It seems nowadays that everyone has some type of 18" doll collection. American Girl from American Girl, Our Generation from Target, Friends Boutique from Walmart, Journey from Toys r us and Costco has one called Madame Alexander that may only be out during the holidays. While all these dolls have the same theme in mind they all vary in many ways.
My oldest Child (6) has been asking for an American Girl doll since she was 4. Did I think at 4 she was ready for an AG doll NO WAY! I was not ready to spend over $100 for a doll I thought that would be like all others and get thrown in the closet. After much shopping I found a doll from Target, the Our Generation doll that looked similar to the AG doll and cost was much less. I thought this is the doll for her. So she got it for Christmas. Every once in awhile it does get thrown in the closet but it is the only doll that she continues to drag out and play with and love to this day. In fact when she got her doll her younger sister who was 2 at the time wanted one. So I got online and found a tally tot doll for her that needed a new home. Is this the same as the Our Generation doll for a 2 year old yes to a mom's eye no. However, up until this year it has been a good companion to my youngest. This Christmas season the fighting has started over my oldest's OG doll. So she and I thought it would be great to get my youngest her own OG doll. After this long story here is my reason for posting this.....
With all the different collections of 18" dolls I thought that all the clothes and accessories should be interchangeable. While most all there are a few that are not. BEWARE!
The OG doll from Target- When E (my oldest) got her doll back in 2009 the body was smaller then they are now. Now along with making the body bigger (fatter not taller) the clothes are looking cheaper. I am not sure if they switched manufactures or what but they just don't hold up. This also makes it difficult to interchange the clothing. Some of my older daughters clothes are tight on this new doll and the new clothes are really loose on the old doll. The hair on the older version of this doll is ok for awhile but then becomes really a PITA to brush out when it becomes a ball of mess. The hair on the new doll seems to be a different texture and so far less of a mess. The hair is also placed in lines though out the head and if you let it down from the hairstyle it's in when you buy it she becomes bald in certain spots. On the OG dolls the eyes do open and close. Her body is soft and her arms are soft Vinyl that can pose. You can buy this doll at target ranging in price from $22-$35 depending if you are buying just the doll or some extra accessories in the box. This brand also has a number of different accessories you can buy to go with your doll. Overall if you have a younger child or don't want to spend the $$$ on the AG doll this is a great starter version. Also, when purchasing the clothes it takes forever to cut them out of the box. They have them sewn in. Even though there are a lot of negatives we love our OG dolls.
My nieces, who are 4, received the AG dolls for Christmas this year and love them. I saw them the first day and again a couple days later and they still look perfect. The hair on these dolls seemed to be more "real like" and was placed throughout the head instead of just lines and looked like a real head of hair. Seems to be able to be styled easier. Their eyes do open and close as well and their bodies are soft cloth and vinyl arms and legs. These dolls range in price from $105 for doll and book to $124 for doll, book, and accessories. The other cool thing about these dolls are you can customize them to look more like your child. If their hair gets to be a mess and you are one of the lucky people to have an AG store close by then take them in and for a small fee you can have them straighten up and style your dolls hair. These clothes for this doll were great in that you open the box and take the clothes right out. Overall this is a great doll if you are sure your daughter/son can take care of them and you want to spend the money.
I was super excited to see that Walmart has jumped on board with the 18" doll collection as well. Their prices on the accessories such as the bed, horse, clothes etc was a couple bucks lower then target. Since we now own most of targets clothes we can get different styles. The doll itself is about the same price as the OG doll but the quality is quite different. Her eyes also open and close, but her body is different. She is thinner then the new OG doll and the lower half of her torso is soft but the upper region is plastic. Her arms and legs are suppose to be posableOG horse it's covered in material that gives it the real horse feel and it neighs. Now we are on the 2nd horse of the year, the first one gave up the neigh 2 days after Christmas, even replacing the batteries didn't work. So if you get this horse also purchase the warranty to go with it for $3. The OG horse comes with more accessories but is all plastic and is quiet. The clothes in the packaging are a little easier to get out then the OG clothes and come with shoes in most outfits. Whereas the OG clothes come with just clothes and no shoes.
I noticed this Christmas season that Toys r us has a 18" version as well called Journey. They don't have as many dolls to choose from and their clothes selection is small also. I bought this doll for my nieces this Christmas. I didn't notice until I got home that their eyes don't open and close but they are beautiful. Their torso's are thinner and therefore the clothes that go with them are thinner. Remember up top I said not all clothes will fit.. HERE IT IS!! THE JOURNEY CLOTHES DON"T FIT OTHER 18" DOLLS. We have two Journey outfits in our collection and with E's doll (the older version of OG) you can barely squeeze her in (but I have to change her) and with K's doll (this years version of OG) don't even think about it. So for us no more Journey clothes. Now with that being said, they do have more of the stylish clothes and they come with shoes. They also have different accessories such as a handicap setup with wheelchair (which I thought was cool), a fireplace lodge, snow boarding accessories... From the OG to FB this doll is on the higher end at $32 for just the doll, the clothes range from 7.99-14.99 and the extra sets are in the $30 range. From reading other reviews the hair is rooted in the same manner as the OG girl but doesn't get tangled as easily. Overall, my nieces were excited to get this doll and again it looks like a good starter doll.
Last but not least the Madame Alexander doll... I haven't heard anything about this one.. If anybody has one and wants to fill me in on the quality it would be greatly appreciated.