Thursday, March 13, 2014

Out of the Box: Samantha and Cécile (American Girl Mini Dolls)

My American Girl mini dolls are a bit of an accidental collection - I didn't intend to bring them home, and yet here they are!

Mini Samantha came first, a gift from my husband (then boyfriend).  I'd joked to him, as he was heading to NYC on business, that he should visit the AG store and buy me "stuff", thinking that he wouldn't have the time or the desire.  He surprised me by actually going in ("I had to stand in line with hoards of housewives and little girls!") and picking up this doll (he also surprised me by actually recognizing it as the mini version of my larger doll - we weren't living together at the time, so he'd only seen big Samantha once or twice at that point).

Mini Cécile
Mini Cécile arrived just this past month - I picked her up (along with the book series) as a gift for my niece who would be visiting during her school holidays.  However when the niece arrived, I discovered that she had zero interest in either dolls or history and a huge interest in wildlife, so she ended up picking out some zoo souvenirs instead.  Which means that mini Cécile is now here to stay.

As for the dolls themselves, they're very reasonable copies of their 18" counterparts.  They have the
same plush bodies with vinyl limbs and heads, and their outfits are near-identical to the full size ones - fewer details, and with somewhat messier closures on the back due to the small scale, but still decent quality overall.

Mini Samantha
Unlike the larger dolls though, the minis have almost no neck, which makes them seem a bit strangely proportioned over all.  It seems to gives them a broad shouldered appearance that seems a little out of balance with their tiny hands and delicate outfits. 

Unlike the bigger dolls, they have painted eyes (although I understand that the very first versions of the mini dolls from the 1990s had glass eyes) which gives them a somewhat less neutral gaze.  I alternate between thinking they look shocked with thinking that their expressions are just vacant.

As baby dolls for an SD16
Despite the decade's difference in production times, my two seem to be fairly similar in quality overall.  The one exception is the footware on Cécile - while Samantha's plain plastic shoes may be less impressive to look at, the unevenness of the faux-leather of Cécile's boots means that it's near-impossible to get her to stand on her own.  Still, that's a small complaint for a doll that's probably meant more for play than display.

Overall, they're cute little dolls that make a nice accessory for their larger counterparts (and other large dolls), and they're a fun little addition to the doll posse - even if they weren't a planned one!


  1. Hi, your husband had courage, standing in line in an AG store :-)! I've never seen an AG doll in person, but I know they are very popular. The little versions are great accessories for the large dolls, they look cute with the SD16 doll!

    1. Thanks! And yes, he still gets points for standing in that AG line, even 10 years later! ;)

  2. I just picked up a Samantha and a Charlotte for myself. The 18" Samantha is the only large American Girl I own. They're well done dolls for the size.

    1. Fun! They really are cute, aren't they?

      The 18" Samantha is my only large AG as well. :)