A certain beautiful little niece of mine will be having a birthday in naught but a few weeks. She has asked for "American Girls stuff" to go with her Just Like You doll that she got for Christmas.
I played with my dolls until I was... well... too old for them. My favorite toy was my doll house. To this day I still think about how awesome it was (my grandma built it for me) and how much I loved playing with it. If I'm at a toy store I tend to wander over to the doll section and wistfully look at the doll houses and doll house furniture. So I'm sort of saddened when I see younger and younger kids, like, wanting to put up videos on youtube and asking for ipods instead of toys for Christmas. I can TOTALLY support the plan to get my niece doll accessories. Sounds great to me.
The problem is that I can't afford most of the American Girl accessories. They really do have some cool stuff like this and this. But most of their sets are kind of overpriced and do not come with much stuff. And web site is kind of insane. There are dolls and doll clothes and doll activity sets (a snowboard! a kayak! a treehouse!) and there are even mini dolls so your doll can have her own doll. I think they just blew my mind a little bit.
Anyhow, I went to trusty old Target and found this:
I realize it doesn't look like much in the photo. It's a sleepover set meant for "Our Generation" dolls-- essentially a poor man's American Girl.
The set includes a doll sleeping bag, a duffle bag, and a toiletry case and a bunch of little accessories. And it was only $14.99. For comparison, the American Girl web site has this:
A doll sleeping bag which, while cute, will set you back $26 and come with no other accessories. I'm banking on the hope that my niece will care more about the coolness of the present and the amount of accessories than the actual American Girl brand name. This Our Generation doll stuff is actually very cute (and affordable). They really need to come out with more stuff since they only have a few products and American Girl has a corner on the 18-inch doll market. Stay tuned-- I have four other nieces who also got American Girl dolls for Christmas, so I'm going to be on the lookout for other awesome doll products!