Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Collection Part One: Mini American Girls

Since Chris and Rachael are both sharing pictorial records of their collections, I decided to jump in too. It's something that I ought to do anyway, and it will be an easy photography option when I am otherwise uninspired.

I decided to start with the mini American Girl dolls. They are 6 inches tall, and are tiny versions of the regular 18" American Girl dolls, and their friends, who also had dolls for a short period of time. I think I'm in the minority, but I prefer the soft bodies that my mini dolls have, like the 18" dolls. At some point, Mattel changed the minis so that bodies are all vinyl. Most of the American Girls' stories start with them being nine years old, and later on show them celebrating when they turn ten. There are several more mini dolls out there; these are the ones that I own.

This is Felicity, and her friend Elizabeth. Their story starts in 1774. Although they are friends, Felicity's parents are Patriots, while Elizabeth's are Loyalists, which leads to some tension in their friendship.
Felicity's dress changed when Mattel re-introduced Felicity to the doll line. I think the original dress was much more period accurate in its print choice. Elizabeth is wearing a dress from Felicity's Christmas story. She and Felicity are invited to the governor's mansion for a dance lesson along with other well-born girls. Mini Felicity in her Christmas dress was also released, along with several of the other mini AG dolls. You'll see an example two dolls down.  

This is Caroline. She lives in New York state, on the coast of Lake Ontario. Her father runs a shipyard, until he is kidnapped by the British, during the lead up to the War of 1812.
Caroline's dress is pretty accurate to her time, with the high waist and simple trims. The dress on my mini Caroline is a little strained in the bodice, though.

Meet Josefina. Her story starts in 1824, where she lives in New Mexico. She has recently lost her mother, and her aunt comes to live with them, bringing new ideas.
This is the dress from Josefina's Christmas story. Josefina's meet outfit is Hispanic style, with a loose blouse, gathered print skirt and woven belt. Her Christmas dress is more in line with European fashion of the time, although she also wears her black headscarf, or mantilla, to Mass. The 18" doll also came with a hair comb, and Josefina wears one in the pictures in the book. If you look at this extant 1820s girl's dress, you can see how accurate Josefina's dress is.
At one time, this dress could be seen at Vintage Textile. The image survives on Pinterest, and although all the images link back to Vintage Textile, I couldn't find the dress anymore on the website.

Here are Cecile and Marie-Grace, from 1853. They were unusual in that both were main characters in their stories, and also friends interacting in the other's life. Each girl had her own Meet book, and then two other books of her own, making for six books total. Both girls have to help their family and others around them when a yellow fever epidemic hits their home city of New Orleans. Cecile also faces challenges as a member of a well off, "free people of color" family, when most black people in the United States at that time are slaves. Marie-Grace has lost her mother and recently moved to New Orleans with her father, feeling overwhelmed in the big city.
Many collectors agreed that mini Marie-Grace's face is... unfortunate. The solid pink straps on Marie-Grace's dress are called bretelles, and they come off much better on the 18" doll than here. Cecile's dress is also pretty accurate, although in real life, the white center of her dress could have been tightly pleated in "fan front" style, and she probably would have had at least one more velvet bar across the bodice.

This is Kirsten. We meet her in 1854, when she is moving to Minnesota as a pioneer from her home in Sweden.
Kirsten's uncle, aunt and cousins have settled in Minnesota before Kirsten's family. Kirsten receives this "American dress" from her cousins pretty early on, to replace the traditional dress Kirsten wore from Sweden. Since Kirsten's family is not well off, her dress is simpler than those of Cecile and Marie-Grace. The 18" doll's dress is more accurate, having a slight gather in the bodice at the waist. Kirsten's looped braids don't translate to the mini doll very well.

Here is Samantha. She lives in New York state in 1904, with her grandmother, who is wealthy. Through Samantha's eyes, we see all the new things that are changing the way people live, such as automobiles and the telephone, and new ideas about things such as votes for women and child labor.
This outfit is Samantha's meet dress from her original story. Bangs weren't in fashion for girls in 1904, but the rest of her outfit is perfect. Don't get me started on the clothes the re-released Samantha doll wears.

This is Ruthie. She is the friend of Kit, who is the main character of the stories. They are facing the Great Depression together in 1934. Kit's dad has lost his job, while Ruthie's father is still employed.
The cut and print of Ruthie's dress is just right for the 1930s. My Ruthie's hair is unruly.

So here's an introduction to my collection. I hope you don't mind that it also turned into a mini-lesson on historical fashion, but that's right in my wheelhouse. My interest in historical fashion is what attracted me to American Girl dolls in the first place.

Total dolls: 9

13 comments:

  1. This is great! For some reason I prefer these little American Girls to the big ones, I planned on getting all of them at one point but never ended up getting any of them.

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    1. The mini American Girls do have a certain charm. I have two of the big ones, but I think having nine of them would be really overwhelming. I got most of these minis on sale when they switched over the doll bodies and got rid of the friend dolls.

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  2. I wasn't aware that they made the mini American Girl dolls. They are very cute. I loved your little 'fashions of the time' lessons. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. You're welcome! I'm glad that I could introduce you to new dolls.

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  4. These mini dolls are very detailed and lovely, you have a beautiful collection of them! The clothes are very pretty as well. I enjoyed the fashion history lessons too. :) American Girls are so educational, I love that about these dolls, big and small. I think I would prefer the stuffed body version too, because it's close to the original. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the next part!

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad that you liked part one of my collection. AG did a pretty good job scaling down the 18" doll clothes for these mini girls, so I agree that they are very pretty. Even with the changes that Mattel has made, there are things to learn from the American Girl dolls.

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  5. Hi Barb! I'm not very familiar with the American Girl line, but they seem to have an educational value. I can tell that you're very passionate about historical fashion by the way you described the dolls' outfits.

    I'm glad you've found something that has motivated you to post, even if you're still feeling uninspired.

    Take care.

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    1. Yep, historical fashion is my big interests, along with doll collecting. The American Girls line was created to teach American girls about history in a relatable way.

      I've spending some time cleaning and organizing my hobby and crafting area, so I think I should be able to start taking more pictures soon.

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  6. Thanks for sharing these. I have mini Samantha. I did have Addy but I don't know where she is now.

    I like the historical clothing also, especially on the Pleasant Company dolls.

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    1. The mini Addy dolls were nice. My 18" American Girl Samantha is a Pleasant Company doll, which makes me happy. Pleasant Company was definitely better with the historical details.

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  7. Now that's all very interesting Barb, I never realised AG's came in such a small size. Unlike yourself, I'm not one for soft bodies, however I'd certainly be interested in seeing a 6" AG in all vinyl. Now you have my curiosity peaked I will have to go searching. :) Thanks for all the photos too, I really enjoyed the historical aspect you have shared.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. I didn't realize people didn't know about the mini AGs, Xanadu, but I suppose if you're overseas and not an American Girl collector, it makes sense. Myself, I think that the mini AG dolls started the trend for having a mini counterpart of a doll, like the Lalaloopsy dolls or the Kidz 'n' Cats dolls. Glad you enjoyed the photos, and I hope you some nice dolls during your search. :)

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    2. I hope you *find* some nice dolls during your search. My brain has been weird lately.

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