Over the past few years, the world of 18″ Dolls and Accessories has become an increasingly crowded space – and one often confusing for parents to navigate. While the market is no doubt dominated on the high-end by Mattel’s American Girl line, more affordable options are spread across multiple retailers and platforms. Being the parents of two girls, my wife and I have often found ourselves weighing the options on certain things, and it’s a topic we’ve come across with other doll-buying grownups as well: We all know that the AG stuff is good, but what about the options that don’t cost an arm and a leg? The folks at Battat just may have what you’re looking for, with their Our Generation Dolls and accessories – a growing collection of toys that manage to hit on all the right notes of playability, durability, collectibility and affordability. After going hands-on with an assortment of Our Generation Dolls at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair last year, the crew at Battat had an assortment of their latest offerings delivered to Rock Father HQ for testing and evaluation by Addie and Finn (The Rock Daughters) in our state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility (our house). Here’s our full review, along with video of the unboxing…
if first impressions are everything, than Our Generation scores big. As seen in the video above, the assortment of toys was met by great enthusiasm by my girls – each taking interest in the different elements available. For me, I’m notoriously cautious and critical of design and quality, so I handled the honors of carefully opening each package to explore the construction of each item.
My first thought was that the bed and outfit sets were exceptionally-well packed, with the softgoods stitched to both the packaging and other items within. For other grownups helping to open these – take your time and have a scissor handy. All unpacked, the outfits are pretty solid, with the “Ready to Ride” Deluxe set being a fast-favorite for me (it comes with a hat, jacket, pants, boots and riding crop), and the very Spring-inspired “Ready to Bloom” dress striking Addie to become Anya’s first clothing change. Yes, “Anya” – that’s the Our Generation Doll that was included in our assortment, also known as a “Jewelry Doll,” complete with a wide assortment of sparkly things. She has pierced ears, three sets of earrings, a “silver” necklace with rose charm, a pearl necklace and bracelet, headband and more. Anya is well-constructed with a soft torso connecting her plastic limbs. The stitching appears pretty strong, so I have no doubts that she’ll hold up through many adventures.
The Arabian Horse was the first thing to capture Little Finley’s interest, and truth be told – she wanted to ride it (a no-no). The well-detailed horse is packed with some pretty cool accessories including “treats,” “mint snacks” (it’s just a little bag), a comb, grooming glove and award ribbon. Part of the packaging becomes a cardboard horse stall, and while I don’t expect that to last long (cardboard packaging-based accessories usually start off well here, and then disintegrate after vigorous play) it’s pretty cool for now and as become where the horse sleeps. The girls have named her “Lyra.”
The bed is fantastic – a well-suited match to what Addie has in her own room. The mattress looks comfy for the doll, and there’s a comforter, pillow and decorator pillows as well. The girls have been putting Anya into her “Goodnight Moose” pajamas set (complete with slippers and a stuffed moose) at bedtime, and the doll does a better job of sleeping in her own bed than our daughters do.
And portability? The Hop-On Doll Carrier Backpack is a perfect combination of two much-needed things – a place to store and carry your stuff, and a spot for the doll to catch a ride. The girls have already taken Anya to Grandma’s house, and out to the store.
The Bottom Line: There’s not a single low note to the Our Generation toys we received, and with a combined suggested retail of around $170, it’s a massive savings vs. some of the other options out there ($475 on the high-end as of this writing).
Rock Father-Approved, and highly recommended!