Review of Campus Snack Cart and Jill’s Steals and Deals

There was recently a Jill’s Steals and Deals offer on American Girl. Just like with any sale, there were good things and bad things. BIG kudos to whoever decided to change the code for this sale from their previous formula. It was one of those things that if you were familiar with the sale, you could easily figure it out, but not the case this time, which prevented people from getting in early. That evened the playing field somewhat. I see that confused look on your face, you don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, if you pay close attention to the screens for these sales, the sales start at 8:00AM Eastern time. Usually the segments don’t air until somewhere between 8:30 and 8:45 on the Today Show (usually the latter) and if you figured out the code, you could somehow get in and get access to the sale items before everyone else. So not cool. AG, if you read this and you care, you will CONTINUE changing the codes this way from now on.

I was surprised at how quickly I got in this time too, I only waited about 10 minutes. At that point everything was still available and I was able to get what I wanted. I attribute this to several factors. First off, most schools are back in session so that eliminated most of the window shopping that may have gone on by kids and reduced the numbers somewhat. The code being changed helped too. And the fact that it hadn’t been all that long since the last sale and some of the items were sort of/kind of repeat items probably deterred some people. I also think that the folks who thought that these were a great way to “get rich” by flipping these items on Ebay found out otherwise. They don’t quite understand that most AG collectors/shoppers are well aware of these sales and what these items sell for. I suspect that in the previous two sales this summer, several Ebay folks found themselves just barely making their money back, or at least not making the big bucks they thought they were. I chuckled though, in one of my regular Ebay checks that day I discovered that one person had bought several of the AG doll sets that were selling for $78, trying to sell them for $150, before the sale even ended! Sad part is these dolls were the same ones that when I checked just before the sale had ended, they still hadn’t sold out on the AG sale site. Something tells me that these sellers are in for a bit of a shock.

That brings me to another point though–why can’t these sales just be run as “pop up” sales every so often on the AG website without all of the hype on the Today Show? Come on AG, we are your bread and butter, not the person who only takes advantage of the sales to flip these items. It would be nice to eliminate some of that competition. I think they would do just as well too, I know of some people who have given up on these sales, or don’t find out about them because they work or don’t watch Today. You could still do both too, just alternate or something. It just doesn’t seem fair, and I know even with things being easier this time around, there were still some people who had difficulty getting in.

Okay, enough griping! I’m sure you are excited to see what I got! I know I sure was. I have been in awe of the Campus Snack Cart ever since I saw it in person last year at AG Columbus. I even commented then that I thought it was probably one of the nicest things in the store. The only thing that kept me from buying it was the $150 price tag, a bit steep for my tastes. Since then it was on sale and I still passed, but in the meantime I did the whole bakery project. When I got into the JS&D sale and saw it for sale for $67, I’m sure my mouth dropped open! I was super excited and even more so when I got through the checkout process unscathed and received my confirmation e-mail. WHOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!! I really hadn’t planned on buying anything this big right now since I just bought some of the other items I’ve shown, but at that price, I couldn’t not buy it.

You can imagine how much more excited I was when I got shipping confirmation later that day and when it arrived 2 days later. Yes, you read that right, 2 days! I’m not sure what planets aligned right for me that day, but things certainly did go right. I didn’t pay for expedited shipping either, this was just regular shipping. I’m still stunned.

I asked the girls who wanted to volunteer to help me with it, and Rebecca immediately put her hand up. She thinks it’s pretty cool too.
cart 1
Isn’t it cute?!?! I am just as much in awe of it as I was in the store last year. I do want to take a second to say one thing though–the wheels on it are fake and do not work. Just want to put that out there in case that is a deal breaker. I know in several reviews folks were disappointed in that.

A close up of the one side.  Lots of cool details: a microwave, shelving, a cash drawer and a freezer.  Everything you need for a busy selling day.
cart 2Here is a close up of the microwave.  This is probably my favorite feature.  The door opens easily and there is plenty of room for food as you can see.  It permanently says 11:45, that can’t  be changed, but what I thought was cool was when you turn the knobs, they make a clicking sound.  They don’t just spin around like they do on some other items.

cart 3A close up of the change drawer.  Nothing very exciting, but I do like the fact that the drawer can’t be pulled completely out, no chance of spilling the money all over the place.  This would also be a nice place to put a couple of small utensils if you weren’t going to use it for change.

cart 4And the refrigerator/freezer.  Plenty of space for storing all those things you want to keep cold.

cart 5Turn the stand around, there is the menu!  I love the pattern on this piece, it’s so nice and colorful.  And NOT totally pink! 🙂

cart 6On this end we have a towel bar, very handy!  The towel is included with the set.  The other end is plain. cart 8

One thing I really like about this piece is it’s versatility. I have several different ideas on how I’m going to use it and I was very happy to see how easily the canopy could be removed. It literally just lifts off. There have been some complaints about it not staying in place, and I can see how that would be a problem, but it could easily be remedied with a small piece of tape!
cart 7
The canopy itself is cute, but was probably the most disappointing part of the set. It was terribly wrinkled and one of the bars on mine has a slight bend to it from how it was packaged. I think all of this can be remedied with some hot water. I’m not too worried about it since I really don’t plan on using the canopy most of the time, it will be stored.  Because of the way it is attached, it would be easy to make another canopy for it if you don’t particularly care for this one. Another plus.
cart 10 cart 9

Now for the included accessories!  This set really shines in this department and has a ton of little food and other items that make it very attractive.  I can see where this set would get lots of play time just because of this.

