Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2021 everyone!!  Wishing great thoughts to everyone today and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m glad to see the backside of 2020.  However, we all know that 2021 means one thing for all of the American Girl fans…a new girl of the year!  Meet Kira Bailey!!!

(Note: All photos and screenshots are property of American Girl, please DO NOT reuse them from my blog without prior permission!!!!)

So, first things first, my ideas on Kira.  The doll is okay, I won’t be getting her because not only is she yet another Josefina mold doll, but I don’t need anymore dolls period!  However, for someone who is a newer collector or who doesn’t have too many Josefina dolls already (who…me??) she’s VERY cute and I love her meet outfit.  In fact, I think her whole collection is really cute.  As I looked through her collection, I came up with a list of items I’d like to get, it came to $244, I think I can manage that throughout the year.  I wonder if there will be any new additions to her collection as the year goes on too?

My favorite pieces?

Her Outdoor accessories for sure!

Her accessory set for sure.  I am in love with her backpack and the little keychain, omg!!!!

And her pj’s…too much cuteness!

Also on my list:

The camping set, the rescue set and of course the koala!

I’m anxious to read her books, I like the idea that it’s promoting environmental awareness and animal rescue.  I watched the big reveal on Facebook yesterday, it was fun, but the thing that made me squeal was the stop motion video they did introducing her, it was awesome!!!  Here are some screenshots I did from it:

I loved this shot done with two of the tent sets.

Baby “Bean” who from what I’m seeing is a large part of her story.

Kira and her Aunt Mamie.

Kira with Aunt Mamie and Alexis (who I’m assuming from the video is her new friend she makes.)

From what I’ve read, AG plans on doing a weekly video about Kira’s adventures, I’m really looking forward to these if they are anything like the original video.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out on their FB page, the video starts at about 12:00

Overall I think this is a good direction.  I am a bit disappointed in the doll being yet another blonde haired white girl.  And another repeated use of a facemold.  I just don’t understand that part of it when they still have several face molds they have never used.

What are your favorite things this in this collection???

 

All photos and screenshots are property of American Girl, please DO NOT reuse them without prior permission!!!!

Another New Friend!

I went through a bit of a long spell where I didn’t add anyone to the Little Friends crew.  Mimi was the last one in the spring of 2018 until I recently picked up Jamie.  When the new GOTY was introduced, I thought she was cute, but I needed some time to think about it, see more pictures taken by other bloggers and such instead of relying on just American Girl photos.  After seeing those, I still debated.  I had a $50 rewards coupon from some of my Christmas time purchases I could use.  And then, VOILA!  American Girl decides to offer a 3x points promotion around Valentine’s Day.  Heck yeah, I was going to get her!  (It didn’t hurt that my American Express account also had a $36 points credit I could redeem too, cha-ching!)

Here she is, still in the box right after she arrived.  I really like this box, the colors on it make me think of Malibu Barbie, anyone else think that too?

Box open:

All the other goodies in the box–book, a pair of underwear (she comes wearing a swimsuit), the storage box with two hearing aids and a brush and an instruction sheet on how to install the hearing aids.

Finally free!  Hello everyone!

I think her outfit is very cute and has a lot of mix and match possibilities with items already in my collection.  The first thing I did was check the design on the sleeves because I’d seen a couple reviews with people complaining about them being badly done on some of the jackets.  Mine seem to be fine.

The sandals are cute, but a nightmare to get off.  I thought I was going to break a nail trying to get them off.  These definitely would require adult assistance if a kid was trying to use them.  I think these will be relegated to a shoe drawer except for when I absolutely had nothing else to put on a doll.  Poor design.

The shorts on the other hand are really nice!  The fit is great on these and they have all kinds of cute details.

The swimsuit is very basic, but the print is really pretty.  Easy to get on and off too.

A shot of the back of her wig.  This wig is very thin in comparison to my other dolls.  Lea is the last Girl Of The Year I purchased and her wig was really nice.  This is just okay.  I’m going to see how it holds up, but I may decide at some point to re-wig her.

One of the things that they did with this doll was create a new face mold.  She has some facial features that are slightly different than previous dolls.  Her nose is narrower and so is her eye shape.  The main reason for the change though was so they could re-sculpt her ears to accommodate the hearing aid. Here she is without the hearing aid.

With hearing aid.  This is a great idea in theory.  But the engineering was poorly executed.  The hearing aid isn’t going to stay in without a little bit of help.  I’ve noticed comments in reviews about it falling out, some children already losing theirs, etc.  I think if I decide to have the hearing aid in when I’m out and about with her, I’ll use some sort of adhesive to help keep it attached.  Or tie a thin piece of clear line to it and attach it somewhere on her body.  Still thinking on this, but I can see now why they give you two.  Something tells me they will be replacing a lot of these!

I decided it was far too cold here in Western Pennsylvania to be running around in shorts and a bathing suit, you can tell this girl is from the West Coast!  I decided to put her in the Cheer Practice Outfit I picked up last year when it was on sale.  I think it looks great on her and goes very well with her coloring!

Two facial close-ups.  She reminds me a lot of a friend of mine from Jr. High!  I’m going to rename her, but not sure what she is going to end up with.  Maybe I’ll incorporate that friend’s name somehow.  Thinking cap time!  I’m just not a fan of the name Joss at all.

Overall, I think she’s a very cute doll, and I was pleased to see a new face mold!  We’ve had Josefina mold GOTY’s for too many years in a row, plus it’s always fun to see a new “face” in the crowd.  I didn’t care for Nanea when she came out, so I didn’t get her, but was anxious to add this mold to my collection.

