Melissa & Doug are ubiquitous with vintage toys, and this magnetic dress-up set is no exception.
These modern, heavy-duty wooden dolls maintain the vintage look you know. Eight outfits and 24 accessories to choose from. Comes in a handy, compact carrying case for trips and commutes. The durable design makes these a great first set for kids as young as 3.
The box has no lid.
These popular paper dolls come with more than 250 accessories.
Surprise your child with this unpredictable set. Allows your kids to color their dolls with crayons, markers, and stickers. A great basic set of classic paper dolls with a modern look. It makes for a great stocking stuffer.
These are not as durable as other sets often are.
These vintage paper dolls have more than 80 outfits to try on.
This set is made for little storytellers to boost their creativity and act their ideas out. The set includes 3 magnetic sheets, a mini story maker, and a play scene case that holds 85 dress-up pieces. Magnetic sheets are durable and easy to apply.
Some buyers think the magnets are too weak.
Great choice for on-the-go fun.
Features a fun art theme that encourages creativity. Comes with scenes for play and a wide variety of clothes and accessories. This set comes in a cute metal box that can double as a convenient storage place. A perfect item for travel and on-the-go play.
Can't really display the child's creations easily.
Beloved characters and a lot of sparkling fun.
Box includes both Anna and Elsa dolls. This set includes some sparkly accessories. More than 25 clothing options are included. Great for children 3 years and older. Packaging can also serve as a storage box.
Some complaints of weak magnets.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
For centuries, paper dolls have been a favorite toy of children for their simplicity and customizability. Though many people think of the early twentieth century when they think of these toys, paper dolls remain popular and available in a variety of forms.
Originally made out of paper with folding tabs to stick pieces together, today’s paper dolls are also made of magnetic materials, vinyl, and stickers. Regardless of format, most dolls are designed to be reusable so you can dress them up again and again, mixing and matching the included clothing and accessories. As with traditional dolls, paper dolls come in a range of styles, sizes, poses, and characters, giving you or your child plenty of options.
Though paper dolls are almost always affordable, you should still consider your options carefully before buying a kit that will lead to hours of fun.
Compared with Barbie dolls or American Girl Dolls, paper dolls are affordable on almost any budget. They’re just as customizable, and it’s easier to create a set or background to display your creations against. In addition, many paper dolls are made with sustainable materials rather than plastic.
It’s easy to take paper dolls on the go by storing them in their original packaging or tucking them into a folder. Because of their naturally slim size, a large paper doll collection doesn’t take up that much space when put into storage.
In addition to the obvious choice, there are a few materials to choose from that come with advantages and disadvantages.
Paper dolls come in a wide variety of styles, from modern characters to historical figures.
Realistic paper dolls usually have accurate proportions and clothing. Historic dolls can be a great way to educate children about specific time periods or regions of the world.
Dolls depicting popular characters or celebrities are a favorite of many children and have been a mainstay of paper dolls for decades. These are often more cartoonish and exaggerated in style, which can make them distinctive and charming. From Disney characters to classic stars, your child is likely to find a paper doll version of their favorite icons.
Animal paper dolls may depict classic animal characters and their wardrobes, or they may simply represent your child’s favorite animal with an adorable collection of clothes and accessories.
As with any toy, the total number of components varies from set to set. Most important is the number of dolls, but also take note of the number and variety of clothing included. Most kits include around 30 to 80 pieces, but some may include as many as 600. The more clothing and accessories in a set, the more dress-up possibilities there are. Some dolls cannot be dressed up and come in a single outfit, though this is rare.
Some paper dolls can be quite small, which may be difficult for tiny hands to work with. This is particularly true of paper options, due to their small folding tabs. If your child is very young or has difficulty with dexterity, look for larger dolls with sizable accessories.
Most kits come with dolls and accessories that are either precut or come on perforated paper so you can easily remove each item.
However, some kits come in a booklet and must be cut out. This can be time-consuming and there’s plenty of room for error, but if you’re up for the challenge, it can give you more ownership over your creations.
Unlike traditional dolls, paper dolls are less about playing and more about fashion. Because of their affordability, many kits come with a large number of clothing items.
If you or your child enjoy coloring, you can get a truly customizable experience with black-and-white paper dolls designed to be colored in. This can be time-consuming, but the result is a doll with a wardrobe that truly suits your taste and style.
The paper doll equivalent of dollhouses is backgrounds and settings, which allow you to put your costumed character into a variety of scenes. Paper doll versions of popular characters often include iconic settings to put the character against. For those who love to play pretend, this may be a must-have feature.
In addition to the variety of clothing in a set, make note of what accessories are included. Some kits include stickers for items like hats, bags, shoes, watches, and other items that add to the fun.
By the nature of their materials and two-dimensional designs, paper dolls are often a bit floppy and can’t stand up on their own. However, some sets feature dolls made of cardstock or chipboard that can be propped upright with a stand. This allows you to create three-dimensional scenes, or simply display your dolls on a shelf.
In addition, thicker paper or boards means a longer lifespan for your dolls if you will play with them often.
Because paper dolls can’t be repositioned like regular dolls, you’re stuck with whatever pose they come in. Many come in a simple upright pose with their hands by their sides, but others come in a variety of unique poses for an “in-action” look.
The cheapest paper doll sets are those you can print, which start at around $2 and reach as high as $8. Some simple booklet paper dolls can also be found in this range, though they may not be precut. While these options require a bit more work, they’re a good budget option. If you opt for a printable set, bear in mind the cost of ink and paper in addition to the PDFs.
Most paper doll kits cost from $8 to $15 and include a variety of accessories and often multiple dolls. Many sets in this range also include backgrounds and may come in convenient carrying cases. Expect to find a variety of materials at this price point.
For $15 to $30 are vintage and collectible sets as well as robust sets including hundreds of items. For the paper doll enthusiast, the extra price is usually worth it, especially when you consider the cost per accessory in the kit.
Some paper dolls can be found in fashion and lifestyle magazines. While this used to be much more common, a few magazines still keep up the practice.
A. You can, but choose a glue that won’t cause the paper to wrinkle. Glue sticks usually work well and allow you to reposition items after they’re glued.
A. They do, but this is just a part of the hobby. You can avoid tears by handling dolls gently and by reinforcing them with craft sticks or by laminating them. They can be repaired by putting a bit of tape on the back side — just be sure to use acid-free tape.
A. Most paper dolls are on either a 1:6 or 1:12 scale. However, even when two sets have the same scale, clothing can rarely be mixed between the two due to the many different poses of dolls.