Munch has discovered Barbie. I was unaware that she had them at her new daycare (which she started this past fall). So I was surprised when, at Christmas, she told Santa that a Barbie doll was at the top of her wish list. (And, from all accounts-because I wasn't with her- Santa assured her there would be one under the tree on Christmas morning- we won't be visiting THAT mall Santa again!) I loved Barbies when I was a kid- I had a bunch AND a dreamhouse- no Corvette though! But I just felt that three years old was a little young for Barbies, but then again, all the kids seem to be getting into things at a younger and younger age nowadays (gosh, that makes me sound old!) I decided that with the holidays and her birthday, I wouldn't mind if she happened to receive a Barbie as a gift, but I really wanted to find an alternative. So I went looking around online and at the toy stores.
First, I saw the Only Hearts Club dolls- these are "real-looking" dolls whose message is to "listen to your heart and do the right thing". Nice, positive message, but geez those dolls are kind of ugly. Next!
So I moved on to the American Girl dolls. These dolls were so much cuter. I was most aware of their line of historical dolls, who come with stories that are set in American history. And of course, there was the Jon & Kate Season 1 episode where they took the twins to NYC to an American Girl show for their birthday. But have you seen the price of these dolls?!? Most of the collection, such as the historical line or the "Just Like You" dolls run in the $100 range. Not exactly the kind I can afford a collection of!
Turns out though, the answer was in our local, independent toy store- Groovy Girls, made by Manhattan Toy. Positive message? Check! The Groovy Girls have partnered with the Girl Scouts to create the Troop Groovy line, whose dolls promote respect, responsibility, and courage. Cute? Absolutely! These dolls are soft and cuddly with colorful yarn hair and wear adorable and funky outfits. And there is a good selection of princess and mermaid dolls, which Munch adores. Diverse? Yup- but without smacking you over the head with it. And the price? I have yet to see a doll over $20- and most of the ones Munch has are in the $11 to $14 range.
Munch DID get a Barbie from a friend of mine this past Christmas- her girls are older and definitely in the Barbie stage. And we did get lots of Barbie play in those first few days of Barbie infatuation- her recently purchased Ariel is Barbie's newest pal. But it's her Groovy Girls that Munch talks to, tucks into bed at night, and carries around most often.

See more at http://canItasteitnow.blogspot.com

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