On Saturday after Natalie’s swim meet and before we went to the florist to pick up a corsage for my son’s homecoming date, we stopped in at the Then & Now Doll Club’s annual doll show. Natalie and I could have stayed there for hours looking at all the dolls from old bisque baby dolls, to Nancy Ann Storybook dolls, Madame Alexander dolls, Barbie, Tonner, Magic Attic, a few American Girl dolls and lots and lots of dolls we had never seen. It was fascinating! 

In our looking around we considered adopting a Magic Attic Megan doll, a few Helen Kish beauties caught my eye, we saw some very old American Girl mini dolls, and a Gotz girl or two called out to me. But when it came right down to it, while looking at an Addy that was in terrible shape and didn’t even have her original body (if I am right), Natalie was captivated by this Pleasant Company Bitty Baby from around 1996.

old American Girl Bitty Baby

Meet Kiki! Now we don’t know 100% what year this actual Bitty Baby is from, based on her neck stamp, we are estimating that she was 1995-1996.  She is wearing the 1996 Gardening Outfit and has her Bitty Bear, the original watering can, her coloring book and a pack of unused crayons that came with this set. Adorable! And she even has the old style shoes on.

Neck stamp on American Girl Bitty Baby from 1996

This is Kiki’s neck stamp. According to one resource this neckstamp definitely puts Bitty around the 1996 timeframe.

1996 Bitty Baby Gardening set

The Gardening outfit that Bitty came with is pristine! Her accessories are like new which is amazing for her actual age. We paid $25 for the doll plus her accessories which in my opinion is a great deal. 

1996 Bitty Baby Gardening set

A closer look at her bear which has a tag on the back that says “Made in China for Pleasant Company”. Her bear is also LIKE NEW and feels different from the newer Bitty Bears like the one we got in 2004. Overall Bitty is in good shape, except for her eyes. There is something really wonky going on here. It almost looks like someone tried to do an eye swap on their own and gave up half way, or they may be her original eyes and one had aged very differently than the other. Thoughts?

Pre-Mattel Bitty Baby

So now the decision we have to make. Do we send Miss Kiki off to the doll hospital for new eyes? Do we try to replace her eyes ourselves? Or do we just keep her as is, and love her imperfections and all? 

Tip: Doll Shows are a lot of fun to go to and you can get some great deals there too – especially if you go towards the end of the show when the thought of packing everything back up is daunting to the ladies who have the booths. However, look at what you are buying very closely and decide if the price matches the value. We saw an Addy for $40 but her hair was a train wreck to say the least and she had a zip tie instead of string ties at her neck. Another lady was selling Kaya for $90, and while she looked good, I had no real way of knowing how old she was and for an extra few dollars we could have bought her brand new. If she would have been willing to come down on her price, I would have considered it, but she wouldn’t.

Have you ever been to a doll show? What did you think?