Monday, June 28, 2021

Mattel Toy Store

Apparently, on May 28, there was an altercation at the Mattel Toy Store in Middleton between staff and a customer who didn't want to honor the purchase limits on AG items. 

It was bad enough that Loss Prevention staff were called in to escort the customer out of the store, and all of the AG items were pulled immediately. They aren't sure if they will be able to sell American Girl at the Toy Store anymore, due to this incident.  

I am shocked and saddened to hear about this. I went to the store on June 26, and they did not have any American Girl merchandise there.

I always enjoyed my visits there, and I am sad that my rare visits there to look for AG stuff will be pointless if they continue not to stock AG products. It was always a fun thing to do, since I never knew what they would have there.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Kit's Photography

 I love Kit's camera. It has the kind of detail that made me fall in love with AG.

I love that it folds up and opens, although I am always afraid it will break.

I keep forgetting how to open it between uses. The little silver tab pulls out, and it looks like it's just molded on. Confusing.

I want to take more pictures of Kit with her camera.

So I was really pleased to take this picture of Kit photographing Kaya's beaver!

It uses two doll props in a believable scenario.

I can imagine Kit being excited to photograph a beaver for the newspaper, can't you?

This is also one of my favorite outfits for Kit. Blue is my favorite color, and it's just so cute!

Friday, June 25, 2021

MCM 2021 News


Announcing the
2021 American Girl Benefit Sale

Tickets on sale: Wednesday, August 25
Online sale: Saturday, September 25
Curbside pickup: October (no shipping)

We're eagerly preparing for our 34th American Girl Benefit Sale.
Like last year, the pandemic continues to affect our planning: though public health is improving, we need to keep the sale online for another year.
The other major factor in planning is inventory: In 2020 we completely sold out of dolls. Since the last sale, we’ve received many high-quality dolls and will continue to receive and prepare more but we do not anticipate having as much inventory as in recent years. For those wanting to participate this year, that will likely translate into fewer tickets available to shop and lower limits on items.
American Girl has continued to be a tremendous partner and is doing everything possible to support the sale and our work. We are forever grateful for their generosity.

How the 2021 American Girl Benefit Sale will work

  • A limited number of tickets will be sold on Wednesday, August 25, 2021
  • Ticketholders will shop ONLINE ONLY on Saturday, September 25, 2021 Shopping times will be assigned to ticket holders based on a random lottery, as in years past
  • Shoppers will collect their purchases using CURBSIDE PICKUP from our new warehouse location in Middleton, Wisconsin. Pickup appointments will be scheduled for weekends in October, starting on October 9 and concluding on October 24. No shipping will be offered
As ever, our goal is to allow as many families to be able to shop for great American Girl products while raising money for the museum and the other charities the American Girl Fund for Children supports. With the inventory as it stands now, tickets, limits, and discounts may be more restricted than last year; however much can change in a few short months. 

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for your patronage and your patience!

So here's my two cents-
It doesn't sound like the best sale this year. Limited tickets, limited inventory, limited discounts, and no chance to pick your merchandise out in person.
It's not going to be accessible to many people with in person pick up only.
I live close enough to do this. But I am wondering if ticket numbers are so limited, if I will even manage to get a ticket. I am not an early morning person with my work schedule.
I am glad there is a sale this year, I just wish it was better news.

Kaya Love

 I just love Kaya, you guys. She is an exquisitely beautiful doll with such a sweet, thoughtful expression.

This beaver was kind of a weird addition to her collection. I mean, a beaver is not a pet, so it's hard to get a natural looking picture of Kaya with the beaver, I think.

It's also not my favorite AG animal of all time, although I admit I am not a huge fan of the AG animals in general. It just has a weird feeling to its fur. I don't have sensory issues, but I would think this would bother someone who has them. Since I sew, I just pay a lot of attention to how materials feel in your hand. I think it's part of das Ding an sich, and I apologize for dragging Kant into a doll blog.

I am happy with this picture of Kaya spaying on the beaver from behind a tree. I think it's a realistic scenario. How else can I work the beaver into a picture? I am thinking about it.

I really love dolls with their dolls. I try to get the dolls belonging to the AG dolls when possible. I still need Clara for Samantha and Amelia Earhart for Kit.

However, Kaya has her doll now, and they are so cute together! Such a pretty picture.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Formal Festive Outfit

 I really liked the Formal Festive Outfit when it arrived, and I meant to buy it directly from AG.

