Thursday, February 16, 2017

All the AG drama-an opinionated post!

Hey guys,
Thank you so much for your feedback already regarding my last post about what you would like to see on my blog!  I'm finding it so helpful and I'll share the results with you later this week. :)
Someone who commented said that they enjoyed reading different opinions about doll lines or new stuff in general, which was really cool because I have never done an info or opinionated post before.
I figured with all of this American Girl drama centered around the recent controversy that is surrounding this brand, this would be a good place to start.

There are a couple of different topics that I wanted to share my thoughts about, but we'll start with Gabriela McBride, the 2017 Girl of the Year (who's around longer than just the year.)

GABRIELA MCBRIDE
As for Gabby's release, I'm a bit underwhelmed by her story and collection.  The doll itself is gorgeous.  The fact that she's basically a reissued Truly Me doll, though is pretty disappointing.  They could've added freckles or a beauty mark or maybe changed her hair parting, or something to make her a little more unique and special.



Gabby McBride 

They also could've given her a more interesting story-line, in my opinion, but I do have to remember that these are made for younger girls so I understand that it's always going to be watered down and generalized in a way that would appeal more for an 8 year old.

It would've been great though, to see her interested in health, or teaching, or something to do with a traditional male dominated profession (like IT or criminal justice.) Getting girls into science, engineering or computer programming seems to be all the rage right now.  Oh well, gotta do what sells and little girls love dance stuff.

To me, at this point, I'm not sure what the different is between the GOTY and the Contemporary Line.  I am pretty bothered by the fact that they couldn't give Gabby more time in the spotlight.  Having the very first doll of color as the GOTY is a very big deal and should've been handled a bit more respectfully.

To plan a release of a new contemporary doll only a month after Gabby's debut feels like a big old slap in the face.
I don't know why I am so bothered by it, but I just am.
Tenney feels more involved and put together and feels like more thought was put into her design, her collection and her stories and I believe they are also making a movie. (Which they are not for Gabby.)
And to put a cherry on top, they also released a boy doll, which doubly steals the spotlight.

Logan Everett

I do agree that it's great to have listened to customers and finally come out with a boy doll and I think it's great that little boys that want an AG doll now have an option, but again, it feels like a slap in the face. Again, it's just the timing that bothers me.

I personally am not a fan of boy dolls in this doll scale, but maybe it's because I have seen too many Instagram posts of custom AG boys with their little AG doll girlfriends and it sort of creeps me out because they all look like toddlers. ;)
I think they did a nice job on the design, but I sort of wish they had used a Jess mold or Marie Grace rather than Kaya's mold as I thought that mold was supposed to be special for only her.

Poor Gabby.  I definitely want to get her regardless, because I feel she marks AG history and that she is a very important doll, at least in my heart.
I will probably only get her PJs due to budget reason, although the poetry and dance theme just isn't really my thing anyway.  She's a gorgeous doll and I don't have any like her yet in my collection so I do hope to add her some day!

TENNEY GRANT:
Here are my thoughts on Tenney apart from my overall opinion of AG's poor timing to releases her.



She's pretty cute, but she sort of looks like Caroline with a side part and brown eyes.  I'm not the hugest fan of the freckle design, but I do appreciate that they tried a new design and put the freckles on a doll other than a redhead.
Her meet outfit is pretty nice and her overall outfit collection is really, really cute.
I showed her to Pumpkin Pie (who will turn 8 in June) and she LOVED all of it.  She loved the doll and she said her favorite thing about her was her hair.  AG definitely knows what they are doing in terms of designing these dolls for young girls. She loved every outfit, the stage, the PJs, everything.  Genuis designing on AG's part.

Probably MY favorite part of her collection is her banjo.  I love miniature instruments!
Most likely I will not be getting this doll for my collection as I already have Caroline and she looks too similar for me to warrant getting Tenney.  Pumpkin Pie has already asked for her for her birthday so we'll see what happens between now and then.
I can't help it, but I think they did a great job with this doll and her entire collection.
Again, I just don't like how they timed it!!

FELICITY MERRIMAN (BEFOREVER VERSION) :


I like the original version better.
Maybe someday I'll find her at a good price.  Just not interested in the newer one at this time, but her book art is so cute.




