Hello everyone! I’m officially back! Happy 2016 and all that stuff. We had a nice, relaxing break, and I had an opportunity to get caught up on some of my writing for the blog as well.
2015 is over and Grace Thomas is now archived, one for the American Girl history books. Her collection has been an interesting study in supply and demand, as well as pricing. But also proof that AG collectors/fans are growing tired of repeats, we’ve had enough dancers/skaters. We were ready for something new. Kudos to AG for coming up with an idea that wasn’t a rehash of a previous collection. The way items sold out could be proof enough of that, but since I don’t know how inventory of her collection compared with Isabelle (who had items on clearance well into the next year), I can’t really say. I just know it seemed like there was quite a bit more interest in her than the previous doll.
I wasn’t all that wild about the doll. I think the biggest turn off for me was her freckles, the placement bothered me. I was also mad about the fact that they didn’t make her a doll of color and she herself wasn’t part French either. That aside though, her collection is probably one of my all-time favorites of any GOTY. When I first looked at it, there were several things that caught my eye immediately. And other things that I thought were very appealing. I don’t know of any other AG collection for GOTY that I can say that about. Some I didn’t like at all, some I only liked one or two things, but this…this collection was different. Even if you weren’t into baking, there was more than likely something that had some appeal.
I started out my Grace collection with the Baking set and her City Outfit in January. In the spring I picked up her PJ’s. The rest I wanted to wait on and see if there were any sales. After Black Friday things went crazy with the 12 days sale and the 20% off discount, and many of her items sold out. I was lucky enough to pick up her Travel Coat, the Opening Night Dress and her Travel Set. By mid-December, the only outfits still left were her Sightseeing Outfit and the Opening Night Dress, so I was very glad I decided not to wait. I may still pick up the Sightseeing Outfit should it turn up in the clearance sales at a good price.
You know how sometimes you admire something and when you finally get it, it’s a let down? I can’t say that with anything I bought out of her collection. Which item is my favorite? Well, first it’s the baking set. That mixer is just too cute, and the rest is great too. Next would be the suitcase/travel set, this set really surprised me. Since I already did a review right after I got the baking set, I thought I would do a review of the travel set. Unfortunately it did sell out, but you might be able to get one off Ebay later on, once the craziness wears off.
I bought this set so that the girls would have a decent rolling suitcase. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) I have an OG set that is all soft sided, and while it’s nice, I don’t think it would hold all that much, plus it didn’t have near the details. I did think that the $44 sticker price was a bit much, but when it went on sale for $30, I jumped on it. And good thing I did, just an hour or so after I bought it, I went in to look and it was a sell out.
The one thing I’m not wild about on this suitcase is the color scheme. While this worked well on the bakery, I’m not sold on it for the suitcase. I have actually toyed with the thought of painting the teal blue “strapping” brown which would be much more realistic. I don’t know, we’ll see. I just think it was a strange pairing of colors.
I love the handle on this, it pulls up and down, just like a real suitcase! It also has rolling wheels, a nice little touch.
(Apologies for these photos, my camera was having a freak out, not sure what was going on. I hope it’s not getting ready to head to that camera graveyard in the sky. Yes, I have others, but I especially like this one for doll photography.)
The latches to hold it closed are very nicely done and seem to be secure when you close them. They are made from metal, so I think they will hold up very well. The interior is finished just like a real suitcase, complete with a pocket to store those little items. So cute!
The accessories are cute–a little passport, a journal, plane tickets and a lock. The lock has an ID tag you can attach to it, unfortunately it has Grace’s name on it. I need to figure out a good way to change that since we don’t have anyone named Grace living here. Otherwise, very cute, but not sure how well it will hold up to hard play. The plane tickets are a bit odd in that they are two tickets for the same seat, going the same direction, very strange. Someone was asleep at the switch. Not a big deal though, I’m going to scan these into my computer and edit them, changing the info to reflect who is traveling, when and where. Easy peasy! That way I can print out tickets for whoever is traveling.
So the big question that is on everyone’s mind–how much does it actually hold? Let’s find out!!
I tried packing it with a variety of items, just like you would for a real trip. Unfortunately none of the girls is heavy enough to do the “sit on the suitcase” trick, so we had to just shut it normally. I didn’t have much difficulty getting it closed though.
So, what did we have? A pair of PJ’s, a two piece swimsuit, a skirt and top and a pair of shorts and another top. Plus the accessories were all in the pocket. Not too bad. One thing that you have to remember is that while everything is proportional in doll world, fabric thickness is not! It’s an unfortunate fact that we can’t change, the closest we can come is to work with thinner fabrics, but sometimes that isn’t always an option. Even so, I think this suitcase held a decent amount of stuff.
Overall, I think this is a very cute set, and if you can find a good deal on it somewhere, it’s a nice addition to a collection. Personally, I would LOVE to see AG make something like this for their Truly Me line, a suitcase is something that has been missing from the line for a little while. Once in a while I see the older versions show up on Ebay, but not many, which tells me that not too many people want to part with them. Our Generation makes two sets that would be decent alternatives, but I personally love the details on this set better. So glad I grabbed it when I did! 🙂