By: Anne M. Raso
We don't have to tell you that the American Girl store on Fifth Avenue is so packed that often one must stand on a line outside the store behind a velvet rope to enter--and reservations at the cafe there must be made three months in advance (if you want to go there in less than three months, we strongly suggest trying for a Monday night dinner ressie). American Girl is the most popular brand of gift in ANY category for girls under ten, so with all the First Communions and birthday parties going on this month, we wanted to present a few top American Girl picks in all price ranges. Face it--girls prefer this in lieu of cash gifts that parents will place in a bank account in the kids' name and not let them access 'til age 18!
The real allure of the product to parents is that the dolls not just beautiful, but also are educational, as they basically tell the history of America. Matching clothing for girls and their moms are also available, and of course there is a DVD and book that tells each American Girl's story. All of these financefooodie.com TOP PICK American Girl items are available at americangirl.com and at stores across the country that are listed on the site.
Kanani Doll ($100)
This 2011 Girl Of The Year Doll is a resident of Hawaii with a gorgeous golden glow, dark "sandy blonde" hair and green eyes; Kanani comes with a paperback book on her life and she has been flying off the American Girl store shelves faster than you can say "luau"! This American girl loves to entertain and does a lot of outdoor sports, so of course there is a beach outfit and paddleboard set as extras to purchase. Kanani has received a five-star review on the AG site and many fans of the doll line claim that she is the best girl of the year yet!
Baking Table ($85)
This adorable 16" long aqua wooden baking table comes with convenient folding sides, an embroidered table runner and plenty of treats--and has received a five star rating on the AG site. The treats are adorable and include chocolate truffles and heart shaped tarts!
Bloom Bed And Bedding ($85)
This classic yet modern doll bed features a magenta "push pin" headboard, lime green standard pillows, a flower-shaped throw pillow and quilted patchwork reversible spread with pink, green and white flower and dot patterns.
Starry Doll Carrier ($58)
This adorable pink and white star cloth doll carrying case features a zippered closure, and interior pockets for storage, plus hand and shoulder straps for easy travel. Each American Girl doll can stand inside the carrier and “peek out” the window. This is the most popular doll carrying case that AG makes and we discovered that spots can clean off it easily with a little dish soap and hot water!
Tank And Brief Set (Available In Pink, Purple and White, $10 each)
For those on a budget, wrapping these three items up as one gift is something any American Girl lover will enjoy! As with all American girl clothing, these fit all the company's dolls. The stretchy tank has a cute embroidered butterfly on the upper left chest and the matching stretchy briefs have a cute white satin bow. The tank is cute enough to use as outerwear with American Girl pants and skirts! One more suggestion--at each American Girl store there is a special bonus clothing item available at the checkout counter for $16 that includes shoes and other accessories -- right now it is a salmon-colored print wrap dress ensemble that works on any modern day AG doll!
[Photos Courtesy American Girl]