The bicycle is a major storyline feature in Samantha's original six books. What always confused me is that while the book illustrations and story aways indicated a two-wheeled bicycle, what was offered in the catalogs was a quaint three-wheeled contraption. While three-wheeled bicycles are historically correct for Samantha's time, so were two-wheeled bicycles. I don't blame American Girl for making this change!
Probably most impressive with this bicycle is how well it is constructed. The wheels, rim, spokes, fender and chain guard and more are all constructed like the real thing. Even the pedals rotate, though the chain does not activate--so the bike must be propelled forward by play-power, though this is quite easy to do, especially since the bike is steadied by the subtly placed extra set of tiny wheels.
The bicycle also comes with a basket and tiny bouquet of flowers. The basket is removable as it has been smartly attached with buckled straps.
I love the basket, since it gives the bicycle a whimsical flair. This leads to my thought that this bicycle would look at home with any of the modern MyAG dolls. The design and color fits a retro or vintage style that is very popular today. In fact, while driving in Palo Alto on Monday, I saw a young woman riding a bike that was almost identical in color and design (sans basket) and then later the same day I spied a another young woman with a bike in teal that was a twin to Samantha's bike--right down to the wicker basket.
The color and design coordination between Samantha's bicycle and bicycling outfit is a dream. Each is darling on its own but together they really pop.
I was able to balance Samantha on the bike with ease. I did not even need to use the elastic bands attached to the pedals for her to stay in pose. The scale between the doll and bike is perfect.
I would love to stay and rave some more about this amazing bicycle, but Samantha has donned her hat and is about to take off down the street! But in parting I must say the sturdy and realistic construction combined with a design that works both in Samantha's historical setting or for any dolls set in modern times makes this item less of an accessory and more of a necessity according to all of my "girls." Grade: A+