Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great New Year!  I had a few minutes so I thought I’d pop in and do a quick post about the new releases.

First things first: Lea Clark.  I think she is a really pretty doll.  But I won’t be getting her because she looks way too much like Rebecca.  If I didn’t already have Rebecca I would probably be considering her, but they are just too similar.  I am disappointed in a few things with her though.  First off, we kept hearing about she was going to be Brazilian.  Now we find out she’s a whopping 1/8 Brazilian.  Seriously?  Why bother.  I think the only reason American Girl did that was to cash in on the Olympics this summer.  Using the same face mold two years in a row isn’t such a great idea either–remember what happened with Isabelle following Saige in terms of sales?  Her collection is nice, but too many repeats from prior collections.  If you are someone who has been collecting for a while, I imagine you’re not going to be buying a whole lot.  It will be interesting to see how she and her collection sell as the year goes on.  My biggest disappointment in Lea is in her meet outfit and some of her other clothing.  Blah.  The meet outfit is a trainwreck.  Not because of the bright colors either, but because of the poor quality of workmanship.  No attention was paid to matching the fabric or even attempting to.  As someone who sews, I find this unacceptable and would probably toss this dress in the trash.  Come on AG, you are charging $120 for the doll which is ridiculous enough, at least give her a nicely made outfit.  This dress was by no means complicated, you could do a better job by far.

lea no

The rest of the releases are okay, only two stand out to me as being interesting and they are both far overdue.  The diabetes kit and the hand crutches are both items that have been requested many times over, it’s about time they made these.  If they can make a set with braces/headgear and a wheelchair, both of these items seem like no-brainers.  The Valentine’s themed clothes are “meh”, I’m tired of seeing things that are sleeveless.  I live in the North East and I can tell you that in February, it is cold, and I’d be wearing sleeves of some sort.  I’m starting to wonder if the shops they are hiring to do their sewing know how to set sleeves?!  It just seems like more and more of their releases include sleeveless clothing, anyone else notice that?

Now for the “rant” part of this–leaks.  I’m getting tired of seeing leaks in advance of releases. And I’m not blaming any bloggers.  I’m blaming AG.  How are these items reaching Ebay, weeks, sometimes even months in advance of their release?  Are there not confidentiality agreements in place with the shops who are making these items?  American Girl has been known to threaten bloggers who leak stuff in advance, why aren’t they going after Ebay and these sellers?  I’ll be honest, this whole situation has taken some of the shine off the whole GOTY idea for me.  They aren’t all that hard to find either, I’ve run across a number of them in doing my usual Ebay scans.  The whole thing makes me wonder if they are in fact “leaked” items or not.  Hmmmm…

So, what am I getting out of Lea’s collection or the new releases?  I’m not sure I’m getting anything.  There are two outfits I’m considering in Lea’s collection (the Bahia outfit and the Rainforest Hike outfit), but I’ll wait until they go on sale or there is some other deal, if I get them at all.  I’m just not that impressed.  Her accessory set-ugh. The price annoys the heck out of me, $32?!  For a bunch of paper and a few small items.  It is worse than the accessory set they came out with Grace in terms of value for the money.  I think they are counting on the camera as being a “must have” item.  You want a camera for your doll?  Go to Amazon and look up “Mini Camera Keychain” and for less than $10 you can get your doll a camera.  It just depends on which one you want.  Plus it looks more realistic.  Again we have a large item that is ridiculously expensive too, and I don’t think it’s worth it at all.  I’m hoping that like last year, it will inspire lots of creativity and we will see many homemade versions.  I won’t be recreating it though because I have absolutely no interest in it whatsoever.  It’s another “meh”.

Last year I was in love with Grace’s collection, trying to figure out which items I was going to get and when.  I lucked out and got some of the items on sale before they sold out as well.  This year it’s going to be a non-issue.  Oh well.  I’ll make some Etsy sellers very happy instead!!!


