Monday, July 29, 2013

My American Girl #29

I bought my very first American Girl doll at the beginning of the month when I visited the amazing American Girl store in Natick, Massachusetts--near Boston.  I went to the store with every intention of purchasing the historical girl, Rebecca, but the overwhelming array of options scrambled my brain and then led me to My American Girl #29.

The first order of business was that this doll needed a suitable name--something other than Number 29.  I love naming things, but can get hung up on the process because I need to pick a name that is just right.  I have been this way ever since I was a kid.  As a brief aside, if you like names as much as I do, check out the unbeatable Baby Name Wizard site, created by an incredibly neat friend of mine.  Anyway--I didn't need the Baby Name Wizard for this doll because I had Andrea.  Thank you, Andrea (and everyone else who had great name suggestions!) for helping me name Miss Keira:

American Girl #29
My American Girl #29
Keira Sofia

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The American Girl Science Lab Set

The first thing I put in my shopping bag at the American Girl store in Boston was the Science Lab set.  Many of the accessory sets in the store tempted me--including the amazing Campus Snack Cart and Julie's Sound Accessories, but this was the set I wanted the most.  I was drawn to this set in general because I love science, but I also think it has a lot of neat pieces, including a microscope and a mini text book with actual printed words:

American Girl Science Lab
Our Generation Charlotte reading the American Girl science textbook.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pinkie Cooper by The Bridge Direct

Pinkie Cooper is a line of new 9-inch fashion dolls invented by Carter Bryant and his sister Anjanette Abell.  The line is distributed by The Bridge Direct.  Mr. Bryant is also the designer of the popular Bratz line, so the release of these dolls has been highly anticipated.  I first heard about Pinkie from my friend Lily back in February.  She sent me pictures of the Toy Fair display and I was intrigued.  The thing about Pinkie and her friends is that they have dog heads.  Not only that--they have English toy spaniel heads.  The English toy spaniel is a dog breed that can look ridiculously adorable, but also quite grouchy.  Turning this breed into a cute, friendly-looking fashion doll can not have been an easy task.  I think Mr. Bryant and Ms. Abell rose to the challenge, though.

Meet Pinkie Cooper:

Pinkie Cooper doll
Pinkie Cooper by The Bridge Direct.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fianna Fins...Finally!

I'll try to keep this quick because I have already reviewed Meygana Broomstick from the Bratzillaz Midnight Beach collection.  At the end of that review, my feeling was that while I wasn't too interested in getting any of the other main characters in creepy glow-in-the-dark alien-green, if I ever saw Fianna Fins, I might consider getting her.  Well, that review was back in December, and I haven't seen a single Fianna in stores until now.  That's a long time to wait, but this is actually a great time to buy Fianna.  All of the Bratzillaz are on sale at Target.  Last week the sale price for the Midnight Beach dolls was $10.48, now they're just over $7.  In fact, Bratzillaz dolls seem to be on clearance at many of the local stores, making me wonder about the future success of this line.

Bratzillaz Fianna Fins
Bratzillaz Fianna Fins and Ripple.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ever After High "Apple White" by Mattel

I don't like to be too repetitive, but ever since AJ's wonderful guest review of Madeline Hatter, I have been even more excited to get a look at my favorite of the first four Ever After High dolls, Apple White.  *Update: on the topic of repetition, I want to insert this link (and this one) to the Fairy Tale High dolls from Toy Fair that I didn't know anything about but Quiche mentioned in the comments section.  The pictures of these dolls provide an interesting contrast to what Mattel has produced with the Ever After High line.

While I was in Boston visiting the American Girl store, I took a few minutes to pop into the Natick Mall to see if they had a Justice store.  Sure enough, there was a Justice (and just about every other store on the planet) and several of the Ever After girls were in stock.  There's something funny going on with the prices of these dolls, though, because they're marked $36 (which can't possibly be the normal retail price...) but everything in Justice is 40% right now, so the price ends up being around $21, which is perfectly reasonable.  I assume and hope that when these dolls appear in other stores, they will cost $20.

Ever After High Apple White
Ever After High doll, "Apple White."

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The American Girl Store in Boston

It has always been my plan to visit the American Girl store in Manhattan.  My mom lives in Manhattan, and I figured that the Big Apple would have a pretty great example of the American Girl shopping experience.  What I failed to notice, though, is that there's a big American Girl store in Boston, and Boston is 2 hours away from where I live in Maine.  So, this week I decided to hop in the car, go see what American Girl is all about, and finally purchase my first American Girl doll.  Many of the other dolls I have reviewed (Carpatina, Princess & Me, Our Generation, Karito Kids, Hearts 4 Hearts, My Twinn) beg a comparison to American Girl, which is a hard thing for me to do without ever having spent any time with an actual American Girl doll in my hands.  Besides, I'll admit it, there's a part of me that has always wanted to go to one of the American Girl stores and get one of those awesome big red bags.

Thanks to your help in my poll, I went to the store determined to purchase Rebecca.  I'll say right up front that the experience was nothing like I imagined it would be, and I did not end up buying Rebecca...or at least not in the way I thought I would.  Apologies up front about that.  Let me tell you about my experience at the store, show you some of my favorite items, and explain why I came home with a different doll (and a few other goodies).

American Girl Boston
The American Girl store in Natick, MA.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ever After High "Madeline Hatter" by Mattel: A Guest Review!

It is very exciting to see the new doll lines hitting the shelves so early in the summer!  Ever After High dolls are already in stock at some Justice stores (not here in Maine quite yet...) and the Pinkie Cooper line seems to have made its debut in Great Britain.  I have dolls from both of these lines on their way to me (she says, pacing in front of the mailbox...), but in the meantime, I am super-lucky that a fellow blogger has offered to share her impressions of Madeline Hatter (a Rebel) with all of us.  I will step in and represent the Royals after I have a closer look at Apple White next week (Update: here's the review!).  For now, though, I am absolutely delighted to introduce my guest reviewer, AJ, and her gorgeous Maddie Hatter:
Ever After High Madeline Hatter.
Now, I will turn the rest of this post over to AJ.  Take it away, girl!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Monster High 13 Wishes "Haunt the Casbah" Clawdeen Wolf

After a long dry spell in doll releases, there were a ton of new Monster High dolls at Toys R Us last week.  Many of the 13 Wishes dolls were in stock, as were the Ghoulia/Cleo and Heath/Abbey two-pack sets.  My first instinct was to grab 13 Wishes Lagoona (because of her bright yellow hair, and because she comes with Neptuna in a purse-bowl) and Twyla (because she's a new character with the shorter body mold).  But then I put Twyla back because I don't really think she's very interesting and I'm not wild about her face.  I grabbed Ghoulia's two-pack because of that periodic table dress.  Eeep!  That is the best piece of Monster High clothing I have ever seen.  I eventually put that set back, too, though, because while the dress is amazing, the dolls don't look that different from dolls I already have.  The Heath and Abbey set was tempting because Heath is a new character (and a guy) and I don't have an Abbey doll out of her box yet, but Heath looks a little plain to me.  He doesn't have a lot of detail in his face or hair.  The deluxe 13 Wishes characters (Draculara, Frankie and Clawdeen) appeared to be the most interesting of all the new dolls, and among these three beauties, I find Clawdeen to be the prettiest.  I think Clawdeen is simply my favorite character--she always stands out to me with her dark skin and elegantly threatening claws.

Monster High Clawdeen
13 Wishes Clawdeen Wolf, $29.99 at Toys R Us.