NANEA MITCHELL:
I don't want to spend too much time talking about her since we don't know a lot yet, but she is set in Hawaii during World War II and I LOVE HER.  I LOVE HER.  I LOVE HER. It sounds like she will be set to release some time this fall.
I think she's totally adorable and I love the concept. Look at those high-waisted nautical shorts!
She looks like a big Wellie Wisher and I have no problem with that.  She's just so cute.



PERMAPANTIES:


I know most of you are aware of AG's decision to start releasing Truly Me dolls, Contemporary characters and some select BeForever dolls (Julie, Melody and Mary Ellen) with sewn on underwear that is not removable and to be honest, I wasn't too bothered by it at first.  I've only been collecting AG dolls since 2015 so I don't have a huge history with this company so from a "change" perspective, it wasn't that big of a deal to me. I would prefer the regular bodies, but it wasn't a deal breaker.
My main issue now is just the overall way AG has handled this information release as well as how they are dealing with feedback.
Basically their reasoning for changing to this new style is so the panties don't get lost during play.
Like, what????  Are you serious??
That is the lamest reason!  If they would be up front and honest, that it was due to cost or they needed to redesign the bodies in regards to certain copyright issues with Pleasant Company, I'd be ok with that.
My other concern is the fact that they block and ban people that express opinions that they don't agree with from their Facebook info page.  I get it if people are being downright nasty or profane, but I don't think that is always the case. If I hung up on every person that had an opinion at MY job, I'd be fired.  They should be taking this feedback and really considering if these proposed changes are worth it.
It makes me sad the way the company has changed in quality and integrity.  Even sadder that despite this, their items become more and more expensive.
Thank goodness for Our Generation and their amazingly cute and well priced clothes and accessories! I'm glad that there are other options in this play scale.

It's just never going to be the same American Girl that I used to droll over as a preteen in the 90s and I guess that's that.

I think American Girl has marketed these changes brilliantly to coincide with their new releases. They sort of dropped this "permapanty" bomb on everyone, but then quickly distracted us with the colorful and shiny new release of several amazing new dolls and items.

Besides the new dolls, the most attractive things to me are the new items they added to the BeForever Line.  I don't have a Kit doll, but her collection is very cute and you guys know I love my Julie and the 70s in general. :)
These in particular are at the top my wish list:
Julie's Bastketball Outfit
Julie's Peasant Top Outfit
Julie's Bathroom (my grandmother had a pink toliet and sink)
Mary Ellen's Flamingo Swimsuit

At this point in time, I have one last AG order on the way (I finally ordered Addy and her accessories last week!).
As much as I like a lot of their products and want to collect it all, I'm not sure if I want to support buying from this company right at this particular moment due to some of these drastic changes and the downright disappointment with some of their decisions.  I may change my mind down the road, but for now, I'd rather just get my items from eBay or support people that make handmade clothing (or *gasp* actually try to make my own!)

Plus, I need to be saving my money and AG stuff is expensive, haha!

What do you guys think about all of this drama?  No big deal?  Are you ok with the changes and the way they handled all of these new releases?  Just curious to hear your thoughts.
Have a good week!

xo Farrah





24 comments:

  1. Hi Farrah! I'm not into American Girls and I don't know much about them, but sewing the panties not to loose them.... then Barbies should come with molded shoes! Also, not listening to the customers is the worst thing a company can do. I also think is a good thing that companies are giving girl characters not so traditionaly girly hobbies such as coding or judo. Not that girly hobbies such as dancing are a bad thing, but diversity is welcome.
    Loved your post, good to learn something about a company I don't know much about.

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    1. Good point about the Barbies! Yeah, and with listening to their customers, it just doesn't seem like it will matter what people say. It's an "it is what it is" situation I feel at this point, and the only thing you can really do is just not support their products anymore. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and for the idea to try out some doll opinion posts!! :) xo

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  2. You already know some of my opinions on this whole fiasco, but I agree with you completely on Gabby, she was robbed!!! I have been annoyed with her collection since it came out. Not only is it lacking, but the reviews aren't very good on the overall quality.

    And Logan...reusing the Kaya mold has bothered me since I saw it. After all of the research they did on that mold, to reuse it in this way is just wrong. Why couldn't they have used the Jess mold? Or make Tenney from a different mold and use the classic mold for him?

