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!

Guest Post: Boy Story Clothes Available On Etsy!

Today’s post is by Sharry from Julie Newman’s 70’s Time Capsule.  Take it away Sharry!

Hi everybody!

You might remember my review comparing Boy Story dolls to other custom made boy dolls. Although Boy Story dolls are really poseable and fun to play with, their overall build is bigger than most American “Boy” type dolls. This of course presents a problem if you want your guy to have different clothes, as the Boy Story folks haven’t started selling separate outfits yet. Well look no further! I have found 2 Etsy sellers who can make clothes to Boy Story specifications. The first is Diane at “Lotsogoodies”. She makes t-shirts, jeans, sweat pants and swim trunks for your Boy Story Dolls! Here’s my Boy Story doll Billy (renamed Marc) in her t-shirts:

I love the sweat pants! They look so comfy, I wish I had a pair

The second is Libby at “Designed4Dolls”. While she doesn’t have any Boy Story items listed, she will happily do custom work upon request! Here is Marc modeling some of her groovy 70s fashions (for my doll blog!):

These 2 sellers are super to work with should you want a different look for your doll. Thanks Flo for allowing me to do another guest post and for supporting Etsy sellers!

So long from Marc and Sharry from Julie Newman’s 70s Time Capsule

lotsogoodies

Thanks so much Sharry for this information!  I’m always happy to hear about an Etsy seller that is willing to help someone out in the doll community with an unusual request–and as always, shop small!  Plus I have to agree, I wouldn’t mind having a set of those sweats in human size too.  😉

I gave in…but… (review of Tenney’s Banjo, Guitar, Spotlight Outfit and Hat/Necklace set)

Up until recently I did very well with not purchasing anything from American Girl.  My last purchase had been on January 26th, and I was trying my best to stick to it.  Unfortunately, temptation came in the form of Tenney Grant and her accessories.  I managed to do well, but then I discovered that Kohls was selling most of her accessories along with Tenney and Logan.  Hmmm…  First off, there would be no shipping and handling fee, PLUS because Kohls was selling them, it would mean less money going into American Girl’s pockets.  Let’s be honest here, Kohls is probably making a decent percentage off each item sold.  That made it hurt a little bit less.  And then, there’s this lovely thing called Kohls Cash, earned for spending so much in one trip.  I decided to investigate.

The one thing I was most tempted by was Tenney’s banjo.  It looked super cute in all the photos, and I have this thing for musical instruments to begin with, having taken more than my fair share of music lessons in my younger days.  Plus it actually played music, so what wasn’t to love?  After great debate, I decided to end my boycott of all things AG and purchased it.

I know a lot of people aren’t fond of the new packaging, but in the case of the banjo, I actually thought it was nicely done.  The box is of nice quality, meaning that the banjo itself is well protected.  Anyone who has purchased the guitar with case that was previously released can vouch for the very strange packaging on that item.  This is a definitely improvement!

The banjo itself is very cute and well done with a lot of details.  The only drawback I can see to it is it’s all plastic, so if it gets dropped, it’s going to break, no doubt about it.

The back is where the battery compartment is, as well as an on/off switch to conserve the battery.  I do like this feature on AG items, makes accidentally turning it on and draining them less possible.

Here is a side view so you can see some of the additional details.  Hooks for the strap and the large button is how you play the music.  Overall I really liked it.  Except for one thing…

The strap is awful!!!!  I don’t know what they were thinking or where quality control was on this piece, but someone seriously dropped the ball.  It doesn’t even look like the one pictured on the box or the website!  It’s a shoddy piece of crap.  Sorry, but that’s what it is, and mine is going to be disassembled so I can use the hooks to make a proper one.  (Insert massive disgust emoji here)  It’s made of some sort of cheap vinyl and not well done to boot.  Not what one expects when forking over this kind of money.  Yoohoo American Girl!!!  You screwed up!

The little pick is cute, but one of those things that would be super easy to lose.  I did manage to get it on Louisa’s thumb, but it wasn’t easy, it kept popping off.  I hope it stays on Tenney’s thumb better. (And don’t yell at me if I don’t have it going the right direction.  I don’t play banjo!)

Even so, aforementioned strap didn’t deter me from purchasing anything else from this line.  Yet.  I decided to go back and get Tenney’s Spotlight Outfit and her Hat and Necklace Set.  By purchasing both at the same time, I earned a $10 Kohls Cash on this particular trip.  I should have thought this out a little better, but oh well.

Both of these sets are hit and miss.  And horribly overpriced.  We will start with the hat and necklace.

I love the hat, I think it is very nicely done.  I was very surprised when I got it out of the box to find that it’s actually stiff, which is nice.  I was thinking it was going to be more floppy, along the lines of Julie’s birthday hat.  However, the box that they made for it is not the right size and the hat is literally crammed into it.  I thought for sure I was going to damage the hat just trying to get it out!  This did not make me a bit happy, as it was the hat that I really wanted.  Fortunately, the packing gods were with me on this and I got it out without any damage, but I’d be willing to bet that not everyone has been that fortunate.

The necklace is a major fail on a lot of accounts.  First off, I’m not a fan of the cord type necklaces, but I really hate the knot set up.  I have a necklace like this for myself, and while it’s a neat system, it doesn’t translate well in this scale.

I think it is probably difficult for some people to figure out and if you have any kind of manual dexterity limitations, it is hard to get it to work.  Plus, unless you want the charm clear down to the dolls crotch, you see the knots.  Not well thought out at all.

