Monthly Archives: February 2016

American Girl, I Can’t Keep Up!

Lately I feel like American Girl is moving so fast I can’t keep up.  There’s the MegaBlocks toy sets coming out this summer, ZCrew videos (#AGZcrew) on YouTube and accompanying merchandise, Wellie Wishers dolls, a Melody sneak peek, and let’s not forget Lea!  Maryellen is ancient history by now.

My initial reaction is nostalgia for the days when AG was a few dolls with wonderful historical outfits and accessories. You chose your path… Samantha?  Addy?  That became your special friend. 

All these new items!  Will they hurt the brand identity?  

I go back to a lesson I learned in the posts on DollightfulDolls that feature lots of old catalog pages.  Even “back in the old days” American Girl tried out lots of different merchanise offerings… From a doll from the Amelia books to bath and body products to entire catalogs just for (human) girls’ clothing.  Many items have fallen by the wayside, but my feeling is that new products might bring new customers into the core business.  That’s what I hope, anyway.

In the CBS clip this morning, the American Girl marketing rep stated that ultimately American Girl is a company about stories of girls’ lives.  While I agree that a doll’s story is what motivates me as a consumer, the company’s recent action of removing the special illustrations from the books runs counter to their statement that they are all about the stories.  Maryellen and Melody’s stories both suffer as a result of no illustrations, especially for their target age consumers who won’t bother to look up words like “Afro” or references to Rosemary Clooney. Today’s 1st – 3rd grade readers are drawn to books that are borderline graphic novels, such as Geronimo/Thea Stilton, Dork Diaries, Mercy Watson, and the revamped Babysitters’ Club books.

This past holiday season one of the kids on the playground told me she was getting Grace.  I asked what her favorite AG book was, and she said, “There are books?”  

Keep innovating American Girl, but don’t forget to make the books a “must read” for kids!


Lanie Settles In

IMG_6794Welcome Lanie!  Brianna’s Lanie arrive in excellent shape – only missing her headband and underwear.  Neither a deal-breaker for her.

Since December, Brianna’s Dad had been scouting “Lanies” on eBay.  Every now and then he would say, “This one is closing in 2 hours!”  Inevitably, I said no.  “We just got Maryellen AND Dakota!” I said.  He didn’t give up.  When Brianna’s birthday was about a month away, he suggested this Lanie.  I still wasn’t sure.  What if there was something wrong with her, or she smelled funny?  What if her hair was a wreck?  It is hard to tell the state of curly hair on eBay.  He made a bid, and as fate would have it, she was on her way to our house.  She was about $90.00 with shipping.

When Brianna opened her presents, she of course knew a doll was under the wrapping.  She guessed it could be a historical because of the red box.  We, of course, said, “What historical don’t we already have?!?!?”

Soft, bouncy hair

Soft, bouncy hair

This Lanie has the softest hair.  I think a new Lanie would have tighter curls, but we love her hair the way it is!  It is not as brassy blond as Isabelle’s hair.

IMG_6789Sweet face, dark green eyes.  Wig is thick and is not shedding the way our newer dolls do.

IMG_6787We quickly bought the Lanie book on eBay so it did feel like getting a NIB doll.  It will be interesting to see whether Brianna buys Lea with the money she has been saving or whether the eBay bug has bit her and she thinks about other GOTY dolls.

Dakota was thrilled that Lanie joined her!  Best friends ready for an adventure.




Update: Madison American Girl Sale 2016

Lamenting that you missed out on Grace and Isabelle?  (I don’t think that applies to many of you die-hard fans… Wink wink). Both dolls will be available at the Madison Children’s Museum Benefit Sale this summer.  The sale is a lot of fun, but is best enjoyed with older kids who have stamina with crowds.  Last year, the GOTY dolls were $110.  The best deal were the MYAG/Truly Me dolls at $55.  See link above for ticket information.

