Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Meet" Truly Me: Unboxing Truly Me 21

Last Thursday I enjoyed the Truly Me launch at AGPSF, though I did not bring home any of the beautiful new dolls (TM #62, #63, #64 and revised #54). However, a few days later I returned to AGPSF and brought home a doll that I believe has been flying under the radar for many doll collectors. 

Welcome home, Truly Me 21! 

The new Truly Me packaging is a pretty and soothing lavender (my absolute favorite color--my bridesmaids wore this color!) with terrific doodle patterns on the front and sides of the box.

It should be noted that the new TM boxes are excessively difficult to pry open as the fit between the top piece and bottom is very snug. The sales assistant at the store was very helpful, but she struggled mightily to open up just two boxes for me to compare two dolls. I joked AG needs to invent a box-shoehorn for those extra snug boxes.

All of the Truly Me doll boxes, GOTY Grace doll boxes, and nearly all of the BeForever doll boxes now feature a round placard on the front of the box with the doll's image on it. I presume as BeForever doll stock turns over that the silhouette-and-name design that was part of the BeForever launch will be replaced with the above configuration. The image makes for quicker doll and outfit identification, but the previous box design with the silhouettes was truly lovely and I miss it already. 

The TM dolls come with a boxed set of activity cards. The activity box is packed/set in a plastic sleeve which slips over the bottom of the doll box (similar to the plastic sleeve that holds the Meet books), however I was surprised and a little dismayed that the plastic sleeve was secured to the cardboard doll box with clear packaging tape. Once I carefully stripped off the tape (if the tape is pulled with a very slow and patient hand it can be removed without any major damage to the doll box itself) the reason for the tape became obvious--the activity set is heavy!

Cute ideas on activities cards. I think it adds some value to the TM doll experience, especially for the 8-and-under crowd, but I will need to do a fuller review later. Super darling outfit pictured on the above card--a sneak peak at a fall outfit?

Finally, our first close view of TM 21. She was originally introduced in 2001 and features curly strawberry blonde hair with pin curls on either side of her face. Her eyes are hazel and she is one of the few dolls remaining in the TM line up with line eyebrows.

The new meet dress, which is currently available for separate purchase as the Lilac Dress, is a light raspberry cotton with silver mesh trim with sequins and with a silver threaded woven sash.

Oh, how I love examining a new doll in the box. Pristine and full of promise! The teal shoes from the meet outfit have glittery silver accents.

TM 21 out of box! I adore her pigtails right out of the box.

The back of her wig has short hairs to cover the wig cap.

Pin curls! It will be interesting to work with the pin curls to keep them neat and springy.

Another close up of her pin curls.

The bottom left of her dress has a metal American Girl tag sewn onto it, just like the dresses for girls.

Close up of the teal meet shoes. These slipped on and off like butter--clearly AG has been listening to customer complaints and requests about shoe fit. I do wonder what could be lost if AG only produces buttery slip-on shoes, though, since I love some of the boots of recent years that were a real challenge to get on, such as Saige's boots. So I hope AG doesn't sacrifice all smart and fashionable shoes and boots on the altar of butter.

Madly in love with this beauty. I'm glad I noticed her even in spite of (or perhaps because of!) a bevy of new and sparkly dolls.

It is difficult to predict when a doll from the modern line will be retired as we are not given as much advance notice as with the historical dolls. Considering that TM 21 is one of the older dolls in the modern line and she was not revised to the newer eyebrow style last fall, it does at have me pause to wonder if she may be one of the next dolls quietly retired sometime in the next calendar year.

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!