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Here are the items that one would associate with a food cart: hot dogs and fries!  The hot dog cooker is very cute and lights up (not sure if you can see it or not reflecting on the hot dogs in this photo).  My personal favorite thing is the ketchup and mustard containers, these are nice to have not just for this, but for the doll kitchen in general.  The hot dogs in mine do not come out of the buns, not sure if they are supposed to or not, I suspect no.

cart 12

What would a food cart be without ice cream?!  We have smoothies, ice cream cones, ice cream sandwiches and a faux box of cones.  I think the scoop is very cute!  My husband didn’t think the ice cream items were quite right in proportions, but they are still cute.  (see, I’m slowly but surely turning him into a doll aficionado…)

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I thought these two food items were a little strange for a food cart–corn on the cob and fruit kabobs.  I guess this was AG’s attempt to at least inject some healthy food into this junk food smorgasbord.  The detail is great on these pieces.  And I LOVE those little tongs, so adorable!  They work too!

cart 14

Here are a couple of items I haven’t opened just yet, I’m not going to need them for a while, so I figured this would keep them safe.  Every cash drawer needs money and the paper trays are perfect.  The attention to detail on this set is over the top.

The set also includes a very nice apron, gotta keep the clothes clean when serving food!  It attaches at the neck and waist with Velcro, very easy to put on and take off.  I just wish it wasn’t pink, but oh well.  Keep in mind that I like pink, but a little bit goes a long way.  At least they didn’t overdo it on the set as a whole, so I’m not going to complain too loudly.

cart 15

Now, you’re probably wondering what I’m going to do with this set.  ALL SORTS OF THINGS!  First off, use it as a food cart, but also as a prep area in the bakery.  Heck, I’m even thinking about putting it in the dollhouse kitchen when it’s not in use for other things as a prep station, you can never have too much work space in a kitchen.  I already have plans for it for a post that will be coming up at the end of the month and another one not long after that.

Overall, this is a VERY well made, well thought out piece.  I give it an A-, and only because of the canopy, that could be improved upon.  Otherwise, I think it’s one of the best American Girl purchases I’ve made, and can see where this could easily be a favorite item for many little girls. And big girls too!

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11 thoughts on “Review of Campus Snack Cart and Jill’s Steals and Deals

  1. You know you are a doll lover when.. You said we might be wondering what you would do with the snack cart and in my head I was saying, “Not wondering at all.. Totally understand”!!
    I like the little kitchen towel very much. I look forward to your stories to come involving the cart.

    • LOL! It has so many cute features, once I got it so many ideas have popped into my head as to how to use it. I’m very glad I decided to go for it, I had vetoed it before but it was one of those things (kind of like Louisa) that I couldn’t stop looking at.

  2. I was really tempted to order this as well…but as others have said, no space! I wish there was a way to get the food w/o the cart! But it looks like you’re really gonna have fun w/ this set! Concessions at the soccer games? Can’t wait!

    As for JS&Ds, I’m not that thrilled. I’m glad it took me hardly any time to get in, and I’m thrilled I’m getting a new AG doll for this first time. (all my other girls as used). What I’m not thrilled about is how long AG took to ship my order! I hope she comes before I leave for Seattle.

    • Space was an issue for me too, but it was one of those pieces that I really wanted. I was surprised when it arrived at all the bigger it actually was, it’s not going to be as difficult for me to store as I initially thought, and as I mentioned, it may not all go in storage, just the canopy. I agree though, it would be nice to see the food sold separately as well, not just for someone like you, but for those who might want additional items to go with this piece. Once in a while the food does pop up on Ebay.

      What in the world is with American Girl and their shipping lately???? I feel your frustration as I went through a similar thing, I had ordered some stuff for Evil Twin and I a week before this item–and it took forever for it to ship. I ended up getting BOTH orders on the same day, despite the fact that I had ordered one of them 6 days before. Two of my previous orders took a while too. It’s not the high quality service that I’ve come to expect, I think that’s why I was so shocked that I got this so quickly. Do they only have one person operating the entire shipping department? If it’s like this already, I dread to think what it’s going to be like over the Christmas season! I hope your doll arrives today or tomorrow.

  3. Nice, Flo! How amazing to get it for only $67!! I love it when things like that work out. i can imagine this would provide so many great scenarios and new story lines for your girls…I can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

  4. What an amazing deal! I have never heard about Jill’s steals and deals!?!? But I don’t watch the Today show either, ah well. What a cute set. I love all the accessories, it is really complete. Can’t wait to see it in action. : )

    • Maybe it’s a good thing you don’t know about it, very dangerous too! 😉 I have gotten a few awesome deals though, but it can be very frustrating at times. I think that this is the best item I’ve bought though, so versatile.

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