I’ll give her a B at this point.  The failures are her poor wig quality, the difficulty of the sandals to get on and off and the problem with the hearing aid not feeling as though it’s going to stay in properly and avoid being lost.  I’m not a huge fan of the clothes in her collection, and the only two things I actually wanted are…a problem.  The backpack set is getting TONS of negative reviews due to the sparkle finish on it snagging clothing.  And the van is just horribly overpriced.  The doll may be the only thing I pick up out of this GOTY collection.  Oh well.  The upside of this doll is she brings attention to people who deal with hearing loss and how they deal with the different challenges presented because of it.  About time American Girl did something with a character that had a disability!  (I’m sorry, but Blaire having food allergies didn’t cut it with this food allergy afflicted gal.)

Someone at American Girl has lost their mind… (or at least their ability to have any common sense)

When the 2020 Girl Of The Year was released, I was particularly intrigued by shots of a VW Bus that appeared to be part of the collection.  However, it wasn’t released at the new year.  Instead, customers were invited to sign up for email notification when the item was available, sometime in the spring.  Hmmm…

Last night the e-mail hit my inbox.  Not only is it not spring, but…well.  The price for this item is $650!  I think someone at AG has totally lost the plot.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cute as heck.  But not for more than the price of what my car payment is.  I calculated it out–by the time I paid tax and shipping, it comes out to $715.  That’s MORE than what my mortgage payment was!

Here are the pics, from the AG website.  I don’t usually like to do this with items that haven’t yet been released, or with photos that aren’t mine, but since they’ve apparently lost their minds, I figure I might as well lose mine.

 

Let me just say, I’m not the only one appalled at the price.  AG’s FB page is already rapidly filling up with complaints and people are using the reviews section on their website to express their not so great sentiments.

A couple of things to note.  First off–you don’t get free shipping on this item.  Yep, isn’t that insanity?  So much for good customer relations and the idea that if you spend over $125, you get free shipping.  The description of the item is very vague, but in response to some of the complaints on the FB page, they are stating that “it’s made with real metal.”  What parts exactly?  And plated in gold???  Something tells me that any discounts that might come out in the coming months will not be applicable to this item as well.

Let me just point out that I’m not complaining because I can’t afford this, because I could easily buy it.  I’m complaining because to me, $650 for an item that is supposed to be for children is absolute insanity.  I’m going to put this in a bit more perspective.  I have a very nice acoustic guitar, made by a top brand.  The model I have is the most expensive consumer model (before you go into the professional series).  It’s considered to be one of the top guitars available, made of solid wood, handmade with way more detail than a child’s toy.  Bruce Springsteen, Blake Shelton and the late Glenn Frey use/used this brand.  And the retail price…$650.  A very nice, Schwinn bicycle costs around $350.  Let’s get a little more real too.  The average US family spends $650 a month on groceries.  At the price of this item with shipping and tax, I could make two car payments! (and have some money left!)

As much as I hate to say it, I am really hoping that AG gets stuck with these.  Not holding my breath because there are some people out there who are of that mindset that they just have to have it, no matter what price it costs.  These are also the same people who have to have every new incarnation of the iPhone at an overinflated price, are driving vehicles they can’t afford and are probably paying a ridiculous amount of interest on their credit cards.  Yes, I’m being judgy here, but it’s something that someone needs to say because everyone else has their heads in the proverbial sand and are living in the “rainbows and unicorns” world of disillusion.  Somewhere the stupidity has to come to a stop!!!!!!

I feel bad for the parents who have to explain to their children that, no, Santa isn’t going to bring you that.  I guess the positive takeaway is that these kids are learning early on that life can be tough.  But it’s sad that a TOY COMPANY is contributing to that disappointment.  The other side to it is that there will be the unscrupulous jerks who will buy these up, also messing up the numbers so that AG thinks these are selling well–but with the intent of doing nothing more than taking them to Ebay to make a huge profit.  I hope those people also get stuck with these items.  A perfect example of this at the current moment are the multiples of Grace’s bakery for sale on the secondary market, and they simply aren’t selling.  Awwww… (can you hear the sarcasm in my typing?)

It really saddens me that an item designed for kids has turned into a tool for financial exploitation.  I truly thought that American Girl was changing their ways a bit when they dropped the pricing on their dolls and then made a significant push to improve the quality on some of their newer releases.  I’m afraid this latest release is a potential trainwreck for a company already suffering financial losses.  Who is running this show???

So…how do we get this to stop?  QUIT BUYING THESE ITEMS AT THESE RIDICULOUSLY INFLATED PRICES!  As long as they feel the consumer will purchase it, they will continue to make them and charge whatever they feel like charging for them.  It’s as simple as that.  I’ve not seen this much pushback so fast on a bad decision from American Girl since the whole permapanty fiasco, so maybe we’ll see some backpedaling in the coming weeks.  We’ll see.  All I know is I’m not spending $715 (w/shipping and tax) on a toy.  I love my doll stuff, I love VW’s, I think it’s very cute, but even I have my limits.

Rant over.

(Edited at 10:58AM EST  **Note: When I wrote this post, people were posting “reviews” on the AG website to express their displeasure with this ridiculous price.  There were about 19 reviews posted.  On a recent check, they have all been deleted.  Again, American Girl not dealing with negative criticism very well.  I’m having flashbacks.)

(Edited at 11:41AM EST  **I had posted a comment to Facebook about the price and exactly what was metal since that seemed to be their justification for this ridiculous price tag.  This is a screen shot of the conversation.  Laugh amongst yourselves.  I’m also having difficulties even reading replies, which makes me think I’ve been limited by them.  Good way to treat a Berry member.)