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.


  1. A pink fridge?!! I would definitely buy a pink fridge! Thanks for your opinions about the Wellie Wishers...I tend to agree with your thoughts. That being said, my 6 year old LOVES the Wellies and all their accessories.:)

    1. I think if I had a young one still at home or was a grandmother of a young one, I would find it fairly easy to think of buying a little Camille or other WW for gifting to them. The issue remains for me, though, that once you buy a new doll (especially in a new size or line) it becomes a gateway to all the other outfits and accessories! (And yes, I am dying to see the pink fridge!)

  2. Very nice review. I didn't realize the body and such were not like the 18" crew. That does make a difference in my book.

    I have to agree to disagree with you regarding the best meet outfit. I think that has to be Willa. All those super cute hedgehogs. But then I collect stuffed hedgehogs. ;-) If you could get the meet outfits separately that would be fun.

    1. Willa is super cute and if I take the social forum activity as any indication, she is definitely one of the early popular picks. I love Willa's skirt and I also wish one could buy the meet outfits separately. :)