Thursday, August 31, 2017

A New Poppet for Poppets & Posies!

What an exciting August of debuts, premieres and launches! The new Create Your Own line of poppets with over a million different combinations, the astounding BeForever poppet debut of Nanea Mitchell and her huge collection of Hawaiian-themed outfits and accessories, and of course so many amazing new outfits for both BeForever poppets and TrulyMe poppets.

So what did Poppets & Posies choose with this bonanza of new offerings by American Girl?

We searched on the secondary market to bring home a TrulyMe poppet with the old torso style. Look at those gorgeous blue eyes!

This TM 65 was offered on the secondary market new-in-box with the old "activity card set" style box. TM 65 doll first debuted in 2016 but I figured the best way to make sure to not run into perma-panties or deal with the need for a possible body swap (offered free by AG doll hospital) was to look secondary market--and I found this lovely new-in-box poppet a bit under retail even with shipping.

I did give her a very slight trim straight out of the box, between 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch around the bottom to even out the sides and better blunt the edges.

I couldn't keep her in the old Lilac Dress meet so as soon as I knew TM 65 was on her way I had gone to AG to shop for something cute for her to wear.

I really did feel like the outfit below was perfect for TM 65 and AG probably feels the same since they use another redheaded poppet model for the outfit on their website. Shopping made easy!

Peplum Top is gorgeous in person and gets an A+. The Tweed Shorts and the Tights & Leggings Set are solid and serviceable for a B+ grade, but the boots took real grit and determination to slide onto the poppet's feet--I was about 30 seconds away from completely giving up and tossing them away in frustration. I give the Ankle Boots a C.

I love the overall look of the outfit in spite of the $46 total price for all the separates, because well, look at her!

Welcome Ginevra Rose!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Nanea: The Kanani Killer?

A side-by-side of Nanea and Kanani really brings up a lot of questions about the future of AG poppets, past and present.

Photo by Emily Chanel

One thing I have noticed in all the Nanea and poppet friends photos I have seen online is how much Nanea's eyes pop in comparison to older dolls. Nanea's face is lively and Disney-esque with her huge saucer eyes while her friends seem a bit sleepy and dated in direct comparison.

In the photo above Nanea looks like she just downed three shots of espresso and is about to bust out in song (with full orchestra accompaniment) vs Kanani's quite serene expression.

Until recently, Kanani has been the ultimate rare and sought after doll bringing the highest prices on the secondary market (other than super rare white body Pleasant Company dolls). At one time Kanani could command $300 - $500, but since the announcement and photo leaks of Nanea in February, Kanani has cooled into the $150 range.

Is Nanea the ultimate"Kanani Killer?" Certainly the Hawaiian themes are the same. Or is there a bigger issue looming--will Nanea have the effect of making all of AG dolls from the past 30 years suddenly appear old and dated?

The Nanea mold is not simply just a new face mold--it has been designed significantly different as to be a break from the prior molds. Her bigger eyes are in part a result from her face mold being a bit more flat in profile and thus her eyes be less in shadow. More of the whites of the eyes are left visible and she also has extra painted lashes for added pop. Her prominent forehead also sets her eyes out and gives her a much younger appearance.

The Nanea mold is very similar to the WellieWishers mold--also cute--but also featuring the extra large eyes.

We know from looking to the world of consumer goods, fashion, cars, electronics--the way to get people to buy anew is to tweak the design to make last year's (or last month's!) model look super dated. Is this the new marketing strategy for AG?

Will we see more Nanea-like molds in the line ups to come? Or other bold changes intended to make pre-2017 dolls seem old and dated? Is AG specifically hoping to drive consumers toward snapping up AG's newest doll offerings vs shopping on the secondary market for AG dolls of the past?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Nanea's Rewards Collection

Gold and Berry Members can order online or go to the store and purchase this bundle today!

Shipping seems to be delayed until August 4th, so in store may yield quicker results, especially after considering how slow AG shipping tends to be!

