Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

My American Girl Doll

My American Girl Doll

Fall 2010 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: American Girl
Price: $95.00

There are no better play dolls on the market today than American Girl dolls. Constructed to the highest standards, the dolls are both beautiful and durable. Both the historical and contemporary dolls are available in a wide range of skin colors, hair colors, and other features. Accessories are widely available (if pricey) and as appealing as the dolls themselves. The new My American Girl doll is no exception, and parents can expect their daughters to find the same appeal and play value in her as in previous versions of the doll. My American Girl adds a new twist: Innerstar U., an online world exclusively for My American Girl doll owners, in which girls are represented by avatars of their dolls and can explore a campus full of computer game activities for preteens. By completing game activities, girls can acquire stars as spending money in the game to purchase clothing, accessories, pet supplies and bedroom upgrades for their avatars. Players can "friend" each other, allowing them to share game accessories and communicate via flexible but scripted messages that prevent them from sharing overly personal details, keeping the environment safe from unfriendly visitors. Games are appropriate to a wide range of interests: athletics, creativity, fashion, animals, etc. Some of the games leaned toward the tedious, such as the yoga studio, and a forward-thinking parent might wish for more girl-empowering themes and less on the fashion side. Also, there is no way at present to add online access for someone who already owns a doll that is not specifically a My American Girl doll, which will frustrate those who only recently acquired their dolls. But both the toy and the website are clean, age-appropriate, appealing, and fun, and occasionally educational. They also have lasting appeal, and our testers continued to play with the site for days.

Emily Crawford   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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American Girl

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