Friday, July 29, 2016

The Saga Collection

Introducing "The Saga Collection"

In my multi-month search for Saga, I had an abundance of time to imagine, plan, and acquire her wardrobe and accessories. The resulting colorful story board is a visual representation Saga's core collection.

I hope to eventually create these fun graphics for all of my poppets as a way to help me to keep track of my sprawling collection. All my poppets share and swap their clothing, but this way I can see with a quick glance who has made a primary claim on an outfit or accessory.

Additionally, with the recent rumor of the retirement of the GOTY line, I felt I needed to take a more active role in the creation of my own characters and stories. In other words, the GOTY line made acquiring new poppets and their collections a bit too easy and passive. In moving toward creating my own collection of "Saga Sisters" an entire new way of creatively interacting with my poppets and my collections has emerged.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kit Preview: Monogram Dress

A new monogramed dress for Kit?

The orange and blue striped dress with bows, buttons, and a peter pan collar features Kit's monogram from her full name of Margaret Mildred Kittredge.

Saga's Saga

A new poppet officially joins the family. Meet Saga!

Saga debuts wearing the new San Francisco/Bay Area Star Tee from American Girl (2016), black textured shorts from Grace's City Love Outfit (2015), and platform sandals from the Karaoke Outfit (1999). 

We thought we had a name all picked out for her before her debut, but within minutes of being out of her box she promptly claimed her name was Saga.

Saga is feisty, adventurous, and curiously introverted. She loves to take long hikes or explore in the woods, often by herself. She is equal parts country mouse and city mouse and is comfortable in cities as diverse as Tokyo, Paris, or Oslo. She writes and is intensely interested art and photography.

Finding Saga was a bit of a saga in itself. Saga is a Truly Me 54* who was revised in May 2015 with the addition of notches at the corners of her eyes. However, six months after her May 2015 debut the TM 54* disappeared from the shelves of the AGPSF retail store and the doll stocked in her place since then has been the older version without the notches at the corners.

Additionally, current inventory through online ordering seems to only yield the older model without the eye notches. I know this since I ordered her two different times online and disappointingly received the older doll. AG customer service was helpless in verifying if it even had the newer TM 54* stock with the notched eyes. So look closely when buying or ordering TM 54! The older version is also darling and has the almond shaped eyes but she is missing the revised eye notches.

I have not been able to determine if the company is simply trying to quietly get rid of older, original stock of this doll without the eye notches or if they have stopped production and are letting the revised TM 54* slowly empty off shelves in anticipation of using a similar notched eyes/hair-with-bangs combo on the rumored BeForever Pearl. BeForever Pearl (code name only) will be an Asian American girl living in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Welcome Saga!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Etsy Corner: Peplum Jacket

Iolanthe is ready for a cool night out and about in her new Peplum Jacket.

The Peplum Jacket coordinates with the Chiffon Print Dress, both made by Maddie's Girls. The jacket is based on a Liberty Jane Boomerit pattern, part of the Outback Libby collection.

The Peplum Jacket is made of an army green twill with princess seams sewn with rough edges. The jacket is fully lined, boasts working buttons and pocket flaps which lift up, and the jacket is beautifully top stitched throughout.

The tiered peplum on the back of the jacket also features the distressed frayed edges. The sleeves end with fabric ties laced through real grommets.

Iolanthe is thrilled with her all her closet finds!

Etsy Corner: Chiffon Print Dress

Poppet Iolanthe fetchingly presents a beautiful Chiffon Print Dress.

The dress is made of chiffon and has a button and loop front closure and fastens with two snaps on the back yoke and a single hook and eye at the back waist. The dress pattern design is Liberty Jane Woomera, part of the Outback Libby collection.

The dress was handmade by Maddie's Girls with great care and precision.

The hem of the dress is short in the front and low in the back. The sheer dress comes with a lacy white slip made of soft and stretchy material for underneath the sheer chiffon dress.

Today Iolanthe will pair the Chiffon Print Dress with ruffled sandals from Saige's Sweater Outfit.

Light, breezy, and subtle, the dress works well both in casual and formal settings.

Maddie's Girls is a wonderful Etsy shop and her clothing is so much fun to receive in the mail. All the items are carefully wrapped as if coming straight from a high end boutique. I love her branded tags, labels, and darling shopping bags.

