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Something a bit different today. I am comparing a few 18 inch play dolls and giving away an Our Generation doll. Read to the end to see how to enter the giveaway. I hope you’ll enjoy.
I’ve had a few questions regarding the differences between 18 inch playdoll brands. There are so many different brands that it would be a huge undertaking to compare all of them. I’ve chosen four to start with. If you have questions about a particular brand or specific doll, leave a comment and I’ll attempt to answer your question.
Today I have An Adora doll, an American Girl doll (AG), an Our Generation doll (OG) and a Madame Alexander doll (MA). In a few weeks, I will add comparisons to a few other doll brands. I’ll list them in Alphabetical order with a similar list for each so you can determine pros and cons. These are merely my opinions, I have not been compensated by, nor am I affiliated with any of these companies.
One note: Through friends, family members and shop models, I had over 30 American Girl Dolls to compare and only a few dolls of the other brands. It is entirely possible there are differences in individual dolls that are not addressed here.
I have used an American Girl #43 in the comparison photos to show height, etc.
First up is the Adora doll, Cost $69.99 Jasmine; Item number 13B. Jasmine is a little bit shorter than the other dolls. I think this doll is adorable, she has an endearing face and seems younger than the other dolls.
Height: At 17 ½ inches she is smaller than the other dolls. I think this works because she also seems younger.
Body Type: She has a half cloth body, vinyl shoulder, chest, legs and arms. Her body is also smaller than the other three, they cannot easily share clothing. She does share some clothing and shoes. However her toes are wider and you risk stretching your other doll’s shoes out. Dresses, skirts, many pants and shorts look like she raided an older sibling’s closet. She is able to wear some Madam Alexander clothing.
Hair/Wig: Her hair is pretty and holds up well to repeated brushing and styling. It seems to be very good quality, this doll is three years old and has been used as a shop model. Her hair has been combed and styled numerous times, it still looks new. However, she arrived with two ponytails, a cute style that is very difficult to replicate without showing off her scalp. Her hair is not really suited to several styles because of the rooting pattern. She looks cute in a hairband, one braid or one ponytail. Barrettes usually work well. Her scalp is painted so that helps a bit.
Eyes: Quite pretty. Sleep eyes with a coppery hue. Long, soft lashes.
Coloring: Lovely. Perhaps a bit too pink on the tops of feet and back of hands but she definitely has nice shading and depth of color.
Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: She does not sit well, legs need to be splayed and she still tips backward easily. She stands easily. Feet can face forward or pointed in. Arms move freely, sideways as well as up and down. She poses well. One of my favorite things about her is the neck joint; you can tilt her head to both sides as well as front and back. This allows you to better express emotion. In my opinion, she has the best neck joint of these four brands.
Clothing: Well made, finished seams, stylish.
A very nice quality doll. I think she makes a great slightly younger friend/sibling to the other dolls. However, if you have other 18 inch dolls you’ll probably have to buy your Adora a different wardrobe.
Pros: Head/neck joint is fantastic. Cute, Several different options for hair/eye/skin color.
Cons: Can’t wear other 18 inch doll’s clothing
Next an American Girl doll. Cost $115; Truly Me #43. I am fond of American Girl Dolls, they offer a wide range of face shapes, skin tones, hair and eye colors. The smile suggests a pleasant demeanor without being overdone and the quality is quite good. My daughter has an American Girl doll that was passed down from an aunt; E’s Kirsten is over 18 years old and is still in beautiful shape. I also like the stories and historical characters AG offers.
Height: 18 to 18 ½ inches. I measured 37 American Girl dolls, there are slight size variations in height and body size.
Body Type: Stuffed cloth body, vinyl limbs and head.
Hair/Wig: the American Girl’s hair outshines all the other dolls. (pun intended) Her wig has amazing color variation and can be styled in dozens of ways. The wig cap is rarely noticeable. After years of gentle combing and styling the hair remains soft and shiny. I have a strong preference for wigs over rooted hair. Worst case scenario, if your doll’s hair is ruined you can replace a wig from options that are readily available. It is more difficult (though not impossible) to replace rooted hair.
Eyes: Beautiful sleep eyes; nice range of colors, realistically varied.
Coloring: Well done, some depth with cheeks blushed. Lip colors, eyelashes and brows in complimentary colors; a fairly realistic look for a 10 year old child type doll.
Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: Good range of motion in her arms, side to side, up and down. Holds a pose well, stands alone. Toes can be straight or pointed inward. Sits ok but legs are splayed. That is a common issue with play dolls and doesn’t appear to hamper imaginative play. Head turns side to side but you cannot tilt her chin.
Clothing. Very well made, nicely styled. Easily fits both OG and MA dolls. But the outfits are pricey.
All things considered, I think AG dolls are a good investment for a child who cares for his/her belongings and is a confirmed doll lover. They are expensive but seem to last forever. In the event that your doll is damaged, you have the option of sending it to the “AG doll hospital”; an important factor for a child who becomes emotionally attached to dolls. It can be heartbreaking when a special doll is broken beyond repair.
Pros: Most options for hair/skin/eye color. More face molds, great quality, history, literature.
Cons: Expensive, very few stores so you may need to pay shipping cost.
Our Generation from Target. Cost 24.99. This is a very nice, inexpensive option. The OG dolls have a range of skin, eye and hair colors. Their faces are sweet. The color and feel of her hair is lovely.
