It’s not every day Fed Ex brings a horse to your door! (Review of AG Less Than Perfect Horse & Saddle Set Set)

Back in December when I ordered Jamie, I added some other stuff on, not only to get free shipping, but also because they were giving 5x the points on all purchases.  I figured I might as well make the most of it!  I looked around on the website for a bit…and then came across this set!  It originally was made for a warehouse club scenario, I’m assuming Costco and/or Sam’s.  Not sure why so many of them ended up in the warehouse at American Girl though, usually these things sell out at these places, very odd.  But, it was a good deal and I decided it was worth taking a chance on.  Advertised as “Less Than Perfect”, the description indicated that the product itself was not damaged, just the packaging.  For $60, it seemed like a good deal, but I would also end up earning $15 worth of rewards.  Why not give it a shot?

The box had some marks and slight damage, but nothing horrible.  I’ve seen boxes in worse shape at Walmart and not reduced.  I would have used it even as a gift, it’s not like it was destroyed or anything bad like that.

Once I opened it, I could slide out the insert everything was attached to.


And…another packaging nightmare.  Honestly, why????  I’m getting SO tired of overpackaging.  I wrestled with this for a while.  Especially the part that was holding the horse’s mane hair in place.

Okay, so on to what is in the box after the wrestling match.  The horse is cute.  But…I was somewhat disappointed.  I can say in all honesty that AG does a good job of photographing these and making them look better.  First off…the seam down the back.

But then even more disturbing are the marks left on the horse from it being packaged with the saddle and bridle on it.  If you order a horse from AG, they come without the saddle.  I’m not sure if the bridle is on the horse when it’s received, but it just leaves a bit of a mess from where it’s crushed.  (Insert annoyed face here…)

The surface is a plush type fabric, sort of like velour over a solid plastic base.

The feet are done so they look like they have horse shoes on.

Included in the box is a blanket that goes under the saddle.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just put the blanket ON the horse in packaging, it might have kept it from getting so marked up.  Just like on a real horse!  Duh.

The blanket was just a thin piece of polar fleece.  And it isn’t even square!  Uh…where was quality control???

 

Okay, on to the good parts.  It comes with some accessories besides the blanket–an apple, some carrots and a nice little curry brush.  These pieces are cute.  The little curry brush even has real bristles on it.  But don’t use it on the mane or tail, these are made out of the same material as the doll wigs are, so be sure to use a wig brush!

The saddle is actually very well done.  I was especially surprised to find out that the stirrups are made out of metal!  It gives them a nice weight which helps keep the saddle in place.  I like how they gave the different parts some texture as well.

The bridle is nice too.  Both pieces are easy to get on and off the horse as well.  I found these easier to use than the ones that come with the Our Generation horses.

Here is a comparison beside an Our Generation horse for size:

The main differences between the construction on these is the fabric covering over the plastic frame.  The Our Generation horses are just the hard plastic on the surface.  That is a mixed blessing/curse–while you can make them more realistic detail wise, but they also tend to scratch and mark up easily too.

My final take–I’d give this set a C-.  The price, even at the sale price and if I factor in the $15 rewards I earned, is still more than I would have spent on a brand new Our Generation horse, without any damage.  I think the AG horse is cute, but not as realistic looking as the Our Generation and I was very turned off by the level of damage to the horse from the way it was packaged.  I wouldn’t buy another, that’s for sure, nor would I recommend it unless you are really hung up on getting an American Girl brand horse at a good price.  I currently have the horse in storage WITHOUT the saddle and bridle on to see if those marks will lessen over time.  I’ll update later if they do.  Oh well, it was worth a try, and I’m glad I didn’t pay full price!  Suggested retail on it was $100, I’m not sure if that is what they actually sold for, but I do know that if you buy just the horse and saddle separately from the AG website, it would come to $110, and it appears that the blanket for the saddle is of better quality.  And just one other thing–who is doing the setups for their photography, and the packaging?  You don’t put a saddle on a horse that far back!  (Breyer horse on left with saddle in the proper place.)

  

Please keep in mind too–if you buy a “Less Than Perfect” set from American Girl, you can’t return it, it’s an all sales final situation.

 

 

Great Finds On Ebay

I’ve mentioned this before, but I thought I’d bring it up again for those who missed it.  Once in a while a company comes out with a set that has just one item you really like in it, and you’re torn.  Do I buy an entire set for just that one piece?  If you are like me and you’ve been collecting for a while, you probably have a few duplicates.  Sometimes that’s not such a bad thing because you can maybe use more than one of those items for a set up or something, but other times it poses a bit of a problem.

Worry no more!  There are people out there who realize this can be an issue.  And they go and buy some of these sets and then sell them off, piece by piece at a small profit.  Some may have an issue with this, I know there are people who only like to buy full sets, but for me, it’s wonderful, I can get what I want without being bogged down with a lot of extras.  I’ve come across a number of items on Ebay sold this way and have picked up some odds and ends.

This time around, it was all fueled by Joss’s Nfinity Backpack Set.  Cute set, but first off, I didn’t want all the hair accessories.  The makeup set is cute, but I already have one I got from when I bought Mimi and really didn’t see a use for it.  And the backpack…well, not only do I have way more doll sized backpacks than I probably need, but after reading the reviews and how it tended to scratch stuff…hard pass.  BUT…I really really really wanted the hair styling tool with the interchangeable parts.  I went back and forth several times looking at it and then decided to look at Ebay.  I was in luck, someone had it!  AND, they had an offer on their Ebay store–buy three items and you’d get a discount, plus combined shipping.  Of course, I had to look!

