Dolls have long been a staple when it comes to toys for children. It is believed that they stimulate and help grow the child’s early social skills. As such there are multiple different types of dolls that cater to the varying needs and ages of the child.
And let’s not forget that adults can have dolls, too. This is not purely restricted to the young; many adults have extensive doll collections for varied reasons.
Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party!
Barbie: the obvious first choice when talking about dolls. Developed in America in 1959, Barbie has become a worldwide household staple for children and adults alike. Created as a fashion doll, Barbie became synonymous with an upmarket and glamorous lifestyle. Children, especially girls, could immerse themselves in this fantasy. But to properly engage her world, Barbie requires just a few additions.
First up are her accessories. Her clothing.Her hair. As a fashionista and trend follower, Barbie has to be impeccably dressed. As the seasons change, and fads and phases come and go, it is important to keep Barbie up to date on the latest styles and fashions. As such, all these little accessories must be purchased to fit with the image of Barbie’s lifestyle.
A dollhouse is also a must. Where else can Barbie socialize and greet friends in her high society life? The house, too, must be fully stocked and accessorized: kitchen, lounge room, things for cooking or cleaning. Other accessories can include desirable cars, various pets in the shape of dogs and horses, and of course a boyfriend in the shape of Ken himself. The possibilities with Barbies are endless, and a comprehensive environment must be created in order to recreate the full fantasy.
Bratz are Back
Another American invention from 2001, Bratz is a group of originally four girls, later increased to five, that are, like Barbie, fashion dolls. Catering more to the modern era, they too require multiple accessories and apparel in order to keep them up to date.
Essentially they become mini versions of the child that owns them, and must be kept up to date with the popular culture of the time. After a short hiatus they are now back with a vengeance, new look and new styles.
The most traditional type of doll is the kind that needs to be looked after. Children emulate their parents and little girls eventually become mothers themselves, learning to take care of the baby at a young age, as if it were real. Corolle dolls, created in France in 1979, make some of the best summer toys for kids.
These dolls look like babies, and even close their eyes when laid on their back. To complete the illusion of caretaking, though, there are a number of things that need to be purchased. The basic starter is a set containing bib, spoon, pacifier, hairbrush etc., and all essential items for basic baby care. Then there are the more intricate accessories such as a stroller, medical kit, cradle and doll carrier. This last is particularly popular with children, emulating the way their parents carried and cared for them.