American Girl at Toys R Us

The big unveiling was this past weekend at the 100 Toys R Us stores that are going to be carrying the Truly Me line.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for me, the closest store to me is an hour away.  Curiosity got the best of me though, and I decided yesterday to take a trip there and check it out.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s not that far from the Trader Joe’s I like to visit once in a while as well as my favorite thrift stores.  Not much arm twisting was involved. 😉

In the Pittsburgh area, the Cranberry Township store has been designated to carry the Truly Me products.  It’s a HUGE store, and is located in a very busy area, plus it’s convenient to two interstates, so I can see why it was chosen.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I’m going to be honest, I was less than impressed with the Pittsburgh pop-up store at the Ross Park Mall, it seemed to be a last minute kind of thing, very thrown together and cramped.  This was certainly not the case with the Toys R Us store.  I loved the way the displays were set up and it was easy to get around.  While you couldn’t play with some of them like you would in an American Girl store, that’s okay, it was easy to see what was in them because of the height and lighting of the displays.  Most all of the items are there so you can “grab and go”, only the large items required you to take a tag to present to the cashier so they could get your item from the back room.

20161101_094523

I was surprised that there were still tags available for the kitchen set. Makes me think that part of the reason for the shortage on the AG website is because they were under a contract to have a certain number on hand for each Toys R Us store. It will be interesting to see how quickly they sell out.

20161101_094544

You’ll have to excuse the fact that I took all of these photos from an angle.  It was the only way I could get them without a lot of glare.  The front of this particular store is made up of small squares of glass and it was reflecting off the cases like crazy since the display is in the front of the store.  It was very sunny too.

20161101_094624

20161101_094713

20161101_094757

20161101_094909

I think the selection of products is good and it will be nice to have this available once the pop up store closes. I did talk to one of the staff that seemed to know a decent amount about the way these things work. She said that when they introduced Claire’s products, they were also one of the first stores to get it and as they saw how well it worked, they added more stores. She said that she thought that was more than likely how this was going to go so there is still some hope that some products may end up at a store closer to me. She unfortunately didn’t know any details as to how long the initial contract is between AG and TRU, but I guess we will find out.

I also asked if it was crazy busy over the weekend and she said Saturday was definitely the worst, partially because it was the first day and also because they were hosting some sort of Pokémon event as well. Given that bit of information, I was impressed at how well stocked all of the displays were. There were a few blank spaces, but not horrible, and I hope that it will stay that way throughout the holiday so that everyone can get what they want.  My only complaint was that it was only November 1st and they were already playing Christmas music!! Seriously?!?!

Now for the question you all probably have–did I get anything?  Of course I did!  I picked up two items, but you’ll have to come back at the end of the week to get the answer on what I bought.  I was really very good though, these were the two items at the top of my list and I wasn’t swayed.  Stop by on Friday to see what I brought home!

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “American Girl at Toys R Us

  1. Hm. There’s too much there to guess what you got. It looks like they have all the TM dolls in that display. And that particular display looks better than the AG stores where they have all the dolls crammed together.

    • I think it’s about half of the TM dolls. They didn’t have the two newest additions which surprised me. I thought for sure they would have them, but they didn’t at the pop up store either.

  2. Hi, Flo. I have a question instead of a comment. Does anybody think there will be a sale at AG before the holidays? My little charge wanted a Julie Albright doll to keep her Truly Me (“Mia”) company, and I bought it about eight months ago when there was a good sale. Now, of course (she’s 4 1/2!), she has changed her mind and wants Samantha. Wow, do I hate to pay regular price. I’ll give her the Julie clothes (hate them!) and keep the doll. And I could just buy a Samantha outfit, but I’m pretty sure at this point it’s the hair as well. I will wait or check out our pop-up store if the price typically goes down. Thanks loads! I’m so happy when my mailbox has something new from My Little Friends!

    • It’s hard to say if they will or won’t. However, last year they did run a 20% off sale before the holiday. I would say your best bet is to sit tight over the next few weeks and see what happens. Last years sale was right around Cyber Monday, I picked up quite a few things that way. That said, they have done things differently in so many areas this year, I hate to rely on anything from the past this year. I have seen talk about a gift pack at Costco that has Samantha in it, but I don’t know all of the details on it. If you have a Costco membership, that might be worth checking out because it includes the doll and a couple of outfits.

      Thanks for the compliment!