Here’s the Curling Iron/Flat Iron.  I love that it’s interchangeable, just like a real one.  The on/off switch moves back and forth too.  Really a cute piece.

I went through the entire store and found several things I considered, but eventually narrowed it down to just three including the styling tool.  What else did I get?

The bouquet from Grace’s Meet Accessories:

I have a lot of Grace’s collection to begin with and I have bits and pieces out of the accessories set, all I’m missing now is the beret, and I’m not too worried about that.

I also got this:

This is the cutting board, knife and cucumber from the Our Generation Picnic Table Set.  A super cute set, but nearly everything in it is a repeat of stuff I already have and not really much use for the duplicates, so I was thrilled to see that this was available!  And just so you know, the cucumber slices are two sided.  Really a cool piece that I’m glad I was able to get.

All totaled, including shipping, the whole order came to just over $49.00.  Joss’s set retails for $40, the picnic table set is $30.  Grace’s accessories are no longer available except on the secondary market, so prices can vary quite a bit, when I wrote this it was selling for between $30 and $40.  So for less than half the price, I got the items I wanted and don’t have to store a bunch of things that I don’t really need.

Just another option I wanted you to know about!  I’ve seen everything from small items like these to larger pieces like furniture and even the larger sets sold individually on Ebay.  Nice if you are looking for replacements for lost or damaged items as well.  You just have to keep your eyes open and sometimes you need to be patient.  Good luck!

Review of My Life As Vlogger Play Set

Every so often I check the Walmart website to see what they have new in the My Life As Line.  Sometimes I order through there, sometimes I wait until I have a trip to the store.  I saw this set and since I was stuck at home and needed something to order just to put myself over the $35 order amount to get free shipping, I decided to take a chance on it.  Let me just say, it was a VERY pleasant surprise!

Look at all the goodies!  On the back gave a list of everything included.  I didn’t realize just how much was in it until I really looked closely.

Getting this out of the package…not so easy.  It was two plastic pieces with all the pieces inside–and these two pieces were sort of “spot” welded in places to keep them together so they wouldn’t fall out.  Great idea in theory.  Not so great in actuality.  It was a wrestling match!  The squares in these pics are what I’m talking about, and let me just tell you, they did not pop apart, no way, no how.

After I got the pieces out though, I was really excited to look it all over and assemble it.  Where to start with so many cool pieces?!?!  I decided to start with the simplest pieces.

 

A cell phone, a Go Pro style camera and a selfie stick!  Both the cell phone and the Go Pro have removable frames that are used to hook them into the selfie stick.

The selfie stick is even hinged so you can move it for a better shot!

The cell phone is well done and even comes with it’s own case for when it’s not on the selfie stick.

The mini Go Pro is well done too.  I like that there is a clip on the mounting frame as well so you could hook it onto a doll’s outfit!

Every good vlogger has to have a laptop!  This one even has a little slot for a memory card.  And yes, there are even tiny memory cards in this set, stay tuned!

You also need some lighting for certain situations.  I thought this was one of the best thought out parts of the set.

The light not only actually works, but you can put the umbrella “diffuser” on it and it can be illuminated as well!

Even though the umbrella is made of plastic, the attention to detail to make it look like it’s fabric is quite good on this particular piece.

The set includes a backdrop.  It’s metallic looking, but it’s made of just plain fabric.  It could be a bit wider though, it’s not really practical for anything other than close ups.

A tripod!  This piece was a bit on the flimsy side though, probably the most disappointing piece of the whole set.  It’s not super sturdy and comes apart way too easily.

 

A cool video camera!  I liked the details on this.  The microphone on the top does come off too (I unfortunately didn’t get a pic of that.)

I thought it was pretty cool how the video screen opened up to the side like on a real video camera.

I saved my favorite piece for last–the camera!  And accessories.

Two lenses, one with a lens hood and 3 tiny memory cards!  There are slots in the side of the laptop, the camera, the video camera and the Go Pro that these will fit in.  I thought this was a very cool little detail.

Even cooler–the lenses are interchangeable!

One of the lenses is even a zoom type, three different settings you can pull it out to.

The camera also makes a shutter sound when you hit the button.  The flash can also be removed, easily slides off the camera, but it doesn’t light up.  The details in this set are just incredible.

Wendy decided she wanted to mess around with some of the cameras and have some fun!

 

Let’s try a selfie!

Okay, we’ll try out the camera and the video cam now!

Wendy completely approves!  Maybe she has a future as a vlogger?!

I give this set an A++++.  It has a few minor short comings, particularly the tripod and it’s flimsiness, but the rest of the set more than makes up for it.  And the best part–the entire set was just under $20.  Yes, you read that right!  I looked up what the vlogging sets cost from Z’s collection (which are also no longer available) and you’d have spent close to $90 at full price.  And I don’t think her camera had near the details with the removable/interchangeable parts.

Super cute set, and I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who is a photography fanatic/doll collector like myself.  So many great details and definitely worth the price.  Another score for My Life As!