Between Barbies, Disney princesses, Bratz and Monster High dolls, the market for little girls’ dolls seems fairly limited. If you’re tired of buying Barbies and princesses, and you can’t shell out the cash for American Girls dolls, what options do you have? Well, now you have Go! Go! Sports Girls. These fun, fabric-and-yarn dolls are perfect for a younger audience (age 11 and younger), and they focus on encouraging girls to remain active and healthy. A number of Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors with young daughters had the opportunity to check out the brand’s new Read and Play series – dolls that come with a corresponding sports story – to share their thoughts with you. Check out what they discovered:
Lacy G., Running Limit-less
“My daughter really loved the Runner Girl Ella doll. She especially loved her little backpack that she could take on and off. She has been playing with her since we got her.
The book was a bit long and wordy. My daughter was probably a little too young for that length of a story. She usually sits for quite a while when we read to her, but she got antsy and bored with this. I think the story could have benefited from being reduced in length to hold kids’ attention better. I did, however, like the little bits of information throughout the story.”
- Pros: Daughter loves the book and the little backpack
- Cons: Book might be a little long for a younger audience
Ivanna B., I am Fitness 7
“My daughter received the gymnastics doll Maya. This was suitable for her because she is just starting in gymnastics and is growing to love it. The doll was very cute and my daughter lit up when she saw it. It’s made completely out of fabric and yarn, which was neat. Maya was dressed in a gymnastic leotard and came with a little doll-sized back pack with a towel inside. The doll is supposed to come with a book, but it won’t be available until April. I read the e-book that was sent to me to my daughter online. The story was awesome – it had a good moral and made my daughter play with the doll even more. It also had healthy tips at the end that little gymnasts should follow.
The only con I could find is I hope they make more diverse selection of dolls to choose from in the future. My daughter is already asking for another one and this is a product I’d surely purchase in the future.”
- Pros: Daughter loves the cute doll, great story with a good moral
- Cons: Hope there will be more diverse doll selections in the future
Joanna B., Sports Bras and Sippy Cups
“My daughter Zoe is a spunky three year old who loves to be read to! This product line was right up her alley! We sat down and read the story of Suzi Swimmer Girl. Zoe really enjoyed the story. As a mother, I enjoyed all of the extra things that were mentioned such as, the history of swimming and different types of strokes. Zoe had lots of questions about swimming on a team and why they wore swim caps and goggles. Overall, the story was excellent and I love how at the end it gave encouraging info and tips from Suzi about the sport and being healthy!
After we read the story I surprised Zoe with the Suzi Swimmer doll. It was love at first sight! She loves how soft Suzi is and was excited to explore the backpack she was wearing. She had issues keeping the goggles on, but was happy to see that they matched the pictures in the story. She was bummed that Suzi did not come with the swim cap though.
Overall we really enjoyed this product and would recommend it to friends and family.”
- Pros: Great story that mothers and daughters can appreciate, daughter loves the doll
- Cons: Goggles didn’t stay on well
Stephanie D., Confessions of a City Eater
“The doll is really cute and will definitely draw a child’s attention. My oldest (4 years old) is more into stuffed animals than dolls, but she really liked Ella and immediately took hold of her. My youngest (2 years old) wasn’t too happy with that! I had to promise to get her one so she would stop crying. Ella the doll is dressed the same as the Ella in the story, and I loved the “Dream Big Run Fast” that was embroidered on her belly. I also liked that she came with a little backpack and a towel so you can wipe her off after her run. The clothes and shoes are sewed on, which I really appreciate since I hate that my kids are constantly undressing their dolls. Overall, she looks like a sturdy doll that will hold up in the washer and dryer. The things I didn’t like, and this is nitpicking, were the “Go Go Sports Girl” was stamped wrong on the backpack, and the backpack can separate from the doll, which makes me dread the day the backpack is misplaced.
I loved the story! I loved how, in addition to the story, there were facts about running throughout the book that were stated in a developmentally appropriate way – they were explained in a way that even my four year old could understand. The story itself was really cute, and tells how Ella started running because she wanted a dog. She decided to take her neighbor’s dog for a walk, and instead, the dog took her for a run. I like how the book described her first run as going from heavy legs to lightness. I also liked how she was able to get the rest of her family into running. And, of course, I liked the happy ending. At the end of the book there are two things that really make it unique: 1) a list of what Ella learned, and 2) healthy tips. When I finished the story, I asked my oldest what she thought Ella learned and she said “how to run and do good things,” so she got the gist of the book. The illustrations are fun and eye-catching, and they do a pretty good job at representing different races throughout the book. The things I didn’t like were that the book didn’t give much of an intro to Ella. The book starts off with her parents telling her she can get a dog when she’s “older,” which made me wonder about her age, especially since it seems like Ella starts off running with the dogs by herself. I think this is a fun book for a young child (10 and under) – I’m not sure how interested a pre-teen or teen would be in it.”
