Well, have you tried it?

American Girl unveiled their new “Create Your Own” platform for making a custom doll earlier this week.  The first day didn’t go so well with major site issues.  Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing since I don’t know if it was due to high volume, or because they weren’t completely prepared.  Regardless, I was able to get in later on in the day and play with it a bit.  It took forever and was a bit frustrating.  I don’t know at that point if the problem was on their end or my end, but I persevered and manage to create a doll.  I didn’t buy though since I just got Allie and Christine.  Plus I’m waiting to read some reviews as well.

The hardest part for me was deciding what I wanted!  Finally I decided I was going to do “1st Grade Me”.

It was fun to play around with it a bit and try out the different face molds. I was surprised to see how many different “parts” were already on backorder or low inventory. Again, was this a case of them not expecting this to be quite so popular or perhaps this might explain the sudden change in date of release as it might be a case of not having all of the supplies they had hoped to have. Since I’m not in a hurry to order one it didn’t really matter to me, but I can see where this might be frustrating to someone who planned on using this as a birthday gift right away.

The only thing I would have liked better in choices was another shade of light brown hair offered. It may not even be an issue though, it’s hard to tell from just a computer screen. I did try making a “current me” version too by just changing the hairstyle, and I wasn’t all that wild about the curly haired wig with bangs. Just a minor thing though.

Xyra and I were both a bit upset with the fact that music and dance were lumped together in the favorite activities section. There are many girls that like one or the other and not both, so I don’t quite get why that was all stuck as one activity. Other things were individualized so I really don’t understand the need to put these together.

Overall, I like the whole idea. I’m just not sure they were ready for it as far as their website and inventory. For what you get, the $200 price tag isn’t completely out of line. The doll would be $115, the accessories would be about $30, subscription about $12, t-shirt $14 and the personalized keepsake box (which I don’t know quite how to put a price on). Plus if you added ear piercing or a hearing aid, and the included shipping, it’s actually right on the money if not even a little bit better, depending on what you chose. I love the idea of a little girl (and big girls too!) being able to create a doll that resembles them.

I am curious to know one thing–if you choose to do this at one of the stores where it’s offered, do you get your doll immediately, or do you have to wait for it to be shipped to you? It looks as though the only thing you can design and take home at the store is the clothing, and that is only available at certain stores. Xyra wondered if you already had a subscription to American Girl magazine, would they allow you to just extend it by 6 months? So many questions.

Did any of my readers decide to take the plunge and order a doll? I’m anxious to hear opinions on finished dolls! I was thinking this might be a fun Christmas request, but not sure that I want to get caught up in the frenzy, so I may wait until sometime after the new year. Plus by then there should be a decent number of reviews on them. Time will tell!

You didn’t think she’d be an only child, did you???

I’ve decided I’m not going to say that I don’t have anymore room for dolls because every time I do, someone else joins the party!  It doesn’t help that new dolls keep coming out too.  But I can’t even blame this on them.  This was all my doing.

I’ve got several of the more recent Girl of the Year dolls–Saige, Lanie, Lea (Sophia), Kanani, Isabelle (Zara).  I was only missing one that I’d had any interest in, and I wasn’t even 100% sure I wanted her.  I went back and forth more times than I care to think about.  Finally I decided I would like to have her.  But Ebay prices–yikes!  And after the issues I’d had with Allie, I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy her from Ebay at all.  Then I found out that a friend was going to the Madison Children’s Museum sale.  Hmmm…dare I ask.  I finally decided to go for it, telling her that if she didn’t want to bother, I completely understood.  Honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to lug around a doll for someone else, but much to my surprise and happiness, she agreed!  Now we just had to have our fingers crossed that they would still have her when she got there.  Luck was on our side, and now she’s here and ready for her closeup!

Meet Allie’s sister–Christine Irene Rhodes!

I liked Grace, but like I said before, I wasn’t fully convinced I wanted her. Really, it’s kind of ridiculous, especially considering I have more of Grace’s collection than any other GOTY. And then when I got the doll that would become Allie, I thought they would make a cute set of sisters. Yeah, they have completely different coloring, but lots of sisters do. They have each inherited different traits from their parents, but their basic face shape is the same.

I promised when I unveiled Allie that I would tell you where her name came from. Christine’s isn’t too far off from where Allie’s comes from either. My favorite band is the Gin Blossoms. And my favorite song of theirs is “Allison Road”. Get it? I always used to joke that it would be fun if your last name was Rhodes to name your daughter Allison. Since my last name isn’t Rhodes and I don’t have a daughter, this was the next best way to do it! The story behind the song is kind of funny too, the lead singer was driving through Texas with a friend when they saw a sign for Allison Road. The friend’s sister’s name was Allison, so they decided it would be funny to stop and take a photo of it. Some time passed and one day the idea for the song came to him, and he started writing it. He has said it’s one of the fastest songs he’s ever written!

“Christine Irene” is another song by the Gin Blossoms, but not quite as popular as the other. I just thought it would be kind of funny to keep with the same theme. The post about Allie contained several hints too, I’m really surprised that no one figured it out. The title of the post “I’ve Learned Not To Say Never” is a line from their song “29”. Allie’s comment “No Chocolate Cake” is a reference to the name of one of their albums. And the girls are from Arizona which is where the band is from. Plus Allie is a fan of 90’s alternative which is the time period where the Gin Blossoms really hit it big with their album “New Miserable Experience”.

The girls are really happy to be here and excited to see snow. I haven’t burst their bubble. (shhhhhhh)

Allie is the oldest, she’s 13 (almost 14) and Christine is 12. Christine is a little bit nervous about starting at a new school, but Allie keeps telling her she’s going to be just fine.

Look out Kennedy, the Rhodes girls are here! 😉