26 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. I usually am drawn to the Valentine’s items, but this year I don’t see any must haves. I’m still content with the pink and gray baseball shirt from last year with the Dalmatian.
    Lea is definitely reaching the target market in our home. I like the hike outfit and Brianna likes it all. She has saved 90.00 already.
    I agree with you on the leaks.

    • Yes, last year’s Valentine’s shirt was perfect! I don’t get it, releasing items that are summer type styles in the middle of winter.

      Wow, she is definitely headed in the right direction! I’m waiting to see some reviews on the outfits I’m interested in or at least seeing them in person before I jump. As we both know, sometimes AG’s photos aren’t all that accurate.

  2. You know how a lot of people say other doll brands copy AG? (a statement that’s ridiculous, since AG didn’t invent anything they make, they just reproduce them in doll size). Now I’m gonna make a somewhat silly statement. AG is copying Via-E! Via-E had their Alexis doll who traveled to Brazil to live and go to school along w/ her parents, a writer for a travel magazine and a fashion designer. She’s learning to speak the native language, and has made some friends, Tatiana (available in doll form), and Elena (coming Christmas 2016). And AG has come up w/ a few accessories I might want for my Via-E dolls should they go on sale, b/c they can actually get wet! But about Lea herself…a Josefina face mold right on the heels of Grace? Seriously? How about the Marie Grace mold? Or maybe…(wait for it)…an entirely NEW face mold? I would say Sonali too, but I think they may use that one for the new BeForever, Melody. And about the zip tie…AG did make dolls w/ zip ties some years back, (I have one) but went back to neck strings. But I think they’re starting to realize that people can fix their own dolls if they can take the heads off, so they’re trying to make even MORE money (GASP) for their doll hospital by making it as hard as possible for us consumers to do the repairs (or eye replacements) ourselves.

    Sorry this was so long, I just had a lot to say. Carry on!

    • Interesting about Alexis! I remember someone having a meltdown on another blog about other companies copying AG–PUHLEEZE!!! AG stores are no doubt a direct result of the success of Build A Bear, the company that originally made AG dolls (Gotz) had been in business long before AG/Pleasant Company had even existed, they are now owned by a company that has been in the doll business since the 1950’s (Mattel). While they have had some original ideas over the years, they certainly didn’t invent the wheel!

      I thought the same thing when I saw them trying the whole zip tie thing again. Won’t stop me!!!

  3. I agree with your post. I’ve been loosing some of the love for AG.
    I’d like to comment on the zip tie instead of neck stings, I am sure it is to make more people feel they can’t repair their own dolls but it is really just the same process as with neck strings. You CAREFULLY cut the tie and pull it out. To replace the head you either thread in a new zip tie or go to your local craft store,buy candle wicking in the appropriate size, (some have a fine wire running in them) which you just pull out. Then thead the candle wick through and you now have a neck string.

    • Great tip Sheila! I thought the same thing but wasn’t sure what would work, candle wick is perfect! And zip ties are available so many places in so many different sizes, it shouldn’t be a hard repair at all. I’ve actually toyed with the idea of taking some of the strings out of mine and replacing them with zip ties, just putting the strings in safe place. I personally like the look of the zip tie, it looks neater.

  4. I agree about the leaks. I feel that the reason people should feel no need for leaks is because of patience. I mean, can’t you just wait for AG’s release date as they intended it?

    • THANK YOU for saying that. I guess in today’s instant social media society, we’ve forgotten that sometimes you have to wait for things. Heaven forbid that someone might not know something before someone else! I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again), if I was a parent who had an outing planned for January 1st that was to go with the release, I’d be terribly disappointed if my child found out in advance all the info about the doll.
      🙂 🙂 🙂

    • 😦 I sure hope someone from AG is reading some of these comments. All I’ve seen so far from most blogs/websites is “oh, she’s so gorgeous, she’s wonderful”. Thank you for your honest opinion!!! I think sometimes they forget about older collectors who don’t fit in their target age group.

