My Mother’s Day Gift and some Super Big News!!!

Even though I’m not an official mom, I’m a mom of a different sort. I’m “mom” to a crazy dog, and I’m a sort of “mom” to my 2 nephews whose parents are both gone. And my own mom, as well as my mother-in-law are both gone, so I have to find some way to celebrate, right? So I usually do something, or buy myself something that is my own way of celebrating the day. And to those of you who are mom’s–go you!

By now you are wondering, what did she buy? I debated on this purchase for a while as I had many mixed feelings about it. Finally though, I decided to give in and go for it. Are you ready???

Yes I did, I bought Logan! I bought him at my local Kohls, which had several advantages to it. First off, no shipping, always a good thing. And I was able to pick out which one I wanted, although they were down to only 3 left when I went. Plus as I pointed out before, when you buy things at Kohls, it cuts into AG’s bottom line.

The back of the box is very brightly colored, with a nice shot of Logan:

Anyone else notice what is wrong here????? Logan is pictured with brown eyes!!! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa??????? Not sure what happened with that, but I’m glad he has the grey eyes instead, I have too many girls with brown eyes already. But I have seen some comments about this with some disappointed people.

Here you can see it a little better, although I took this photo to point out another potential issue. If you look closely, you can see where the security tag on the box actually indented the box a little. And the cashier had a horrible time trying to get this one off, so it made it worse. Not an issue for me so much, but I can see where this would be a problem for the very serious collector who wants their box in absolutely pristine condition.

I know some people have been concerned about getting the dolls out of the box. It really is a non-issue as the internal box slides easily out of the sleeve box. He is held in with the usual type bands and such. And because of the printed nature of the box interior, they did put some clear plastic where his hands would hit to prevent any potential transfer of color to the doll. Someone was thinking ahead!

The empty box is actually kind of cute, I love the woodgrain print they used in keeping with the country theme.

The biggest complaint I have seen about the new boxes is with storage and how they won’t hold up. I really don’t understand these complaints because these boxes are very sturdy. And, if you are concerned about the clear plastic possibly getting punctured, leaving the doll exposed to dust, light, etc, there is a very simple solution to it:

FLIP IT AROUND!!!!

Here he is out of the box.  He looks a little sleepy, probably just needs a bit of fresh air!  I’m not wild about his hair at this point, not into the Justin Bieber do, but I’ve seen plenty of photos of him with it combed differently, so I can deal with it for now.

Now it’s time to get down to the details and my take on all of it.  Some of it is good and some of it not so good.

The shoes are cute.  However, I was less than impressed that he didn’t have conventional laces in his tennis shoes, these are more like Bitty Baby shoes!  And I don’t like when AG makes shoes that have raw edges, mostly because they don’t hold up.  Anyone who has seen the shoes from Kit’s original meet outfit after they’ve been played with for a while can understand where I’m coming from.

The plaid shirt is very cute.  It has one major flaw to it though.  While the buttonholes do work, it’s impossible to button the cuffs!!!  They are way too tight, very poor design.  Argh!

Cute t-shirt that fits the music theme.  Except my Logan isn’t a drummer, so Jenny will be wearing this in the future.

A basic pair of pants, I do love the little back pockets.  I was surprised that he didn’t have regular blue jeans though.

And his undies!  Cute, and well thought out.  But it brings me to another point–if they are making boy dolls that don’t have permapanties, why can’t they still make it an option available on the girl dolls????????

On to the doll!!!

The first thing I noticed when I got him undressed was he looked like he was thinner than my other dolls.  Time to do some comparisons!  I grabbed Cassandra (a My American Girl doll, circa 2010-2012) so we could see some of the differences.  Just looking at them side by side, I could see that he is a bit thinner, so I grabbed a tape measure.

Here you can see he is about 1/4 of an inch thinner across the chest.  So I got a newer doll out.

Fiona is a Truly Me doll that I purchased in 2015.  She too was wider.  I then decided to compare the fabric since I’d heard that there had been a change.

From the front the change isn’t quite as obvious.  The newer fabric definitely has a smoother texture, which makes me think it’s a cotton/polyester blend as opposed to the 100% cotton used in the past.

Turn them over though and…eeek!!

On Fiona’s back you can’t see the folded fabric inside the seams at all, but as you can see on Logan, it’s very obvious! They have definitely used a thinner fabric on the newer dolls than in the past.  How it will hold up is yet to be seen.  Generally, the addition of polyester makes the fibers a little bit stronger (as it is basically plastic) BUT cotton/polyester blends have a horrible tendency to “pill”.  Not sure what is going to happen with these dolls as they are played with, especially the ones subjected to heavy play.  Time will tell.

