Tag Archives: dolls

New Nanea News

I’m feelin’ the alliteration today.

American Girl announced that today (4/11) is Nanea’s birthday, which is a bit odd considering she isn’t here yet.  They have not revealed the Year of her birth.

In this same Facebook post, the company said:

  • Nanea will not have perma panties
  • She does have ‘sleep eyes’
  • She will be released in “early fall”
  • She has a cloth body and will fit in all AG clothes
  • They will provide the phonetic pronunciation of her name soon
  • The company said they don’t know anything about her vinyl being soft but her heart ❤️ is
  • There will be a GOTY in 2018 (here’s to hoping it’s not another TrulyMe doll with a mole or freckles painted on)

I am really looking forward to seeing her collection.  I hope her clothes fit older dolls!  

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Over It

We got the new American Girl catalog the other day…as always Brianna and I honored our pact to look at it together first.  No peeking!  Somewhere between then and now I got over my frustration with American Girl’s changes to the dolls, clothing, packaging, and PermaPanties.

Not that I embrace those changes.  Not at all.

I think what I realized is that I’m not a collector.  Now, some may say that anyone who has received/bought three dolls since turning 40 is most definitely a collector, but the prospect of buying AG items in the years to come isn’t really where my fun comes from.

Where my interests fit in to the AG world is in the stories – both the ones written by AG authors, and especially the ones I dream up for the blog.  If I’ve got my Julie, Kit and Addy (Ok, and Brianna’s Maryellen whom I have sort of stolen from her), I have what I need to create stories.  I cherish the outfits I do have, especially some of the Christmas and historical outfits from my mom and my mother-in-law, and I hope that there will be some other quality items to add in the future (Julie’s basketball outfit, I’m talkin’ to you!)

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A favorite story from the past “Save the Eagles, Maybe?”

The other thing I appreciate about my “un-collection” is my friendship with all of you.  Whether you are a tween, teen, or way grown-up, we are bucking the idea that dolls are only for little girls.  We all deserve play time!

Whatever Mattel does with American Girl I won’t let it steal my joy.

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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!

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?

Books for AG Fans – St Patrick’s Day Edition

Nory Ryan's SongMy daughter has converted me into a historical literature fan.  It all started long ago reading “Addy” and “Josefina” on the couch together.  Today I work in reading instruction at an elementary school and discover all sorts of fabulous fiction at work.

Nory RyanIf you enjoy American Girl historical fiction, I recommend the book Nory Ryan’s Song.  Nory is 12 years old and lives through the first year of the Irish Potato Blight of 1845.  Nory has many traits in common with our favorite historical AGs: tenacity, bravery, caretaking, intergenerational relationships, and healing.  I have to admit that I always wondered why the Irish didn’t fish in the sea when the potatoes failed.  This book explains how truly trapped the Irish were by the English landowners.

I recommend the book for 4th grade and up.  There is nothing inappropriate in the book, but younger readers may not understand the complicated tangle of problems the Irish faced.  The book was so compelling that my husband read it too!

Nory Ryan’s Song has two fantastic sequels that follow Nory through her life.  I recommend them all.

The author, Patricia Reilly Giff, based the book loosely on her on family’s history.  Ms. Giff came to writing as a second career after being a teacher for many years.

I would love to create my own doll based on Nory, and hope some day to locate a doll needing a new wig that might be transformed into Nory.  Until then, Saige will play along.

Saige as Nory Ryan.  The red ribbon and stone wall are elements in the book.

Saige as Nory Ryan. The red ribbon and stone wall are elements in the book.

We’ve Come Out of Hibernation… Let’s Shop!

This winter we were pounded with cold, then snow.  Repeat.

It was amazing this weekend to get out to a few shops just for fun.  We found many neat items for dolls, and doll-lovers!

Michaels SpoonsThese spoons, and forks below, were at Michaels in the party section with gift bags and paper plates.  Something for dolls who require elegant table settings!  They are 3-4″ in length.  Possibly a tad big, but our dolls can make that work!

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We saw these tiny canvases at Michaels as well.  They are 2×2 and would be perfect for a Camp Doll Diaries activity!

noexif_IMG_5506_privateI picked up these blank canvas shoulder bags so that our dolls can have a customized carrying bag this summer for Camp Doll Diaries.  The bags are about 5 inches wide.  We plan to use fabric paint or markers on them.  These were in the section with wedding favor supplies at Michaels.

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We happened to be in Lands’ End clothing store and Brianna saw a shirt right away that reminded her of the Julie Peace Petals shirt for girls, and next to it I saw a top that reminded me of the Addy Periwinkle Plaid top for girls:

noexif_IMG_5508_private noexif_IMG_5509_privateWhat do you think about the girls’ clothing items?  Do you see a resemblance as well?