  5. Yep, I totally agree – Grace’s collection had me drooling and Lea’s is a lot of “oh, that’s like Kanani’s _______, that’s like Jess’s _______…” I’m disappointed that her camera doesn’t have any functionality when even the keychains have buttons that make the camera click and flash. It makes it almost seem like an afterthought and the braided hairband is the big ticket piece of the set (which, it is pretty cute… I’m tempted to get it for Kanani to wear…)

    • The camera–ugh. I thought it would do something, but it does nothing. When I was young, I had a souvenir from Niagara Falls that looked like a TV and when you looked through the viewer on it, you pushed a button and saw photos of different sites. I thought they could have at least done something like that. It’s not like there isn’t technology for that kind of thing. Especially for what the set costs.

  6. I am also in the I Don’t Like Lea Camp. The drawings of her look like a young Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to me, the style of clothes seems simple and cheap, the accessories are overpriced and predictable. There’s very little original thought in this collection. I too feel Mattel Marketing guided this collection as opposed to any creative team. Also, I’m not the first to say it but hello, AMERICAN girl of the year? Why do they keep leaving the country? Her story could easily have been told in an American setting. Mattel continues to disappoint me. What will happen when AG is totally Barbified (Barbie sales are at an all time low, I believe)?

    • Well, you just killed her for me LOL! A friend of mine lived in the same building with a young Sarah Michelle Geller (All My Children era) and she didn’t have much nice to say about her.

      I too am concerned about the Barbification of AG. The recent clothing quality puts me in mind of some of the crap made for that line. Not a compliment for sure! And yes, what would be so wrong with a story set here in the good old USA of a girl with an ethnic background? I guess all of that energy is going into Melody and they only have so much of it to go around. 😉

  7. I think the jacket should be purple satin, “The Purple Ladies” ” We’ll rule the blog.”
    Lea is a NO, NO, NO with me also. I wish they would get a new face mold in the works. I don’t want my dolls to all look like they are twins. Also, has AG ever considered jointed legs? It is so hard to get the girls to sit in chairs and on couches. If they would come out with a jointed doll I would be the first in line to purchase. One last comment; The Grace Thomas bracelet is practically impossible to attach once you get it around your dolls wrist. I can’t see a little girl managing to get it on when it took all my dexterity and two small medical forceps to get it on my doll, and I am way over being a little girl. Just ask Flo!

    • There are less expensive doll lines which have jointed legs, I haven’t figured out why they haven’t gone that route.

  8. Hi Flo,
    Yeah, I have to agree with most of your opinion regarding Lea and her collection. I think I will be getting her because I don’t have anyone that looks like her (even though I love Rebecca and probably will get her also eventually!) but I think her meet dress is awful. I am not inspired to get anything in her collection at all, except for her PJs (but only because I like PJs in general.) Her story is interesting to me as I love photography, got my original degree in Zoology and worked in Florida for a while doing sea turtle research! But her collection is not appealing to me, which will be great on my budget as there are so many other things I would like to still get and can focus on the other BeForever stuff. I’ve heard rumors that they may retire Addy so I should probably prioritize what I want to get this year.
    I am horrified though, in general at the price of everything. I feel bad for little girls who parents can’t afford any of this as I was that little girl long ago!! It’s crazy to me that a parent would purchase some of these high priced items for their kid. An adult collector is one thing, but spending that kind of money on an 8 year old girl is crazy!

    • Another member of the “addicted to doll PJ’s club! I hear you on the prices, I feel kind of bad for some of the girls who read some of these blogs where people have bought everything. I’m sure a lot of them feel left out because like you (and me as well), their parents won’t spend that kind of money, or perhaps more likely can’t spend that kind of money. Even as an adult collector I have my limits. As much as I would like to have everything cute I see, I not only have to look at it as a monetary issue, but also is it something I’m going to get enough use out of for what I do to justify the money spent. Just like with a kid, you have to look at it from the “play value” angle, and there are just a lot of things that I don’t see spending that kind of money on. Then there is the whole storage issue for me at the moment–we won’t go there!

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