When it comes to baby dolls, the "realer" the better. Lifelike baby dolls meant for collectors, such as Ashton-Drake Collectible’s So Truly Real! line and the Lee Middleton Original Doll Co.´s Breath of Life Babies, have even crossed over into the (very careful) play category, though their dolls are not officially recommended for kids (see: "Real Babies"). Luckily, many high-end doll manufacturers also offer beautiful, realistic dolls that are suitable for playing. The following is a list of the top 10 best-selling realistic play baby doll brands in 17 different doll and toy specialty stores from across the nation.
The 2005 Bebe Cheri Emilie is 20” long with a soft body and vinyl limbs and head. Her blue eyes can open and close. Corolle dolls are designed to be soft and cuddly for play.
—Bebe Cheri Emilie is lifesized and can wear size 3-to 6-month infant clothing, Linda Breler of Corolle Dolls told TDmonthly. —Corolle is the second-best selling baby doll at Susanne’s Doll House in Columbus, Ga., according to sales associate LaDean Hall. —“A delicate vanilla scent is added while the vinyl is being mixed … The doll is machine washable, but will retain that scent,” noted Breler.
Part of the Precious Day collection, 19” Cookie has the same size and weight as a real baby. Her eyes can open and close and are set in vinyl sockets so they can’t be pushed into her head.
—Cookie can be washed by placing her in a pillowcase, then running her through the washer in cold water on the gentle cycle. —The Götz Precious Day collection is a good seller at Toys for Thoughts in Los Angeles. “We’ve had grandmothers who think they’re so cute that they have to get them for their granddaughters,” said store manager Anshie Kajan. —Götz babies are the best-selling baby dolls at Scheffel’s Toys in Jacksonville, Ore. “They’re consistently good and they’re quality,” said owner and president Linda Graham.
Berenguer Boutique - "First Day" La Newborn Expressions by DOLLS BY BERENGUER
New for 2005, these realistic babies were designed to be both play dolls and collectibles, according to Laura Cerda of JC Toys, Dolls by Berenguer’s parent company. The limbs rotate and can be posed. The babies are made of "baby" soft vinyl, which “makes the skin feel really soft,” Cerda added. —Both the play-baby Dolls by Berenguers and the special editions for collectors are good sellers at Yesterday’s and Today’s Dolls in Corinth, Miss., said owner Sherry Grisham.
Berenguer Babies - La Newborn Moments by DOLLS BY BERENGUER
Babies are available with a variety of expressive faces, including smiling, pouty and laughing. The dolls are 17” and are available anatomically correct. Their limbs rotate and can be posed.
—Dolls from Dolls by Berenguer’s La Newborn line are popular with reborners — craftspeople who add fine details to dolls to make them more realistic, said Laura Cerda of JC Toys, Dolls by Berenguer’s parent company. —Their latest project is “Missy Kissy,” due out by the end of the year, which asks for a kiss as soon as she’s turned on. —Beverly Nobis, doll buyer for Bavarian Inn Dolls in Frankenmuth, Mich., said that her store sells “tons” of the Dolls by Berenguer play baby dolls.
New Baby Annabell With Tearing Function by ZAPF CREATION (U.S.) INC.
Zapf’s newest 18" baby babbles, gurgles, giggles, sucks a bottle and "actually cries real tears," Virginia Uelze, marketing manager for Zapf Creation (U.S.), told TDmonthly. "It´s the first time we´ve mixed water with electronics." — As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews on Amazon.com. — This baby was soft launched at the end of July 2005. — Baby Annabell received the National Parenting Publication Association´s Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2006. — “Zapf does well,” at the Hello Dollie Doll Shoppe in Albuquerque, N.M., according to owner Carmen Keicher. Sherry Grisham, owner of Yesterday & Today’s Dolls in Corinth, Miss., agreed.
Writer's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ... Read more articles by this author