However, I put it off too long, and was sad to see it had been taken off the website.

I was so lucky to find it at the Mattel Toy Store!

I just thought it had a lot of potential, and not just for boy dolls.

Ellie got to wear it first, but she and Mara will be sharing it, and other girls might get a turn too.

The bow tie is a separate piece. I like the plaid they used, it looks very classic.

The suspenders button to the pants in the front. They are sewn on in the back. This limits the mix and match potential of the pants, unless you tucked the suspenders inside. On the other hand, this makes it hard to lose them.

The shoes are okay. I have definitely seen worse shoes from AG, and I have seen better shoes. I am annoyed by shoes that have the soles stick out beyond the side of the shoes, like these do. Maryellen's saddle shoes do this as well. The shoes do have mix and match potential.

This could also be used as a music recital outfit.

I am really happy to have this outfit, and Ellie and Mara are too!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Logan's Performance Outfit

 I wasn't interested in Logan's performance outfit when it was first released.

I didn't like that AG had used Kaya's sculpt for a boy doll, and I really didn't like Logan's character.

When I recently bought Logan's performance outfit, it was because I decided that it had good mix and match potential, especially for my two dolls who don't wear dresses, Ellie and Mara.

Really, the whole outfit has good mix and match potential. Nice boots, nice jeans, grey T-shirt without any graphics AND it has long sleeves, leather jacket.

The outfit as a whole looks really good on Mara! She looks cool! Better than Logan, haha.

My only complaint about the outfit is that the jacket feels very plastic-y. I am hoping that this means it will not fall apart after a few years like Molly's aviator jacket.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Nanea's Accessories

I always think that the AG accessories are overpriced. I do wish I had Felicity and Samantha's original accessories. Otherwise, I don't care about them and rarely buy them.

I did recently get Nanea's accessories at half price, which is about what I am willing to pay for them.

 Nanea's accessories include a shell necklace, a letter from Donna, an ID card, three dollars stamped with Hawaii, and a pouch for a wallet.

I don't like the necklace. You can only see what it is meant to be up close. From any distance, it looks like cheap plastic.

I like the bag, which is made of the same fabric as two of her outfits.

I think that the letter, the ID card and the wartime dollars are very cool, but they don't justify the price of the set.
They are also very easy to lose or damage.

I am happy to have this set, but I am really glad that I didn't pay full price for it.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

More Betsy McCall and the Ai dolls

 Betsy McCall is perfectly sized to be a big sister to the Ai dolls.

My friend and I got a few pictures of them together.

Left to right: Ai doll King Protea, Betsy McCall, Ai doll Lawn Daisy

They're so cute!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Spaghetti Dinner set

 I have recently been kind of collecting doll food, because I didn't have any, and it seemed like something that would help round out my collection and help me take better pictures.

I was delighted to find the spaghetti dinner set at the Mattel Toy Store.

This is an amazing set.

I had earlier bought the lasagna dinner set, and I think this set is better than that one.

This set comes with two plates, two forks, two drinks, two pieces of toast, two salads, three pieces of spaghetti, a pot, a serving spoon, a block of parmesan cheese and a cheese grater.

I actually couldn't get everything on the table that I own, and had to leave the parmesan cheese and the cheese grater out of this picture.

These are also not the original plates: I used the real china ones that I found at the thrift store.

I think the reason it has three pieces of spaghetti when everything else is in twos is so that one piece can be in the pot. Very realistic, and a lot of fun.

One reason I think that I like his set more than the lasagna one is that it has drinks.

It has more pieces overall than the lasagna set, but having the drinks just makes the set feel like a real dinner.

All the pieces look good: the least realistic part is the tomato slices on top of the salad. AG should've gone with cherry tomatoes instead, they'd have been easier to depict.

I am really, really happy with this set. It makes me feel less need to buy any other food sets. 

Danielle and Aurelie are happy to have this nice dinner!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Felicity's Wardrobe: Felicity's Rose Garden Dress

 I suspect that with the 35th anniversary release, everyone is re-discovering their appreciation for the original meet dresses.

In my totally biased opinion, Felicity's Rose Garden dress is one of the best of the meet outfits, and it helped me to fall in love with her.

I had to choose between Felicity and Samantha as my Christmas present, and I knew that Santa would only ever bring me one American Girl doll. I chose Felicity.

It's such an elegant dress with its rose garden print and ruffled sleeves.

