If you talk to any doll collector and ask them their favorite accessories, the answers will all be different. Some folks like the clothes, some are addicted to shoes, others furniture. My personal favorite: doll food and kitchen accessories. What’s great about it is that there are so many options out there in many different scales, and in recent years, 1/3 scale (which is what AG and other 18 inch dolls are) has expanded tremendously.
In this post, I’m going to show you some of the options available, and tell you what I think of them.
We’ll start here first since it’s the most obvious. When Pleasant Company started, there weren’t a lot of options as far as food accessories. Typically it was a lunch for each doll and a birthday party set. As time went on, more and more items came available. Only one problem: they all come as sets, and they aren’t cheap!
I personally am not a huge fan of AG food for a couple of reasons: as I mentioned before, you usually have to buy it as part of a set and I really don’t like that many times what would be multiple individual pieces are all made as a “blob” of food. I suspect the reason for the latter is that their legal department has concerns of a child perhaps choking on one of these toys should they put it in their mouth. I don’t agree with that at all because they do clearly state age limits on their products and if a parent is going to give these items to someone not old enough and not supervise them, that’s their issue, not AG. Unfortunately that isn’t how our legal system seems to work anymore though, and as a result, we get sub-standard quality. Ugh. I only have one big set of AG food, I got them when I bought the Campus Snack Cart Set. It is cute though, and I feel that it’s probably one of the more versatile sets in that you can use it for many different set ups. And only one “blob” which I totally understand in this situation, can you imagine making individual doll sized French fries?
Our Generation has really stepped up their game in competing with the competition and they have come out with some fun stuff. Their prices are affordable, and they have a decent variety of sets available. My only real complaint with their sets is too many repeats! Especially with fruit, they need to come up with some different food items for future sets, I like variety. I have noticed new food items appearing in the newer sets.
Fruit of the month club anyone?!
This isn’t something that immediately comes to mind when thinking doll food, but they work very well, some pieces better than others. I especially like their ice cream themed items, they fit well in a dolls hands. They aren’t super expensive and are fairly easy to find, I’ve come across them on Amazon as well as many stores (Target, Family Dollar, Staples). They are fun because not only are they erasers, but they are also puzzles that can be disassembled and reassembled.
This is another one that doesn’t immediately come to mind, but there are some really cute ones out there that can be used as doll food substitutes. Claire’s carries these on a regular basis, but if you are patient, you can frequently find these in dollar stores (Dollar Tree, Dollar General,etc) and they are way cheaper!
Now on to my favorite doll food items: handmade!!! There are a number of people out there who have turned making doll food into an art form, and I’m continually amazed at the details on some of these items. You know they are successful when just looking at the item makes you drool!! The ones I have listed here are artisans who I have personal experience with, but I know there are lots of others who I’ve not purchased from who have some beautiful pieces as well.
This was the first Etsy shop that I purchased doll food from, and for one main reason: I wanted donuts! Her donuts didn’t disappoint either. I also picked up some pumpkin pie, pancakes, and a tossed salad. Prices are incredibly reasonable and scale is very good. I need to order some of her doll sized cantelope, I’ve never seen anyone else sell it and it looks yummy!
Pippaloo is a bit of a legend in the doll world, her doll food is extraordinarily detailed, and her business model is very interesting. In order to keep from suffering from creative burn out (which I totally get) she only lists items once a month, and when they are gone, that’s it. If you’ve ever tried to buy from Pippaloo, I’m sure you will agree with me that it’s a bit like going to a Black Friday sale, someone may quickly buy something before you can complete the sale. While some might find that disappointing, others might find it exciting. I’ve purchased a couple of things from her and I’ve never been let down as far as quality, it’s top notch. To me, her best thing is her cakes, beautifully detailed! They aren’t cheap, but worth every penny because the attention to detail is simply amazing.
Another amazing artist, her stuff is droolworthy. She has an Etsy store as well as a website, and I like that she sells both sets as well as individual items. Attention to detail on her items is superb, it’s tempting to take a bite! Her inventory changes on a regular basis to reflect upcoming holidays and seasons, so you never know what you might find on her site. I’ve bought more from her than any other food artist because of that, she has such a great variety of different items. Be sure to sign up for her e-mail notifications as she not only lets you know when new items have come out, but she also runs a sale once in a while.
I wasn’t familiar with her items until I was gifted a box of blueberry muffins by Sharry–so cute! I was glad she didn’t scent them as it would have made it very tempting to try one–and break a tooth! LOL From the detail to the food to the cute little box they came in, I was very impressed. This is a seller I’m sure I’ll be buying more from. (Note: she is currently on a break, but you can still subscribe to notifications from her store)
Make Your Own!
Making your own is another option, and one I have tried a little. There are so many tutorials out there on various sites (My Froggy Stuff, American Girl Ideas) and it’s a great way to exercise that creativity. If you read the bio’s of some of the people who make doll food to sell, you will notice that many of them just started out by making stuff for themselves or their children, and got completely hooked. I haven’t gotten into it on a large scale, but I have purchased some materials to make a few things. I have a feeling that once I get started, I might not get stopped! What’s nice about making your own is that it can be made out of a variety of materials: paper, Sculpey or Fimo clay, Model Magic, felt–the list goes on and on. One of the cleverest I’ve seen was an ear of corn made out of beads.
If you’ve purchased something food related from a seller or company I haven’t mentioned and you were happy with it, please tell us about it in the comments. I do have to ask that you limit those comments to only places you have purchased from, I’m not running an advertising agency for companies/artists of unknown quality. Thanks!