18″ Doll Review: My Life As ‘Beach Vacationer’

18 Inch Doll Review - MLA Dolls Beach Vacationer(1)

Today’s Featured Doll:

Beach Vacationer (African American version) from ‘My Life As’, the 18 inch doll line produced by Walmart

Price and Source:

I paid $27.97 for the doll and purchased her from Walmart

Box and Packaging: average presentation, moderately difficult to remove doll from the box

The My Life As dolls come in relatively standard toy packaging.  Compared to some other box-store brands of 18″ dolls, the packaging isn’t very flashy or large, and I would rate it as ‘average’ as far as presentation power goes.


Getting the doll out of the box took a little time – so a heads up to all parents who plan to take the doll out of the box at 12am to display under the Christmas tree!  There were quite a few little tags/tabs/tie downs to remove in order to free the doll.  Annoyingly, the doll’s long hair was sewn to plastic strips to keep it tidy in the box.  This was a bother to remove and I was pretty unhappy about it because I was sure that after I finally freed the doll’s hair it would be a mess.  But to my surprise the hair looked AMAZING once it was free!  Kudos to Walmart and their package designers – they apparently knew what they were doing! Speaking of hair…

Hair: Great quality, good play value


The doll’s hair was the first thing that struck me when I got her unboxed and let me just tell you, it is gorgeous! The hair feels wonderful, slick, smooth and yet easily styled.  It cascades around her face in a way that makes me jealous 😀 The hair is rooted into the dolls head and seems to me that it would stand up to a lot of playing and handling.  This doll would definitely make any little girl who likes to style hair VERY happy!

Body Construction: Durable, but oddly stiff


The body of these dolls differ from a lot of other 18 inch dolls because the vinyl of their neck goes down to form a chest plate instead of ending at the bottom of the neck.  I personally think this makes their clothes look much better as there is no awkward change between the vinyl neck and cloth body.

The doll with her arms out as high as they will go.

I was surprised by how stiff the doll’s limbs were.  At first I thought that the limbs actually didn’t have any mobility at all.  Then I got a little braver and twisted the legs hard, at which point I was finally able to make the doll sit down.  The arms were the same story – almost immovable but with a surprising range of motion, once you were brave enough to forcibly move them.  This could make the doll challenging for a younger child to play with.  However, I suspect with time that the stiff limbs would loosen enough to make play easier.  The arms swing back and forth and can be raised up at the sides, but not quite to to the doll’s shoulder level. The legs move back and forth but not out to the sides.  The doll’s head turns from side to side and she has sleep eyes with rooted eye lashes.

Clothing and Accessories: cute and good quality


This particular doll came with a good amount of clothing and accessories: a two-piece swimsuit, cover-up, flip flops, and sunglasses.


The shoes are made from a soft plastic and have some really cute detail on the bottom, like real shoes 🙂  Overall the quality of the clothes and accessories is very good – the inner seams are finished nicely and the fabric feels durable.  I also really like that the swimsuit is super cute and yet pretty modest – this IS supposed to be an 8 -10 year-old little girl, after all! 🙂 My only complaint about the outfit is that the back of the swimsuit ties at the neck (like a real swimsuit), I can see how small children may have trouble fastening it.

❤ Comparison to an American Girl 18″ Doll:


First, it’s not exactly fair to compare a doll you can buy from Walmart for $30 to a $150+ American Girl brand doll.  But American Girl Dolls are the most well known 18″ dolls and I think it’s helpful to compare the two.

The My Life As doll is slightly taller than the American Girl doll, with the extra height seeming to be mostly in the My Life As doll’s torso – both dolls seem to have legs that are the same length, and could probably share pants.  Despite being shorter the American Girl Doll feels heavier and the most noticeable difference between the two is their hair and limb joints.  The My Life As doll, in my opinion, has nicer hair than the American Girl does.  However, the American Girl doll wins as far as limb mobility goes.  Her joints and limbs are much more flexible than the My Life As doll (her extra weight probably comes from her more complex jointing system).  Comparing the two, the My Life As doll is a lighter-weight doll with stiffer joints but nicer hair (and a cuter face, I think).

Overall Pros:

Cute, durable doll for a very good price.  Lovely hair, nice accessories and clothes, and the chest plate is nice for wider fashion options.

❤ Overall Cons:

Stiff joints and moderately limited movement of limbs is the main drawback of this doll, but those could possibly loosen up over time.



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