At the Madison Children’s Museum sale in July we were fortunate to meet new friends while waiting in line. Maggie and her family drove from another state to attend the sale, and they were first-timers like us. Brianna was forever corrupted when she learned our new friend had 23 American Girl dolls (and Brianna’s keeping track every time you add one, Maggie)! True doll lovers, we did not ask, “What do you do with so many dolls?” We asked, “How do you store them?” (Shelves!)
I asked Maggie whether she might like to give us her opinion on the Maryellen collection and its presentation at the Mall of America location. Photos are hers. Take it away Maggie!
Friday through Sunday was Maryellen’s opening weekend. All the staff at the Mall of America store were dressed in 50’s inspired clothing which was a fun touch. There were numerous display cases of Maryellen and her fabulous accessories and the attention to detail was incredible. Starting with Maryellen herself, I believe she has a unique hair and eye color combo – her eye color is a variant of AG’s hazel eyes and her hair is light ginger, unlike any of their other red-headed dolls. Her meet outfit is adorable, with a little “M” embroidered on her cardigan and a sweet pearl choker and bracelet with a little matching handbag. It is spot on for the 50’s!
There are multiple other outfits for all sorts of occasions, each one amazingly styled. The first one we saw was her embroidered black poodle skirt, with a peach top, saddle shoes, and matching hair scarf. You can buy a light pink crinoline separately, which makes the skirt flare out. It is so cute!
The crinoline can also go under any one of her other dresses, like her stunning turquoise birthday dress or purple gingham-checked school dress. For play time, Maryellen has denim pedal pushers and a sleeveless white blouse with cherry embroidery. The shoes for this outfit even have little cherries on them! On chilly winter days, Maryellen can go ice skating in a charming red felt dress (coat?) with snowflake embroidery, tights, and sky-blue ice skates. Accessories for this are sold separately – hat, scarf and mittens. This outfit too, was adorable.
Finally, Maryellen has pj’s made out of dotted Swiss fabric with a little floral print. Separately there is a hairstyling set with a little cap and real working hair curlers! Fun!
My favorite furniture item is her incredibly detailed “Seaside Diner.” I’m not sure where I would put it but I bet I could make room somewhere! It is amazing, with a very high play factor. There is a counter where Maryellen can work, flipping burgers, hot dogs, or a breakfast platter on the grill.
Maryellen working the grill
There are two stools and a booth made out of real vinyl – electric blue with pink piping. The tabletop was sparkly formica, just like you’d find in a 50’s diner. There were menus, little ticket orders, a real bell to ring for orders, even a little paper hat for her to wear. I really need this diner in my life!
My mom loved the living room set, which has many authentic details. There is a sofabed, a crocheted afghan, and pillows. Additional items that can be purchased are a funky cool table with a retro lamp, pink poodle figurine, a newspaper and TV Guide.
Every historical doll has to have a pet, and Maryellen has a dachshund named Scooter, who loves to snuggle with her on the sofa. Finally, Maryellen has a school set, with flashcards, a little chalkboard, a pointer (not a laser pointer, but the old fashioned wooden kind!), and map with the United States on one side and Europe on the other. It is historically accurate for the time period, of course!
Map circa Soviet Era
Maryellen’s TV console was sold out already so I couldn’t see that. But her juke box was there and it was amazing. One of the clerks showed me how it works – it plays five different 50’s inspired songs by pushing the little buttons, and you can plug your ipod into the back to play your own music using the juke box speaker. Also when the juke box was playing, the surrounding lights lit up. The jukebox was $90, which is a little steep but the sound quality was pretty good and it would be a fun way to play your own music. If you are really interested in it, I’d say it is worth the money.
After seeing Maryellen’s whole collection in the store, I thought it was even cuter in person. I left there wanting to take it all home with me. On a sad note, Maryellen’s collection replaced the spot where Caroline and her collection used to be. There was only one case left for Caroline, with six dolls and her three books. Everything else was sold out, and she looked so lonely standing in an empty glass box. I’m sad to see Caroline go, but think Maryellen is a great new addition to the Be Forever line-up.