Sunday, August 23, 2015

WWOG: Early Retirement or Late Restocking?

MONDAY UPDATE:  AG website was updated this morning and so far all the items seem to be available again! The rumors still persist, including the French Bakery going into backorder status soon but for now all is well in Graceland!

Hang onto your Christmas stocking those of you who have made plans to pick up some of Grace's items closer to the end of the year because Grace's Welcome Gifts, her pink Opening Night Outfit, the classic Baking Outfit, and even her new Sightseeing Outfit are all listed as "no longer available" on AG's website!

We've seen website glitches and misleading stock information on AG's website before, so perhaps Monday morning the site will update and we will see these items back in stock or at least with a backorder date. However, a few small rumors have begun to surface about Grace's collection, such as AG stores not planning to restock certain Grace items once they run out and a rumor that Grace's French Bakery may go on backorder status soon.

With BF Maryellen debuting next week and a GOTY 2016 around the corner, will AG let the stock of Grace's quite large and expanded collection slowly move into sell out status? At this point AG is probably heavily invested in making sure Maryellen does well and is merely riding out the last quarter of Grace's reign. I can imagine the Grace doll and a core of her items being deliberately made available until mid-December, but if it is the case that the four items above do not return, it will be anyone's guess what will still be available to buy late in the holiday season.

Thoughts? I will keep an eye on AG's website--will need to add a retraction come Monday morning?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kirsten Larson: Welcome Home!

***Poppets & Posies 100th Post!***

I have wanted a Kirsten doll since 1996 when I was introduced to my first Pleasant Company catalog. As a Danish/Norwegian girl myself who grew up in Minnesota, I absolutely loved her Swedish/Scandinavian inspired design touches and her midwestern pioneer storyline. And I loved her quirky looped braids even more. Even though I purchased many of Kirsten's outfits throughout the years, I never ordered the doll. Then her archival was announced in 2009 and I decided to let her go quietly.

Until today!

Kirsten is a charmer even still secured in her box. I do not know her exact production year, but this NIB Kirsten was probably originally bought after her archival announcement in 2009 and kept to be sold at a much later date. 

Her apron is crisp and pristine and those braids will never be quite that perfect ever again. Sigh!

This is not news to Kirsten Larson fans, but the boots with her meet outfit are rudimentary at best.

One last loving look! Once she is out of the box she really joins my poppet family!


So why now some may ask. I had hoped for Kirsten to reappear out of the archives as part of the BeForever line, but with Maryellen arriving the end of August 2015 and the announcement of a new (not previously archived) 2016 BeForever doll, the best I believe I can reasonably hope for is a return of Kirsten in the fall of 2017. Or never.

Never is too long! Actually, another big reason for this leap is that I've collected the majority of Kirsten Larson's collection and while I have had other dolls stand in to wear some of her outfits, I wanted to finally unite the collection with the doll who inspired it.

A closeup of her perfect braid and ribbon for posterity--and reference for when I inevitably mess up her hair.

I am pleased with the short hairs on the back of her wig. Plenty of coverage and an even feathered pattern.

Her pantalettes are edges with eyelet. But take a gander at those galoompus boots!

Shall we revel in these galoompus meet boots for a moment before they are removed from her feet and never worn again? Vinyl, shapeless, an awkward seam up the center of the foot, no finished upper edges, a lazy hole punched for the laces, and a flimsy moccasin-like sole. Added to this list of frustration is that these "boots" do nothing to help stabilize her while standing. I will quickly be putting Kirsten's black lace-up boots on her feet.

As reviews go, the Kirsten Larson doll is an A+++. I don't care about the meet boots, they are easy and relatively inexpensive to replace with her black lace-up boots.

Finally, here at Poppets & Posies all our poppets are given their own name. A happy and enthusiastic welcome to Kristianna!

Friday, August 7, 2015

OG Mini Retro Car and Mini Retro Trailer

With permission I share a photo scoop from an online friend on some new items appearing in the Our Generation line at Target stores this week--a darling mini retro car and mini retro trailer!

They are breathtakingly cute! Finally some fun for the mini dolls!

From the looks of it, not only does the door open and close, but the full front side of the trailer swings open--note the silver hinge on the right and the reenforcing pieces of tape on the left. 

The sticker indicates some lights inside actually work! Look at all the little cooking utensils! The bedding looks a bit flimsy, but it is a perfect project for crafty hands.

Table and bench seating. Looks like cabinetry will open (note tape) and the handles of the pots and pans in this peek.

The large windows do not appear to open, but they do allow for a great view of the sink and faucet inside.

The mini car looks fantastic--really reminds me of AG Julie's baby blue bug. However this mini car, according to the heart sticker on the windshield, features a "Real working AM/FM radio." A nice touch for this tiny zoomer!

The mini car and camper are being marketed under the LORI brand--Lori being the "branding" also on the silver blonde Naomi Mini Doll pictured above. The mini car retails for $24.99 and the mini retro trailer/camper retails for $34.99.

OG may have a blockbuster here--now to see if my local store has any in stock!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Storage Wars II: Bon Voyage Stationery Set vs Travel Case

The Bon Voyage Stationery Set for Girls offers another storage option for Grace's clothes and accessories as the stationery set is packaged in a bright red paperboard "suitcase."

The paperboard exterior of the red stationery case is sturdy and the front is embossed with an Eiffel Tower. The pebble texture of the suitcase mimics a fine leather. The suitcase also features a sturdy carry handle and the hinges of the handle and the clasp itself are made of metal. Overall, the paperboard suitcase seems as if it should hold up to gentle play and storage.

The most significant difference between the Bon Voyage Stationery Set suitcase and the Travel Case for Girls besides the materials (paperboard vs faux-leather) is their sizes. While the BVSS suitcase is as wide as the Travel Case, it is significantly narrower.