Logan’s wig is very nice and thick.  I really had to work at pulling the hair back to make it so you could even see the base of the wig cap.

I did try combing his hair a different way after I’d taken these pics and I was able to calm down the front a bit more.  I think I will dampen it a bit next time and continue to comb it down so it doesn’t have the front “flip” look, definitely not in to that, plus it’s a trendy style that will be gone before we know it.

Overall, I like the concept of Logan, I think boy dolls in this line are long overdue.  I’m still on the fence about them using the Kaya mold to make this doll, although I have to admit he is very cute.  Someone posted a photo on Instagram recently of a Kaya doll that they customized into a boy side by side with Logan, and I do think they modified this mold a little bit and changed the nose.  Plus the painting on the lips is a bit different to give it a bit more of a masculine look.  I’m just surprised that with all of the buzz about the addition of a boy doll, they didn’t go the extra mile and create a new mold just for him.  They are doing it for Nanea, so I don’t quite understand why they didn’t for him?

I haven’t decided if Logan is going to stay Logan or if he is going to get a different name.  I’ll be honest, I’m not wild about the name.  He is going to be Jenny’s brother, and NO, he will not be a member of the band.  Girl power!!! (I’ll forgive you if you break out in “Tell me what I want, what I really, really want…”)

In case you haven’t seen this yet, Small Dolls In A Big World has photos of the new Truly Me meet outfit and packaging that is due to be released next month.  The clothes are just okay, but the shoes–what in the world are they thinking??????  They are a solid plastic, more like the Our Generation shoes.  I’m sorry, but doing that to a doll that you charge $115 for is just not right.  HOWEVER there is bigger news!  On American Girl’s Facebook page, they posted the following statement:

**An Important Update for Our Customers**

We love and appreciate our dedicated American Girl fan community, and we take our role in listening and responding to your feedback very seriously. In recent months, many of you have shared your thoughts on how we can continue delivering the great products you’ve come to expect from us. We’ve heard you, and we will be implementing two changes as a result.

First, we will be reverting to the separate underwear design for all of our 18-inch dolls. Starting today, any dolls that are currently in production or any new dolls being developed will now come with removable underwear. Because there are dolls with permanent underwear already in the market, this will be a rolling change—meaning dolls that currently have the permanent underwear design will remain as is until the inventory is sold through.

However, if you currently own an American Girl doll with the permanent underwear and are disappointed with the design, we will do a one-time, free body exchange on the doll to create one with separate underwear and return the doll to you at no cost. For details on this offer, please click here: http://bit.ly/2rKyn0n

Second, we have made the decision to return to our iconic boutique box for our 18-inch dolls. Only the new 2017 contemporary characters, as well as some of our Truly Me dolls, will come in the current packaging until inventory is sold through. In addition, none of our 18-inch doll outfits will be sewn directly into packaging, with the exception of any existing inventory for our 2017 contemporary characters.

Thank you for caring enough to share your candid and heartfelt opinions with us, and we are sorry if we disappointed you in any way. Your feedback helps us deliver on our promise to create high-quality products, services, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character.

Your Friends at American Girl

This is truly an amazing twist in things, and I have my fingers crossed that someone has realized that the AG community as a whole will not tolerate what they are doing.  The girls here are doing a happy dance at the moment!  They feel that perhaps their protest was just one of many that got the point across that we as a doll community are not happy and we made it known.  I’d be curious to know just how much of an influence that major drop in the first quarter sales impacted their decision as well.  Regardless of what it was, it just drives the point home that when we aren’t happy with the way things are going, we have two ways of getting our point across.  With our voices and our wallets!

It’s Time For A Roadtrip!!

Hi guys, Sophia here!  I’m super excited to show everyone some pictures from a recent trip I went on with Flo and Mr. Flo.  Partially because it’s always nice to get away, but also because where we were going to related to something I’ve been studying in school.

We left on Thursday morning and drove most of the day to get where we were going.  It was cold in the morning when we left though, so I had to bundle up a bit!

After being on the road for about 6 hours, we finally arrived at our hotel. It was really nice to finally get out of the car and stretch our legs!

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant nearby (yum!) and then settled in to get rested up for what we were doing the next day.

Flo and I split this candy bar for our dessert!

I was all ready to sleep…

But Mr. Flo was flipping through the channels and discovered this:
 

Willy Wonka!  This is one of Flo’s favorite movies, so of course we had to watch it.  It really is a fun movie.  I tease Rebecca that she looks a bit like Veruca Salt, but Rebecca isn’t a spoiled brat, thank heavens!

The next morning we got up early, ate breakfast, and we were off for our destination.  Any ideas of where we were going to???

Sorry Flo, but I love to do photo bombs!!

