Truly Me release-what did you think?

It’s official, Truly Me released last Thursday. And I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. Not so much in what they had, but rather a lack of it. I guess I expected more for all the hype that went with the release of Truly Me. In reading other blogs and the comments, I can see that I wasn’t alone, so it wasn’t just me.  One commenter described it perfectly: underwhelming.

The outfits are cute, but I’ll be honest, nothing that I can’t live without. The two I liked the most were the Flamingo Beach Dress and the Seaside Fun outfit. However, about the only piece of this that I’m not sure I could make is the hoodie. I could definitely make a dress similar to the Flamingo Beach Dress, and I’ve made plenty of shorts! I may break down and get these if they go on sale, but they aren’t high on my list of priorities. I do like the preppy beach/Lilly Pulitzer vibe in these pieces.  I was also pleased to see that the new meet dress is available for individual purchase, glad to see them going back to this.  Still not wild about the new dress though,  perhaps seeing it in person will change my mind.

The accessories sets are all cute too, but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any of them. They just don’t fit in with the things I have in mind.  The in store exclusive is a nice idea, but it doesn’t appeal to me.  I did laugh at a comment on another blog about how ironic it is that they made a water toy for a doll that you can’t get wet!

What surprised me this time is that there was nothing for BeForever, Grace Thomas, or Bitty Baby. I hope this means that we’ll see lots and lots of new stuff for these lines over the summer. I’m sure that BeForever will get a huge boost at the end of the summer with the introduction of the new doll in the BeForever line.  I was just kind of shocked that there was absolutely nothing this time around for any of these.

So now for the best part of the whole release (at least to me)-the new dolls! #62 and #64 weren’t classic face molds, hurrah!!! And I have to say that even though #63 is blue eyed and blonde haired, she’s cute even if there is nothing unique about her. I can see where a lot of little girls will want her as well as the other two. #64 is using the modified Jess mold, which means that she has cut outs around her eye sockets to give them a slightly different look from the standard Jess mold.  Last time they used this was on Ivy.  From what I understand, they have also changed #54 to this design as well.  Terrific!  I’m all for diversity in this line.  Perhaps we are heading in the right direction.

Me personally–I’m thrilled to pieces at #62. If you haven’t seen her yet, here’s a pic from the website:

photo of Jess to be
photo from the American Girl website

You have NO idea how excited I was to see her on the website. (insert happy dance here)  She is EXACTLY what I’ve been hoping they would do, just perfect!  She’s the Sonali mold with medium skin tone, dark brown hair and amber brown eyes.  The amber brown eyes were what clinched it for me, she’s only 1 of 2 dolls they currently make with the different shade.  The photo on the AG website isn’t all that great, but I did find several photos on other blogs of dolls in the store, and she is much cuter.   I’m going to have her, oh yes I am!  I’ve even got a name in mind and her back story and…

What was your favorite item in the new releases?  Were you disappointed by how small this release was?

One last thing.  In conjunction with the Truly Me release, they started a contest called “Truly Awesome”.  It runs through mid-August.  Only one problem–it’s only for girls ages 8-13!  I can see them perhaps not wanting adults to enter, but to cut it off at 13 was a bit harsh!  I know of one young lady who is quite upset, she’s 16, and a HUGE American Girl fan and works very hard to earn her own money to support her collection (and quite the collection I might add).  I’m sure she isn’t the only one.  Perhaps cutting it off at 17 or 18 would have been a better decision.  I think American Girl may have alienated some of their 14 and over demographic (which I’m finding out is actually quite large!)  Perhaps they need to re-think that for future contests.

I know of several girls that have e-mailed American Girl and got the excuse that the contest was aimed at their main demographic. “For this particular contest, however, the age guidelines were established to match the age recommendations for the prizes offered — the dolls, accessories, and outfits.” Seriously? This is only confirming what I’ve thought for a while now–whoever is running the show at American Girl isn’t paying attention. To anything. When I saw that, you have no idea how angry I was. For a company who wants girls to feel as though they can achieve anything and encourage them, you just told a huge group of them that they aren’t relevant. The age on the box of just about every single AG related item says “8+”, not “8-13”. I may have to seriously rethink any future purchases from AG if this is their new angle. I’m not going to support a company that seems to reinforce the “too old for dolls” idea. Girls are encouraged by too many negative forces to grow up too quickly, and now American Girl seems to be doing that too. I find nothing “Truly Awesome” about that. 😦

23 thoughts on “Truly Me release-what did you think?

