Thursday, December 18, 2014

Waiting for Grace: A Gala Party Goodbye

While at AGPSF on Monday I decided to pick up the Party Gala Scene and the Winter Fun Scene. I have been taking a lot of photos this month and having some new backdrops to play with sounded fun. I missed out on their markdown earlier in the month, but even at their regular price they seemed a great deal for their unique play value.

Perhaps I should have read the tea leaves better considering it was one of the many items that went on sale in early December, but I was surprised when the sales associate at AGPSF handed me the Party Gala Scene and said excitedly in a hush-hush voice that I had gotten the last one. And indeed, the Party Gala Scene is no longer offered anywhere on the AG website. 

In honor of this humble and unannounced retirement (which is how most items of the MyAG line tend to disappear), I offer this brief unboxing and review.

The Gala Party Scene is a startling mix of party pink and shimmering crystals but this is MyAG and not a historical doll, so bring on the glitz! The quality of the print is glossy and sharp and the image is the right balance of realism and fantasy. I give bonus points that the backside of the scene is also covered in a glossy pink rather than left as bare brown cardboard.

The scene is made of a lightweight but stiff cardboard and packed in its own cardboard box which is also reasonably stiff, but I do not know how well it would ship in it (and I do not know if AG puts this inside a heavier box for shipping). However the box is perfect for storing the scene and well worth saving.

I am tickled by how well the protective cardboard was designed. The scene is set almost two inches in from the top and bottom edges which provides some cushion from accidental crushing. Also, if one uses a blade to open the packing tape along the horizontal seam on the reverse side, the two cardboard door-like flaps overlap to provide protection from the edge of the blade meeting the scene underneath.

And finally a last surprise. Did you know there is a fun and free music app for the Gala and other scenes on Apple iTunes? One does not need a purchase to play, just go to the App Store and download!

Granted, the tunes are simple MIDI files of songs in the public domain such as Beethoven's Fur Elise. And the game play is quite silly. One adds additional ambient noises to the music track: applause, dining room chatter, cymbal crashes and tooting tubas. It was good for 20 minute of play before I moved on. Did I mention it was free?

I hope to have some fun photoshoots with my new background. The price was great, the picture quality good and it is lightweight and easy to store in the original box. My hope is that the Gala Party Scene's parting means that there will be new scenes to enjoy in the new year! 

Overall Grade: A

Wait! We are waiting for Grace! I would absolutely love it if Grace's collection came with at least two scenes:  the first scene a Paris street or outdoor cafe scene and the second scene associated with a bakery theme. Scene settings have not been offered for a GOTY as far as I can recall, but one can hope.

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