A little over a year ago we received a Maplelea Girls catalogue with my daughter’s Chirp magazine. These Canadian play dolls looked amazing. They captured my attention immediately, and that of my daughter as well. I knew that Rainbow was too young for Maplelea Girls at the moment, but I was definitely leaning towards getting her one once she was a bit older. My only hesitation was the $99.99 price tag. The dolls looked lovely, but were they worth it?
Having now had one of these dolls in our home I can say that they are worth every penny. You need to see these dolls in person. They are absolutely amazing. Yes, I received this doll for free as a review item, but now having had this doll in our possession I would without hesitation buy a second Maplelea Girls doll for my younger daughter once she reaches an appropriate age.
I was simply blown away by the quality, and I love the educational aspects as well. The Maplelea Girls dolls are designed to help kids learn about Canada’s culture, heritage and geography. These 18″ vinyl play dolls are high quality, sturdy, and made with an incredible attention to detail. Each Maplelea Girl has different interests, lives in a different part of Canada and has different stories to share with her new owner via her accompanying journal. We recently welcomed Saila into our home and Rainbow is utterly enchanted with her.
I have to admit I had some reservations about handing a hundred dollar doll over to my not quite five year old daughter (especially since the suggested age range is 6 to 12+). However, Rainbow has had this doll trailing her like a shadow for a few weeks now and Saila still looks like new. She is incredibly durable and well made. Rainbow is also treating her with a gentle reverence that is sort of touching.
The other day Rocket (age 2) said to me, “That’s not a doll. That Saila. She people.”, which is a pretty accurate representation of the reverence with which her older sister’s new friend is getting treated. Rainbow views Saila as a guest in our home and she wants to introduce her to everyone and show her everything.
Rainbow had picked this particular doll from the line up of Maplelea Girls, and she knew she would be arriving in the mail. On the day the doll arrived we opened the package and my daughter shyly reached out and touched the doll and said, “You must be Saila! I’m so happy you’re here!” She then removed her from the box and said, “Saila this is my mom and this is my little sister. Guys this is Saila!” It was really disgustingly cute, and completely different from how I’ve seen her interact with dolls in the past.
Rainbow loves that Saila has a soft body and is “fun to hug”. She loves her long dark hair, and her detailed outfits. She enjoys whispering secrets in her ear, and carrying her with us everywhere we go.
show, to Mimi’s house,
And I can totally understand why my daughter is enamoured with her. Everything about this doll is absolutely amazing. The doll itself is incredibly well made. Her hair is beautiful, as are her lidded close-when-you-lay-her-down eyes. Her clothing is gorgeous. The attention to detail is amazing. Saila comes dressed in jeans and t-shirt, plus a warm zip up vest, and a pair of traditional Inuit boots called kamiik. Gorgeous is not usually a term I use for jeans and a t-shirt, however in this case it’s entirely apt. The jean material has a shimmer woven into it so that they sparkle. The jeans and the sleeveless vest both have real pockets! The t-shirt is gathered around the neck, and has a maple leaf embroidered in the corner. Each piece is just incredibly well made, and VERY easy to take off and put back on, which anyone who has ever helped a young child play with dolls knows is a BIG plus.
When you order from the website they tell you that the dolls come packaged in a sturdy storage box. Of all things, I was blown away by how nice the box is. It’s is INCREDIBLY sturdy. Rocket tried using it as a stepstool, and while I tucked the box away for now so I wouldn’t have to keep convincing her it was neither for sitting on nor standing on, the box came through totally unscathed. It’s made from a very thick board, with a nice smooth glossy paper overcoat. Seriously keepsake level nice.
I had been talking to my mom on the phone about how cool the journal was, all the neat info in it, how much Rainbow loved me reading it to her, how there were prompts and blank pages for her to fill in her own story, etc. Of course the next time my mom stopped by our house the first thing my daughter wanted to do was to show off her new friend and her book. My mom oohed and awed over the doll, then picked up the journal and said to me, “You didn’t tell me it was beautiful!”
And it is. The outside of the journal is a soft rubbery plastic, with an elasticized band which hooks over a cute flower button to keep it closed. The paper and print quality is lovely, as is the layout and design of the journal pages. It’s obvious that someone put a lot of thought and work into designing these.
I love the educational aspects of the journal. I love that my daughter is learning, reading (and re-reading!) about Saila‘s life in Nunavut and constantly asking me questions. The journal is written for a grade four reading level, so some of it is over my five year old’s comprehension level. But that’s okay with me, it just leads to some really great conversations as I try and answer her questions.
The outfits that are available for the dolls are adorable. Again the quality on the clothes is simply amazing, better made then some things currently hanging in my closet. When Rainbow received money in a card from her great-aunt for her birthday, she immediately knew she wanted to spend it on an outfit for Saila. We ended up picking up a set of Polar Bear PJs, they came complete with a wee polar bear for the doll to hug and a set of soft fluffy slippers.
Also, like every outfit available for the Maplelea Girls the set included new journal pages. There was a page containing some neat facts about polar bears, and a blank page. As with all of Saila’s journal pages there were three copies, one in English, one in French and one in Inuktitut. I was easily able to open the journal, which is like a small three ring binder, and add the new pages in. Both I and my daughter were impressed. I am certain that more outfits and accessories for Saila will be a favourite gift on special occasions for years to come.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Maplelea Girls dolls. I am in love with Saila. In her we have found a well made quality plaything that helps nurture my daughter’s curiosity about this awesome country we live in.
Maplelea Girls dolls are available for sale only directly through their website:
Check out their site to see the many gorgeous outfits and fun accessories available, as well as the different Maplelea Girls dolls. You can also sign up to receive a Maplelea Girls catalogue in the mail, which is full of beautiful photos and lots of fun to look through.
So what do you guys think? Have any Maplealea Girls living in your house?
Disclosure: I received a Maplelea Girls doll for review purposes. As always my words and opinions are my own.