Magic Attic Club
Magic Attic Club is the story of an attempt to fill a gap in the 18" doll market that was just a little bit too late. Magic Attic dolls are 18" play dolls set in modern times, but with a magic mirror and a trunk full of historical clothing that will take them back in time. They were released to a test market in 1994 and more widely in 1995, but also in 1995, American Girl launched their Girl of Today line of modern dolls. Magic Attic fought to hold their place in the market for ten years and through several ownership changes, but ultimately announced they were shutting down production in late 2004.
I started collecting Magic Attic dolls after buying a loosely strung Heather with a haircut and a loose wig (now Bald Heather after her wig came off during restringing). Initially I just wanted to learn how to restring them, but I quickly fell in love with these sweet dolls. I like the fact that they visit many different time periods, so you can dress them in whatever period clothing you want (with American Girl historical dolls, many collectors call that "time traveling," and don't like doing it). I also love that they have a smaller world that's easier (and often cheaper!) to collect than American Girl.
There's not as much information available on Magic Attic dolls, but here are all of my favorite resources. Enjoy!
Magic Attic Club Dolls - Best Resources
- The Magic Attic Club Wiki - This is a much smaller and less extensive wiki than the American Girl one, so AG collectors may need to curb their expectations! It still has a lot of helpful catalog images if you're trying to identify outfits.
- The Magic Attic Club - Overview and History - You'll find the most comprehensive overview of the Magic Attic timeline, as well as pictures and comparisons of each of the doll releases, on the Just Magic website.
- Magic Attic Club Holiday 1998 Catalog - The Vintage Doll Collector site has posted scans of the entire holiday 1998 catalog. Click on each thumbnail for an enlarged version. Scans are high-quality enough to read the small print!
- Magic Attic Club Catalogs - Dollightful Dolls has photographed all the pages of several different Magic Attic catalogs through the years. The pictures aren't always high quality enough to read the descriptions, but I've still found the page helpful for searching multiple years' worth of catalogs.
- How to Restring Magic Attic Dolls - Prilly Charmin's tutorial was one of the only resources online when I decided to try my hand at restringing these dolls. See my video below for my take on the method.
Restringing Magic Attic Club Dolls
Magic Attic Club Checklist
A while back I found a Magic Attic Club inventory that someone had put together, complete with years and part numbers, which I converted into a spreadsheet. It didn't cover the full 10 years, though, so I've been adding to it as I've discovered gaps. I've also added columns where you can describe condition, record price, and make other notes about each addition to your collection, which I find is helpful for tracking if you have a large doll collection. Check back periodically for updates! I will add notes below the link for every update, indicated what I changed and the date, so that you can easily determine what's new and update the spreadsheet on your own end.
Note that this link will give you viewing rights only, so you'll need to save a copy of the spreadsheet into your own Google Drive in order to make changes.