One of the all-time classic playthings comes in an almost dazzling array of forms and styles. There are constantly updated classics like Barbie, Baby Alive and other Baby Dolls and dolls based on the latest movies. There are collector dolls, and even boy dolls. Pretty much everyone can find something to love in this category. That's why we help you find the ones that are perfect for you.
Whether you need a classic fashion doll, a favorite Disney Princess or a feature doll that seems to come to life, our video doll reviews cover every detail from repeat play to being age appropriate. You'll find the accessories available and even help you find the best prices so that you know which doll to buy and have enough left for the hottest "must-have" accessories. Simply select the brand or style below, or use the sorting options on the left to get started.
from Mattel $19.99
from Mattel $19.99
from Mattel $19.99
from Toy Vey! $29.95
from American Girl $115.00
from American Girl $68.00
from Just Play $24.99
from Just Play $14.99
from Just Play $19.99
from Just Play $19.99
from American Girl $144.00
from Mattel $9.99
Choosing the Right Doll for your Kids
Dolls have been part of human play almost since human civilizations were formed. Learning to nurture, communicate and act out stories based on life experiences are all essential components of doll play. Historically, many dolls were homemade, and elaborate china dolls were rare and things of beauty, not really to be played with. But that was a long time ago. Today, there are an almost dizzying number of types of dolls to choose from—Fashion Dolls, Baby Dolls, Interactive Dolls, and Mini Dolls, each with a different type of play pattern.
Fashion Dolls, really starting with Barbie in 1959, and were the first dolls to represent teenagers. Obviously, they were called fashion dolls because, well, they had lots of clothes. These were also the first teenage dolls made. Before Barbie, when kids wanted to play fashion, the only option was paper dolls, which were extremely popular in the years after World War II and into the 1950s.
Barbie's staying power has always been that she has been fashion forward and on trend. When Barbie first was introduced, she wore a swimsuit, clothes for dates and could become a bride, pretty limited choices. Since then, though, Barbie has always kept up with the time. Today she's had more than 130 careers, starred in movies and is, of course, still a fashion icon. Today, the Barbie Fashionistas reflect the breadth of fashions and even body types that girls see around them. Barbie today stands for the belief that beauty comes in many forms.
As she has delighted three generations of girls, there's a strong Barbie collector market, too. Featuring dolls by top designers like Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang and brands like Coach, Mac and many more, Barbie has become a lifelong hobby for many of her loyal fans.
When Disney grouped the individual princesses from their movies together, they formed the Disney Princess Collection. The Collection features notable princesses like Belle, Jasmine, Elsa, Ariel, Cinderella, plus many more. Through the years they've added princesses from television like Elena of Avalor. The princesses all have different personalities, and girls always seem to have their favorites. Hasbro currently makes the fashion dolls, and each princess appears in her iconic dress. Disney collectors can find high end dolls of all their favorites, making it possible to fill your home with royalty, should you so desire.
But not everything is about fashion and beauty. For kids who like a great story and something a bit edgier, there's Monster High. These dolls are all daughters (and sons) of famous monsters. For example, Draculaura is the daughter of Dracula, while Frankie Stein is the daughter of Frankenstein. The story behind the dolls are for kids ages 6 and over and the play focuses much more on their individual personalities originally developed in the books that first launched with the Monster High Dolls. Mattel continues to make music filled movies featuring the Monster High characters, keeping the stories fresh and fun for its fans.
Of course, there have been other fashion doll collections over the years. Bratz from MGA Entertainment are known for their "Passion for Fashion" and have always pushed the envelope in regards to style. MGA has also introduced Project MC2, a line that combines a great fashion sense with real science projects and experiential STEM play.
Bridging the gap between a fashion doll and a traditional action figure are new lines like DC Super Hero Girls, which bring Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Harley Quinn and many of the other female characters from DC Comics Collection, together under one brand. There's great entertainment about these superheroes as girls, encouraging empowering play for the kids who love them.
Baby Dolls are certainly one of the most classic and enduring types of dolls. As kids learn to parent, they mimic what they see their parents do with their dolls. There are many basic baby dolls to choose from, some with special features like Hasbro's iconic Baby Alive collections. Another baby doll that's still popular is Cabbage Patch Dolls. These dolls were first introduced in 1979 by Xavier Roberts, but didn't become popular until 1984 when Coleco took over distribution and the world saw the Cabbage Patch craze. Each doll comes with its own birth certificate and adoption papers, reinforcing the pretend parental role that was "baked in" to the play.
The doll as best friend, or a peer to the child, is also a relatively new development. Many people date that play pattern to 1959 when two huge hits debuted. Mattel's Chatty Cathy was dressed as a peer to the child and said 11 different things (a technological advance previously unheard of) when you pulled her string. The same year, Ideal introduced Patti Play Pal, which stood a huge 3-feet tall, or about the size of the girl who owned her.
Today, there are many dolls available that are considered companions. Most of these are about 18 inches tall. Probably the most famous of these currently are the American Girl dolls. Developed first as dolls of girls from different periods of history, they had accompanying books that encouraged kids to learn about history as they played, though of course there is lots of traditional play as well. One of the more recent innovations are boy dolls designed to appeal to boys. Taking their cue from My Buddy from the 1970s and Wrestling Buddies from the 1980s, it's clear that boys like to nurture, too, but they can temper that with a little active rough-housing as well.
Mini Dolls are more popular for collecting than playing out stories. The idea is to have a lot of them and create a whole world. The original one of these from the 1970s was Polly Pocket, and today there are many, many different lines, all created to inspire collecting and imaginative play.
The doll category is easily one of the largest in the entire toy industry, and we've just scratched the surface here. Scroll up to get an idea of all the dolls there are, and start looking for the ones to delight the kids in your life.