You can purchase dolls at your local store for roughly 20-60 dollars with some more popular brands being upwards of $100. Waldorf dolls are made using old world German Waldorf doll making techniques. A single doll can be very time consuming because of this. The materials used are also much more expensive than what you will find a doll stuffed with in a store. We will touch base on materials in Waldorf dolls shortly.
Most mass produced dolls are either plastic or a combination of plastic and poly stuffing. To produce the materials used in store bought dolls creates pollution. As well there is much concern over plastics, PVC to be specific. This article is a good place to read more about safe toys. Have you ever smelled a new doll, straight out of the box? That strong plastic smell? Those are off-gases. I can honestly say I do not want my child breathing in those vapors nor putting that toy in their mouths. These materials and the mass production of them allows for manufacturers to keep costs down and make more profit.
Waldorf dolls are traditionally made with cotton interlock and wool. These materials are all simple, healthy, natural and completely sustainable. There are no concerning off-gases and no issues with pollution. This does make them more expensive. As well each doll is hand made in a unique way. This can take several hours.
I understand budgets, we all must choose this over that due to funds. However a Waldorf doll is an investment. A child will have their doll for years, if you help them care for them they will last a very long time and be able to be passed down. If you think of it this way....if a doll costs $200 dollars, your child has that doll for two years that works out to less than 50 cents a day. Much less actually.
As well because of the sweet inviting arms and unique faces, children often become best friends with their dolls, loving them with all their hearts. Where as a mass produced doll that looks like everyone else's doll doesn't always invoke that feeling of loving ownership.
I certainly do not aim to shame people out of buying a store doll. It is a personal choice but when I hear people gasp at the prices on Waldorf dolls, I think a bigger, more involved conversation needs to be had. We all know McDonalds is not healthy, but it is cheap and convenient so even I have on rare occasion found myself there ordering food for my kids *gasp* (once in the past year). However in their daily lives all their food is minimally processed, organic and whole. Yes, my food budget is far more expensive but I'm giving my children a gift of health that will last them a lifetime. I make due with less in certain areas of our lives. I choose not to buy a newer car but instead invest that money that would be spent on a car payment in whole foods, natural products and healthier choices.