The American Girls Catalog does not say much about the American Girls Mini Dolls, except that they are 6 1/2" and come with a miniature (abridged) version of their first books. The photos of the dolls are also so small that you may not know what the doll looks like until you get it home. I was unhappily surprised when I received my order of two Josefina dolls, because drastic changes had taken place since I had last purchased a mini doll, and I could not tell that they had from the catalog picture. Hopefully this page will help keep you from being surprised by what you get! (If you notice other changes, please contact me!)
I would like to take a few minutes to talk about the dolls so that you will have more information before buying. However, before going into this description, here's a "caveat emptor" (buyer beware). The dolls have changed drastically over the years. What you see written here may not be accurate or pertain to the doll you end up receiving.
The changes that the dolls have undergone (that I know about) are basically only noticeable as far as the head of the doll is concerned. However, these changes have made the dolls less like American Girl full-sized dolls, and probably make them much easier and cheaper for the company to produce, and also cut down on the overall quality of the doll.
The photo above shows a doll (mini Molly) which I bought for someone as a gift a few years ago. On the left is a Josefina doll I purchased in 2002. Comparing the two dolls will show the changes they have undergone over the years.
The Molly doll on the right has inset eyes. Though they do not open and close like the big dolls' eyes, they are more than just one-dimensional eyes. The doll eyes have depth and look much like those on the larger-sized dolls. Josefina (and all of the mini dolls as of late) have painted on eyes. These are one-dimensional and more "fake" looking. The reflection you see in Josefina's eyes is a painted on white dot, whereas Molly's reflection is real light.
The old Molly has on a wig. Dolls with wigs have fully styleable and thick hair. My mom, the owner of this mini Molly even put wire in the braids to keep them down straight! Though one strange thing done to this old mini Molly was that the manufacturers cut the back of her hair into a boy cut! The hair/wig must have been too full to fit into neat braids if kept long (?). Conversely, Josefina has extremely thin, head-rooted hair and a tinted scalp. This no doubt cut down on the manufacturing cost of the doll (dolls with wigs can be more collectable and expensive). It also makes for a doll that is much less valuable and less like the full-sized. In fact, my Josefina's hair pulled out with just a slight tug!
The photo at right shows the older style of doll, with inset (shiny) eyes and a wig fiber that is the same as the larger dolls. The fiber used for the hair now is more like the thin, shiny plastic-feel material used for Barbie-type dolls. Although you can no longer get these dolls from American Girl, you can check eBay or see if your friends have any that they don't want any more.
All of that being said, the doll specifics:
6 1/2 inches (not 7, as listed in some older versions of the American Girl catalog)
Head-rooted hair with tinted scalp
Head that rotates
Moveable arms and legs (where they meet with the torso)
Removeable clothing (very detailed and impressive!)
Stuffed cloth torso (so unique on such a little doll)
Whichever style doll you choose: one new from AG or an older style...have a great time with your miniature project!
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