She sits in a wooden highchair in the kitchen and watches the family eat pasta and meatballs every Sunday. She never eats with us. But we enjoy her company just the same. She is my mother-in-law's vinyl toddler and she bears a striking resemblance to my mother-in-law. She's a customized "look alike" doll. Just how did she come to look so much like her owner? There are a couple of dolls on the market that can tell the story of look alike dolls, the My Twinn doll and the American Girl "Just Like You" doll. Knowing a little bit about them might help you decide the best route for getting a look alike doll for your child.
The first order of business with these dolls is the business of ordering them. My Twinn is truly a customized doll. The process of ordering one includes picking some of the physical features of the doll (like skin tone), picking the clothes and accessories and mailing the order in with a picture of the person you would like the doll to look like. Because of the level of customization, this process takes at least 4-5 weeks. You can speed the ordering process up by ordering an American Girl "Just Like You" doll. But in doing this, you will compromise the degree to which the doll will look like its owner. Rather than having the doll made to look like somebody, you choose from 25 existing dolls the one that looks most like its future owner. Since American Girl dolls are not made to order, they usually arrive within a couple of weeks.
Other differences in doll characteristics between My Twinn and American Girl include the size of the dolls, gender availability and "age" availability. My Twinn dolls measure 23 inches in length while American Girl dolls measure 18 inches in length. Because of this, clothing is not interchangeable between them. You cannot purchase American Girl clothing for a My Twinn doll. If you are shopping for a look alike doll for a boy, you cannot get it at American Girl. But My Twinn accommodates boys and girls. Also available at My Twinn but not at American Girl are toddler look alikes. This is the doll my mother-in-law has. The whole family gets a kick out of this doll.
My Twinn dolls offer a slightly better selection of clothing and accessories as well. While American Girl does off some selections of matching girl and doll clothes, most of American Girl's clothing and accessories are specifically designed for the Historical Character Dolls American Girl is most known for. Since My Twinn specializes in making dolls look like their owners, there is a wide array of clothing and accessories designed to make dolls look just like their owners.
Doll care is pretty comparable between these two dolls. Both of them can be sent out to a "doll hospital" for grooming and repairs. It is difficult to find a price list for American Girl's doll hospital. My Twinn's list is easy to find on line and is very detailed.
Although it may seem like My Twinn has more to offer in look alike dolls, there is a significant difference in the cost of the dolls. My Twinn girls and boys start at $139 and toddlers at $99. American Girl dolls start at $87. You pay for the extra customization, the size of the doll and the gender and age choices. If you are not specifically looking for the larger doll, a boy or a toddler, you may be able to save some money by looking at the 25 American Girl dolls before you send in that photo to My Twinn. Whichever doll you choose, any little girl (and a few boys and grown women too) would love to have a doll that looks just like her.