Keeping well-loved items from your childhood is usually more about saving cherished memories than anything else. But, thanks to the internet, some of those toys or collectibles can actually be worth more than a simple trip down memory lane. With items such as limited edition Disney VHS tapes selling online for up to $500, some people may have some hidden treasures buried in boxes or basements.
Among these potential moneymakers are the original dolls from the American Girl collection. The American Girl dolls have been around more than 30 years. Children have long been able to pick from company-issued dolls or have an American Girl doll fully customized in everything from hair texture to eye color and more (since about 1995).
However, if you’re hoping to earn big bucks from your American Girl doll, you’re going to have to have specific dolls from the original release of the product line by the Pleasant Company. Back in 1986, American Girl released its first three dolls: Kirsten Larsen, Molly McIntire, and Samantha Parkington. These original American Girls, designed to teach about different U.S. historical periods, are selling for some big money on online shopping sites such as eBay.
Back in January, a Molly McIntire doll and assorted accessories sold on eBay for $2,500.
Just a few weeks ago, a retired Kirsten doll was sold on eBay for $1,425 by a seller in Wisconsin.
A quick search on the online shopping site shows listings for all three of these retired American Girl dolls listed for prices ranging from $35 (including shipping for a Samantha Parkington doll) up to thousands of dollars. One Kirsten doll is being sold with a bed, outfit and the books telling her story for $499.
The value of these dolls (and other retired dolls in the American Girl collection) stem from a few factors. These particular dolls were made by the Pleasant Company before American Girl creator Pleasant Rowland sold the business to Mattel in 1998. There are 11 other retired historical dolls from the pre-Mattel period which may fetch higher prices on the resale market.
Also, many of the dolls released by the company are typically sold in “limited editions.” This means once they are sold out in stores, the dolls can no longer be purchased except by resellers. From there, the restricted supply on these retired dolls can drive up the price.
If you’re looking to invest, an American Girl doll like 2020’s Girl of the Year might be a safe bet, as she is a limited edition available since the beginning of the year. With a book and all accessories (she’s a surfer and cheerleader with hearing loss), the Joss Kendrick doll costs $128. USA Today reported that a mint-in-box version of 2011’s Girl of the Year doll, Kanani, was sold in 2018 for $1,495.
Here is the 2020 Girl of the Year doll, as posted to American Girl’s Instagram:
Still, the original three dolls are the ones that are most worth searching for now. If you think you may have one of these little beauties sitting at home (or your parents’ house), it just might be worth your time and effort to find out which one you have. Then, you’ll have to decide if you can part with her for some extra cash.
Do you love the historical American Girl dolls?