    So many missteps lately, I really wonder about the direction they are going. And now they won't even answer questions about Nanea's eyes!

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    1. Totally agree, Flo, and I appreciate all that you've written on the topic! I didn't even know there was a problem with Nanea's eyes...is it because they didn't make them brown?

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    2. There have been a lot of people questioning as to if they are going to be sleep eyes. I think the concern is because her face looks so much like a Wellie Wisher, plus the photos released so far really don't show eyelashes and such very clearly. There have been quite a few people who have asked on social media, but they give some canned answer that the information isn't available. What?! They created the doll, and even they don't know?

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    3. Ah, ok that makes sense. Yeah, I totally agree with you...if they are going to throw and image out there of a new doll, they should have more info about her!

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  3. Hello Farrah,
    Great post. Those are some great dolls and I must agree the permapanties sound like a money saving option. I must say I am happy about the boy doll. As fatherhood might be in my near future, we don't want out child to be trained that some toys are for girls and some are for boys. I think quality boy dolls big enough to play with will be great if we have a son.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. I totally agree, Giac! I love that boys now have an option to pick out a doll to play with. When I was little and Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage, there were definitely boys in my age group that had little Cabbage Patch boy dolls and baby boys to play with and it was so fun! I saw a video someone made on Youtube fo the LA store release and there was this cute little walking around with his new Logan and it's awesome. I think dolls are for everyone and they encourage that care-giving, loving play that boys can sometimes be robbed of by gender-assigned brands.
      I hope you guys are doing well with the adoption process..I know it can be quite lengthy and stressful. xo

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  4. Hi! I enjoyed this post- lots of info along with your opinions. I agree with you about the poor timing. It's a shame. Still, my oldest daughter will get a Gabby doll before the year is out. I'm not a fan of boy dolls in this size either for some reason.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Jewel! We will definitely be getting Gabby as well. I'm glad you share my thoughts about the boy dolls in this scale. I'm not sure why they don't really appeal to me either. I am so glad they have one now though for all the people that wanted them!

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  5. Did you read the article in USA Today regarding the boy doll? A minister in North Carolina has comeout and slammed AG for introducing the doll. He had this to say: "This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to emasculate little boys and confuse their role to become men".`I was outraged by his comments and don't even know where to begin. Whether or not you like this particular boy doll, is not an issue, but saying that boys playing with dolls or having boy dolls will emasculated and confuse them about their roles as men is just crazy! http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/15/nc-minister-enraged-after-american-girl-introduces-boy-doll/97953416/.

    BTW, Farrah, I don't collect this size doll but I did enjoy reading your review. I do like boy dolls and I think they are good for both girls and boys to play with for a variety of reasons. I don't like the perma panties and photos I have seen of some of them are just weird. I think the photos of these dolls are all adorable. I like Tenney, Logan and Nanea the best!

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    1. Hi Phyllis!
      No, I didn't hear of that article until you posted it here! Closed minded people like that make me so angry. It's all fear-based thinking and it's really sad how someone who is acting as "a middle man for God" would speak out in such a hateful way about boys wanting to play with dolls. To me, if anything, it teaches boys to be nurturing and creative and in the long run, making them more compassionate fathers or partners. What he's basically say in so many words is "dolls will turn boys gay" and that is both homophobic and not true. That's like saying don't let girls build with Legos or play with cars because then they won't "act like girls" anymore. I feel like everyone is free to like dolls if they want and I just can't tolerate that sort of ignorance. I'm getting the sense that you agree!
      Thanks for the heads up about the article...it's truly shocking to me that people still think like this, and especially scary that he is teaching a whole congregation of adults and kids to think the same. :( I am all for Logan! Yay for boys that play with dolls, or the hashtags on Instagram that I love: #dudeswithdolls and #dadswhoplaywithdolls :):):) I have a new nephew that is due to be born in a few weeks and he will definitely be getting a doll or two from me in his lifetime! ;)

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    2. I think the most ridiculous part of that minister's complaint is his bit about boys playing with baby dolls since the new doll isn't a baby doll, and AG has been selling both boy baby dolls for years with their Bitty Baby and Bitty Twin lines!

