Maplelea Girls

Slogan: 
Canadian Girls, Real Adventures, True Friends
About the brand: 

From The Maplelea website:

Maplelea™ is a distinctively Canadian play experience featuring a collection of premium play dolls that celebrate our country's spirit and identity. This system blends traditional toys with interactive literature and contemporary role models to provide girls with wholesome, imaginative, and educational entertainment.

The first four characters, Taryn, Brianne, Alexi and Jenna, were introduced in 2003 at the Canadian Toy Fair in Toronto. 

Léonie joined the collection in 2008, Saila in 2011, and Charlsea in 2015. Each doll is a contemporary character from a different Canadian province.


Maplelea Girl Taryn in her box

The Maplelea Friends line was introduced in 2012 which are dolls that aren't named that girls are encouraged to develop their own character for.

According to company president Kathryn Morton, “Our characters are meant to be both an inspiration to, and a reflection of, Canadian girls from coast to coast to coast. Maplelea Girls are dolls to play with now, and to treasure forever.” Avonlea Traditions Inc. is a Canadian owned and operated company based in Newmarket Ontario. Founded in 1988, Avonlea began developing products based on Canada's ever-popular storybook character, Anne of Green Gables, and has produced porcelain dolls, play dolls, and decorative items over the years.

Given the success of American Girl, it's not surprising that a company has finally marketed a similar product for our friends to the north. These are most similar to the AG Truly Me or Girl of the Year line with whom they can share clothes.

The Maplelea Girls face was modeled on a real little girl from Aurora, Ontario and sculpted by "a Canadian artist" who is not further identified.

The quality of the dolls' vinyl is high, as is their wigged, Kanekalon hair. The clothing is well finished and the shoes are particularly realistic. The box the dolls come in is very, very good quality. It is extremely sturdy and makes a great storage box for the dolls' outfits and accessories.

The dolls come with a loose-leaf journal that has both a section introducing the doll's character and blank pages for the girl. (Some are fill-in-the-space pages similar to the AG Today book and some are blank pages for a diary-type journal.) You can print out additional blank journal pages from the website and you receive more pages (blank and with content) when you purchase outfits and accessories. The journal has pages in both English and French, as does the website.

In summary, these are excellent quality dolls. Their price is high (comparable to American Girl) but their quality justifies the price. Some dolls an accessories are sold through Amazon.com which allows Americans to avoid the high international shipping costs. If you are Canadian, have Canadian ancestry or just want a nice friend for your current 18" girls, Maplelea Girls deserve your consideration.

Note:

You can tell what year and production run a particular doll is from using the information coded into the number(s) stamped on the back of your dolls' neck. According to Morton, "2003-1 means that the first production run of this character was done in 2003. Subsequent production runs of the same character have an additional stamped number below the embossed number. For example the second batch of Taryn dolls are stamped with 2005-2 below the embossed 2003-1, meaning the second production run (or generation) was done in 2005.  There will always be the embossed original year of production, and the imprinted year and generation number of that particular doll." Note that first generation dolls are a slightly different size than subsequent generation dolls, particularly the feet, but 90% of American Girl clothing will still fit them.

Details
Height: 
18.00 in
Doll types: 
Play dolls
Heirloom play dolls
18 inch vinyl play dolls
Primary material: 
Vinyl
Hair type: 
Wigged
Eye type: 
Sleep eyes
Doll ages: 
Child dolls
Target age (of owner): 
6
to: 
12
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