American Girl Savings Game

In 1996 and 1997, Pleasant Company, the original manufacturers of American Girl dolls, advertised the free American Girl Savings Game in their catalogs. From a 1997 catalog, “Save for something special with this fun Savings Game. Learn to draw up a savings plan, set savings goals, and more. Plus there’s a sticker puzzle to assemble as you reach your goals.” To get a copy, all you had to do was call the company’s 800 number and they’d ship it to you for free.

Recently, we uncovered my old unused Savings Game. Basically, the Savings Game is a brochure that was designed to help kids save for whatever American Girl doll they had their eye on. It was super simple. It came with stickers shaped like puzzle pieces that you would stick to the puzzle in the brochure. Each sticker represented a deposit into your dolly savings fund.

One thing I love about the Savings Plan Game is that, besides being a clever way to market their dolls, it put importance on the child saving for their doll. A huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to this doll line is that so many parents just buy these for their kids, which teaches them no lessons at all about saving for the more expensive things you want.

Full disclosure, though– A big part of this opinion probably comes from the fact that I had to save my teensy weensy allowance and birthday/holiday money to buy a doll a year from the ages of nine to twelve. Do you know how long it takes a kid to save enough money for an American Girl doll?! A long time! But still, the wait was worth it and I value my American Girls more, I think, because I put my own money into them.

It’s worth pointing out that at this time, American Girl dolls were $82.00, plus $9.45 shipping, making them $91.45. Currently, a Felicity doll is $115.00, plus $13.00 shipping, making a doll $128.00 (plus taxes). Do you remember receiving an American Girl Savings Game as a kid? Did you use it to ‘save your way’ to your favorite American Girl doll? Let us know in the comment area!

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5 thoughts on “American Girl Savings Game

  1. I remember having one of these. It was such a nice idea! My parents also wouldn’t buy me Pleasant Company/American Girl dolls, so I saved for them and tried to get one per Christmas. It helped me value them even more. Their products used to be so much more “special” than they are nowadays. I’m glad they’re redoing the historical books to contain pictures and glossy pages again, for example (though I’d like to see them 100% back to original format). I hope they bring back some other old-fashioned (*gasp* makes me feel old) things to the line, like the historical craft kits. All the little touches like this savings puzzle made AG seem so different and more special than the AG of today.

  2. If I was in high school when this came out (I had long since graduated), it would have taken me 20 weeks of allowance to buy one of the dolls. No snacks, no movies, no gas, no books or comics. It would never have happened. LOL

    1. I guess that’s why it’s better to save up over a whole year instead of half a year: then you don’t have to deprive yourself of everything else in the meantime. 🙂

  3. What a great idea! I think this might work again.
    When I was in elementary school (a gazillion years ago) we all got savings accounts and used to deposit $.50 or so each week. It was big fun.
    I did save my allowance to buy clothing for my little Madame Alexander dolls.

  4. I wish I’d known about this as a kid! Maybe I wouldn’t have been diligent enough for success but I remember finding out how expensive they were and being disappointed because I knew I’d never get one. I did have some of the paper dolls though and I loved those (and the books of course but I think I read those at the library.)

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