Why Are American Girl Dolls So Expensive? (7 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

If you are into collecting dolls or want to get a gift for a kid, there is a chance you are looking into American Girl dolls. American Girl dolls are one of the most well-known doll brands worldwide, making them a must-have in every doll lover’s collection.

If you wanted to get an American Girl doll, you might be curious why American Girl dolls are so expensive. I did some digging, and here is what I discovered!

Why Are American Girl Dolls So Expensive?

American Girl dolls are expensive because they’re high-quality dolls with significant novelty in the doll world. Generally, American Girl dolls are made from costly materials using traditional and time-consuming doll-making techniques, which many newer doll manufacturers do not follow. Moreover, American Girl dolls can be expensive if you select a rare American Girl doll.

Are you interested in learning more interesting facts about what affects the price of American Girl dolls? I made a list below, so keep reading!

1. Specialty Items With Nostalgia

Firstly, one of the most significant contributors to American Girl doll prices is that American Girl dolls are part of American history.

Therefore, there are rare, discontinued American Girl dolls that can cost thousands of dollars.

Further, American Girl dolls were first released in 1986 when they were sold alongside books.

Usually, these dolls were sold with books because American Girl dolls represented the girls in the stories since the books told tales from the girl’s viewpoint.

So, while American Girl dolls are not always sold with books today, the dolls have left a significant impact on millions of Americans.

Also, each American Girl doll offered a unique story for each child to learn from, which gives people a fond feeling of nostalgia when they see an American Girl doll.

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2. Customizable Dolls

What makes American Girl dolls expensive and unique is that American Girl dolls are made from different molds.

For example, if you opt to get a customized American Girl doll, you can select which face shape you want.

Generally, the whole American Girl doll is customizable, meaning you can create an American Girl doll based on yourself or someone you know.

Usually, this is because you can customize the color of the doll’s eyes, skin, hair, etc.

Moreover, you can fully customize the doll to make it truly unique. For instance, you can request your American Girl doll to have hearing aids, braces, freckles, etc.

Plus, you get to decide what accessories and outfits the American Girl doll will wear.

Most of the time, you can buy themed sets with a few add-on options, but it is also possible to get fully customized outfits, which will be more expensive.

However, even if you do not get a customized American Girl doll, you can expect that the features of the American Girl doll will be unique.

That said, this is because all American Girl dolls have slightly asymmetrical features to make the dolls look more life-like.

3. Personality Options

Other than the doll’s looks, another unique feature that American Girl dolls offer is customizable personalities.

For example, when you order a doll from American Girl dolls, you can select what personality traits they have.

Of course, customizing a doll’s personality does not affect the actual quality of the doll, so you will not be charged more for a customized character.

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However, this is just an added benefit that can spark a kid’s imagination and enhance the experience of a kid buying their doll.

4. Excellent Hair Quality

4. Excellent Hair Quality

Another notable feature that makes American Girl dolls expensive is that the hair is extremely high-quality.

That said, most dolls have hair rooted into the head of the doll, whereas American Girl dolls have literal wigs, which create more realistic-looking hair.

However, having wig-like hair looks more realistic, and the hair may be styled.

Since the doll hair is high-quality, American Girl doll hair can handle heat styling, curling, and washing, which allows children to have complete control of their American Girl doll’s hair.

Therefore, being able to style the hair is a unique feature of American Girl dolls because most other doll brands like Barbie cannot have the hair styled.

5. Specially Formulated Skin

American Girl dolls focus on giving the best experience to customers, which means making the doll as realistic as possible.

Therefore, one feature that American Girl dolls have that most other dolls do not is specially formulated skin.

For example, when you touch the skin of an American Girl doll, it will feel more realistic than other dolls.

Typically, American Girl dolls have a skin texture that is a bit similar to leather bags, which are buttery and smooth.

6. Realistic Eyes

American Girl doll eyes can move like dolls that can close their eyes, but American Girl dolls are more unique.

Mostly, this is because American Girl dolls are meant to be as natural and realistic as possible.

Generally, American Girl doll eyes do not make noises when their eyes close and have smoother movements.

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On the other hand, cheaper doll brands with blinking noises do not move as smoothly and make noises whenever the doll’s eyes close.

Moreover, American Girl dolls are expensive because extra craftsmanship goes into the eyes.

That said, the American Girl doll’s eyelids and eyes are hand-painted while each eyelash was separately made and hand curled before the eyelashes were put onto the eyelids.

7. Excellent Quality Bodies

While most doll companies have opted for newer, faster ways to make lower-quality dolls with machines, American Girl dolls have stuck to their roots.

To this day, American Girl dolls still use old-fashioned techniques to create dolls, which takes more time to complete.

For instance, each American Girl doll has a necktie that attaches the head to the body. With the necktie technique, the doll becomes much sturdier to make the doll last longer.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Monster High dolls are so expensive, why Squishmallows are so expensive, and why Nendoroids are so expensive.


American Girl dolls are expensive because they are pieces of American history, especially when the dolls came with books.

Generally, American Girl dolls are made from extremely high-quality materials using traditional methods.

Moreover, American Girl dolls tend to be more expensive when you customize them.

Therefore, you can change almost every feature of the doll, from the doll’s eye color to what accessories the doll has.


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