So cute! But how about a coordinating jacket?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hair She Is! A Melody Pre-Order

Some terrific detailed pictures of Melody and a new first: Pre-Order Melody via AG Rewards!

Unfortunately, the deal is not too sweet--a $217 package sold for $212. A $5 savings is not much to shout about. However, perhaps the real deal is the ability to have her shipped (presumably) without delay on day one of her debut.

Melody's Rewards Collection includes Melody Doll and Book, Melody's Accessories (hat, purse, glasses, campaign button), Melody's Dog Bo, her Fancy Floral Dress and her Hairstyling Set.

Melody's Fancy Floral Dress looks great in her catalog shoot. Super classy!

Check out Melody's Hairstyling Set! It includes a hair flip extension on a headband with a bow as well as a flower hand corsage.

Best close-up of Melody's hair color and texture. Also we can see she has the pinwheel style iris eyes.

A fabulous hat!

So are you in for a $212 pre-order of Melody's Reward Collection? It looks exiting, but I think I will keep my cash in my pocket for now. (AG Kitchen!)

Holiday 2016 Preview: Sequins and Jazz

More sequins are popping up for this upcoming holiday season at American Girl, this time it looks like a jazz dance ensemble.

The pattern of the sequins on the top remind me of the New York City skyline.

The ensemble looks to include a sleeveless sequined top, black pants, shoes, glittery fingerless gloves and a glittery headband.

This looks like a great jazz ensemble, but as it is more a dance/movement/performance outfit, I don't know if this will be a requested outfit by my poppets unless one of them takes up tap, jazz, or baton twirling.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

First Hand First Thoughts: WellieWishers

I went to American Girl Place to see the WellieWishers and all I brought home was the catalog.

My first impression of the WellieWishers was one of surprise--they were so much more tiny and petite than I had imagined! The new dolls really are teeny tiny pixie dolls compared to the 18" American Girl dolls. I thought they were cute and I was delightfully charmed by their small-sized doll box, but I did not buy a WellieWisher doll today.

Why no buy? I think overall I was underwhelmed by the dolls. Up close and personal and able to touch and pose the dolls I did not love their hard plastic limbs and body. It is not that I am complaining about the lack of a cloth/stuffed torso, but rather I found myself comparing the shiny hard finish of the plastic WW dolls to the high quality silky matte finish of BeForever and Truly Me 18" dolls. If WW were made of the higher quality silky matte vinyl featured on the 18" doll lines I am pretty certain I would have bought a WW or two today.

I also felt the WellieWishers lacked in many small details, such as the lack of definition in their fingers and fingernails vs the 18" dolls. The face paint on the WW dolls was also extremely shiny and less life-like than the 18" dolls. Side by side, so on and so forth, WW are not on par with BeForever or Truly Me dolls. I wish the hair on the wigs was a little more hardy, the limbs of the dolls had more range, and the clothing for these dolls was made with better quality materials.

These dolls are aimed for 3 - 7 year-olds, so my fussing is from the perspective of a collector and adult. None of the above will likely deter a young fan and many older fans may also love the dolls regardless.

That said, my mini awards from today's first hand viewing and handling of the WellieWisher dolls and accessories:

Best Hair - Camille has terrific hair that will likely hold up the best over time followed by Ashlyn (the straight haired wigs). I could flip and twist her hair and it would fall back into place in a perfect cascade.

Best Meet - Kendall has the cutest meet outfit! Her skirt has the perfect flair and the colors and prints are precious.

Best Winsome Smile - Kendall and Camille have the best expressions when viewed in person (but they are all cute).

Best Extra Outfit - The Enchanted Garden PJs are adorable in person and are made of a lovely material and the slippers are soft and "real" and not plastic blobs. I thought I would prefer the Showtime Ballet Costume, but the cheap crinkle of the dress and blob plastic shoes were disappointing, though the outfit is fine for creative play.

Best Accessories - Kendall's Make-It-Great Play Set and Willa's Nature Explorer Set. I want these even though I don't have a WW doll. I wish they made these in the 18" size.

Best Crossover Accessory - Carrot and Hutch. The bunny is soft and plush and would work perfect in any of the 18" doll worlds as a small or young rabbit. Additionally, the hutch crosses over nicely into the Truly Me world.

Best Rubber Chicken - Poor Emerson did not officially win an award today since in-store I was not drawn to her even though in the catalog pictures she is my favorite. However, her rubber chicken is hysterical (and petite!) in person.

