I popped in for a quick peek at my local thrift store, and look what I found!
An authentic Bitty Twin doll from American Girl! Ok, so she looked more like this when I got her:
When I first saw this doll, I picked it up and quickly set it down again. I'm not too interested in this style of doll, especially with that wild paint job on the toes. But then I caught a glimpse of the tag and picked it up again. Could it be? Yep! Sure enough, the tag said American Girl, so I checked for the neck stamp, and there it was! I've never seen an official AG item at any of the thrift stores, so I was pretty stoked. At $4, I decided I had to bring her home and see what I could do.
The doll didn't come with any clothes, so I put her in my new Espari plaid outfit for pics. These clothes are designed for slimmer dolls, so the dress won't close at all in the back, but I think it still looks cute. She can't stand on her own, but she sits quite well on this little wooden bench.
Bitty babies and bitty twins are sort of an odd size, so finding affordable clothes to fit can be tricky. At 15 inches, they are shorter and wider than typical 18 inch dolls but bigger than standard 12 inch baby dolls. The outfit above is a conglomeration of pieces from different doll lines. The shirt is from AG, the tutu from Walmart, the shoes from Springfield, and the socks from Espari.
Here she is next to Saige for a comparison. The Bitty Twins aren't scaled right for the 18 inch dolls, but I think they have realistic toddler proportions and are a perfect size for little ones to carry around. Saige even let our new little friend borrow her t-shirt. I'm not sure I would pay full price for this doll, but I do think she is a cutie. I noticed that AG now offers bitty twins for sale individually for $75, so you don't have to pay $125 for a set if you only want one. I think that is a smart move. Bitty Babies are pretty easy to find on the secondary market for a reasonable price, and who knows? You might even run across one in a thrift store or at a garage sale.
I have been hearing about the new doll line Espari for while now, so I just had to go to Barnes and Noble and check them out. These dolls and clothing seem to be made by the same company that produces the Journey Girl line for Toys R Us. I picked up the Pretty Plaid reversible fashion pack, and I really love it. The set is available from Barnes and Noble stores or online, and it retails for $19.99. It includes a black beret, denim jacket, reversible dress (red on one side and plaid on the other), black belt with bow, black boots, black flats, white ankle socks, a white slip, and a faux pearl bracelet.
A few days ago, my daughter's beloved Mooshka Tots doll had an unfortunate accident and ended up having to go for a spin in the washing machine. She turned out good as new, and I figured now is as good a time as any to finally post her review.
This spring my son received some money for Easter, so I took him to Toys R Us to pick out a toy. He saw this little doll and insisted on buying it for his younger sister. I told him he didn't need to spend his Easter money on someone else and could buy something for himself, but he insisted that was what he wanted to do.
I was impressed with his generosity and kindness, and his sister was delighted at the gift. The doll came with a free e-book for my tablet, and all my kids love it. They are all enthralled with the Mooshka Village world, and my son was super excited that one of the dolls shares his birth date.
We got our Mooshka Tot for 8$ on sale, and it is still available at that price at Toys R Us and Target. There are also larger Mooshka Dolls available and a wonderful website with free activities and printables.
Overview: This lovely set comes with a cloth-bodied doll, a cloth finger puppet, a beautiful box with carrying handle, and four paper double-sided paper dolls that are attached to each other. The story behind the dolls is that they are paper dolls that all held hands and came to life. The tots are little sisters to the full-sized Mooshka dolls, and each has a distinct personality and back story.
Quality: The doll is very well made and looks like it will hold up to years of play. It has already been machine washed once, and it came out very clean and did not show any extra wear. The hair accessory is attached very securely, so it's appropriate for young children.
Cost and Play Value: The tot dolls retail for about $13, which I think is a little bit steep, but the sale price of $8 is reasonable. The little accessories definitely add to the play value, and I love that the company offers a free e-book along with online activities and printables. I think these dolls are priced appropriately for the target age range, which I would say is 2-5.
Clothing and Hair: The little dresses are so bright and beautiful, and I love that the shoes and stockings are not detachable. The hair is drawn on with cute little pigtails. It does not allow for hair play, but it will stay looking great for a long time with no maintenance, unlike dolls with wigs or rooted hair.
Recommendations: I would definitely suggest this doll for a preschooler. The finger puppet and removable dress allow for imaginative play, and the rest of the doll is very low-maintenance. The online components and downloads enhance the play experience, and the characters are lovable and relate-able. I like the back story and character details. These are great dolls!
At my local Tuesday Morning store, I was able to find these cute Paw-Parazzi mini clothing sets for under $3. They are made to fit the mini pets, which are also available at Tuesday Morning. Each set comes with an outfit, a hat, a mini purse or bag, and a larger bag to fit everything in. The Mini bag is perfect for the AG minis, and the big bag works great for 18 inch dolls. I purchased the beach set and the ballet set, and this review is for the beach set.
