Argh. Doggone American Girl and their so-so photography. And these darned bloggers who get new dolls and do posts about them, with fantastic photos. It makes it tough on a girl. I hate it when I think I have my mind made up and then something goes and changes it all. You know where this is going, don’t you?
If you remember, right after the New Year I had commented that I didn’t think I would be getting Lea. I thought she was a pretty doll but she looked way too much like Rebecca. Not long after that I read a post over at Lissie & Lilly where she showed the Lea doll that she had purchased. It was a very interesting post, but the end made it particularly intriguing. In the post she did a comparison of Rebecca, Kanani and Lea, and I was very surprised at how she looks like Rebecca, but not identical. (By the way, she looks nothing like Kanani in my humble opinion!) Then Jessica over at American Girl Fan did a whole photo shoot featuring Rebecca and Lea outside in the snow. Oh dear. And then I got this idea in my head, one of those nagging ones that won’t leave you alone…
Last year after I did our taxes, I “paid” myself out of the refund by getting Kit’s desk. I had already done my rough draft on the current taxes and determined approximately how much we were getting back, then I asked my husband if he cared if I did the same thing this year. I laughed when he said “I kind of figured that was coming!” I guess after 31 years, he has me figured out. 🙂 At that point I hadn’t decided what I was getting yet though. Then it happened.
I did my usual morning check two weeks ago to see if any new sale items were available on the American Girl website. And my mouth dropped open. FREE SHIPPING on everything in Lea’s collection as well as some special offers that would save additional cash. (insert ominous music here) It was all over. I discovered the sale at 6:20 AM and by 6:45 I had my order confirmation. Within a couple of hours I had my shipping confirmation, yay! Now the wait was on! (and then I e-mailed Xyra and Nonna, Xyra bought her too. We’d had an ongoing conversation about her for about a week before this, I think the NSA is in cahoots with AG!)
Lea and her stuff arrived last week, she came right on schedule. So, what did I get?
I got Lea’s Beach collection which included her, the swim set and the beach accessories. With the discount offered and the free shipping, I couldn’t pass it up. I was on the fence about both of these items, but at the price, I figured I could get them and if I hated them, flip them on Ebay. And if I liked them, I’d saved $38 (not including the free shipping). Cha-ching! I have to admit that I was a little nervous about opening her though, originally I thought I’d like to go to the store to get her because I’ve seen a few with odd eyebrow placement. However, with the free shipping, I was willing to take the chance. Fortunately, I didn’t get an “evil” looking Lea.
Here she is when she arrived. Notice that white flap on the box lid? Let me just say that this was a fantastic improvement over the Truly Me boxes, way easier to get open, it makes it slide out. She was held into her box the same way as before, no changes there. She does have some additional plastic covering her, more protection from shine marks I guess.
Out of the box and hairnet removed–check out those eyes!!! I absolutely love this eye color, it’s a completely different shade of hazel from previous dolls. Truthfully, it’s probably more like my eyes than Rebecca. I haven’t been this taken with doll eyes since Alya arrived, such a pretty shade, and they go so well with her hair.
I also got her hike outfit and the Bahia outfit, both were on my “want” list. I’d seen a couple reviews and non-AG photos of them and decided to take the plunge. Originally I was going to wait and see if they went on sale, but free shipping is a nasty temptress. As you know, I’m SO not a fan of her meet dress (and it’s just as bad in person as I thought) so I barely had her out of the box and into her other outfit!
I think this outfit looks terrific on her, it goes very well with her coloring. I think one of the reasons I wanted this particular outfit is because the top reminds me of one I had when I was in 5th or 6th grade, one of my friends had it too. We were in different grades, so once in a while we would plan to wear it on the same day so we matched, but no one would really notice. Corny, huh?
One thing that impresses me right off the bat is her hair. Not only is it a pretty color with a nice curl to it, but it doesn’t seem to hang in her eyes! So many of my dolls with side parts (Alya, Louisa, Kit, Cassandra, Zara) have problems with their hair hanging over one (sometimes both) eyes, but her wig is constructed a little differently and it doesn’t. I would like to see them do this more often, especially with dolls that have longer hair.
So, first things first–forget that she is Lea. My Lea is now Sophia Rubin–Rebecca’s older sister! No more Brazil, no more Missouri, New York City is her hometown now! And Rebecca is super excited to see her sister, can’t you tell? Sophia was named after her great great aunt Sophie, the sister of the original Rebecca. She’s 15, and Rebecca really looks up to her. Rebecca was also excited that she brought some of her clothing with her, she couldn’t wait to try it on.
I especially liked this picture because it shows how much they look alike, but you can see how much difference there is in the eye color:
Since I bought the package, I got the swimsuit set. I was on the fence about it in the catalog, but I think it’s very pretty in person.
I do have a couple of complaints though. First off, the yellow/pink bottoms are made in such a way, where the seam is sits right on the butt seam of the doll, so it sticks out and gives her a bad case of lumpy butt! You have to play with it a bit to get it to lay nicely. But my bigger complaint is with the tags on the dolls. HEY AMERICAN GIRL! If you are going to insist on making midriff bearing swimsuits/clothing for the dolls, move the friggin’ tags! I was able to tuck Rebecca’s in under the rash guard top enough so it’s not obvious, but with the swim suit, forget it. It just loses something and was one of the reasons I was hesitant to purchase this set. Fortunately I do have one or two dolls with the old style small tags that aren’t as obvious.
I also got the beach set which I’m still not 100% sold on. I’m still thinking on it. It seems a bit on the clunky side to me, anyone else feel that way about it? Just not sure at the moment.
One thing I’ve seen a lot of comments on with Lea is that they have changed the way the head is attached, they are trying the zip tie thing again. I don’t have an issue with this, but I know some people do. I think overall the heads will stay tight for a much longer time, and I did notice that her head was a little bit harder to turn than my other dolls. I actually like not having to work around neck strings, and as far as customizations or doing repairs yourself, you can find zip ties at so many retail outlets. It would just be a matter of removing a couple of stitches with a seam ripper and you’re in!
So much for not buying any dolls this year. I tried, I really tried to resist her. But, I have to admit that she is far prettier in person than the first photos I saw of her, and I’m very glad I decided to take the plunge. Fortunately, they only have one more new doll (that I’m aware of) coming out this year. Perhaps I won’t like Melody. She won’t look anything like her book cover. She will be unappealing. Yeah, that’s the ticket. The positive side to her is even if I do like her, I have a bit more than just a year to get her. I guess we will wait and see… (I need a bigger doll room!)