Height: 18 to 18 1/2 inches
Body Type: Cloth body, vinyl head, arms and legs
Hair/Wig: Rooted hair is soft and thick. It tangles more easily than the Adora or AG dolls. Her Scalp does show if you attempt two braids or two ponytails. Hairbands and barrettes work fine. One ponytail or one braid are also nice.
Eyes: Sleep eyes with long, stiff plastic lashes. Her eyes seem too small for the eye openings and the eyes tend to rattle and move a little from side to side. The whites show and it results in a slightly vacant or surprised look. The metal insides of the eye mechanism are sometimes visible.
Coloring: The vinyl color has a slight orange hue, not bad on its own, more noticeable next to some other dolls. Freckles are a sweet touch, eyebrows are subtle and well done.
Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: Doll stands easily, sits fine. Her arms only move up and down, her head is tilted up. Her head turns but does not tilt. She appears to be standing at attention. She may soften up with play, this doll is just out of the box and has not been handled except for these photos.
Clothing: Clothing review is mixed, underwear and tights are too small and will not stay on her butt. Blouse and skirt are cute and seem sturdy enough, skirt is loose around the waist and it is very short. Seams are not finished but that doesn’t seem to present a problem. I chose this doll because I liked the color of her hair and her cute knit boots. Unfortunately, her boots were coming apart before she was removed from the box. I have easily repaired them but it annoys me a tad to have to repair a new toy.
I also purchased an OG outfit, a pair of overalls, boots and top. Very cute but the fabric is thin, the blouse came out of the package with two pinholes by the front placket and the boots are extremely difficult to get on the doll and nearly impossible to take off. My 13 year old was unable to remove them. It cost me several minutes and a pinched thumb to remove the rubber boots. They do fit Adora Jasmine so it wasn’t a complete loss.
This Our Generation doll is cute and I’m certain she would appeal to children in the target age range. She would be a very nice play doll for a child or would be cute re-dressed as Ginny Weasley.
Pros: Price, Several hair/eye/skin color options.
Cons: She doesn’t photograph as well as Adora or AG. Quality is sometimes very good, sometimes not. This is not a brand I would feel confident ordering online. I recommend choosing OG dolls and clothing in store as much as possible.
Madame Alexander Playfriend Cost $59.95 I like this doll too. I may keep her as a shop model. She has a quizzical, somewhat serious, little girl expression. If I keep her, I will repaint her lips and possibly her brows. I will eventually remove her rooted hair and replace it with a wig. I am going to wait several months so I can see how her hair stands up to repeated combing and styling.
Height: She is the tallest at almost 19 inches. I could not get a back to back photo because she kept falling over and taking the other dolls with her! 🙂
Body Type: Cloth lower torso, vinyl shoulders, head, arms and legs. Her chest/shoulder plate is oddly flat. She has the softest, squishiest body of these four dolls. I think little girls will find her the cuddliest. Her head has a better range of motion than AG or OG but is not as flexible as Adora. She has very pretty hands. She is slightly thinner than AG or OG but can share most clothing.
Hair/Wig: Rooted hair felt awful out of the box, it was sticky, stiff and oily. I broke an AG brush and bent a pick while trying to comb it. I washed her hair with wig shampoo, it helped but was still unpleasantly stiff and difficult to comb. Then I tried an argon gloss shampoo and conditioner and it worked wonders, her hair looks lovely and it is soft and full. It does tangle easily and some styles show her scalp. Quite a bit of her hair comes out even with gentle combing. I don’t know how it will hold up to repeated styling. I will report back in a few months (If you buy this doll as a gift, I would unpackage it and wash her hair before gifting it.)
Eyes: She has sleep eyes with nylon lashes. Her eyes are two shades of brown, pinwheel style. Fine but not as detailed as Adora or AG.
Coloring: I like the coloring of her vinyl, cheeks and brows. am not a fan of her brown, painted eyelid and two outer lashes. Her lips are very bright but the colors do coordinate well. Her high eyebrows give her a slightly surprised look.
Sits/Stands/Range of Motion: This is her worst quality, she can only stand with very careful balancing. Sitting is possible but difficult, she sits best with her back propped against something. She kept falling while I was taking photos; I finally gave up and put her in a doll stand. On the plus side, her arms move sideways as well as up and down. And her head can tilt as well as turn.
Clothing: Nicely finished dress, tights are ample enough to stay on, she does not come with panties and the liner of her shrug is uneven and pulls a bit. All of her clothing looks sturdy and should hold up to repeated changing. Her vinyl shoes are flexible, cute and easy to put on. MA easily wears AG and OG clothing.
Overall, I think this is another good choice. She is pretty and seems to be nice quality. The inability to stand or sit easily may frustrate some children.
Pros; lovely hands and face shape.
Cons: She doesn’t stand on her own. Uncertain hair quality.
In conclusion, I think each of these dolls has something to recommend them. I expected AG to be the clear winner but the others are quite nice at their price points.
I hope you found this informative useful. If you’d like to enter the giveaway for the red headed, Our Generation doll, simply subscribe and confirm your subscription. Then leave a comment here telling me about your favorite doll. Or you can comment and tell me why you’d like to win and what you will name her if you win.
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The winner will be determined by random number generator on August 31, 2016. The winner will be notified here and will need to contact me within 72 hours with an address to send the doll.