      Maybe I'm cynical, but I suspect he just wanted to advertise his ministry by stirring up some media attention...

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    3. I was thinking the same thing!!

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  6. I'm not into AG dolls but do like to read and see photos of them. I really like the little Gabby, the boy and the Hawaiian girl, she's gorgeous and yes, just like a bigger Wellie Wisher! But I agree on the sewn on knickers, what are they thinking? Taking the dolls clothes off is all part of dolly play, and that includes the underwear, I just don't believe it's in case they get lost. I did wonder if it's this 'dumbing down' thing that seems to be so common nowadays! I did also read that another opinion is that it's to make little girls think that it's just 'not right' for them to take their underwear off like this....I really don't know if that's their thinking but if it is then well, just WOW!
    Big hugs x

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    1. Hi Sharon!
      Yes, I read the same opinion about the modesty thing and that is sooo ridiculous! There aren't even "body parts" on these dolls, lol. I think part of the fun of doll play is changing their outfits and I know my girls think it's fun when you have every layer of clothing to choose from. It's like making baby dolls with build in diapers...where's the fun in that?? Still just shaking my head, over here over it all.
      Hugs back!

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  7. I got into AG when I was 7, got my first doll (Addy) when I was 9. And my last doll (Kanani) when I was 11, I collected other AG items until I was about 13. I still look at their magazines and website sometimes but I stopped buying AG awhile ago, it's sad because AG was probably one of the best parts of my day, and I would play with my sisters who also had AG dolls.
    Now the quality and prices are terrible (I'm a sucker for good quality :)So I collect 1:6 scale dolls like Azone pureneemo which are about the same price as AG if not more but the quality and durability are so worth it :)
    Sorry this comment was so long :)

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    1. Aww, you have such nice memories of your AG dolls! Yeah, their quality in accessories has gone down so much in the past years compared to what it used to be. Some of those old furniture items were so good! Now so much is plastic. That is great that you have found a new thing to collect! This is the first time in my life that I have collected AG so I'm sort of sad that I missed out on all the past good stuff. :) I have never heard of Azone pureneemo dolls so I will have to look that up!

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  8. I really like the look of Nanea, and I love that they're willing to do a different take on a WWII experience rather than just re-releasing Molly.

    As for the permanent underwear drama, I'm a little baffled by outrage over it it. The rumour I'd read first (on one of the AG message boards) suggested it's a way to change the construction just enough to avoid continuing paying royalties to Gotz. I have no idea if that's true though.
    It doesn't change the shape of the doll (I know there were photos of one that was lumpy, but it seems like that was just a one-off factory defect). It would be different if this were a line of anatomically correct dolls, but since they're not it doesn't strike me as being such a huge change. Although it does seem funny since it happened just after they announced the release of the fancy toilet/bath set for Julie!

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    1. Hahaha, that is so funny about the timing with the Julie bathroom. So funny! :)

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  9. I'm not into AG dolls but do like to read about other dolls that I don't have as well as see photos of them. I like the look of most of the dolls you have shown, I guess the teeth sort of won me over. :) The little boy is very cute and I must agree with Giac here, it's good to have both dolls.

    As far as the nickers go, what doll want's to wear the same pair for all their life??? How dumb not to have removable underwear! I'm of the ol' school where if something isn't broke, don't try to fix it!!
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. I totally agree, X! I'm really not sure what that "real" reason for the underwear debacle as there couldn't have been THAT many parents that complained that the underwear was getting lost. It has to be a money thing! Oh and about those, little teeth...I used to really not like that feature of the AG doll, but it has grown on me. :)
      Hugs back!

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  10. I'm only just catching up with all the American Girl news. I really like Logan and I think there has been demand for a boy doll for a while. Nanea looks interesting too. But I'm really not sure about the permapanties. Mattel seem to have a thing about making parts of outfits permanent - like plastic bodices on Barbie and coloured plastic stockings on various dolls. What worries me about the pants is the patterns they may use (as in your third doll pants picture above). I wonder if they will sometimes show through lighter coloured clothing.

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    1. Yes, good point about Mattel! They seem to be holding this trend across all of their doll lines right now! I guess we will just have to wait to see the dolls in person to make a true judgement and see how functional they are. :)

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