Category Archives: Madison Children’s Museum Benefit Sale

Reflections on MCM Doll Sale

Brianna and I had 9:30 tickets this year.  We left our hotel at 7:00 and stopped at our usual Panera en route.  I wanted to allow plenty of time because last night the organizers sent out an email saying that field parking would not be available due to flooding.  We were directed to the Ice Center, which is in the same office park.  Shuttle was provided in the form of a school bus.  It was convenient and it was separate from the shuttle going to affiliated hotels.  Win!

We arrived and enjoyed seeing all of the crafts and silent auction items.  Some silent auction items included

  • Addy scenes
  • Kailey’s surf items
  • Kirsten’s quilt, St Lucia wreath etc 
  • Lanie’s hammock and garden apparel
  • Matching girl and doll outfits from the early AG dolls

The silent auctions end at various times, such as 10:00 am, and many have minimum bids of $50-100.00

By 8:30 we were waiting our turn to line up in the tent, but they were running 30 min behind. We thought we would be lining up around 9:00 but the 8:15 group hadn’t even been called.  Oh no!  When we were called to wait with the other 9:30 tickets we made conversation with a blueberry farmer and her young daughters from Iowa.  It was their first time getting a doll!

One tent to wait in and another to wait to wait in!

We entered the warehouse for our 9:30 slot around 10:45.  On Twitter the organizers said that the large amount of merchandise was slowing people down in the warehouse.  More on that later.

Once in, we saw Kaya, Rebecca, Caroline, Kit, Julie, Addy, Samantha, Melody, Maryellen.  Earlier attendees also saw Molly (?!?) and Emily @ 100.00.  Beforever outfits predominantly.

There were ample Lea, Isabelle and Grace dolls.  

Also saw JLY/TM dolls in the pink dress with no Permapanties.  Unfortunately no #41 which I had my eye on.

So Many Dolls, No #41

Books… not particularly cheap IMO at 6.00 for the more current Beforever titles.

Very little clothing for dolls.  Cheer outfit, Lea’s outfits, Melody’s summer outfit, 2013 purple peacock pjs, various flip flops for girls.  Beforever mini dolls.

We attended in 2014, and to me, the sale didn’t seem all that different, except for the presence of big items for Lea.  If you attended I am interested in your opinion.

We brought home Isabelle to be auctioned at our church’s holiday bazaar.  We hope to have a crafty parishioner make her a quilt or bed.  We also bought the beauty salon scene for $ 2.00 to go with Izzy.  I think the scenes are so nice to have. We picked up a doll for a friend.  Surprisingly only one doll for us… 


We witnessed no Black Friday type behavior, thankfully.  We saw our new acquaintance from Iowa at checkout and the girls were thrilled with 4 dolls!  My takeaway this year is that the sale offers the most to the beginning doll lover, or to someone buying gifts.  

Prices for Sunday are below:


Scenes from the MCM Sale

Hi Doll Friends, we are back from the 30th Anniversary AG Benefit Sale.  Here are some pictures and I be back later with some thoughts (when I get my iPad on wifi!)

Life in the tent. Spent 1 hr here

Young dancers entertain

Let us in!!!

Silent auction and buy me now dolls included Emily, Molly, Ivy

There was some hubbub about partial sets of recoding studio and fruit hut

Melody items but little for Maryellen

American Girl Benefit Sale Price List for Saturday, July 22

A glimpse of what will be available at the MCM sale next weekend. I think there are a lot of Isabelle and Grace dolls. Could they be reproducing?

Learn Through Play


The price list is here for our American Girl Benefit Sale!  The sale warehouse is bursting at the seams with dolls and accessories — and we’ve got the major items priced and listed!

All inventory items will be available starting at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Please note that we cannot promise that a particular item will be available on a particular day or time.

The list below includes many of the most abundant items, and popular item categories. We are unable to confirm the presence of individual dolls or items not listed here.


  • BeForever Dolls–$80 (Limit 1)
  • WellieWishers–$40 (Limit 2)
  • Bitty Babies–$40 (Limit 1)
  • Truly Me–$50 (Limit 8)
  • Girl of the Year 2016 Lea Clark–$120 (Limit 3)
  • Girl of the Year 2015 Grace Thomas–$80 (Limit 5)
  • Girl of the Year 2014 Isabelle Palmer–$80 (Limit 5)
  • Mini Dolls, Lea Clark–$10 (Limit 8)
  • Mini Dolls, Assorted Special Edition–$10 (Limit 2)


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Madison Sale Tickets Mailed

Kit is ready for summer!

Tickets to the 2017 Madison Children’s Museum Benefit doll sale are in the mail!  We received 9:30.  Not the worst time, but not terrific either.  I have a sneaking suspicion the perma panty dolls are headed to this sale.

Did you request tickets?  What time did you get?

In other news, no word to date on the Wilmot sale.  When I saw the American Girl sale on historical dolls for 98.00, I felt that the company is pursuing options for reducing inventory through their website (and they may make money on shipping this way, too).  If the Madison sale sells a historical for 80-85.00… you are getting pretty close to the price of buying a new, presumably perfect doll, right from AG.




Madison Doll Sale 2017 – Details

Now is the time to begin thinking about whether you will attend the Madison Children’s Museum (MCM) Benefit Doll Sale in Middleton (Madison area), Wisconsin.

This year’s sale is Saturday, July 22, 2017.  Advanced tickets are required ($8.00 each) and can be requested by mail, to be postmarked no earlier than May 3 (that means don’t mail it until May 3 or after).  Ticket information and forms are here.