- Pros: Great doll, both daughters loved it; book was well-written and explained concepts in age-appropriate ways
- Cons: The backpack separates from the doll, so it could be lost; book won’t likely be interesting for pre-teens
Amanda, Friday Love Song
“The other day my daughter (affectionately known as mini me) and I received A Go! Go! Sports Girl doll and book to review. We were given a choice of dolls, and since my daughter is interested in soccer, that’s the doll I went with. We liked that the doll itself is a nice size, is made of a soft material and comes with a few accessories. Our soccer girl “Cassie” came with a backpack, a towel, and a soccer ball. She even had a cute and motivational saying embroidered on her belly reading, “Dream Big, Score Goals.” The book was provided to us in PDF format since it had yet to be printed. We sat together at the computer and read Cassie’s soccer story. The story was interesting enough for my daughter (who is 6) to be engaged and entertained the entire time, and she really liked that the doll matched back to the character in the book. Although we enjoyed the story, I feel that it was a little heavy on sports-specific terminology in some spots for younger girls, which could be a little confusing. Overall we really liked this product. I appreciate that it’s a positive sporty role model for my daughter, and it’s nice to give her something other than another Barbie doll to play with. The book also taught a lesson about sportsmanship, as well as listing some healthy tips at the end of the story.”
- Pros: Cute doll that’s a nice break from Barbie, story was interesting and age appropriate; a nice sporty role model
- Cons: Story had a bit too much sports-specific lingo for a younger audience
Tracey E., Aspire Fitness
“MC arrived a little over a week ago. She was quickly named “Star” by four-year old Libby, so the name stuck. Star and Libby have been rather inseparable since her arrival. Libby, being the youngest of four kids, is always trying to keep up with her older siblings and is a very active little girl.
We enjoyed the story, but the thing Libby loved most was having a doll that looked like a dancer. The story was a cute one, centered on a few important lessons: the importance of listening to those who can help you achieve a goal, the importance of practicing something you hope to become better at doing, and, most importantly, the importance of believing in yourself.
I tried to convey these to Libby, but I’m not sure how much sank in. Perhaps a little much for her little attention span? What she did love was the fact that there was a cute story (she loved the illustrations) about her doll, Star.
I have no doubt she will be dancing with her for some time.”
- Pros: Cute doll, loved that it looked like a dancer; story had great morals
- Cons: The story’s morals may have been a bit too deep for a younger audience
Jessie E., It’s a Messy Life
“We received the Gymnastics doll, Maya. My five year old daughter was so excited to play with the doll as soon as we got her. I read the small description that was attached to her and let her play away! I really think a book with a small story of Maya would be terrific! I think the doll is a good size for small girls, not sure if older girls would find her as fun. She’s soft and floppy, which both my daughter and I liked. The doll was easy to hold and my daughter had a blast throwing her up in the air to do flips and creating a little gym for her! I must say my daughter has already lost the small towel the doll came with. It wasn’t much use anyway, and I don’t think it was really necessary to include as an accessory. I think a cuter and more user-friendly accessory would be a little gym bag for Maya. Other than that, we really like the doll’s size, proportions, and of course, her focus on fitness and not being a princess!”
- Pros: The doll’s a good size, easy to carry and toss around; love that she’s sporty
- Cons: The towel that came with the doll has already been lost
Anna M., Miller Mania
“Camden (5 years old) and I received MC, a Go! Go! Sports Girl, to review. Camden was so excited to open the box and meet her new “friend.” Camden loves dolls, so calling her a friend is not an understatement. Camden reached into the box, pulled out MC, and patiently waited as I read her the information from her tag. After Camden found out MC was a dancer, she grabbed the shipping box, flipped it over and proclaimed that the box was MC’s stage. We were both excited when we saw she had a dance bag with a towel inside, and that you could take off her leg warmers. Camden played with MC for the next two hours before she had to head to bed.
I asked Camden the next morning if there was something she would want to change about MC if she was the doll maker. She said that she would want her to have red hair like her, and enjoy blueberries (the tag said she likes strawberries). As a mother, I loved that the doll had no hard plastic parts and was easy to snuggle and hug. If I could change one thing, it would be for MC to have some sort of wire in her so that she could hold her dance poses. Overall, she is a wonderful addition to our doll family.”
- Pros: Soft, huggable and loveable – loved the removable dance bag and leg warmers
- Cons: Would like the doll to be able to hold dance poses