My quick review based on stock images and a series of video reviews (already!) on Instagram by a fleet footed fan:

Overall the items in her Rewards Collection are colorful, thoughtful and unique. Her color scheme of various shades of reds plus white and blue does not come off as too kitschy like her contemporary (retired) counterpoint Molly, who's unrelenting red-white-and-blue was a bit off putting--you were needed to love patriotic red or go home.

The down side so far is a lot of poly or poly-blends in her collection. I prefer more cotton than poly for these tiny outfits even if it is not necessarily inaccurate to use poly-blends. Poly blends don't always look or feel as nice in hand. I also worry about her panties or pajamas snagging--here we will have to wait and see.

So a peek at Nanea!

Nanea looks great. Overall, no major gripe on doll, new face mold, wig, or outfit. I will note that I am not sure if I love her eye paint, but mostly because it seems like it would rub off easy. I also have a sneaking suspicion it is a cost savings to paint the notches vs the actual cut notches (like revised #54 or Z) while also making the mold more versatile--a future doll could use the Nanea mold without the painted side notches for a different look.

Nanea does come with removable panties! They are white, silky poly-blend in a boxer-shorts like style.

Her accessories are cute if not terribly exciting.

I want the paper money and letter but the rest is a skip. But since (so far) I have no plans to bring home the doll itself the accessories are not a big draw for me.

Still, so far, the pajamas are my favorite because of the darling cut and print.

Shoes? Where are her shoes? I understand Nanea lives in tropical Hawaaii, but it feels like AG is looking for every opportunity to skip shoes for Nanea as a cost cutting measure. Namely, her pajamas come with no slippers, no hair piece, or some other object in lieu of a shoe.

However, in spite of all the short comings I will probably end up with the pajamas.

The hulu outfit is nice--nicer than Molly's costume. But it has me wistful for Kanani's modern counterpoint in purple.

The dog, Mele, will definitely come home with us.

Who and what will be coming home with you??

Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: AG & "Artfully Inspired" by Maplelea

Character development of Z is taking a whole new direction and it includes our first outfit from Maplelea!

The Artfully Inspired outfit comes with a pink asymmetrical top, purple leggings and a yellow infinity scarf in a light waffle weave fabric. The top has a velcro back closing and the infinity scarf also has a velcro closure. The outfit does not come with shoes, and considering the fit of Maplelea clothing and shoes on American Girl dolls is not always assured, I was happy to pair this outfit with AG shoes (see below).

The Maplelea top and leggings are a light stretch knit and fit snuggly but not too tight on our AG poppet. Maplelea dolls are a smidgen taller and a smidgen more slender, but this outfit works.

Very cute Inuit themed decals as a decorative trim.

Z paired this outfit with the hiking boots from a retired TM Hiking Outfit.

Overall, I really like the outfit. Terrific colors, darling Inuit details love the yellow stitching, soft fabric. I am not sure how sturdy the outfit would be for a lot of play, but for display dolls it is terrific.

Since Maplelea is a Canadian company, the downside is price can be expensive with shipping. Some Maplelea outfits are available from Amazon, which can save on shipping, but this outfit I bought straight from the Canadian site since it was not yet available at the time via Amazon. Plus, it does not come with shoes for the price.

Overall grade is B+ but with many hearts!

Can you guess where poppet Z's story is going? She will be receiving a whole new non-canon name, background, wardrobe and story.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stars and Moons! Seeking Luciana

Who is Luciana? Where is she from? What will be her themes, stories, and adventures? Her wardrobe and accessories?

Could this tee be for Luciana?

Photocredit @butik_boneka_andfir

In favor for it being Luciana's tee is that the building facades look like the old style "Spanish" facades from places like San Antonio. The stars, while an American Girl nod to their own logo, also point toward this tee depicting Texas which often uses the star in its logos and themes.

Two big states for space industry are Florida and Texas, but considering we recently have Maryellen from Florida, having Luciana's story set in Texas makes a whole lot of sense!