If you guessed we were going to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, you got it right!  But we weren’t there for a spa treatment, or a fancy dinner.  We were there for a very interesting tour.  In case you didn’t know about it, back in the 1960’s, an addition was built on to the Greenbrier that was top secret!!  It was built to be a bunker to house and protect the members of Congress and Senate in the event that Washington DC was to be hit by a nuclear attack.

The building project was named “Project Greek Island” by the US government and was a well kept secret until 1992, when a journalist named Ted Gup wrote a piece about it for The Washington Post.  He had interviewed a lot of people who lived in the area as well as some whose companies worked on the project and deduced (quite accurately) what the project was intended for.  Immediately following the publishing of the article, the bunker was decommissioned by the government and the space was then rented out.  We were unable to take any photos while in the bunker because it’s current tenant uses it to store confidential files.  Here is one of what it would have looked like while it was still set up (Photo courtesy of NPR and The Greenbrier)

It was a very interesting tour and I learned a lot about the project and how it related to United States history and the Cold War.  We are studying that in my school history class, so it was really fun to see how this all tied in to what we are learning.

After we were done with the tour, we checked out the grounds around the Greenbrier.  It’s a very nice resort with a 5 star hotel, several golf courses and tons of different activities.  The hotel has a very interesting history behind it even without the bunker.  Originally built because of the supposed healing properties of the spring water on the grounds, it has been used for various things, including a military hospital during World War II.

Here I am checking out the gardens at the back of the hotel.  Workers were busy trimming the bushes and cleaning out flower beds when we were there.  It all looks very well maintained and manicured.

The chapel on the grounds.

A view of one of the golf courses.

One of many cottages found on the grounds.  Some of these date way back to the early days of the resort.

Perhaps the most important building on the grounds.  Under this dome is the original spring that brought people from near and far to experience the healing properties of the water!

I think it would be really fun to stay at the Greenbrier, but it is very expensive!  They have a big golf tournament here every year in the summer, Flo said she would like to go see it someday.  Last year they had to cancel it because the area was flooded after heavy rains and it was impossible for everything to be repaired in time.

In case you would like to read more about the Cold War bunker at the Greenbrier, I’ve added some links!

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/26/134379296/the-secret-bunker-congress-never-used

http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/greenbriar/index.html

http://www.travelchannel.com/videos/a-secret-under-the-greenbrier-0186110

http://vandaleer.com/the-bunker-at-the-greenbrier/

http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2009/03/ted_gups_disclosure_of_the_gre.html

And this is a link to the article written by Ted Gup that revealed the big secret, hidden for years in the West Virginia mountains!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/july/25/brier1.htm

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post!  I had a great time putting it all together!

–Sophia

_______________________________________________

Just a sidenote–as much as we enjoyed our tour, I have to admit that we were all a bit disappointed at all the more we got to see.  The problem is that the government removed everything that wasn’t bolted down and sold it off after the bunker was decommissioned, so you basically get a tour of a lot of empty space!  There were two small rooms with some former furnishings, but that was about it.   Our tour guide was excellent at explaining what the areas we could access were used for, but a lot of the former bunker has been rented out and is inaccessible to the tours.  That said, I think it was still interesting, but the $36 per person price seemed a bit steep! –Flo

Doll Sized Finds–On The Road!

We took a little roadtrip this past week (more on that later) and while we were traveling, we stopped at a couple of places that yielded some great doll stuff!  Good thing because I haven’t had much time close to home, and the one day I did decide to go looking, I came home empty handed.  What was with that?!?!

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch one day and I checked out their display of mini goods from World’s Smallest.  This little Fisher Price bus just had to come home with me, I have a story in mind just for it!

I hadn’t been to Target for a while either, so I popped in to check out Our Generation items.  I was barely in the door when I spotted these in the Dollar section–you know, that dangerous spot at the front of the store!

I have some other donut shaped erasers that I can use with these, but this is the first time I’ve ever come across hot dog and hamburger shaped erasers!  They are about the same size as the ones that come with the OG sets.

I also came across these cute Tsum Tsum erasers:

I thought these would be cute for a Disney themed doll room, or as an accessory for a Disney fanatic.

A stop at a Goodwill yielded this cool mini candlestick:

It needs some polishing and I’m going to make a faux candle for in it, so size is not an issue. I couldn’t pass it up for only $1!

Last, but not least, my $2 bargain:

I spotted these shelves the minute I walked in the store, and for $2, there was no doubt they were coming home with me. I think they were probably for spices or something, they have hangers on the back so they can be put on a wall. It just needs a very minor repair, some cleaning up, and I’m going to make a backing for it so things don’t fall the whole way through. Love it! Thinking these might go where the boat shelves currently sit, I’ll use those for something else.

Have you found any cool doll sized finds lately?