Its so hard to know which dolls to buy as holiday gifts for kids on your shopping list. This time of year, there is a cacophony of media and advertising, all trying to get your attention and purchasing dollars. My 2006 Hot Holiday Dolls for children will help you sift through the immense amount of choices confronting you this holiday season. I'll tell you which 10 dolls have caught my attention, due to their design, inventiveness and my perceived play value.
Every year, a special, limited edition American Girl doll is released which is available only for that year. This year, that American Girl is Jess. Jess is a doll that does multi-culturalism right--she's the daughter of Irish-American and Asian-American parents, and she is exploring Belize. Her stories, outfits and accessories reflect this, and she is adorable to boot! Jess is only available via the American Girl stores, catalogs and web site.
Madame Alexander Huggums baby dolls have been gifts for little girls for decades. These high-quality dolls are often handed down through generations. With their huggable, soft bodies and sleep eyes, they are especially perfect for very little ones. This year, Madame Alexander is releasing a special, Christmas Huggums, the Mistletoe Kisses Huggums. She is 12" tall with vinyl hands and sleep eyes, and a very sweet red holiday outfit with bonnet. Suggested retail is $69.99.
I've always loved the Only Hearts Club dolls for girls--the dolls are girls themselves, with uplifting stories, sweet set eyes and totally poseable bodies. Most dolls and outfits in the line are reasonably priced (generally from $9 to $20) and, at 11.5" tall, the dolls are the perfect size for little hands and a perfectly miniaturized world. This year, the Only Hearts Club goes all glittery-princess, with a Sparkly Princess, a Princess Bride, and a Mermaid. These dolls have been a huge hit!
I also have this doll on my Hot Holiday Dolls list for collectors. I can't help it--what girl, big or small, doesn't want to see a glamorous holiday Barbie under the Christmas tree? This Barbie is definitely for older girls, not little ones who would want to immediately re-style the hair and rip off the dress. Designed by Bob Mackie, Barbie is elegant in a black and white gown embellished with fur and embroidery. Caucasian or African American, she has a suggested retail of $39.99.
You may already be sick of T.M.X. Elmo, and you probably haven't even been able to see one in person yet! Even so, I really do have to have him on this list. When I saw him in action, I will admit that I was completely taken in. His happy antics would be a delight under nearly any Christmas tree, or by any Hanukkah menorah. Tickle him three times, and Elmo will laugh his way into your heart. Suggested retail is $39.99, but Elmo is in short supply.
I've never been a huge fan of the Bratz dolls, but the Bratz Kidz are a different story. Bratz are teens who dress on the edge. The Bratz Kidz are younger than Bratz, and they dress stylishly but in a much more appropriate manner. And, they are truly cute! Several Bratz Kidz are available for the holidays, including Chloe, Sasha, Jade and Yasmin. Suggested retail is a reasonable $12.99.
The movie is engaging, and the dolls are perfect for younger Barbie fans. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princess dolls are, well, princesses, and most tweens tend to want their fashion dolls a bit more edgy (like Bratz or more fashion-forward Barbies). That said, the Interactive Genevieve Doll adds a fun new twist--it teaches your little girl to dance! The doll can dance with its owner, teach dance moves with prompts, and even follow your child's dance moves. Suggested retail is $49.99.
I couldn't resist putting the Ugly Doll on the list. Every time I pass mine, it makes me smile. Its just so...ugly! I find that boys and girls equally like the Ugly Doll, and they are perfect to peek out of a stocking on Sunday morning. These plush dolls have a suggested retail of $9.99 to $19.99.
Here's another doll that has been widely advertised this holiday season. That said, this $39.99 doll does have lots of play value. She "sings, makes sounds, moves and says over 30 phrases." She comes with play accessories, and can also interact with an activity center that is sold separately. One criticism of the doll--some of the advertisements and product photos of the doll show it with vinyl legs, when the doll actually has cloth legs. For girls 3 to 11, by Mattel.
The Trolls comeback seemed to stall a bit this year...however, I've certainly noticed quite a few children lately with Trolls perched on the ends of their pens, and little Troll dolls hanging on their backpacks. Again, these make great stocking stuffers if you can find them. Pens and backpack size Trolls are under $5 and larger Trolls can be found from $5 to $10.