Meet Marie-Grace!

I’ve been meaning to do this post since “Party of 3”–sorry!  I got a little sidetracked 😉 Yes, I did decide to buy Marie-Grace rather spur of the moment.  There is a reason though.  A while ago I mentioned a doll I referred to as “No Name Doll”.  She was a Tollytots doll that I bought a few years ago at Walmart.  I thought she was very pretty which is why I bought her.  She was a big disappointment though.  First off, she was quite a bit thinner than AG and other dolls.  I could work around that some, but certain clothing just didn’t fit her.  NONE of the shoes I had fit her, they wouldn’t even stay on, her feet were too much smaller.  Sorry, but a pair of clod-hoppers doesn’t work with an elegant dress, I don’t care WHO you are.  Then the deal breaker-her hair.  UGH!  It was rooted hair and very poorly done I might add.  Keep in mind that I am an adult and I’m very careful with doll hair.  It was already turning in to a mess.  A while back someone posted a terrible story about a bad experience they had at a particular American Girl store with a hair stylist refusing to do the hair on a doll that was not AG.  While I don’t agree with how it was handled, I completely understand why they didn’t want to do it.  Some of the dolls have very poor quality hair on them, and this Tollytots was a perfect example of that.  After going back and forth on this for a while, I finally made the decision to donate her to charity.  I just didn’t feel the love for her like I did the other dolls and I couldn’t help but think of the doll on the Island of Misfit toys-she just wanted someone to love her.  I hope that some little girls eyes lit up when they saw her and she is being loved the way she should be.

It wasn’t long after that I did the first Downton Abbey doll post.  As I was working on the photos for that, I noticed that Samantha was having some problems.  Her legs have really gotten loose and she no longer stands on her own.  I could send her to the doll hospital and have her reworked, but because she is an original PC/pre-Felicity/muslin body doll, I really don’t want to do that.  I am afraid it will devalue her, so I have decided that Samantha is retiring from modeling.  You may have noticed I purchased a doll stand for her in my Springfield goodies and I’ve decided to put her back in to her meet outfit, do up her hair back to it’s original do and just display her.  The “story” is that she has gone on an extended holiday with Grandmary, Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia to visit family in England.  I’m currently on the lookout for a nice cover for her to keep the dust at bay.  She will have a place of honor in my office/craft room beside my porcelain doll that I made. One of these days I will share a picture of them together!

I decided the “girls” needed a new sidekick.  Kit and Rebecca are both adorable and a lot of thought went in to purchasing them.  Rebecca looks a bit like me, same eye color and hair color.  Kit looks just like my one niece did at that age.  There have been other dolls that I liked, but no one jumped out at me like these two and Samantha did.  However, one day while reading other doll blogs, I kept running across photos of Marie-Grace and the more photos I saw of her, the more I liked her.  The photos that AG had posted on their website did not do this doll justice.  Then the clincher–I don’t know how I missed it, but Marie-Grace was made from a different/original mold.  I like original dolls, and after some debate I finally decided to go for it.  As I told my husband, if I didn’t like her, I could always flip her on Ebay later since she was being discontinued.  No chance of that happening now!!! She came a day early-whoohoo!!!  I was super excited and a bit nervous to open her, I was hoping I hadn’t made a $110 mistake.  Sure, I could ship her back, but once I opened the box, it was all over.  Her face is just so pretty!!!!

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Once I got her out of the package and her hair out of the net, I was very glad I had ordered her.  She is so unique in so many ways.  I really don’t understand why she didn’t do better than she did sales-wise, it’s really a shame.  I will be curious to see if they use her face mold again for a doll in the future.  Wouldn’t she be pretty with long blonde hair in an Elsa type dress? Here are some better shots of her hair: MG4 MG5

Most of the negative reviews on her had to do with her hair and what a nightmare it is if you take out the braids.  I am still undecided on if I’ll ever take her hair down, although the curiosity is killing me!  I have read several sets of instructions on how to take the kink out of it though and it sounds easy enough.  Not sure I want to buy a flat iron just to do this with, the jury is still out. I love the length of her hair though, and the color is really nice, whoever came up with this really did understand high lights and low lights. Her outfit is cute.  This was another thing a lot of people complained about and I don’t get it.  Lots of criticism over the stiffness of the fabric-HELLO!   Those criticizing it obviously have never seen the material the original Samantha outfit is made out of, almost identical!!!  While it’s not the most complicated outfit, I think it’s very pretty.  I’m really getting tired of AG stuff being slammed by adult collectors.  They are forgetting that the idea of this line was for 8-12 year old girls.  Don’t get me started…you don’t like it, make your own clothes.  You’ll find out that some of these ideas you have for doll clothing aren’t as easy to carry out as you thought.

When I ordered her, they were offering free shipping on orders over $100-yay!  Gotta love a free shipping deal.  I decided to order a box of AG clothing hangers and the red hoodie.  AG hangers are the best.  I’m not being compensated by AG for saying that either.  I have tried several other brands and there is just no comparison.  I can picture some poor engineer who had ideas of designing a better mouse trap when he/she graduated college thinking “I’m designing doll clothing hangers?!?!?!”  Well, let me just say, whoever you are-good job!  I’m always excited when I get one with a clothing item.  I know, I’m pathetic. The hoodie–beyond cute!  I was not at all disappointed in this purchase, it is probably my all-time favorite clothing purchase from AG.  I decided since it came all the way from Wisconsin in the box with her, Marie-Grace should be the first to model it:

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The attention to detail on this sweatshirt is amazing and it fits the doll really well, even over the overalls and bulky t-shirt I had her in.

I am so, so happy that I decided to get her.  Now I have to be good for a while.  Truthfully, there are no other dolls that are high on my list, a couple that I like but I want to see in person before I make a decision.  We might be going to AG Place in Columbus at the end of the month so I will be checking these dolls out.  I really want to wait until after the next GOTY release to see what she looks like before I purchase another doll.  I will also be curious to see if we get a new historical BeForever doll soon too, there were rumors going around about a doll from the 50’s, I would totally love that as long is it’s done right.

Speaking of BeForever-what did you all think?  I’ve read several websites with mixed reviews, but it seems like the overall reception was better than expected.  There were some things I wasn’t wild about, only one thing I hated, but most of it I thought was nice.  I was beyond thrilled to see a new version of Kit’s typewriter (I SO have to have it!), I like Samantha’s bike although I wish it was a different color other than pink, and Julie’s snack set takes me back to my 70’s childhood.  I was also happy to see that they are offering the new outfits individually, my favorite being Rebecca’s, but there are several others I really liked too.  I’m super excited about possibly going to Columbus and seeing some of these items in person.  If I get to go, I will be sure to take lots of pictures. 🙂  The only real negative I found was the fact that the prices went up again and some of the sets are way more expensive than what I’m willing to spend and a lot of people can’t afford them.  Not a fan of the mega sets like the Ice Cream stand for Samantha or Isabelle’s Studio because of that.  I think some of the items in these sets should also be made available individually.  This is something I won’t give in on either, I’ll just make my own substitutes or do without, so AG is missing out on a potential sale from me, and I’m sure lots of other people who feel the way I do.  The dolls are a huge investment already and I really don’t know very many parents who will fork over another $300 when they’ve already spent $115 on the doll.  Particularly with the GOTY sets, you only have a year-that’s a lot of money in a short period of time.  I think AG seriously needs to re-think this.

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