Keeping Girls Interested in Dolls a Tall Order for Toy Companies

I just finished reading a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, Attack of the Tall Dolls – Toy Companies Make Them Bigger to Keep Girls Playing With Them Longer, that talks about how the various toy companies are making dolls taller in attempt to help girls see their dolls more as companions and therefore play with them longer. As a phenomenon called “age compression” continues to occur with our society, what were activities generally enjoyed by 9-11 year olds are now the hits among 7-9 year olds. Girls are giving up baby dolls sooner – often by 7 – and hair styles, fashion and dolls with common interests are winning out with the 7-11 set.

So, what are the hot 18″ doll lines for girls ages 6-11 this Christmas?

American Girl - My American Girl doll line American Girl continues to lead the pack when it comes to “companion” dolls with its line of 18″ dolls that are meant to be a girls’ best friend. Their line of historical dolls and books are also popular with girls and Moms, alike. At $95 each, they are definitely pricey, but the dolls are high quality and can easily become keepsakes. American Girl released its online world, InnerstarU this summer as another way to keep today’s plugged in girls interested in their dolls a little longer. American Girl dolls are only available at or at one of the nine American Girl stores.
Best Friends Club Ink, Dolls Best Friends Club, Ink dolls were introduced last fall, were a huge seller for Christmas 2009 and I fully expect the line to be a big seller again this holiday season! The BFC, Ink dolls are 18″ tall, have realistic eyes, bendable knees, wear contemporary clothes and come with a journal and a second outfit – all for a very affordable $40 (approx.) price tag. You can find the Best Friends Club dolls at major retailers such as Walmart and Target, but Amazon seems to have the most complete selection of the dolls and their accessories. (click for complete BFC collection at Amazon)
Journey Girls dolls from Toys R Us Journey Girls, a new line of 18″ dolls from Toys R Us, features four different dolls each with different talents who like to do different things. Callie, Meredith, Alana and Taryn are the four different soft-bodied dolls. There is a line of clothes and accessories that is available for each doll as well.
Disney Princess & Me Tiana Disney‘s attempt to keep doll fans playing with its products longer is its new line of Princess and Me 18″ dolls featuring its five most popular princesses – Tiana, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella and Belle. Each doll retails for about $50 and comes with an exclusive Disney Princess and Me magazine filled with a full-color photos, princess tips, princess quiz and royal ideas and an honorary princess certificate, plus additional accessories. The dolls are available through the Disney Store and you can purchase the Disney Princess and Me dolls through Amazon, too.
Dollie and Me line from Alexander Doll Co. The Kahn Lancaster Lucas group has introduced a line of 18″ dolls along with a line of doll and matching girl sized outfits. The dolls are manufactured by the legendary Alexander Co. and the dolls look very similar to the Favorite Friend line they had last year. The Dollie & Me dolls can be purchased at (or in stores) and the line of matching doll and girl dresses can be found at Kohls and Amazon.
Maplelea Girls are a line of 18″ dolls inspired by the girls of Canada. The collection of five dolls representing the girls from the various Canadian regions are high quality, 18? vinyl play dolls. Taryn, Brianne, Alexi, Jenna and LΓ©onie. Maplelea dolls also have a complete line of furniture, clothes and accessories that go with the girls. You can read our complete review of the Maplelea Girl dolls here.

Other doll lines that are expected to be popular this holiday season also include:

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  1. Alexis says:

    hmmm I think thats very interesting actually and i do belive it…Disney new line though I think is very nice the dolls are very beutifull and I know my niece will want one for christmas

  2. Jessica says:

    I’ve seen these doll comercials. The one that REALLY creeps me out is the Princess and Me dolls. My cousin just got Tiana, but their eyes are creepy. I love Disney Princesses though.

  3. Danielle says:

    The Journey Girls are cute, but I still think AG is the best! As for the Disney dolls, I love disney princesses, but idk. They look cute but seem a little creepy to me.

