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 (removable earrings included) in a plain box with the admission form and payment.
Due to multiple 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 continues to have parts to replace damaged heads and bodies.
In the case of head or limb replacement, if replacement would result in mismatched tones (such as sending in a Pre-Mattel doll for repair), a full body replacement may be made at no additional cost; many people are offered a chance to refuse the repair if they have a Pre-Mattel doll.
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 on the head. Dolls will come back with original hair styles. This may also include any specific hair accessories, such as Lindsey's hair pin; if not, basic hair ribbons are generally tied in as available. An option to have a bald head for My American Girl dolls was made available in 2012. Replacement wigs are not offered or changed; a doll with a damaged wig must receive a completely new head to be repaired.
- 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, minus the head. 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 the doll is sent back with accessories. No major "surgery". This will not restore damaged hair or deep stains to the vinyl. Dolls will come back with original hair styles unless specified.
- Hearing aids: Permanent piercing behind the ear and fitting of a doll-sized hearing aid. This is only available for 18" dolls.
- Ear piercing: Permanent piercing in the earlobe for earrings. This is only available for 18" dolls.
- Reattachment of head: Replacement of entire head.
- 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. Unlike 18" dolls, Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins cannot get limb reattachment done 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 in a storage box (uniquely labeled) with a hospital gown, an ID bracelet, a Certificate of Good Health, a “get well” balloon (later removed), a "Get Well Soon!" Card (since 2009) and a band-aid sticker (later removed). Bitty Babies and Bitty Twins are sent back with a hospital gown and hat, a Certificate of Good Health, and a band-aid sticker (later removed); for safety reasons, a bracelet is not included. Starting in 2013, 18" dolls were returned in socks. The hospital gown and various accessories have been released in multiple versions:
When the Hopscotch Hill School characters were available, a hospital gown was available sized for the line.
- Doll Hospital at AmericanGirl.com