  1. I agree! AG is being unfair! I am in the age limit, but I still think it’s unfair for other people who are older than the age limit! Doesn’t AG know that there are people above the age limit who love dolls too!?

    • I truly don’t think they realize how big of an over 13 fan base that they have. That’s why I posted about this here, hopefully someone reading will pass this info on to someone who cares.

      • I had to fight for the grand opening give away yesterday even though no where publicly said it was for “young girls only.” AG seems not to WANT to acknowledge their enthusiast market. Mistake!

      • I wonder how much we have to thank the greedy Ebay people for some of this too. You know, the ones who buy all the stuff up to flip it at a ridiculous mark up. I’m really getting tired of that.

  2. I also question the “take-away” of InnerStarU without replacing it with something new and exciting. Basic marketing. If it’s going away you would want to tout how their code can be used in new ways once InnerStar shuts down.
    As for the give-away… If they wanted to make sure a “kid” won, why not give two prizes away? kids and over 13?
    I am excited you are excited for Ms. Amber Eyes and I can’t wait to hear more 😃

    • I thought the taking away of InnerStarU and how they handled it was terrible. What would have been so wrong with leaving it open for a year (or longer) until most of these kids have either outgrown it or quit playing. It was all so abrupt, and I saw a couple of posts where there were some seriously distressed girls.

      I realize that this is a company and that they are about making money, but this is getting ridiculous. They are drifting so far afield of what Pleasant Rowland’s original vision was when she started Pleasant Company, it is starting to make me rather ill.

      I think that your contest idea would have been a great way to handle it. I am starting to think that the powers that be don’t think any further than the first idea that pops into their mind most of the time.

      I’ll be sure to share Ms. Amber eyes when she arrives. Not sure when that’s going to be just yet though!

      • I quite agree, some of us are never too old to play with dolls. I am way past the 13 years of age bracket, and wouldn’t consider entering the contest, but what about those girls who are in their late teens and still a fan of AG dolls. I have met many older ladies that have very large collections of AG dolls, and think they are just the greatest thing since white bread. I hope AG starts to reconsider their choices as to what age group they are wishing to attract. Granted the little girls have their parents to pick up the tab for purchases, however, a great deal of older teen girls are earning their own money, and are setting it aside to make AG purchases.
        Evil Twin

  3. OK, first about the releases. Yawn. Sorry, but I don’t see anything I would really want. And all the same color scheme. Really? Boring! Since I do own a Via-E doll, (who can actually get wet!), I might like the wind surfer if I had the space for it, and lived near the beach. But not at that price! But since AG dolls CANNOT get wet, this toy is pointless.

    Now about that contest. It’s obvious AG doesn’t know anything about YouTube and doll blogs. American Girl doll videos are the biggest genre on YouTube at this time. And who are making most of these videos? Teenagers over 13, that’s who! Who has a lot of these doll blogs? Teenagers over 13! And yes, there are lots of adults who love AG, as well. The current powers that be of American Girl simply do NOT care what consumers think. If they did, their prices wouldn’t be so high, quality would be better, and they would cater to ALL age groups. Another toy creator told me that it most likely costs between $20-$30 to make an AG doll. These are NOT hand made customs. That means in order for AG to make a decent profit, the dolls themselves should cost any more than $70, tops. But we are not paying just for a doll, we are paying for an empire. The AG stores and all the workers which include personal shoppers, cooks, floor managers, stock people salon stylists, etc, movies, actors, directors, etc, catalog printers, fashion shows, to say nothing of the contractors and construction people who actually build those stores. I think I’d rather have a company who cares about what the consumer thinks and just have catalog and online mail orders, than pay for an empire whose only interest is their own self-serving greed.

    • Yes, and if they think that the over 13 kids are the minority, boy are they wrong.