    • Alita, I just logged into the AG website this morning and there is a discount sale based on what you spend. Not sure if it applies to the stores too, but it might be worth a phone call!

      • Oh, thanks for that tip! I checked out the Costco bundle, but I would not ordinarily be buying those clothes for Vivi. But just this morning I got an email with that discount offer! $20 off will do it for me. Here comes Samantha to share all the clothes I’ve made for Mia!

  3. Great post! I’m curious to know of our TRU ended up getting any AG dolls. I have a doctors appoint this afternoon with the rest of the day off, so I might treat myself and sneak over to see! I have never been to an American Girl store before, so I would be really excited to see all of this stuff in person! Can’t wait to see what you got!

  4. Poor Xyra and I are not close to a TRU with Truly Me but maybe we’ll roadtrip to one. I agree that the Pop Up stores do not have as nice of a set up. The TRU set ups remind me of the smaller AG stores with less frills (decor, carpets etc).

    Can’t wait to see what you picked up!

    • You know what bothered me with the Pittsburgh pop up store? The display shelving is too small! Everything looks crammed in with no thought to it and half of it will fall off if you touch it! The KOP store looks to be bigger than Pittsburgh, it is tiny! Given that this deal with TRU was in the works, I don’t know why they bothered, they are in the high rent district too.

  5. Having been to an AG store only once in Columbus, I think TRU has done a terrific job with the displays, and the accessibility of the items to purchase. If I get desperate I just might go for a ride down to Century III to see if they have the same set up. You did a great job with the photos.

    • You won’t find it at Century III, they didn’t get it. Only 2 stores in Western Pennsylvania have this set up, Cranberry Township and Washington. I took those photos with my cell phone, it does a decent job!

  6. Oh My Goodness! I have heard of this, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t happen! I don’t like the Idea. I feel like the experience at the AG store is going to stop being so Magical! It’s sad):

    • How in the world would it be any less magical???? There is no bistro, no BeForever, No Bitty Baby at these stores. And it’s only 100 stores. Or would you rather that everything stay the same and the brand go out of business? Because that’s where it’s headed if they don’t do something. As an adult who knows a good deal about retail and the stock market, Mattel (who owns AG) has to come up with something to improve sales or liquidate the line. Is that what you’d rather see happen? It’s not about what everyone likes, it’s about what increases sales figures. If you aren’t making money on something, you quit selling it. Toy companies and toy lines go out of business every day. At least they are making some effort to keep that from happening.

      • I’m Sorry, I didn’t mean to make anyone mad. I knew there was no bistro, but I thought that everything else would be there. No I don’t want the Store to go out of business, I just thought that AG going to different places might make it start going cheaply made and stuff. But yes I guess going out to other places will make it stay up to chart. They have good displays at TRU! Better than I thought they would. I just don’t want AG to start going to Target and Walmart. Thanks, ~Dollventuresblog

      • Not mad, but I think there is a whole lot of misinformation and ideas going around about this venture, and I want to be certain that everyone knows the facts. AG has not been performing well for Mattel, and Mattel as a whole is encountering some financial setbacks, so if they don’t get things figured out, they could possibly start dropping or selling off some of their toy lines or worse yet, go out of business. The toy industry is so competitive to begin with, and there is so much more available for kids to buy or be interested in than they were even just 10 years ago. I’m not wild about their link with Kohl’s because it seems a bit sloppy, but I think they have handled the TRU joint venture the best way possible. My hope is that when little girls see these displays, they will get as excited as all of us do about AG, and perhaps then they will plan a trip to a larger store, visit/order from the website and get the brand back up to it’s previous sales figures. I agree 100% with not wanting to see it end up at Target or Walmart, not only because I think that would be “rock bottom” so to speak, but it would possibly mean the loss of the Our Generation and My Life As lines which I also like. Not sure if you are aware of this, but in the TRU stores that sell AG products, they no longer sell Journey Girls.

      • Really? no more journey girls. We’ll, no! I wouldn’t want OG or My life to go out of buisness! That would be so bad😞 Hopefully AG just stays with TRU for now. And are they going to retire any dolls soon? I feel like they’ve made a lot of new dolls and haven’t retired any. Do you know anything about that?

      • I haven’t heard anything recently about any definite retirements. Of course there are always rumors flying around but nothing official from AG.

        You can still get Journey Girls dolls and accessories at the TRU stores not selling the AG Truly Me line at this point. I will be curious to see how all of this may change over time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s