Finally, with a big thank you to "dollsbetweenus"--Luciana is Spanish origin and means "light of the moon." How perfect! It all seems to fit together that perhaps is Luciana is not only of Hispanic and/or Spanish heritage and that she loves space, space travel, astronomy--but that her story takes place in a state where Spanish and Hispanic culture is so integral to its history.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Luciana! Luciana! Luciana! GOTY 2018!

Looks promising!!!

Photocredit @butik_boneka_andfir

Luciana Vega. Space theme. 2018.

The author of the GOTY 2018 books is Erin Teagan, a children's book author who holds a masters degree in science (unspecified) and has worked in a biochemistry lab.

Will AG knock this last GOTY into outer space? Big and bold? I hope so!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tenney's Whole World Collage

Updating Tenney's collage with her new summer release outfit!

Nanea Mini Stock Image

This stock image of Nanea Mini has been floating around forever but I just found it for myself on the AG publisher site. Yay. Now I can add it to Nanea's page (link on top nav bar).

Nanea Play Dress and Music Bag

Busy catching up with all of the images, leaks, and videos featuring Nanea.

From a "Z" video we have these stills of a darling ruffled hem play dress and her pup, Mele.

My current plan is to not get Nanea. I have a gorgeous Kanani doll who does not get much time to shine in our very full poppet house and my thoughts are to pick and choose some of the items from Nanea's collection to fill out Kanani's world. The above dress would be a terrific retro-look for Kanani.

Also in the Z video is a nice clear view of Nanea's woven bag filled with traditional music instruments.

Are you going to get Nanea? Are you already a fan or are you on the fence?

Be sure to also check out the dedicated Nanea page in the top nav bar where all her early peeks are archived in one spot!

Nanea Updates

Nanea will be released soon though it is not clear exactly her debut date. For a short time it was rumored her release would be pushed off until later fall, but now the dates of August 21 or August 24 are most common.

A sneak peek of Nanea's Market was spotted on a Good Morning America segment. Some screen shots!

The screen shots are blurry but what we can make out is the market is bright pink, lime and a burnt orange. It may be a tri-fold construction. It seems to include a cash register.

Like some of the other recent structures (Grand Hotel), the height of the piece is a bit low, barely taller than the doll itself. The saving grace is the Market has a decorative center front piece wall that is taller which helps to add impact, but I really hope AG stops scrimping on structure heights.

My note about the colors. Many will argue that Hawaii buildings are often pink--but I think AG missed out on a chance to make the Market appear like a "real" building with quaint features that just happen to be painted pink. Instead, the Market looks like it lacks details and surface textures and is a bunch of flat, plastic surfaces in bright colors.

It matters to add detailing grooves to the plastic molds to simulate wood, wood joints, nail holes, and other subtle touches to the molds vs just a bunch of flat shiny plastic surfaces. The details make the plastic bearable--for a good example check out the molded details of Tenney's "wooden" floor of her stage:

Unfortunately, so far it looks like the Market is missing these kinds of details. I hope I am wrong!

Sneak peek wise I am disappointed. Too small, too short, too "toy" like in appearance, and probably lacking in subtle details to bring more realism into the set piece.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Whole World $$$ - Gabriela vs Tenney

With the summer release of new items for Gabriela and Tenney how do their Whole World price tags line up? When I looked at all the modern dolls released in 2017 (Contemporary Characters and GOTY) I was surprised...

I thought for sure Tenney'w Whole World would have the largest price tag but Gabriela's world is a bit more expensive. With the addition of Gabriela's Loft, her Chair & Ottoman, and her new Taking Flight Outfit, she takes top spot for the first time this year.

However, if we collapse Logan's world into Tenney's world, Tenney would come out on top.

I have to say, having the largest/most expensive world is not necessarily the best honors--personally I prefer much of Tenney's collection because of the uniqueness of her collection (no rehashed and recolored repeats).

