Thursday, May 21, 2015

Truly Me!

A quick AGPSF Flash report from my quick trip to the store today to enjoy the revamp of the MyAG modern girl line to the Truly Me collection.

New with Truly Me are three new dolls, #62, #63, and #64 plus a special change to #54. The dolls come in the new Lilac Dress as their meet outfit and their boxes are also a bright lilac. 

The lovely #62 features a Sonali mold in medium vinyl, brown hair and amber eyes with a pinwheel iris.

The new #62 is a classic mold face in light vinyl with short, shoulder length blonde hair, and blue eyes with pinwheel iris. Her eyes are noticeably lighter in color than the #27 blonde.

And #64 is the Ivy mold (note her cut out eye corners) in light vinyl, black-brown mid-length hair, and dark brown eyes, also with pinwheel iris.

The Lilac Dress can be paired with the Love to Layer set. Above is #62 wearing the tulle skirt with glittery silver bow over the meet outfit.

The silver dots on the meet shoes makes more sense when paired with the Love to Layer tulle skirt with its silver bow.

Love to Layer comes with a rather heavy knit zippered vest in deep blue with an asymmetrical closure. The vest design reminds me of GOTY Isabelle's black dance jacket, though Isabelle's jacket was made of thinner material and I think I would have preferred that. The vest looks best zipped up, otherwise it hangs awkwardly on the doll's frame.

A gold glittery headband and bow is part of Love to Layer.

Vest close up.

The Lilac Dress s also available for girls.

Vest for girls. Is this the first JLY/MyAG/TM offering of a matching "Meet" outfit for girls? 

And finally the sleeper surprise. The darling #54 now features cut outs in the corners of her eyes, changing her classification from a Jess mold to an Ivy mold. She is now the best next thing to a !Ivy doll and besides that, she is stunning. I can't stop thinking of #54 as well as #64--both with the Ivy mold. I may have to go back to the store soon to get a closer look at them both!

The store also featured a number of limited-time summer "beach" outfits and accessories--look for more pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Swap or Not? A Caroline in Grace's World

Ever felt like swapping out an entire "closet" of clothing to give another character? Today's closet swap is BF Caroline wearing GOTY Grace's wardrobe.

First we have the Baking Outfit and the City Outfit. Swap or Not?

And next Opening-Night outfit and Travel Coat. Swap or Not?

Finally the Pajamas and the original Meet Outfit. Swap or Not?

It would be folly for me to pretend I don't have an opinion already formed! I think Caroline (my poppet Charlotte) looks particularity smashing in both of the teal colored outfits and she looks great in all the other outfits perhaps barring Grace's Meet Outfit. With Charlotte running La Patisserie, she will enjoy playing in the GOTY Grace closet.

What do you think? Do you have any complete AG character closet swaps? 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Caroline's Farewell (AGPSF Flash)

The news is all over social media and the blogosphere--Caroline is to be archived. 

No official word on the exact date of archival, but a few items are already gone (Parlor and the Party Set) and it looks like some items are already low inventory! To assess the situation further, I decided to visit AGPSF to take a look at the inventory and contemplate final purchases from Caroline's line before items begin to sell out.

AGPSF has two display areas still set up for Caroline, the main one (below) and a second area for her bed. All of her outfits are available in the store with the exception of the new Party Dress (aka the "Frozen" dress). If you want that dress, better hurry online--it is currently back ordered until June 5th, but I have the feeling that may be the last major batch!

Soon this display area for Caroline will be emptied to make space for the newly announced BeForever Maryellen, a strawberry blonde cutie whose story is set in 1954 (debut set for August 27th). But before she leaves, I will be bringing home her dresses, though I will be passing on most of the large items, such as her Parlor (long gone), her Skiff, and the Table and Chairs. 

I really like the color scheme of the Table and Treats. The ceramic tureen with the blue floral design is really tempting, but I can't imagine getting $150 worth of play or display from this set. I might be interested at a $50 price point, but even then I think I would pass.

I plan to post detailed reviews of the Caroline items that have come home with me, so I took photos of items I thought I would not have available for detailed pictures at home. Originally I had decided against Garnet the Calf (he is so overly magenta) but he will be traveling here soon!

So what is next for Caroline as she heads into the archives? While Caroline and her clothing and accessories will soon be gone from American Girl--I have a feeling that she will grow in popularity after retirement.

In celebration of Caroline's three glorious years as part of AG's Historical/BeForever line up and to wish her a terrific "Bon Voyage" for future adventures launched from my home and from the homes of thousands of other Caroline fans, I will be spotlighting Caroline's dresses, accessories and even her bed in a series of reviews!

I am pleased to introduce my poppet Charlotte, an original Caroline! 

Charlotte time-and-distance-travels between her 1812 canon storyline set near Lake Ontario, her home in Regency Era England (think Jane Austen!), and her modern day La Patisserie in Paris! She will be dazzling and charming us with her Caroline wardrobe in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Reviews: Sunshine Gardening Bench

The Sunshine Gardening Bench is the ideal accessory/set piece. The bench is compact, easy to set up, and the accessories offer many options in terms of posing and playing.