      I just came across this interesting article online. While the subject isn’t dolls, the points that the parent makes at the end of the post as to the benefits would apply in this situation too. Kids grow up too quickly to begin with, why should we force them to, and I think it’s awful that a company would deliberately exclude those in the 13 – 17 age group. Bad show. But as you said, it’s starting to look more and more like they are worried about lining the pockets of investors and top execs instead of doing what is right. I can see where this might be a horrible mistake, a case of “biting your nose off to spite your face.” Today’s child/teen is tomorrow’s consumer!

    • Mattel has had collectors as consumers for a long time. They really don’t care. As for the stuff? This release was dumb. The flamingo dress could be made from a remnant for under five dollars even if you had to buy thread! It’s a simply pattern too. I just do not get it.

      • I don’t even think that the dress looks that great on because of the way the dolls are made. And yeah, it’s simple for sure, there isn’t much to it for anyone that knows how to sew.

  4. I loved reading what your thoughts were, I was very excited to see more diverse dolls and I can’t wait to see them in person. The outfits and accessories were very “meh” to me as I prefer last years Seaside Fun outfit (I think that’s what it is called?) and the camp grill. I would love to get the PWP but I find no use for it as it can’t go into the water and if you take photos of it on dry land it looks awkward 😉 I find it really disappointing that the age limit is what it is, it does seem like american girl i not paying attention because the number of Instagram, YouTube’s and blogs that I have seen that are run by older doll lovers keep growing, as is the number who visit the american girl store. I hope american girl will re-evaluate and cater to all ages of American Girl lovers.

    • So funny what you said about the PWP and taking photos, that’s exactly what I thought. I wonder how many dolls will end up in the doll hospital because of it and the store exclusive from younger girls who don’t think about it?!

  5. I was not impressed by the Truly Me clothes either. I have such a large collection of AG clothes now that I am quite selective about what I add. I also sew as well and when I see things I can make I prefer to make it myself. Ah well, I do like seeing new dolls though!

    • I think that’s part of my problem too, I have so many, plus many of them I look at and think “I can make that and probably better.”

      So glad you stopped by!

  6. Yeah, I’m catching up on reading and commenting. So let’s get at it.

    The release items…yep, I have a couple things I like, but will wait to see what they cost and if any are left next December and January during the big sales. While one of those is the new Seaside Fun outfit, when you break it down it’s $10 per item in the box plus shipping and tax. the Flamingo dress is a little better. But I think I could enlist a seamstress and jewelry maker to mock up similar at half price.

    The new dolls are lovely. I don’t like the new meet outfit. I like the accessories better, but wonder who wears a tutu over a dress, I’ve seen tutus over jeans and leggings…

    The contest. What a travesty! I have read at least three blog posts ranting about the cut off age. Seriously, they should have had three tiers and three winners. That would have been more endearing to the doll community. We older collectors and bloggers are supporting the younger ones who may be getting teased about their hobby and what does the major supplier do…tell them they are too old. You’re never too old for dolls!

    Finally, the empire. AG is expanding too quickly. I understand that they do kind of have a niche market and clientele, but I’m worried about the brand taking a hit. Plus I’m still annoyed Pennsylvania (i.e. Philly) doesn’t have an AGP – the US started here. LOL

    Love to all!

    • So many good points! I worry too that they may be expanding too quickly, all of that additional work force alone is a major hit to the profit line. Plus the announcement not all that long ago that they were letting some people go at their main center of operation. The only (and questionable) good thing is that they are under the Mattel umbrella, and unless something major goes wrong, I don’t think the line will ever disappear suddenly, but never say never.

      Hey, that’s a very good reason that we should have one in PA, can’t believe I never thought of it!

      • I did mention to the corporate folks yesterday in Nashville that it costs me the same in gas to get there as it does with gas, tolls and parking for either NYC or DC. They listened with curiosity but had no actual power to do anything.

        I think we really need to start a lobbying campaign for King of Prussia.

      • I’m surprised that there isn’t one there already, that is such a high-end mall with tons of traffic. I know that my husband’s cousin (she’s a bus driver) regularly takes tour groups from this area to the KofP mall. Not like we don’t have plenty of shopping on this side of the state, but it’s sort of the east’s version of Mall of America. You’d get all of the people from the Eastern seaboard that don’t want to deal with the NYC or DC traffic and parking issues. To me it’s a no-brainer. It would actually be further for me than Columbus but I could always ride shotgun with cousin!

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