You're Never Too Old to Play

  • 01 of 08

    An Age-Old Question

    Courtesy of Getty Images/Igor Balasanov

     As parents, we often rely on age-rating guidelines. This movie is PG-13; that TV show is a hot-and-heavy MA. Music albums (mainly, CDs) came with "Parental Advisory" warnings on the shrink wrap. Even the toy industry will tell you when a doll is intended for an audience of 3 and above, or 6 and older. The question is, is there a time when your daughter is too old to play with dolls? Is there an expiration date for wanting to handle, groom, and garb a "play" doll?

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  • 02 of 08

    Hands-On Play

    Courtesy of Getty Images/Florin Pronoiu

    When your daughter was very little, she would play with her dolls in a real face-to-face, up-close and personal way. Little kids really put their imaginary babies through the wringer, often leading to grimy, grubby dolls with damaged clothing. This hands-on nurturing and interacting normally lasts until about age 9, when young girls still insist on having their American Girl dolls accompany them everywhere. However, when your daughter hits the double digits, that interaction recedes and then...MORE disappears for good. Or does it?

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  • 03 of 08

    SteamPunk Romance

    Courtesy of Volks/Super Dollfie

     When girls become tweens and then teens, they put aside the physical playing with dolls. However, they don't abandon that vicarious way of living a different life. Instead of playing mommy to their vinyl baby doll, they often play video games. One of the most popular game genres for girls (and adult women, too) are the otome games. These are video games that feature a female protagonist who will solve mysteries, go on adventures and ultimately fall in love. A hugely successful otome is Code:...MORE Realize and this ball-jointed doll (BJD) from Volks looks very much like the game's lead SteamPunk character, Cardia. 

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  • 04 of 08

    Boy Heroes

    Courtesy of Volks/Super Dollfie

     The ball-jointed dolls, BJDs, offer teenage gameplayers a chance to construct their dolls from scratch. They can order the parts and swap out how they want their finished doll to look. This Volks Super Dollfie resembles one of the lead characters from the popular Japanese otome game Norn9. In apps like Minecraft, players get to build virtual worlds. WIth BJD dolls, teenagers and even older enthusiasts can build 3-D dolls that key into their lush fantasy lives. 

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  • 05 of 08

    Zombie Attraction

    Courtesy of Dollmore

     The new millennium is distinguished by advancements in technology and a definite fascination with zombies. Even though they're slow-moving, you can't escape them. Zombies are on TV, in films, on clothing, in rap lyrics, and in the play arena. The Soaked Grudge Zinna doll, from Dollmore, lets teens unleash their inner "walker." This doll comes ready-made in a limited-edition set. It blends ghoulish realism with high-fashion sensibilities. Perfect timing with the release of Pride,...MORE Prejudice and Zombies on the horizon.

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  • 06 of 08

    Moulin Rouge

    Courtesy of Dollmore

     Dollmore's "Bitter Biscuit" is a variation on the Judith Dollpire/Zinna doll. It's hard to believe that this aristocratic BJD is built from many of the same body parts as the previous Soaked Grudge doll. It's all a matter of wigging, costuming, commissioned makeup application and eye selection.

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  • 07 of 08

    Fairy-Tale Romance

    Courtesy of JPOP Dolls/Kaye Wiggs

     Kaye Wiggs is one of the most revered BJD artists today. Her creations are magical and mythical. Teens who like the world of Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing games (RPGs) will adore her versions of pixies, elves, sylphs and other make-believe denizens.

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  • 08 of 08

    Pretend Pairs

    Courtesy of JPOP Dolls/Kaye Wiggs

    Presented by JPOP Dolls, Kaye Wiggs's elves are lovely and lyrical. They have the look of Middle Earth residents or some other J.R.R. Tolkien realm. The BJD world is a welcoming one for teens who like to immerse themselves in fantasy books by authors like Terry Brooks, George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling and Brian Froud. In the BJD field, fantasy comes alive in your teen's hands. That's a definite attraction.