Friday, August 29, 2014

Beforever Launch: A BF Samantha Mini Review

Today I ventured to American Girl Place in Palo Alto to enjoy AG's Beforever launch and to dive head first into a Samantha Parkington adventure. I am familiar with Samantha as my daughter was given a Samantha doll when she was young--back when the company was still known as Pleasant Company. Her Samantha was very well loved in her day, but has been since set aside. This new launch by AG was a perfect opportunity to enjoy Samantha as a possible addition to my own family of girls.

To begin this Samantha bonanza of reviews I offer the Beforever Samantha Mini doll.

Considering the AG website lists BF Samantha Mini doll backordered until November, I decided to pick her up right away when I saw her in the store. The BF Samantha Mini comes in a new box style, though this design change is not very radical. The included mini book is a paperback which matches the style of books now being offered with the larger dolls.

Some of the big changes from the previous Samantha Mini dolls include a new face mold, new bangs, new eyes, and perhaps most surprisingly, an all vinyl body. I was hesitant at first about the all vinyl body, but after handling BF Samantha Mini this afternoon, I decided it is less noticeable of a change than I thought it would be, though perhaps it is because I spent most of my time fussing with her hair!

BF Samantha Mini's hair was a disaster out of the box with her curls a mad mess. In the store I had tried to pick a mini doll who had thick bangs as I had noticed many of them had alarmingly thin and wispy bangs. However her bangs proved to be wildly askew as well. I decided to wet down her hair (both the long tresses and the bangs) and shape her hair. Even after all of that, her bangs were quite uneven and so I carefully and conservatively trimmed the most obvious of the stragglers from her bangs.

I was initially not terrifically excited about the back of her hair, but after wetting it down and letting it relax it is starting to calm down into an acceptable shape as pictured here.

I really am warming up to BF Samantha Mini's new eyes. There seems to be more painted detail inside of the iris which in part helps eliminate much of that "spooked" eye problem of previous models of the mini dolls.

Overall, I think her dress with the lace, mesh overlay, and velvet sash is quite lovely. Her black Mary Jane style shoes are simple but classically adorable. Her initial hair crisis aside, I find myself enjoying the new BF Samantha Mini. While I would love the entire mini doll line to be taken up a whole level in terms of quality and detail, within the doll's quality in terms of the longer scope of the AG mini doll line, I give BF Samantha Mini an A-.

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