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!