Talking dolls are especially suitable for baby girls and boys that are still new to talking themselves: toddlers aged 2 and 3. There are talking dolls available for older kids (girls), but the reviews aren’t good so I’m leaving them out.
A doll that talks will mostly repeat phrases. As anyone with any experience with small kids knows: this endless repetition is fun for them, though tiresome for any adults present. Personally I prefer the simpler dolls in the category: let the child make their own story, instead of having to deal with the story the creator decided on in advance.
This talking version of the plucky Parisian heroine of the Bemelmans Mad about Madeline makes endless play time possible. This doll version of Madeline is soft, 16-inch, has a vinyl head, an unremovable hat, and red, rooted nylon hair. All her clothes are permanently sewn onto her, though her coat can be removed with careful trimming at the front. The Madeline dolls speaks clearly and says things like, “Bonjour” and “You’re my special friend.”
If they’re curious, your kids will find her appendix scar.
Toddlers will want to take the hat off, which is the main customer complaint. However, 2 to 4 year old girls who love the story love the doll as well.
The main complaint users have with this doll is that it eats batteries like crazy. However, that’s to be expected with a doll that walks on it’s own. Talking and giggling of course also eats electricity.
In summary: it will depend on the personality of your child, and your willingness to keep supplying batteries, whether this doll is a success or not.
Compared to the dolls above this is really a low-tech option. Dora knows only three phrases from the show. The backpack comes with a camera, magnifying glass or binoculars so your toddler can play out Dora’s travels with some of the accessories.
I like Dora in terms of educational value. First off: she’s a popular doll that’s not white. All those blond dolls get on my nerves, honestly. Second: she’s an active girl, not just pretty. That’s how your girl will be in future as well – it makes for a useful role model.