Holy guacamole … American Girl is giving something away for free. Unfortunately, it’s a game for your iPhone and not an actual doll.
If you have a daughter between the ages of 5 and 13 (or is it 2 and 32), you probably know exactly how much those dolls cost. It’s a lot. Not going to give the exact figure. Don’t want to shock any pregnant moms out there into early labor, especially if they are having girls.
The doll isn’t even the biggest expense. If you have a doll, you absolutely have to also have a brush for her precious hair, a special bag to carry her, a cool little seat so she can sit at the table with you, a little plate and cup so she doesn’t feel left out at tea time, a matching pajama set for you and doll for bedtime and, of course, she needs to have her own little RV and horse. What’s an 18-inch doll without a horse? Oh, and a violin. And a little teeny soccer uniform and ball, cheerleading outfit, ballet toe shoes, gymnastics leotard and little pots and pans for when your doll bakes. When she bakes, she needs an apron. If she falls while rock climbing (pretty sure there’s an outfit for that or, if not, see the Canadian girl version below), you need to buy her a hospital gown and send her away to the special American Girl hospital where she will come back all better, in about 6-8 weeks, with maybe a new hair style, earrings and, just like in real life, a big charge on your credit card.
And, of course, she needs a friend. So, you have to buy a second doll and it all starts again …
Since we are originally from Chicago, we are very familiar with American Girl and their over-the-top store, cafe and theater, located on Michigan Avenue. There’s also a photo studio, hair salon and more! Of course, it’s first on the list of activities my daughter wants to do when we go home for a visit but, since we want her to go to college someday and would like to be able to have enough money to feed our children and pay our mortgage, we try to keep visits to once every other year or so.
In Canada, they have Maplelea Girls, which are just as expensive but have some unique accessories. You’re not going to find a Canada Day t-shirt at AmericanGirl.com, for example. Also, the Maplelea Girls need a shoe shelf because, if you live in Canada, you take off your shoes before you walk into anyone’s home (or school or sometimes even place of business). Apparently, dolls needs to remove their shoes, too. And, of course, Maplelea Girls need hockey gear! (Only $75.) The best part of Maplelea Girls? No cafe to visit. Yet.
If Maplelea hockey gear or an $150 American Girl grand piano for your doll are not in your budget right now, check out the new FREE apps for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Unfortunately, these games don’t require a lot of actual thinking beyond mom trying to think of her iTunes password in order to download them. I didn’t expect American Girl to teach my daughter pre-calculus, but it would have been nice if the Cheer On! game required the player to actually spell words rather than just tilting the iPhone in different directions to pick up random letters. Or, maybe the Shaved Ice game could get kids actually counting, instead of the game doing it all for them.
Or, maybe they could have created a game that allows your child to add up the cost of all the American Girl purchases you have made over the years. Just don’t tell me the final score please!