But then, there’s an even bigger issue…

On mine, in order to get the treble clef facing the right direction, the AG side shows instead of the cute little bird.  You have no idea how much this annoyed me.  Sorry, but I’m getting tired of being a walking advertisement.  They should be paying me if my dolls have to go around with AG plastered in plain site all over everything.  And unless you know how to retie those knots, there is no way to get it apart in order to correct it.  So I’m going to remake it, using a different type of closure.  (Insert scowl emoji)

Overall I think these pieces are cute and had a ton of potential, but the lack of quality on the necklace is unacceptable.  This set is in no way, shape or form worth the $18 price tag.

On to Tenney’s Spotlight set.  Let’s talk about the packaging first.

I am on the fence about the clothing packaging.  I do like being able to see the items and knowing that I’m purchasing something that hasn’t already been handled by other shoppers.  However, it’s not very reusable as is.

I know a lot of people have had issues with other items in the new packaging ending up with holes in them.  I was very careful when I removed everything, and had no issues.  But I did notice a few things that seemed to help.

There are cut out flaps in the insert that the shirt and the skirt hooked over.  Sewing was minimal on these pieces to hold them in place, and the thread was held with only tape, so it was very easy to remove the tape and gently pull the threads out.  Neither piece ended up damaged.  On to the clothing itself.

The headband, yuck.  It’s a typical AG headband in that it’s too short to properly hold hair back and in some cases will probably pop off the dolls head.  And it’s a cheap excuse as well.  The headband itself is not covered with anything like previous headbands.  The stars are simply felt sewn on, and they have glitter on them.  Wow.  I’m so unimpressed.

The shirt is a cute idea and had a ton of potential.  Unfortunately, they made it super skimpy.  I wish someone would explain to the designers that at one time, AG clothing actually fit properly!  It’s very short (more on that in a minute) and the sleeves are really poorly set.  My particular shirt is done in such a way, the lace bunches up under the arm.  Can you imagine how uncomfortable that would be to wear?! (In addition to looking bad).  AG needs to hire someone who understands clothing construction, both on the design end and the assembly end.  Now I’m starting to understand why so much of their stuff is sleeveless, heaven forbid quality would cut into their profits!

The skirt is okay with a few minor issues.  It’s very short, but that’s more a personal preference for me.  And I couldn’t pull it down further on the torso without making the midriff on the doll show because of the skimpy top!  The waist is elastic on it and it was kind of difficult to get over her bottom.  And then to make things even worse, the glitter comes off onto your hands.  I’m hoping that situation will improve over time and it’s just some of the loose stuff.  Here’s a tip too for anyone who might purchase this set–DO NOT store the shirt sitting on top of the skirt.  The lace on the shirt catches on the skirt and snags.

The only good thing in this set is the boots.  I thought they were really cute, but I was concerned about the glitter on them also coming off.  I’m happy to say that it doesn’t.  The only issue I had with the boots is because of the fancy design they put on the sole, I did have a bit of trouble getting Louisa to stand properly.

Overall, I think the $36 price tag is ridiculous for this set.  The quality is lacking in so many ways, and I don’t see this as a set that is going to hold up to much play.  It was a major disappointment for me, and quite honestly, the thought has crossed my mind to just keep the boots and flip the rest of the parts on Ebay, I’m that let down.  Not sure what is going on at AG, but they need to get their act together.  I do have to admit though that Louisa looks awfully cute!

After that purchase, I still had my $10 Kohls Cash.  Originally I thought about purchasing the Picnic Outfit, but after seeing the poor workmanship on the clothing I’d already bought, I changed my mind and instead decided to get the guitar.  I’m happy to say that it’s the one thing that had absolutely no issues with, I was not disappointed at all.

Packaging is very similar to the banjo, and also sturdy.

The guitar is very well done, I just love it.  The attention to detail is terrific.  And the strap is nice on it too.  I’m still not sure what they were thinking with the banjo strap.

The back opens up much like the banjo for the battery compartment, and there is the same on/off switch.


Three buttons on the guitar, which I originally thought made it possible to pick which song you played, but it doesn’t. They are essentially one button made to look like three. Oh well.


The guitar set is more expensive than the banjo, I guess because it comes with this cute book??? Not worth $6 more. And I expected it to be an actual music book, but it’s more a notebook for Tenney to write lyrics in. The pick is cute, but another thing to easily be lost. Since I don’t have a doll that can hold it either, I’m just going to leave it in the plastic bag and store it in a safe place.

Overall, I’m happy with the guitar and the banjo (except for that strap).  The clothing items not so much.  I’m still not sure about purchasing anything else from American Girl after seeing this lack of quality.  If I do, I will definitely be VERY choosy about what I buy from here on in.  But I have a feeling that my Berry status in the Rewards program is going to go by the wayside when it comes up for renewal.  I’m just not feeling the love anymore.  I’d much rather support Etsy sellers.

In case you haven’t read it, Mattel posted their earnings for the 1st quarter and the results were not good at all.  American Girl alone was down 12%.  I’m sure that the whole permapanty mess and their lack of handling it properly affected those numbers a certain amount, as did their decreasing quality.  If you haven’t been to the AG website lately, be sure to go and read some product reviews.  I remember a time when you rarely ever saw a poor review for a product, and now it seems to be happening far too often.  American Girl and Mattel had better wake up and turn things around, or there will be a lot of people looking for jobs.  I keep reading about all of the plans they have for the line, but all of the plans in the world aren’t going to work if you don’t improve quality and listen to your customers.