The items all fit really well for the six inch mini dolls. There is a little blue towel with the set, but it's a little small for a beach towel. I love the matching stripes on the hat and swimsuit. The only problem with the swimming suit is that there is a little hole in the back for the pet's tail to fit through. It is not very noticeable, but you can easily stitch it closed to make your girls feel more comfortable. I also really love the clear beach bag, thought the dark blue doesn't seem to match too well. Everything but the hat fits inside it well. I thought the straw hat went really great with this 60's style dress I made for mini Ivy. Overall, this is a really cute and fun set for an awesome price. I was really happy to find these sets because it's tough to find cute clothes for the minis. Paw-parazzi clothing and pets can be found at some discount stores or online. Check them out!
The other day at Toys R Us I saw some great FAO Schwartz stuffed animals on sale. This Shen the Panda really caught my eye, along with the Zylie and Friends bear from the same collection. These toys are a mix between an 18 inch doll and a Stuffed animal. They have plush fur and traditional animal faces, but they are slimmer and stand up more like a vinyl doll. I love the outfit on this one and think it would fit perfectly for my son's custom boy doll. It also comes with a book, a backpack, and some drumsticks and passport. The current sale price is about 30$, and the regular price is about $50.
These toys follow the adventures of Zylie as she travels around the world and meets friends from other countries. The Zylie toy was also available on sale, and you can purchase more outfits for these dolls online at the Toys R Us website. There is a great Chinese style dress for Zylie that could easily turn this panda into a girl, and it may fit other 18 inch dolls as well.
Another draw to this toy for me is that it reminded me of the Perkins Panda bear designed to teach young children Braille. You can purchase just the bear with his packpack for about $23 or the entire set with books and cassettes for $60). Last Christmas I purchased a Perkins Panda braille book for my blind daughter, but I didn't feel I could afford the bear, so I bought a mini plush panda to sub for Perkins. Shen would make a wonderful toy to go with the Perkins products. It even has a backpack like the "real" Perkins Panda. I think the clothing really enhances the play value as opposed to the naked Perkins Panda. Learning to dress this doll would be great for blind and sighted children to develop hand-eye coordination. The body style also makes it easy to mix and match with 18 inch doll clothing and accessories. I think it could also wear infant or preemie baby clothes.
Either of these products would be fun and educational for children of all abilities. You can purchase Shen and Zylie at Toys R Us here, and you can get the Perkins Panda products from the Perkins online store here.
A few months ago I ordered this adorable Ann Loren doll outfit on Zulily, so I thought I would do a review on it before Independence day. The price was $13.99, plus shipping (5.95 for two items). One thing I don't like about Zulily is that the way they work, you have to wait quite a while for items to ship. Just make sure to purchase items well before the time you will need them. Also check out the deals to make sure they are really a good bargain. Often you can find the same items online for a similar price with better shipping costs. A surprise bonus was that my package contained a small coloring picture of a hot-air balloon scene, just the right size for Saige.
So, now on to the outfit. This is a 2 piece set with a ruffle sleeveless top and white Capri pants with 2 layers of ruffles. The print is so cute with the contrast between the stars and stripes. I love the bow in the middle of the top. The shirt also has an attached satin ribbon sash that ties in the back. The sizing is perfect for American Girl and also works well for Battat, though the pants are a little loose, and they are downright baggy on Journey Girl dolls. You can just secure them with an elastic at the waist.
The outfit doesn't come with shoes, but I combined it with a pair of gold flats from Springfield Collection, and I really like how they look. You could also make simple sandals with patriotic duct tape or ribbon. This outfit isn't the best for mix-and-match. The top can be worn with white leggings or jeans, but the pants really only got with this top. The waistband is really thick, so it looks a little bulky under a regular shirt.
This outfit would be perfect for a parade or performance look, and it reminds me a little of Molly's Miss Victory Outfit. Overall, I really love this outfit. Ann Loren makes similar outfits for girls. If they aren't available on Zulily, you can also try Overstock.com or Amazon. They also have some really cute doll bedding sets. Thank you to Saige and Melissa (Our Generation) for modeling this star-spangled get-up!
Charlotte was so excited that her new mini doll Ivy arrived yesterday. Don't you think they look alike?
At the sale price of ten dollars, these mini dolls are a wonderful deal. Ivy is so beautiful and very nice for a young girl, with her straight hair and no tiny accessories to lose. Her boots also stay on better than some of the other tiny shoes.
Her hair is so shiny and smooth and her little face is so sweet. I love her boots and yellow underpants, and the green slacks are growing on me. But I just can't get over that ugly shirt. No worries. I will make her some new clothes right away!