeth, one of the Colonial Era dolls - last year for Christmas. I'm a fan of the American Girl stuff....Expensive? Yeah. Definitely. But they've gotten GC curious about history, including crafts, food, clothing, etc. Making history relatable to a 7 year old is a big accomplishment in my world.

Now, she wants a Nintendo DSi. THAT's something she's going to have to earn. And if she begs me for a Zhu Zhu Pet one more time I'm going to implode.

P.S. Moon Sand is evil.

Oops. I meant to say, "when the time comes..."

My husband's aunt and her partner bought my daughter an American Girl doll when she was about 6 months old. It's on a very high shelf in the closet. I thought I'd bring it down when she hit an appropriate age (she's 2, and not very gentle... I hear some girls are gentle).

But now I'm thinking that when the times goes, I'll start up a collection from her, pocket the money, give her the doll and buy myself a bottle of tequila.

Thanks, Kristen.

I just had to add, as a child of the 80s, I was your daughter, wanting that Baby Alive doll (her first incarnation that is, and I'm fairly certain it was not $100).

Christmas morning arrived, and lo and behold there she was under the tree, I was SO excited, called my best friend immediatly, and she reported that she too had received the precious doll. Now we could play our game out house with REAL BABIES!

However, my parents had a different idea. As I spread out the bottles, food mixes, spoons and prepared to make my baby truly 'alive', my father shook his head "Nope, you can feed it water, once, that's it." So, we gave the baby a bottle of water, and the whole family watched as my mother held her over the sink while she "peed". That was it, never again.

Baby "not so much" Alive is more like it.

I would have traded for an American Girl too.

I've managed to avoid this so far. But I don't think I'm going to be able to much longer. My five year old wants one desperately. I think I like that going halves on it idea.

We have seven. Yes, seven (I have two girls, but really. . .). The first they bought themselves with money they squirreled away for a year; the rest of them have been their "Santa gifts" for the past 3 years. You should see the set up in their room. They even got unfinished furniture from the local mill store that they'll paint with their dad---I can't stomach the AG prices for beds/dressers/etc.

And before everyone jumps on me, let me say that I'd rather spend $100 on a doll than on a piece of electronics. So when my 8yo said she wanted a DS or another doll, I didn't have to think twice (she got Ivy this Christmas; my other got Josephina). And when my oldest asked for Addy, the doll that escapes slavery, b/c she loved the story so much, I didn't think twice of getting her that for Christmas '08. In fact, our dolls upstairs look like a Benetton ad with every nationality represented except Indian (we don't have that doll. . .yet). I do have a gripe with their latest Doll of the Year who is supposed to be about the "great outdoors" but looks like she's leaving lunch at the country club, but, eh, I think there are many more things to worry about in the world than that.

(and to "B", I LOVE your daughter's comment about hoping her babies are black! awesome)

The 1/2 split is genius. Every time our boys ask when we are going to get a gaming system, we tell them that when they have the $, they can buy it. Shuts'em up every time.

Did the doll get the facial? That's all I want to know. Because, if not, I'll have to get her a gift certificate or something...

With the boys, I'm not as likely to face the pooping doll, but save me from the fifty thousand different Lego variations of space ships costing more than my actual car. Plus the Legos that my husband secretly wants.

Did you know the Baby Alive is a reincarnation of one in the 70s? One that I personally owned? I loved that thing. For some reason, my mother did not.

My girls both had American Girl dolls, and I have to say they played with them far more than most of their other toys. They stayed interested in them for quite some time too, so hopefully your investment will be worth it!

Those American Girl people are no fools, a catalog a day for months. I tried to hide/throw away as many as I could. But, both my daughters were set on a doll. I figured they were better than Barb*e, Bra^z, etc. We haven't been to a store yet, but I hear congratulatiosn are in order for making it through without needing a stiff drink! I love the idea of a 50/50 split, wish I had thought of that.

You KNOW that Baby Alive was invented by a man. No woman would ever, ever consider pooping a clever gimmick.

While we're on the subject, I'm 110% positive that Moon Sand was also the brainchild of the male persuasion. And I'll beat senseless anyone who claims otherwise with my blue-encrusted Dyson.

I'm going to have to consider the 50/50 split plan when it comes time for Katie to want one. Although I can guarantee you that her father will not be on board if it turns out that Katie needs a second surgery. Hell, I likely won't be on board either if that's the case.

@Country-Fried Mama - I SOOOO tried her to get Ivy - Julie's Asian friend with bangs.

My daughter says to me "Well, you should have gotten her WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE GIRL."

Alrighty then.

That American Girl doll catalog keeps showing up in the mail, and I know this conversation is coming.

I love your 50/50 split idea, and that company almost has me won over with the educational angle. I never thought I'd be able to justify purchasing a $100 doll, but never say "never."

It helps that the newest doll is a little Jewish girl with my name. When my 3-year-old gets around to asking for her, I'll be a soft touch, I fear.

Someone gave my daughter that baby alive doll. It is literally shitting all over my house if not supervised. I would gladly pay the $100 for the American Doll to avoid this shit.

I had the same problem here. My daugher BEGGED for one and finally last year I broke down and got her one with income tax. With it came the agreement that she had to take care of it very well and MAYBE I would take her to NYC to the store for her 7th birthday.

I had the same attitude about American Girl, and my daughter, who loves money more than oxygen, bought one at age four. She got a "Just like Me" doll, except she got the black one, and she's about as white as the wind-driven snow. She LOVES that little doll, and when racist relative pointed out that "Well honey, don't you realize that you are not black?" She responded with, "But I really hope my children are!"

Worth $100? Hell yes.

Right now M is still collecting spare change around the house instead of chores (she's two), but I fully intend on making her pay for part of toys, especially the ones I can't stand. We've already started talking about what she wants to save her money for. I think Build-a-Stuffed something will likely be the first place that she goes

We went through the same thing. When my daughter (now 13) started insisting she wanted an American Girl doll, I told her that I was not spending $100 on a doll and she would have to earn the money. Lo and behold, that child did everything imaginable to earn money - she was 8 at the time and she made a price list of chores around the house (wash windows - $1 each, fold laundry -$2 a load) and even went to work with her dad doing landscaping and shoveled mulch for him. Well, we of course ended up paying for the doll since we became her employer, but she earned the money and it really made her understand what it takes to buys the things she wants. She went on to buy several more over the years and now earns and saves money to buy things she really wants - a new iPod, expensive jeans, etc. I think the best thing you can do for your kids is teach them the value of the things they are buying. It has made her a rather thrifty shopper. I always laugh when I hear her look at a shirt she likes, glance at the tag, and put it back because it's too expensive.

We got the pooping doll this year - I tried to sway my daughter, too, promising she could feed a baby any time she wanted - we even have two still in diapers!Wouldn't you know that it got constipated right away and I had to declog the thing within hours of her opening it. Luckily, since she used all the food up at once, there is no possible pooping left to be done :)

Oh man... I do think it is good that you opted for a split. We haven't encountered issues with objectionable toys yet but in situations where Laurel just randomly wants something we discuss whether she really wants it and talk about the money factor, and then typically we have her chip in.

I can't stand overindulgence and as 50's as this makes me sound, I don't want Laurel growing up thinking money grows on trees. Even now, I can see her wheels turning and thinking more about purchases when she needs to chip in. And the occasions where she puts the crappy toy back on the shelf b/c she realizes somehow that it really isn't worth it are very gratifying.

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