One of the most common questions I receive via e-mail from readers is "where can I get a doll that looks like my child?" There are many choices on the market for look alike dolls, from dolls under $40 which use a scanned photo on fabric, to middle-of-the-line vinyl dolls for over $100, to very, very expensive artist made dolls. You can even get a paper doll that looks like your child! My picks below summarize some of your choices for look alike dolls.
By far the best known of the look alike dolls, My Twinn dolls are available again (after a bankruptcy) and are now owned by eToys Direct. The dolls start at $139, and you build your doll with a variety of hair styles, hair and eye colors and skin tones. You can even have hand painting of the faces for freckles or other skin features. I understand that the delivery problems which plagued the company prior to bankruptcy are long over with the new company ownership.
American Girl dolls also offer look alike dolls. Actually, to me, these dolls are more "vaguely look alike" because they are all based on just a few face sculpts, but you can choose 23 varieties of skin, eye and hair colors. A great choice for girls who already have American Girl dolls and wish to have one that resembles them. Suggested retail is $87.
These artist porcelain dolls seem to bear a remarkable likeness to their namesakes! Each doll is hand-crafted by Linda Brennan. Her look alike dolls have porcelain heads which are molded and then transformed to match the facial features of the model person. The dolls are then hand painted. The dolls start at $400 for a baby and go up from there. Customized painted eyes (instead of inset eyes) are available for an extra cost.
For this doll, you send a digital photo of your child and the photo is scanned onto the cloth face of the doll. The doll can only be as good as the photo sent, so a high-resolution photo which is a close-up of the child is a must. I'm personally not a fan of these dolls (I just don't know why a child would want an EXACT copy of itself to carry around) but the technology and idea is pretty cool, and the dolls start at a reasonable $34.95.