I'm so glad that Felicity is my girl.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Tenney's Guitar and Picnic Outfit

 I ended up getting Tenney's guitar and her picnic outfit.

I have never had any interest in the character that AG created for Tenney as a country music singer. It just sounds unrealistic and privileged and I don't like it.

I got Tenney because she is pretty and she was really discounted at MCM. I was also curious about her hands.

Now my Tenney is Saige's best friend, Tessa. Tessa is also an obsessed musician, but at least she is not on the path to fame.

I decided to get the guitar because I wanted to see how well her hands worked for their intended purpose, and it's pretty. I got the picnic outfit because it's pretty and because the shoes seemed like sometime I could use in a  lot of different outfits. 

It is pretty, but the shirt doesn't seem to fit as well as I'd like, and I worry about getting the shorts dirty. The shorts also pull down in the back when she sits in them.

I didn't bother to put batteries in the guitar and make it play its three recorded songs. I am hard of hearing, I don't care about that.

I really didn't like the guitar pick. It's flat on one side. The other side is sort of rounded to make it easier for Tenney to hold it. To me, it looks uncannily like a tooth, especially because it is mother of pearl.

Tenney really does hold the guitar well, it's fun. The hands don't work as well for holding other things, sadly.

Tenney is a lovely doll, and I am really warming up to her. I am glad that I have finally found a new character for her that I like better. She's now Saige's best friend who plays the guitar. 

I think I am even going to make it part of their story that Saige painted the guitar for her.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

She Plays the Violin

 When I carefully saved up to buy Anne, my American Girl of Today 6, I planned for her character to be partly like me but also aspirational. She could do things that I couldn't do, but that I wanted to do.

One of the big things that Anne can do that I can't is play the violin. I always wanted to play the violin but couldn't due to my hearing loss.

So when AG came out with a violin set for the Girls of Today, I bought it for Anne. I was really proud of it. 

Unfortunately, the violin set didn't age well. I last opened it a few years ago, noticed a few things that were broken, and put it away, kind of heart sick. I had kept it very carefully, it just came apart from age and from glue coming undone.

Then I saw a new violin set at the Mattel Toy Store and decided to buy it to replace the one I bought so many years ago.

I was actually surprised when I compared the two sets. The older one was not as in bad condition as I thought it was.

So this is the older set on the left and the newer set on the right.
Some things are exactly the same. The music stand and the music books are exactly the same.

I think that the older violin and bow are made of wood; the newer ones are made of plastic.
The older one looks a bit more realistic, but the problem is of course that it didn't hold up to aging.

The bridge of the older violin has fallen off. I still have it, but I can't get it back in place.
The chinrest of the older violin was either a separate part or has also fallen off. I still have it. It doesn't seem to fit well on the violin, so I am not sure what happened there.

One of the strings on the bow of the older violin snapped, but it still has enough strings left to look okay when the broken one was cut off.

The cases are also very similar, but have slightly different latches and hinges. They are both lined in blue velvet.

The rosin is very different. The older set now just has an empty envelope, and the one one has a plastic rosin.

So, anyway, despite everything, I was able to pose Anne holding the older violin and Ellie holding the newer violin. These pictures mean a lot to me. I wish I could display them like this, but I have no doubt everything would fall down sooner rather than later.

Ellie and Anne

Anne! She is wearing the Girl of Today recital outfit. I have carefully saved it all these years. 
Like the violin, it is finally coming into its own.

Ellie! Her personality is growing, slowly but surely. She doesn't like dresses, she wants to be a paleontologist, and she plays the violin.

I know the lighting could be better, but these pictures make me so happy.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Baby Furniture

 I ended up writing a shorter post than planned about the Caring for Baby set because I could tell it was going to be too long.

I have some furniture for small baby dolls that I hoped would fit the AG baby.

The first one is the beautiful baby doll cradle made by my Aunt Ella Mae.

The actual cradle was bought by my cousin Jackie on his travels, and Aunt Ella Mae decorated it with ribbon and lace.

The reason I actually have the Corolle Les mini Calins Rose is because I was always looking for a baby doll that looked nice and would fit the cradle. The Corolle baby was my favorite doll that I found that fit the cradle.

Both the AG baby and the Corolle baby fit the cradle well.

The cradle is low to the ground, so it might not look as good with an 18 inch AG doll in the shot, unless it was sitting on the ground.

