The American Girl Hospital is a service provided by American Girl to send in damaged or worn dolls who are in need of repair. Rather than bill itself as a repair service, the theme is a hospital where dolls come in and are "healed" by a team of "doctors". The hospital has been around from the start and only fixes American Girl dolls--however, age or retirement status of the doll is irrelevant.
Sending in a Doll
Dolls can either be shipped in from home (the form can be printed from the website) or admitted at an American Girl Place. Dolls cannot be repaired on site at American Girl Place; when submitted at a store location, it is the same as sending from home. Forms are available in catalogs, online, or at American Girl Place. Dolls must be sent naked with no additional clothing or accessories in a plain box with the admission form and payment.
Due to several cases of people sending in doll bodies to repurchase heads for resale (especially limited editions), replaced limbs and heads are no longer returned whatsoever and repurchase of head or body requires a complete doll to be sent in. Limited Edition Dolls such as the Girls of the Year or archived dolls can be sent in for the same costs as a regular doll; the Hospital has the parts to replace damaged heads and bodies.
Highly customized dolls will most likely not be repaired.
- Reattachment of head or limbs: Dolls sent in with detached or loose limbs can have them attached. This also includes restringing a loose doll.
- Eye replacement: Replacement of damaged eyes. Eye swapping is not available; a doll will receive the same color eyes she was sent in with.
- New head: Exchange of the entire head. Heads will only be exchanged for the same head sent in. Heads will not be replaced if the original head is not sent in. This will repair any haircuts, paint damage, or stains. Dolls will come back with original hair styles. This may also include any specific hair accessories, such as Lindsey's hair pin or basic hair ribbons. An option to have a bald head for My American Girl dolls was made available in 2012.
- New limbs or torso: This includes any replacement of the cloth body or limbs, but not the head.
- New body (torso and limbs): Replacement of the entire body. Bodies will not be replaced if the original body is not sent in.
- Wellness visit: The vinyl skin is cleaned, hair is brushed and restyled, and doll is sent back with accessories. No major "surgery". This will not restore damaged hair or stains to the vinyl.
- Hearing aids: Permanent piercing behind the ear and fitting of a doll-sized hearing aid. This is only available for My American Girl dolls.
- Ear piercing: Permanent piercing in the earlobe for earrings. This is only available for My American Girl Dolls.
- Reattachment of head: Unlike 18" dolls, Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins cannot get limb reattachment.
- Eye replacement: Like 18" dolls, Eye swapping is not available.
- New head: Heads will only be exchanged for the same head sent in. Heads will not be replaced if the original head is not sent in.
- New body: Includes torso and limbs. Bitty Babies cannot have limbs replaced separately.
- Wellness visit: Like 18" dolls, the vinyl skin is cleaned, hair is brushed with Bitty Twins, and doll is sent back with accessories. No major "surgery". This will not restore damaged hair or stains to the vinyl.
Any defect caused by an American Girl product or factory defect with a doll, such as eyelash retraction, Silver Eye, Bubble Eye or staining from an American Girl product, is fixed at no cost. This generally does not include dolls from the MCM Sale with the exception of silver eye.
18" Dolls are sent back with a hospital gown, an ID bracelet, a Certificate of Good Health, a “get well” balloon, and a band-aid sticker. Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins are sent back with a hospital gown and hat, a Certificate of Good Health, and a band-aid sticker. The Hospital gown has only changed twice, in 2006, and 2012.
Starting in 2013, 18" dolls were returned in socks.
- Doll Hospital at AmericanGirl.com