Meet Lanie

Hello everyone! It’s Brianna here, and today was my birthday!!!! My parents gave me Lanie, who I have been wanting forever. Here is her profile:

Name: Lanie Holland

Nickname: Lanie Bug

Age: 11

Birthday: December 11th, 2004

Description: Wavy medium length blond hair, hazel eyes, and pale skin.

Personality: Loyal, Fun – Loving, Nature Lover, Faithful, Encouraging, Kind

Interests: Nature, Biology, Traveling, Writing, and Track

Favorite Food: Deviled Eggs

Least Favorite Food: Tomatoes

Dream Job: Biologist

Favorite Color: Caribbean Green

Favorite Animal: All of Them

Thank you for reading my post on Lanie. There will be pictures of her coming soon.

PS from Jen… Kudos and a pat on the back to Brianna’s Dad who has been scoping out Lanie dolls on eBay for months.  He was so brave to take the plunge.  I was afraid her hair might be a mess, but she is just terrific!

Feeling Thrifty

Today we made a stop at Goodwill to drop off an entire trunkful of donations . . . and the store looked so nice we decided to take a quick look inside.   Brianna and I headed for the toy section.  My advice was, “Look for anything with long hair!”  Saw a few OG dolls, but the one that stood out to us was this lovely lady:

Journey Girl KylaThis is Journey Girl Kyla.  She has a black stain on her nose, and a mysterious sort of tire-tread type of mark on her forehead.  Eyes are gorgeous!  Like just about every “rehab” doll, she has painted fingers and toes.  She was $2.99 and another 10% off, plus we had a gift card!  She seemed like a good way to ease into doll rescue.

noexif_IMG_0484_privateKyla is JG’s Latina doll, and we’re kinda feeling a Brazilian identity for her.  She is currently undergoing the benzoyl peroxide treatment for her stains.  I was thrilled with the way her hair combed out.  Do you like her “hospital gown”?  That is a sleep sack Grandma made for a baby doll many years ago.

We will keep you posted on her beautification process.  Any ideas for a name?  What doll clothing lines fit JG other than the clothes at Toys r Us?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

By Julie

This weekend I have my Dad all to myself because Tracy has a dance at her high school.  Dad said I should get all dressed up for a special Valentine’s/Chinese New Year night in San Francisco.


This is one of my few outfits that didn’t belong to Tracy.

Julie Tights

The tights are pretty and soft, and the shoes have two separate buckles on them!

Julie Holiday Outfit

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!


This outfit was a Christmas present from DH.  This is one of the few BeForever outfits that I prefer over the earlier historical items for Julie.  The dress has so many great textures, and the fabric is very heavy and high quality.  There’s many possibilities for the outfit to be wrecked… From the Velcro snagging the brocade, to the sheer sleeves, to the delicate tights.  Careful collectors only!  I hope Julie saves me a dumpling!



Little House Laura

imageDoll friends, have you been over to The Queen’s Treasures to see the reveal of the Laura Ingalls Wilder doll?

I think she has a sweet face and expressive brown eyes.  Excellent value… For 99.00 you have Laura, her sleeping gown and cap, a quilt and pillow, her doll, and the world’s most adorable log cabin box.  I think I already forgot about Melody.

I love the respect that The Queen’s Treasures gives to kids and families.  Already have a doll who wants to be Laura?  You can just buy her clothing, including her “meet” outfit, for a reasonable $16.00.  Instead of bundling the cooking and home care items into a massive package, they are sold in smaller, more affordable bundles.

The must-have item:  Jack the Brindle Bulldog.  His muzzle is even pinkish just like a real bulldog.  It appears his nose is heavy vinyl and his eyes are plastic, not embroidered.

So glad there is now a quality play set that honors the Little House legacy.  Will we get Mary eventually?

Laura ships at the start of July.  Skip a trip to Starbucks every week and you’ll have money for Laura in plenty of time to welcome her in July!