Next is a Moses basket that came with the Bouncin' Baby. Unfortunately, it only fits the Bounin' Baby and does not fit the AG baby.

Then there is a walker for the Bouncin' Baby. It's a little small for the AG baby, but she does fit in it.

You can see more pictures of a Bouncin' Baby walker on the Confessions of a Dolly Lover blog.

Last but not least is the Bouncin' Baby rocking horse.

It fits both the Bouncin' Baby and the AG baby.
Unfortunately, the plastic is a little yellowed from age. I am not sure why this aged worse than the walker, they are both the same age and have been kept in the same conditions.

I know a lot of people have been finding 8 inch baby accessories that work well with the AG baby. It's nice to know that there are more fun things for the baby to play with!

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Product Review: S'more Fun Camping Set

 I found that I could not resist the S'more Fun Camping Set from American Girl.

I was in Girl Scouts, and I really loved it.

Also, in the past long, cold winter with social distancing, the one thing I really wanted to do was to invite some friends over to toast marshmallows, but they lived too far away.

The set comes with a tent, a sleeping bag, a campfire, a s'more, marshmallows on a stick, a camping pie iron, and pie.

Here are pictures of the box. I don't keep boxes, but I take a picture for the blog.

Here is the tent. It can hold two dolls easily. It requires minimal assembly. The tent poles are already in there, you just have to pop them into their sockets.

The fire is pretty cool, you can put batteries in and it lights up and crackles. I don't care about the sound effects, I am too hard of hearing to tell the difference.

You needed a screw driver to put the batteries in to make it light up, so I didn't bother. I also worry about batteries corroding inside of toys.

I love the marshmallows on a stick and the s'more. The paint and size on them is very realistic. The s'more looks different on all four sides, and I love the realism.
If they ever put the s'more in a new series of the food blind bags, I would want at least two more.

And I think that this set would have been better with two s'mores and two marshmallows on sticks.
That would make it more fun to play with a pair of dolls.

A note on Anne: the doll on the right is my childhood doll Anne, A Girl of Today #6. I rarely fix her hair, but it was so hot and humid that I couldn't bear to see her hair loose, so I put it in a ponytail.

This picture shows the pie iron and the pie, which is interesting.
I consider myself a reasonable experienced Scout and camper, and I never saw a pie iron like this.
It seems like it would not be totally user friendly, especially for kids.
It's nicely made, but I would rather have more marshmallow sticks and s'mores in the set.
Or hot dogs.
Something more common and kid-friendly.

Tenney showed up to lead the campfire sing-along.
I never intended to keep Tenney as her book character. I think now that she is going to be Saige's best friend Tessa from the book, who does play the guitar. I am going to have to re-read Saige's books. 
But it fits! Tessa plays the guitar, I think she's blond in the movie, and I wanted to give Tenney a new name that starts with T as homage to her canonical character.

I love this camping set. It's not for year-round usage, at least not where I live, but it's very nicely made and it folds up to be smaller for storage. That's always a plus.

I think I will be using it for more doll shoots for sure!

As you can see, I didn't photograph the sleeping bag in this shoot, so I need to do that as well.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Another Blind Bag Food Set

 The two AG food blind bag sets that I wanted the most were the hamburger and the turkey sandwich.

I was very lucky, because the hamburger was the first one that I got, and the turkey sandwich was the second one!

The sandwich is a really solid, realistic looking piece of food, and I am very happy with it.

The carrots, of course, are clumped together and look less realistic. But I am glad that my dolls have veggies to eat.

Now the dolls can have a picnic together. It's the perfect time of year for it!

These two cuties are Danielle and Aurelie, and they are very happy to enjoy a meal together.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Reading Binge

 Here is Anneliese with all of the books that I got recently from Laura's Little Loot!

I love reading, and I am so excited to have these favorites from Laura's Little Loot.

Most of her mini books are first editions that include full text, when permissible by copyright laws.

All the wonderful books!

I will likely never own a L. M. Montgomery first edition, but thanks to Laura's Little Loot, I own three first editions from the Anne series in miniature! 

I always preferred A Little Princess as a kid, but now that I have a garden of my own, A Secret Garden is becoming more of a favorite!

And Fantastic Beasts, with Harry's signature on the front!

I am so happy with these books.

I don't take pictures of my mini books as often as I should, but they make me so happy.

More Doll Pictures

 Here are a few more doll pictures.  I am trying to post for Doll of Color Month most days, if not all days. I rarely have Internet access t...