Are you an avid collector of baby dolls?
If so, you know how much time and attention goes into curating a valuable collection. You’re likely looking for dolls that have meaning, carry worth, and catch your eye — and you’re not alone.
In the United States, the doll industry garners more than 2.8 billion in sales each year. That’s more than arts and crafts, games and puzzles, or even action figures and accessories.
One catalyst for this success? Persons, young and old, who appreciate the nostalgia, creativity, and innocence that baby dolls can evoke.
Today, we’re giving you an overview of some of today’s breakthrough dolls. They’re sure to make an excellent addition to your set.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. A New Girl Joins a Childhood Favorite
Pleasant Company released its first American Girl doll in 1986. Then, no one could have predicted the pop culture imprint the collection would leave.
The 18-inch baby dolls, dressed in historically accurate clothing with intricate and interesting backstories to match, went on to introduce an entire generation to a new and interactive way to absorb American history.
And now? That same generation is introducing their daughters to it, and even their granddaughters.
One of the newest gals to join the club? Z Yang!
Z (short for Suzie) is an avid filmmaker and stop-motion vlogger. As such, she is available along with a slew of film-related accessories, as well as her beloved scooter. Her jet-black hair is parted into sleek ponytails, and her t-shirt features an imprint of her signature camera hanging around her neck.
Z is already making major strides. In fact, she’s the main character in the American Girl web series, Z’s Crew! Her book, “The Real Z” details how the 13-year old is using her skills to learn all about filmmaking.
The Korean-American doll is part of American Girl’s “More Characters to Love in 2017” collection.
These characters were inspired by the comments and ideas that came from fans. They give parents and children a jumpstart on important conversations on diversity, inclusion, and much more.
American Girl has stated that it created Z to represent Korean American girls. This is an ethnicity the brand hasn’t featured in its major lineups until now. As Z hails from Seattle, she’s representative of that area’s significant Korean-American population.
Thus, Z isn’t just another doll. She’s breaking boundaries and encouraging girls to dream big and think outside the box. That makes her a win-win in our book!
2. An Olympic Superstar Inspires Girls to Dream Big
Gabby Douglas was just 17 when she, along with her “Fierce Five” teammates, took the gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Douglas was heralded for her athletic prowess during the Games. She was also celebrated as the first woman of color to best the individual all-around competition. Yet, it’s her activism off the mat that’s solidified her stance as a girl-power superstar.
A powerful voice in the fight against racism and bullying, Douglas has used her platform to bring awareness to issues plaguing youth around the globe. She’s also denounced cyberbullying and worked to reverse it after becoming subject to it via social media.
As such, it makes sense that Barbie® chose to commemorate her likeness, adding a Gabby Douglas Barbie® Doll to their “Shero” collection.
“Shero” dolls are based on women who’ve made strides in breaking boundaries. These are women who’ve opened perspectives and widened possibilities for girls around the world.
Other Sheros include Lucky magazine’s editor-in-chief Eva Chen, singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth, director Ava DuVernay, actress Emmy Rossum, pint-sized fashion designer Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, and singer Trisha Yearwood.
Douglas’ doll is a fierce and fabulous addition to this all-star lineup. These baby dolls come decked out in Douglas’ signature patriotic leotard. Her pink-and-black sweatsuit is also included. In addition, they are fully poseable to allow them to create those signature Douglas moves!
Add these baby dolls to your collection if you’re looking to add elements of modern pop culture and sports history — as well as some major female empowerment!
3. A Sixties Fad Gets an Animated Revamp
Thanks to DreamWorks’ animated feature, “Trolls,” which earned more than $344 million worldwide, the crazy-haired, bug-eyed little beauties have seen a substantial surge in both attention and adoration.
Originally marketed as “Dam dolls,” the first Trolls were created in 1959 by Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam. He carved one after he realized he couldn’t afford a Christmas gift for his daughter.
Wildly popular across Europe before crossing the pond and finding success in the United States during the mid-1960s, the original baby dolls in this collection were of top quality, featuring sheep hair and eyes made of real glass.
Yet, over time (and due to a hole in Dam’s copyright), they became marketed in less expensive imitations. Thus, while they continued to flourish in Denmark, they lost their footing for a period of time in the U.S.
Then, in the mid-1980s, an American manufacturer was granted the rights to import and sell Dam’s original creations. This reignited the toy craze that would help define eighties culture. These were sold as “Norfin Trolls” and came with a tagline and logo that read “Adopt A Norfin Troll.”
In 2013, the Dam family officially sold the intellectual property of the Trolls franchise to DreamWorks Animation, who turned it into box office gold. That’s why one of the best baby dolls to add to your current collection is a modern Troll doll!
These dolls offer everything we know and love about the original creatures, updated to incorporate fun new characters from the movie, with slightly reimagined facial features. One thing that hasn’t changed? That crazy, lovable hair!
4. A Beloved Character Brings the Prairie Home
Thanks to digital streaming, fans of “Little House on the Prairie” can see Laura Ingalls Wilder on their screens any time they want.
The series, which ran from 1974 to 1982, depicted Wilder’s life on a Minnesota farm in the late 1800s. It was a loosely based on the autobiographical “Little House” book series created by the real Laura Ingalls Wilder.
For fans of both the books and its on-screen adaptation, Wilder represents everything gritty, girly, and inspirational about surviving — and thriving — in the 19th century, agrarian Midwest.
Now, their favorite character is available for purchase, expanding the influence that freckled, auburn-haired gal has on fans around the world.
The Queens Treasures officially licensed its Little House on the Prairie® Laura Ingalls Wilder doll to allow fans, both old and young, to take Wilder home with them.
Featuring her signature pigtails and expressive eyes, the doll comes complete with a ruffly nightgown, patchwork quilt, and a rag doll. The set’s keepsake box handily converts into a bed for Wilder, which also becomes a log cabin upon closure.
These baby dolls are an excellent addition for anyone wanting to add a sweet dose of nostalgia to her collection. After all, a trademark Wilder quote is “Home is the nicest word there is.” She’d be a great fit for yours!
5. An Empowering Brand Introduces a Flexible Favorite
The AZIAM Yoga brand is no stranger to creating products that inspire girls to dream big and be themselves. With a line of dolls, clothing, books, and yoga accessories under their belt, they make cultural awareness and diversity fun.
One way they succeed in this endeavor? By creating dolls that exemplify the myriad identities that girls can take on. For example, their line of “Asana” dolls includes a surfer girl, nature girl, fashion girl, zen girl, study girl, healthy chef, and more!
One of their latest baby dolls, the AZIAM Asana Yoga Girl, is marketed as the world’s first yoga doll. Her body is fully articulated at 14 points, meaning she’s not just poseable — she’s yoga poseable, able to contort into real yoga positions.
The doll set comes with a Pilates ball, two hand weights, a yoga mat, and a hairbrush. You can even purchase a book about her, “Asana’s First Yoga Class.”
Need another reason to check this doll out?
For each Asana doll sold, 10% of the profits go toward the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This organization is built to inspire young people toward a healthier tomorrow.
The Asana Yoga Girl doll is perfect to add to your collection. You may even want to buy an extra one to give to that special young girl in your life who could use an encouraging reminder that she’s special just the way she is!
Your Source for Everything Baby Dolls: Learn More
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If so, we’re the resource for you!
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