  4. Grace says:

    I love the Disney girls. I love them all. I want to expand my collection of dolls from AG to Our Generation, Karito Kid, Life Of Faith, maybe a Disney doll, or something else like that. πŸ˜‰

  5. alex17 says:

    i love the disney princesses,karito kids,and american girl i think it it cool they are making them bigger for disney they normally had the barbies only

  6. Alessandra says:

    My favorite is AG, although I have to say that the BFC Ink dolls are quite cute. As for all the others, if this wasn’t written, well, the dolls probably wouldn’t have been popular. I haven’t even heard of the Kahn Lancaster Lucas! But, they aren’t ugly, just not cute to me. :) SO I love this! :)

  7. Alessandra says:

    My favorite is AG, although I have to say that the BFC Ink dolls are quite cute. As for all the others, if this wasn’t written, well, the dolls probably wouldn’t have been so popular. I haven’t even heard of the Kahn Lancaster Lucas dolls! But, they aren’t ugly, just not cute to me. :) SO I love this! :)

  8. Diana M says:

    well i still love american girl dolls and im 14. ive been in love with them since i was about 6 or 7. i cant ever get over them and even when i try, i really cant leave them alone.
    Samantha is my all time favorite doll along with Nellie and i am trying my best to own her entire collection. i only need a few more things.

  9. Alyssa aka (Alyssa8) says:

    I have or I want a lot of theese dolls from this article. I have AG’s,One Karito kid,and one My Twin.Im really want a BFC ink ,a Jorney Girl,and a Moxie Teen for my b-day.

  10. Danielle says:

    Diana- I’m 13 and I love my AGs more than my 10 and 5 year old sisters do! :) (And that’s a lot! )

    AG are gorgeous dolls and I hope that one day I can be an author of some AG books. I can only hope that I can think of a good historical time that they haven’t already used yet! :)

  11. Danielle says:

    It would also be cool to design dolls and accesories for AG, too! I already visualized some dolls:

    -60’s Doll: Denise- african-american with curly textured hair, dark brown eyes, and a lover of music. She wants to follow her dream of being a singer when she grows up, but she faces many challenges along the way. (for example, segregation.) She would have a different face from Addy’s, but still pretty!

    – Gold Rush doll: ???- chinese with long black hair (no bangs) and oval eyes. Her family is moving from boom town to boom town all around California because of the Gold Rush. She wishes for a real, permanent home that will make her feel safe and happy in a world of theives, mining, and hardship.

    – Alaskan doll: ???- thick dark brown hair, gray oval eyes, and pale skin. IDK what her story would be about.

  12. Jenny says:

    :O I would LOVE to be an Ag author!!!! The 60’s is my MOST wanted must-write-about series for AG :) An Amish girl can be good too.

    An Inuit girl can have problems with missionaires

  13. Grace says:

    I ordered JLY 39 today!!! I mean MAG but who cares?? lol
    Plus the lilac glasses and birthstone earrings!
    I’m waiting til Christmas though πŸ˜›

  14. Jessica says:

    Hey! Just came from watching Megamind! It was awesome!

  15. Jessica says:

    Hey Everyone! Janice came Home!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜€ She is in perfect shape!

  16. Sara says:

    Hi!! Wow! I haven’t been on here for awhile have I??

    Anyway, I was wondering, does anyone know where I might be able to buy any dresses for dolls that are from say Little House on the Prairie? I’m asking cause I am making dolls from AG dolls with Laura, Mary, etc.. and I need dresses cause I don’t have any! If anyone could help, it would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!!!

  17. Danielle says:

    Well most of those clothes would be from the Kirsten collection, but she’s retired now… :(
    I guess, ebay???

  18. Danielle says:

    The Karito Kids are actually rlly cute! :) Click on the link at the top of the page!

  19. Madeline says:

    Danielle, I have a Karito Kid (Lulu) I love her!

  20. Ellie says:

    I think it’s really sad that dolls are not as popular as they used to be. Video games and other electronics are taking over. Kids don’t care for toys as much anymore, and I won’t be surprised if many toy places go out of business because of this.

  21. Ashlee says:


    I really love the idea of an Alaskan doll!
    I would so get one if they ever did make it :)

  22. Ana says:


  23. Judi says:

    American Girl already made an Alaskan doll. She was part of a different series of dolls that were smaller. You can probably find her on e-bay. A black doll dealing with segregation might be better placed in the 50’s rather then the 60’s. A 60’s doll could be involved with the civil rights movement though.

  24. Jenny says:

    We all agreed that an AA Girl in the 60s is a HUGE importance to AG. And why can’t we have another Alaskan? They don’t sell Minuk’s book anymore.

  25. Heather says:

    there are 12 white histoicals and no black girl of the years and there are more white just like yous than black.

  26. Megan says:

    I would like a pilgrim american girl doll. :) she would be cool