Will the hottest new doll break the bank?


As the unemployed father of a 4-year-old daughter who is starting to notice the ads on TV and in magazines for Christmas toys, I worry about the high-priced gifts from Santa that she may soon start asking for.

And along comes the $95 Maru doll, which is supposed to be the hottest new doll of the year and received the 2008 iParenting Greatest Products Award. As a new dad, I don't know if $95 is out of line for a doll, especially a new and popular one, but I do know there are at least three other dolls in our house that could be used as doorstops because they're certainly not being used as playthings.

Maru is 8, incredibly realistic-looking with fashionable clothes, and has arrived in the United States from a country that isn't named to live with her aunt and uncle. She comes with a storybook (don't all dolls?) that details how her new friends are helping her adapt in her new country.