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2010 Award
My American Girl Doll
( American Girl $95 Score: )

Instead of a premade doll, this year's American Girl is one you custom designed online. You and your child decide if her hair is blonde, brunette, curly, straight. You decide her skin tone and if she has freckles or wears glasses. You and your child can go online and custom-choose all the variables and then outfit her, too. Of course, you need a wardrobe budget and if price is not a limiting factor you can order up matching clothes for child and doll, not to mention all the furniture and accessories. There's even a manicure set and chair for a pedicure with a footrest - honest! Unlike the historic dolls this comes without a book as her story is one created entirely by the child she belongs to. Instead of a book, the company has created a website with games, quizzes, and activities that girls can enter via "Innerstar University" with an access code that comes with the doll. The games are designed for very young users. We have to confess that what has always set the American Girl apart from so many others was the quality of the dolls themselves, the book connection as well as the links to history. Their stories made history come alive with books by well know writers and the period clothes and crafts were a part of the package. This stripped down design-your-own-doll will surely have appeal to many, as will the website, but we hope that American Girl will not change its long standing mission.  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Review Published:

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