American Girl dolls are still one of the most popular toys kids beg for today, but finding a few older ones could help you earn quite a bit of cash. It turns out, original characters like Samantha, Molly, and Kirsten are worth thousands!
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the iconic dolls, which were sold and designed by a woman named Pleasant Rowland in 1986. She added three more girls that year (Felicity, Josephina, and Addy), but it’s the first trio that hold the most value these days.
You can spot whether any American Girl dolls tucked away in boxes of your kid’s old stuff are worth extra money by checking for a white-bodied cloth torso. Dolls produced later, after Rowland sold her company to the toy giants at Mattel, feature cloth centers that match the character’s skin tone.
Another important detail that can drive up the asking price: Rowland’s signature. Back when she produced them herself and sold them through a catalogue, she added her signature to the midsection of each girl.
To get an idea of how much you might be able to cash in on, a quick scroll through eBay shows Samantha dolls going for as much as $3,000 to $7,000. Molly is listed at prices up to $5,000, and Kirsten as high as $2,000. Aside from the signature and original torsos, the value will depend on their condition, of course. A pristine Samantha doll with Rowland’s signature recently sold for $12,000 at auction!
Being able to include things like the original book that accompanied each doll or other accessories like clothes, shoes, and hair brushes can earn you more, too. One impressive haul of Molly and accessories is currently going for $10,000 on eBay.
See, it pays to hang onto your kid’s or grandkid’s toys! Or if you’d rather just relive some of your own childhood nostalgia, the American Girl store re-released the original line of six dolls in honor of this year’s anniversary — but Samantha is the only one that hasn’t sold out yet (Buy on American Girl, $150).