Extras of Note - The Playhouse looks like a lot of fun but many of the pieces are very obviously plastic. If I were five years old I would want it. In fact, if I were five years old, I would want it all. If you have a pre-schooler or young-schooler, enter the American Girl Place store with extreme caution.

Will I ever bring home a WellieWisher? It is possible, but I am in a wait-and-see mode for now. Namely, I am waiting to see what comes out this fall for new rumored clothing and accessories for the the 18" doll lines--holiday dresses, a modern kitchen, a 1950s pink refrigerator, new outfits for Josefina and more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Etsy Corner: Vintage Blue Polka Dot Dress

We are deep in summer and it is time for a breezy dress review from the Etsy Corner! Poppet Gjertrud (classic Kit) and her puppy Baldur model today's lovely dress.

Gjertrud is wearing a dress from Katherine's Creations (KGabor19 on Etsy or KatherinesCreations on Instagram).

The vintage style dress by Katherine's Creations features flutter sleeves and an a-line skirt. The fabric is 100% cotton with a perfectly scaled navy and white polka dot pattern. Gjertrud has paired the dress with navy shoes from AG Coconut Fun Outfit and a red bow barrette from Kit's Hairstyling Set.

The back of the dress closes with two hand-sewn snaps and also has a fabric sash that ties in the back for a perfect custom fit.

Based on this single purchase from Katherine's Creations, I heartily recommend her artistry and craftsmanship. The cut, the fit, the seams, the hems are all perfect.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Preview Peeks: Pink and Teal Salon

More catalog stock images of future fun!

Revamped salon goodies include a new hearts and bow wrap.

The new salon chair is a cheery berry pink, but it seems even more plastic based than the previous salon chair.

And finally the salon accessories station filled with hair accessories.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Holiday 2016 Preview: Sequined Gold Dress

More sparkle for the 2016 holidays?

The gold sequined dress looks to be paired with glittery gold shoes. (Some have pointed out that this is a short dress and wonder if it is more of a tunic top to be paired with leggings or shorts.)

I have to admit, I am not yet tired of the sequined material in various color schemes as it is so so so well made. This sequined fabric first showed up in GOTY Isabelle's clothing line in her dance skirt and then later in a blue holiday dress.

This kind of glittery gold shoe can be paired with many other dresses and outfits and I love the versatility of this dressy shoe. I am glad there are no bows or colored faux rhinestones that would make this shoe stuck with coordinating only with the original outfit.

Holiday 2016 looks to be quite the bash! I can't wait!

Friday, July 1, 2016

What's Cooking?

AG's new kitchen (full kitchen scene here) is worthy of a closer look!

So many drawers and doors that open and close! Oven door and doors below the oven open and close. The light blue cabinetry to the left of the oven looks to have a drawer and door as well. The mini fridge under the counter opens as well as the cabinetry above the mini fridge.

But check out the pull-out pet food drawer on the lower right! And a bell for a hungry pup or kitten to order up!

Other parts that look like they have moving parts are the recipe box with integrated lid, the flexible hose on the sprayer for the sink, the toaster (pop that toast!) and the waffle maker can be loaded with a heart waffle.

Check out the cute heart shaped waffle. And no detail is overlooked, even the melon-pink trash can has a cute impression on its side.

And what about the breakfast scene? Will the waffle maker, heart waffles, and maple syrup dispenser be part of a breakfast set? It seems a breakfast set would include the cups, plates, forks, berry colored napkins, the clear orange juice pitcher and the large white pitcher--and the waffle supplies. Love that little maple syrup dispenser on the table!

Holiday 2016 Preview: Cranberry Velvet Dress

Could this cranberry dress be one of the holiday hits this coming winter?

The sleeveless dress appears to be constructed of a faux "burnout velvet" fabric and features a slim ribbon with faux rhinestone gems at the waistline.  The bodice and skirt is lined but the yolk and shoulders appear to left unlined to highlight the sheer pattern of the burnout velvet design. The dress has a metal American Girl vanity tag at the hem.

The outfit will likely be accompanied by these shiny faux black patent leather shoes that feature a scalloped edge and coordinating faux rhinestone gems.

The ensemble may include a coordinating faux patent leather purse on a metal chain and a cranberry headband, both with matching faux rhinestone gems.

This is my favorite peek at a possible holiday dress. Looks like a busy holiday release is in the works!