I love collecting mini dolls, while my daughter prefers the 18 inch variety, so I am excited to see a growing number of doll lines that fall somewhere in between. I call them "midis" because they seem to be right in the middle in three categories: size, cost, and age range. These dolls are between 8 and 14 inches tall, and they often have bigger heads than bodies. The cost is usually between $10 and $20, and they are geared for ages 4-8 or so. I like seeing dolls that look like little girls rather than baby dolls or adults. Most of a girl's doll-playing years fall in between preschool and tween age, so why are there so few dolls to reflect that?
These dolls from Fisher-Price represent characters from the Dora and Friends line. The picture on the box next to Dora (far right) shows the contrast between the original Dora and the newer, more mature version. I am glad the Powers That Be decided to keep both personas. Personally, I like the more grown-up look. I think she looks more realistic, but still sweet and innocent and not too teen-looking. These dolls are 8 inches tall, but because their heads are quite a bit wider than their bodies, they look like they can share clothing with the American Girl minis. The shoes actually look about the same too, which would be great because those things are so hard not to lose. The hair looks nice. It's long enough for some real play and styling but short enough to stay relatively nice. The diversity of characters is nice too. For my visually-impaired daughter, this style works really well. It's small enough to carry around, but the enlarged facial features are easier to see. I also like the bright colors.
Here is a closer view of a couple of the dolls, which come with a charm that can be used the Talking Dora and Smartphone. How creepy is that large preschool Dora head in the background? These dolls are just under $8 at Walmart.
The Dance Party dolls are more expensive at $15, but they come with more accessories. The TV show and the characters promote problem-solving and friendship, and there are some really cute e-books available for free on Android. There is also a boy character named Pablo, who is (not surprisingly) missing from the doll line-up.
Next we have these mid-size LaLaLoopsy Littles. The price-tag is much easier to swallow than the full-sized big sisters, and the clothes look like they would also fit AG minis. These two characters respresent Snow White and Cinderella, and I just love their apple and pumpkin "pets." I have never liked this brand (I think the movie Coraline ruined those button eyes for me) but these are undeniably cute. My oldest daughter adored the pink princess and kept trying to sneak her into our cart.
The biggest of the midis are these new "Lil" dolls in the My Life line. They have toddler-type bodies with longer hair, much like the Bitty Twins. At 14 inches, they're just bigger than most baby dolls and smaller than the American girl Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins. The outfits are just adorable, and I think they could easily share clothing with average-size baby dolls like Circo. There was a birthday girl, a ballerina, and a pajama princess. I like the diversity in skin tone and hair, though I'm not crazy about the face mold. The mouths look a little too much like an infant to me. I think these dolls would make great little sisters to 18 inch dolls and would be a great first doll for younger girls. They are currently selling for about $13 at Walmart.