Spotlight and ChiTAG 2014 Review: College Savings Doll (Contest in post, too!)

At ChiTAG 2014, I met Patty.  Patty is the CEO of College Savings Dolls.  I’ve been following this line on facebook for a while now, where they post a lot of interesting articles about keeping track of your finances and saving for the future, but not so much about the dolls themselves.  I asked Patty if she’d answer a few questions about College Savings Dolls and their website.

logo

logo

Q: What is your role and how did College Savings Dolls come about? What makes this line unique?
A: I am Patty Errera, the founder of College Savings dolls.  Sarah Dugo is my co-founder.  We both were discussing a show on Oprah about little girls around 5 years old, worried about how they looked.  One girl would eat the corners of her paper, so she wouldn’t get fat.  another little girl would argue daily with her Mom about what she would wear to kindergarten, so she would look perfect. It made us think about what messages are being sent to little girls everywhere about their own bodies and self esteem.  This is how the idea of the doll started with a body that is realistic with a positive message, be proud of who you are and how you look.  Not a photo shopped movie star with unhealthy body image that is unattainable for most people.

We wanted a doll that was bigger and scaled to real girl proportions, she is career oriented so girls can dream and imagine what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Education is the key to success, so we wanted to teach parents and children the importance of saving for college and preparing at an young age, so they won’t be part of the student loan debt problem that leaves college graduates in debt before they even start their first job.

Sarah is a teacher and taught kindergarten and saw this impact in her class room, she strongly believes our dolls can make a difference, one child at a time.    I have been in banking and finance for over 30 years and wanted to share my knowledge and keep it simple and easy for kids to start saving, by having them involved with their parents in preparing for their future.  This is where we came up with “Play, Imagine, Save and Succeed”.

Our dolls are bigger than Barbie and easy to dress and undress. They have painted undergarments so there are no naked dolls laying around little girls rooms. We will have separate career clothes that can be purchased separately, so you won’t have to buy a new doll to get a new outfit.

Q: What do you want children to get out of College Savings Dolls and your website?
A: We hope that educating the next generation of girls and boys through our website about saving and how easy it can be to start and continue with small amounts of money saved on a regular monthly basis, this will grow over time into a larger sum of cash to put toward their education. Kids are smart and love to learn, by teaching them at an early age and getting them involved they will learn life lessons about becoming a smart financial saver. Student loan debt is over $1 trillion dollars, which is more than credit card debt. We want to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Our website has important information about 529 plans and simple ideas for kids to start saving their own money. We have banks on our website that also can be purchased to get kids (boys and girls) started in their savings plan. Our website also has each real girls story about what college experience they had and everyone has their own choice of college. Some are good at a big University, some went to community college first, everyone is an individual and the school they choose should reflect their personality.

Deanna

Deanna


Q: Do you have any new dolls for 2015? Are there plans to add a boy to the line?

A: The three new dolls are Aliana (darker skin toned), Tara (dark brown hair with green eyes) and Lauren (has brown hair and brown eyes). These are all real girls that I know and have different goals and career options. We don’t have any ideas for a boy doll yet, but we might try to incorporate an action hero of some type to inspire little boys.

Q: Where can collectors find College Savings Dolls?

A: Our dolls are only sold on our website right now, but we hope to get them into some specialty toy stores next year.

Deanna

Deanna

Now, onto the review!  I received a Deanna for review at ChiTAG 2014. She’s a doll that people will definitely have opinions on, both good and bad.  Deanna is made of vinyl and is 15″ tall. Deanna is strung with thick white string. She’s modeled after a real girl, like the other dolls in the line.  Bio’s telling the models stories are on the website.  It’s a nice touch and brings the dolls to life in a way other lines can’t.

Deanna

Deanna

Deanna doesn’t have your typical 15″ to 18″ body type.  First, this doll isn’t a pre-teen character.  She’s a young adult and college graduate, at that.  Instead of your traditional fashion body, with a skinny waist and petite features, Deanna’s body was designed to mirror an actual young adult body.  Her torso is box-like in shape.

Deanna

Deanna

Her bust isn’t as robust or perfect as your traditional fashion doll body, either.  It’s a body type you’ll either love or hate, depending on the kinds of dolls you collect.  One thing that bothers me about the body is the thick neck.  It seems too thick for the size of the head and makes the body look ‘off’.

Deanna

Deanna

Deanna’s head has good movement to it and will tilt up and down, as well as turn left and right.  She has jointed shoulders and hips.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t have elbow joints or knee joints.  My doll doesn’t stand due to having a leg that is just a smidgen longer than the other.

Deanna

Deanna

College Savings Dolls come dressed in a few different items.  Their undergarments, like Deanna’s bra and undies, are part of the body mold and painted white.  The most prominent part of her outfit is her graduation cap and gown.  The yellow gown closes with a yellow, plastic zipper.  Under her gown is a black and white polka dotted dress.  It’s removable, so you can change her outfit if you’d like.  College Savings Dolls plans on selling outfits for these dolls, though I don’t see them offered just yet.  Her look is completed with a pair of black flats.

Deanna

Deanna

In sticking with the idea of creating a doll that is realistic, Deanna has a realistic sort of face.  Instead of the large, anime style eyes we see a lot on doll lines, Deanna has a more natural sculpt.

Deanna

Deanna

Her hair is surprisingly soft!  Sometimes with start ups, companies will cut corners in the hair department.  Deanna has a nice head of chocolate brown hair.  It’s nicely rooted, stylable and soft.

Deanna

Deanna

Deanna and her friends are sold online.  While two dolls are out now, three more dolls will hit the site in 2015.

And there’s more!  I’m giving this doll away to one lucky reader.  She’ll arrive out of box, but in good condition.  If you’d like to win Deanna, fill out the form below.  I’ll be choosing a winner 2/07/15.  Due to her size, I can only ship within the US and Canada.

What do you think of College Savings Dolls?  Share your thoughts below!

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January 20, 2015. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Bad touch Bear replied:

    I don’t think I’d want a doll looking like that. I like the concept behind the line but the product doesn’t have those bells and whistles that bring little children to the table.

    Her body anatomy also looks wrong. I know its centered on looking closer to what people look like yet her arm and leg proportion makes her look gross along with the thick neck you mentioned; I wouldn’t want to see this doll naked.

    On a positive note, Aliana and Lauren – their faces look nice but these dolls still need something that makes them unique and interesting.

    To me dressing them in cap and gown and having a real type body aren’t enough, I can even argue the body types aren’t even diverse but I haven’t seen other dolls undressed.

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