The bench comes with two flowering plants in soil, two flower pots, a birdhouse, watering can, spade, a miniature beehive, two packets of pretend seeds, three paper butterflies, and a sheet of ladybug stickers.

The flowers are primary made of fabric and wire. The flowers are somewhat fragile--one of the orange flower heads may need to be re-glued before long.

The soil is realistic looking and features little worms!

The little bird is firmly glued inside, I tried, but it is not going to come out of its home.

Watering can is plastic and technically could hold and pour water.

The bench has two hooks for tools but offers only a single spade. This feels like a cost-cutting measure that is quite frustrating at this price point.

The paper products are cute. I have not constructed the paper butterflies yet and I may save this treat for next spring.

The ladybugs are intensely cute. I wish I had an extra set of the ladybugs--I hate to break into this pristine set of stickers just yet.

I am quite satisfied with this set even with the issues of the fragile flower head threatening to fall off and their head-scratching decision to skip the second gardening tool for that other hook. 

Overall, I give the Sunshine Gardening Bench an A-. The compact footprint of the bench means it is easy to display and just as easy to store. I also love how it coordinates with the Sunshine Garden Outfit and I look forward to finding other ways to play and coordinate with this bench.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Reviews: PWP Teal Print Dress

Normally I have the will power to pass the in-store "purchase-with-purchase" (PWP) specials. I was definitely on the fence about putting the Teal Print Dress in my red bag, but two reasons tipped the scales. First, this particular PWP ensemble comes with shoes, unlike the past few offerings. And second, I knew I had a poppet at home eager to get out of her canon outfits and into something playful.

Tuula (aka Grace) is wearing the Teal Print Dress and purple garden clogs (they look a bit like crocs).

The dress is a lightweight cotton knit that closes in back with velcro and comes with an attached purple ribbon at the waist. The bottom hem is serged for a casual look.

The front of the dress has purple faux-rhinestones attached.

The shoes are made of a soft rubber and are casual--they'd work as garden clogs, poolside shoes, or anything one might do in crocs.

The Teal Print Dress ensemble is simple and unassuming. The PWP price for this outfit is $14, still a bit pricy for an oversized tee-as-dress and rubber shoes, but if you want a quick, breezy outfit for an afternoon spent out in the sunshine, this is a perfect fit. Overall grade: B+

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Reviews: Boho Beachy Swimsuit

Today's Spring Review is of the new Boho Beachy Swimsuit and the coordinating Beachy Hair Beads set.

The "boho" swimsuit set comes with a one piece swimsuit featuring an aqua ruffle and beads on one of the shoulder straps (see last photo) and flip-flop sandals also with beads. The suit slipped on like a dream. Freyja (aka Kanani) was thrilled to have a new suit for her beachside adventures.

The orange and purple beads are attached to the sandal in the back. The shoes took less than a minute to slip on--the elastic of the back straps and in the ankle bracelets have plenty of give, so the process only took a little bit of coordination. I figure any AG shoe that can be put on in under a minute and without any tools is acceptable.

The Beachy Hair Beads decorative pieces are offered separately. I have mixed thoughts about this set. It is great they are offered separately for anyone simply wanting the hair beads for play without having to purchase the swimsuit--but the beads are so clearly coordinated with the swimsuit that it should have been bundled (and offered at a fraction of the cost).

The two strands are slightly different in design--above is one of the two. The top flower clasps easily into the hair, but the clasp overall seems fragile.

Note the extremely fragile and thin plastic "hinge" of the flower shaped clasp. This hinge is quite vulnerable and requires gentle hands for opening and closing. 

The Boho Beachy Swimsuit lived up to all expectations. The coordinating Beachy Hair Beads are super cute, but pricy for what is included especially considering the fragility of the clasp.

Boho Beachy Swimsuit: A
Beachy Hair Beads: C+

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Reviews: Sunshine Garden Outfit

Spring is here and the girls are breaking out the skirts and shorts to celebrate. A new offering this spring from AG is the Sunshine Garden Outfit.

Today's poppet is Lilja, a lovely #55. Her outfit consists of a knitted tee with an asymmetrical neckline, checkered shorts, bright lime-green sandals and a purple flower hair tie.

The sandals sold the outfit for me--the lime-green is fresh! The buckle is decorative and the shoes secure with velcro under the ankle strap.

Second favorite after the sandals is the canvas checked shorts. The pattern and colors honestly remind me of a pair my father wore back in the early 1970s--definitely a vintage/nerd factor that is so retro as to be cool again. Note the real pockets!

The flower hair tie is pretty standard and not essential, but I was glad to have it for my poppet's hair.

Solveig (aka Saige) joined in for a bit of fun with mix-n-match, and we discovered a green tee in the closet that was a perfect fit for this outfit. The "Nature Girl" tee is from GOTY Lanie's collection. 

Solveig and Lilja are poppet-sisters, but hate dressing matchy-matchy. So swapping out the tee on one of the outfits was a perfect solution.

The Sunshine Garden Outfit is super cute and bright. I am not a big fan of the exposed serged edges of the tee and would have preferred a symmetrical tee, but this is not a big issue overall. The winning pieces are the shorts and shoes:  the shorts have great mix-n-match potential and the lime-green shoes offer a huge kick of color. A.