So the question of storage--how much will the paperboard suitcase hold? Below is Grace's City Outfit and Pajamas set inside of the BVSS suitcase. There is plenty of room for the two outfits and potentially room for two additional outfits.

In comparison, the zippered top compartment of the Travel Case for Girls (pictured below) also easily carries the two Grace outfits, but maxes out with three outfits in the top compartment. However, the Travel Case has a second zippered compartment which easily could fit an additional 4 - 5 outfits, which makes the Travel Case the roomier option by far.

While the Bon Voyage Stationery Set paperboard suitcase is sturdy and smart, it is limited to 3 - 4 outfits whereas the Travel Case for Girls accommodates upwards of 7 - 8 outfits. The exterior of Travel Case is made of a long lasting faux-leather vinyl which will withstand small spills and the case is much more rugged overall.

As a storage unit, I give the Bon Voyage Stationery Set a B+. The piece is well executed as a paperboard product and the handle and metal clasp are terrific. The storage capacity of the paperboard suitcase is still somewhat limited compared to the Travel Case for Girls, but the Bon Voyage case could be the perfect size for some poppet travelers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Storage Wars: Grace's Travel Case vs. Luggage

With the newly released Travel Case for Girls there is now a bigger and better option for storing Grace's accessories. In fact, until I put the Travel Case and Luggage pieces side by side, I had not noticed how rather limited the Luggage was in terms of storage.

As noted in my previous review of Grace Thomas's Travel Case for Girls, the case fits 2 - 3 outfits on the top compartment and an additional 4 - 5 outfits in the lower compartment.

Grace's Luggage, on the other hand, is smaller than the top compartment of the case.

The Luggage almost completely fits inside the top compartment.

While the Travel Case can store a minimum of six full outfits, the Luggage can barely fit one accessory set!

Grace's Sightseeing Accessories (boots, shrug and sunglasses) fit inside of the Luggage--but just barely.

An alternative storage option is the paperboard "suitcase" from the new Bon Voyage Stationery Set for Grace Thomas. The bright red case from set is smaller than the zippered Travel Case and does not have separate storage compartments like the zippered Travel Case, but the smaller price tag could give the paperboard suitcase the edge for those looking for a more affordable storage option.

In terms of total storage, the Travel Case for Girls wins hands down in a one-on-one battle with the Grace's Luggage, though the paperboard suitcase from the Bon Voyage Stationery Set is an affordable option for those looking for a middle ground. 

Grace Thomas's Travel Case for Girls

A squee of delight for Grace Thomas's Travel Case for Girls. It is rare that I bring home items specifically made for girls, but this one was too wonderful to pass up. 

The case is made of a faux-leather, which is really just another way to say it is made of a nice and supple vinyl material. It sports two zippered compartments and a faux-leather carry handle. The teal satin bow is purely decorative and tied onto the handle.

I was drawn to the storage capabilities of the case for doll accessories rather than any use as an overnight bag for girl-sized toiletries or make-up. In fact, the case seems almost too small for heavy use as a girl-sized item and seems tailor made to accommodate items for the poppets.

The design of the case is exciting and fresh. I love the faux-leather patches.

The metal tag on the Eiffel Tower is classy and smart.

So the real question is how well does it store Grace's items!? Here is a sneak peak of that question: pictured above is the top section packed with her City Outfit and her Pajamas. The two outfits fit into the top section of the case with plenty of breathing room. In theory, a third outfit or a few small accessories could fit into this upper space as well.

Considering this top zippered section is about 1/3 of the total storage space, it seems reasonable that the bottom section could hold 4 - 5 outfits depending on how tightly one wishes to pack the clothing.

Overall, this gets a five-star cute-cute-cute-cute-cute rating! Well constructed, delightful design, and a perfect size for storing lots of doll items. A++

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WWOG: A Big Ticket Tally

Grace's midsummer release items are now searchable on American Girl's website and it looks to be a fabulous set of items, for both girls and poppets everywhere. No official word on the release date, but the most popular guess is June 25th.

So a big drumroll for Grace's Whole World price tag tally (excluding dvd, books, and items for girls):

New for Grace Thomas (upper right of infographic) will be a Sightseeing Outfit (black-and-white striped top paired with a white skirt), her Sightseeing Accessories (red shrug, black boots and blue sunglasses), and her Sweet Hairstyles Set (bows and hair pins). This is a 1-2-3 win for AG, and I anticipate bringing all three home. 

Last fall I doubt many thought Grace's Whole World would climb above $1300 (we were so naive as we can see here). And I must reiterate: this $1307 price tag tally is for just Grace Thomas, her clothing and accessories. I deliberately left out some store exclusives for Grace, such as the doll sized Chef's Hat, Bonbon Tee, and Cupcakes that can be purchased only as an add-on when booking a Party-of-6 at an American Girl Bistro. Items for girls (books, dvds, clothing for girls, jewelry for girls, etc.) not included in the tally!

And it is rumored there are some more doll sized food items, though no details or images yet.

But let's not forget the terrific items for girls--this is probably my favorite GOTY release for girls! Anticipated midsummer items for girls that are now searchable/findable on AG's website are Grace Thomas's Sparkle Bow Tee and Grace Thomas's Puppy Tee, a delightful Grace's Bracelet with travel charms, a bright pink Eiffel Tower-themed Jewelry and Photo Keeper, a new book activity kit called Baking with Grace, the Grace Stirs Up Success soundtrack and dvd, and my absolute must-have from the girl sized range, the Parisian-themed Travel Case for Girls

Yes, the Travel Case is coming home with me immediately--as soon as I can verify the release date! What is on your wish list?