Being pregnant with your first daughter can make you nostalgic for the toys and dolls you enjoyed as a child. If you treasured your American Girl doll 25 years ago and are thinking of one for your new daughter, you may be surprised to learn that your favorite doll is no longer in production and is highly sought after by collectors.
Two factors determine how much your doll is worth: the doll’s rarity and its condition. Dolls that are still being produced are more readily available and are therefore worth less than those that have been retired. The demand for retired dolls, such as the Samantha model, determines the market price. The doll’s condition is the second most important factor. American Girl doll clothing, books and accessories are highly collectible, particularly if they are no longer being produced. Items in mint condition will always command a higher price than those that have been played with, especially if they are still in the original packaging.
While doll collecting price guides can provide a starting point, there is no standard “blue book” value for dolls like there is for cars. The best way to test the market is to check online auction sites to compare asking prices with final sale prices. This should demonstrate the average price collectors are willing to pay for particular models. Dolls and clothes in better condition will always be worth more.
Rare or pristine dolls might command a higher price at live auctions that cater to serious collectors. If you find the right buyer, the proceeds could be a nest egg for your new daughter’s college fund.