Tickets are mailed back to you with an entrance time from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

This year the sale will include WellieWishers and Melody (interesting…).  They sell returned and overstock dolls.  Past years have seen copious amounts of the prior year’s GOTY.  I wonder what effect Lea being sold at Kohl’s for the holiday season will have on her availability at the MCM sale. In the recent past the sale has included Bitty Babies, mini dolls, many choices of JLY/Truly Me dolls, and returned or phased out BeForever dolls.  You can read about our MCM trip in 2015 here.

Sale prices and anticipated merchandise will be announced in June.  Generally previous GOTY dolls are sold for around $120, historicals for around $ 85.00, and TrulyMe about $55.00. There are limits on some items (like historicals) depending on availability.

Usually they have books and activity kits, and a small amount of clothes.  They have not generally had things like doll furniture.

The warehouse is very crowded and kids under 3 are not allowed.  I recommend the sale to people with kids who are at least in 1st grade.  It’s just not that fun for a little person to be packed in with so many people.  No strollers are allowed.  It is also not fun for a husband to be packed in with so many people.  Mr. DollsBetweenUs enjoys a lovely day in Madison on his own when we hit the sale.  The mood in the warehouse is civil though.  It is not like those Black Friday news clips!

One of the neatest things about the sale is the doll craft items in tents outside the warehouse (no ticket required for this).  It’s fun to talk with the vendors and see all of their creations.

We plan to attend the sale this year because it is the 30th Anniversary.  This is likely to be our last hurrah.  We have hit the point where our doll family is pretty full and we are selective about what comes in.  I hope to find a doll that I can donate to our church for the Christmas auction.  I am also in the hunt for JLY 41, who looks like Ruthie.  I don’t know what goals Brianna has for the sale other than to have a good time!  Recent quality control issues with soft vinyl, face paint, and lumpy bums make me think that the merchandise at the sale may not be what the AG enthusiast is looking for in coming years.

The sale benefits the Madison Children’s Museum and “American Girl’s Fund for Children.”

Are any readers planning to request tickets?



Pleasant Company-Decked Out Edition

One special memory I have from attending the Madison Children’s Museum doll sale two years ago is the lapel pins many of the volunteers wore.  I thought it was so neat that these ladies, many of them retirees, were still rocking their Pleasant Company historical doll pins in a Mattel era.

I ventured onto eBay to see if I might scoop some up for myself and found they can be purchased very reasonably.

I am the proud owner of:

Now that I am working in an elementary library I have an “excuse” to wear the pins.  I am promoting reading!  (Of course this is just a guise shielding a crazy doll lady underneath).

Today I wore my Josefina pin. I hope at least some of the kids know who Josefina is — one girl told me a few weeks ago she has an American Girl doll.  When I asked which one she said, “The one on the swing.”  (Maryellen, but she didn’t know her name).  I hope the heaps of characters out today don’t diminish the strength of the core characters.

Anyway, it was a small purchase but one I am really enjoying.


American Girl Benefit Sale 2017

I just ordered my academic year calendar for 2016-17 so now is a good time to share the Madison Children’s Museum AG Benefit Sale dates for next year.  They announced on Facebook that the 30th anniversary of the sale will be July 22-23, 2017. 

Looks like they have moved the sale to be one weekend later than it has been.  I’d like to go next year since we missed it this year.  Also (ssshhhh) I’m finding myself pinning images of TrulyMe #41.  Could be trouble.

The Facebook post indicated they did about $900,000 in sales at the 2016 sale… Which is roughly what they reported in 2015.

If you have thoughts on this year’s sale, please share!

Update: Madison American Girl Sale 2016

Lamenting that you missed out on Grace and Isabelle?  (I don’t think that applies to many of you die-hard fans… Wink wink). Both dolls will be available at the Madison Children’s Museum Benefit Sale this summer.  The sale is a lot of fun, but is best enjoyed with older kids who have stamina with crowds.  Last year, the GOTY dolls were $110.  The best deal were the MYAG/Truly Me dolls at $55.  See link above for ticket information.

Doll Storage

What sweeter subject is there in the organizing month of January than doll storage?  You might recall that when we went to the Madison Children’s Museum sale this past summer, we met some new friends while waiting in line.  When we heard Maggie had 23 dolls (at the time 😉 ) we said, “How do you store them??!”  The answer was shelves, and quick as you please we were able to see the collection on her iPhone.  You might remember Maggie as our guest post author on Maryellen’s launch.

Well, the time came for us to find a storage solution after Maryellen and Dakota joined the family.  There are always a few dolls “in use” and a few others waiting in the wings.  We picked up a shelf from Target that is unobtrusive and doesn’t take up valuable floor space for playing.

American Girl Doll StorageWe are grateful to Mr. DollsBetweenUs for putting the shelf up so nicely!

I would love to hear your approach to doll display and storage!

P.S. Can you believe that another blogger was also in the line to go into the MCM sale at 7:15am and we (including Maggie) all appear in a picture on her blog!


Madison Children’s Museum Sale 2016

imageI’m a troublemaker.  Here it is just on the cusp of October and I wandered over to the Madison Children’s Museum website to check the dates of the 2016 sale.  It will be held Saturday July, 16 and Sunday, July 17, 2016 (Sunday may not be a great day to do… stock can be extremely limited).

I am telling you for purely altruistic reasons, of course.  Maybe some of my regional friends might want to take a Great Lakes getaway this summer?  Think about it!

You need to request tickets by mail, usually at the beginning of May.  No need to think about that now.

If you are new to the blog and want a recap of our trip to the sale in 2015, read here.