For first time viewers, please note that "Whole World" calculations I use includes the 18" doll and the clothing and accessories made at that scale which the doll itself would be able to wear or use. A second note is since the "Noteable Earring" are used by both Gabriela and Tenney I did not include the price in either column.

Gabriela's new Whole World collage is included below. Will she receive more items before retiring?

And finally an updated GOTY chart. The downward trend is still evident but Gabriela is now in the middle of the pack with her added new items.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Grand "Grand Hotel"?

No real bonanza of photos to share yet but the new rumor is a TrulyMe "Grand Hotel" set piece!

One leaked accessory (which until today I was very puzzled about) that is related to the hotel set seems to be Coconut as a hotel "porter." (Ignore the surf board, lol!)

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Upcoming Winter Fun!?

So much fun--but for the Wellies or the TMs?

The gloves and headband definitely seem TM sized, but scale of the sled is a bit short and narrow. But perhaps it is the snow version of the compact boogie board.

Winter is my favorite season and all the sneak peeks seem to be feature a lot of classics--here again with snowflakes and of course the pop of Christmas reds.

June Tunes: New Items for Tenney and Logan?

Will the summer release on June 22nd feature new outfits for Tenney and Logan?

I have been waiting forever for this sequined dress ensemble.

I like the sharp contrast of the faux velvet red jacket. Mix and match heaven.

The versatility of the red jacket becomes apparent when looking at the cover of Tenney's fourth book (not due out until September 26). Here we see how it can be used as mid-weight outer winter wear. The knit ca and pom are adorable and if AG doesn't make it I may have to search on Etsy for a talented yarnster.

Logan also looks to get a much needed wardrobe change. I love how grown up the outfit it, keeping more with the 14+ crowd.

June is looking good!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Truly Me: A Summertime Splash of Color?

Something new around the corner for the rumored summer release on June 22nd?

This outfit was also spied on AG's Facebook page on Z's classroom 360 degree scene.

It does look like from the many rumors circulating that the summer release will have quite a Truly Me splash--new TM dolls, new TM meet outfit, and of course new TM outfits as well.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Z's Filming Accessories

Action packed accessories in a spiffy orange striped bag!

Z's Filming Accessories feature a colorful backpack, a 35mm camera with strap, a camcorder, a smartphone with three scene cards (double sided), and a tripod that works with all the devices.

I love the backpack! The straps close with velcro but the faux buckles are a terrific detail. The bag is roomy enough to hold all the accessories but the fit is a bit jumbled and snug.

The camcorder flips open to a "blank" screen. The screen cover also flips open to be able to place one of the included three double-sided images inside for a realistic touch. The right side of the camcorder has a generous built in loop that allows for a poppet to hold it easily in hand.

Above is the three cards with images, one of them placed in the camcorder viewer.

The 35mm camera looks great--black instead of teal or some other funky color, lending to its realism. The little plastic "C" shaped pieces on either side of the camera slip over the first finger of the doll hand for ease of holding.

Similar to the camcorder, the back side of the 35mm camera also has the ability to place one of the images in its view screen.

And a cute smart phone! I think it looks most like an iPhone without being an iPhone, lol, perhaps the older and smaller iPhone 5. But the phone shape is generic enough to be a pretend any-brand. (Personally, I think AG should up the size a bit to more resemble a 7 Plus!) An image can also be put behind the clear view screen.

Best of all the case construction of the phone allows for it to be held by the hand.

Lastly is the tripod which can hold the 35mm camera as well as the smartphone. The legs of the tripod are a bit wobbly and annoying to get to spread out evenly, but it can be done. It is hard to describe the type of wobble with the legs, but it is a type of extra looseness that gets exacerbated by some sort of elastic or magnetic joint construction that makes each leg want to independent of the others to slide back to center.

A lot of fun in this accessory pack! The pieces are all very interactive, and for that alone I think this set should earn an A. However, I can't say all the plastic pieces are perfect, in particular the mismatched top plastic seam on the camcorder and the weird wobbly legs of the tripod. Overall, A-.