Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BeForever Mini Doll "Kit" by American Girl

Just a few days shy of a year ago today, I reviewed the mini Rebecca and Kit dolls from American Girl.  Little did I know back then that these dolls would be re-designed and re-released within the year.

At the end of August, American Girl released a re-imagined version of their Historical line called BeForever.  This maneuver seems designed to help modern girls feel more connected to characters from the past.  In the advertising, there's a big emphasis on values that transcend generations.  There are also new collections of girls' clothing that incorporate themes from the historical dolls into modern designs.

What does the BeForever change mean for the actual dolls, though?  In the 18" scale, the new dolls are largely the same as the old Historical collection dolls, with a few noteworthy changes.  First of all, two of the characters (Cécile and Marie-Grace) were discontinued.  Another character (Samantha) was brought back from the archives, and all of the re-released girls got new outfits.  I learned early on from many of you that the new versions of the mini dolls had different face molds and full vinyl bodies, so I was especially interested to see these smaller dolls in person.

I ordered BeForever mini Kit and mini Rebecca because I have the older versions of these dolls on hand for comparison.  I also chose these two because they have different face molds--giving me the chance to see two of the new faces.  Rebecca was backordered (she finally arrived today) but Kit shipped right away and is ready for her review:

BeForever Kit mini
New BeForever mini Kit (with old mini Kit in the background).
Kit's box has the same basic construction as the older mini doll boxes, but it has a larger window on top, and a secondary window near the bottom that makes the book visible.  It also has "Beforever" printed across the front:

American Girl mini Kit

This box has more pink in its design than my older dolls' boxes, but I think mini Saige (from 2013) and mini Isabelle (from 2014) have mostly pink-covered boxes.  


The message on the back of the box is in keeping with the theme of drawing connections between historical characters and contemporary girls:


Here are my two Kit dolls in their boxes so that you can see the differences:


The book is held separate from the doll with a small plastic tray:


This new book has a soft cover and a glue binding.  The cover design is a photograph of Kit near her typewriter.


The older book has a hard cover, a stitched binding, and a dust jacket.  The dust cover and the hard cover have an illustration of Kit standing outside of her house:


There's a big difference in size and quality between these two books.  The new book seems thin and cheap in comparison:


Maybe this is just me, but the shiny photographed cover of the new book is missing the nostalgic charm of the old cover...making it harder for me to imagine going back in time with Kit.


The books contain abridged versions of the same story.  For some reason, I assumed that there would be new stories to go along with the BeForever theme.

Not "good news" if you like quality books.
The interior of the new book doesn't have any illustrations.  It's just plain black and white (and the text is so tiny that it's really hard to read).


Once the paperback book is opened, it won't close completely again.  The pages stay fanned apart.

The old book has one full-page illustration and one half-page illustration, along with tiny pictures adorning many of the margins.  It's also much easier to read.

Illustration from the older book.
So, in this first comparison, the old Kit wins by a landslide.  The original book is a beautifully-bound and illustrated miniature, while the new book is essentially a gimmick.  

Now, let's look at the doll herself:


She comes with plastic wrapped around her waist.  I don't see a clear purpose for this, but it's really easy to get off.


This version of Kit is wearing a teal flower-print sundress that matches the outfit of the new BeForever 18" Kit.

American Girl mini Kit

Right away I can tell that this doll does, indeed, have a brand-new face mold:


Here is my old Kit next to the new Kit.  I will have the original Kit on hand for comparisons throughout the review.

Older Kit (left), BeForever Kit (right).
The new face mold is still clearly recognizable as an American Girl face (in a large part because of the mouth), but several of the features have been changed.  What strikes me right away about these two dolls is that the new Kit has a much higher forehead.  She also has shorter hair, which magnifies her longer face.  The new doll also has wider eyes and lower eyebrows.

Older Kit (left) and BeForever Kit (right). 

Here's the new face up close:

BeForever mini Kit

She's wearing a red plastic barrette that matches the trim on her dress:


This doll has detailed light brown eyebrows with several little twig-shaped hair lines.  Her freckles run along the tops of her cheeks in a fairly even pattern, but the shape of the freckles themselves is not regular.

BeForever Kit.
In contrast, the older Kit has raised eyebrows with uniformly-shaped hair lines.  Her freckles come closer to her eyes and span the bridge of her nose.  I like the new Kit's eyebrows and freckle distribution better.


The new Kit does not have as much detail in her blue irises as the old Kit.  Also, the new doll has regularly-spaced eyelashes, while the older doll has two clusters of eyelashes at either side of her eyes:

Older Kit (left) and BeForever Kit (right). 

The new doll's eyes can look a tad wide and vacant in some pictures, but I don't notice this in real life.

The mouths on these dolls are very similar:

BeForever Kit (notice the paint defect at the corner of this doll's right eye).
Older Kit.
The old Kit has very tightly-rooted hair all around her face.  The new doll's hair is rooted more sparsely. The dolls also have different shades of blonde hair.  The new Kit has more golden blonde hair with highlights, while the older doll's hair is a uniform white-blonde.


I took these pictures a little later on in my review, but wanted to include them here.  This is the old Kit's hair shown from the back:

Older Kit.
She has a tan scalp with even rooting rows.  At the back of her head, she has some marks:

Looks like a genetic code...
 The new doll has less hair in back, and her scalp is painted a yellowish color:

BeForever Kit.
Her scalp is marked differently:

I think that's a type of fighter jet.
Here you can see the difference in length and color of the two dolls' hair:

Old Kit (left), new Kit (right).
I like the new face mold better than the old one.  The new doll has brighter eyes, better freckle placement, more realistic eyebrows, and a higher forehead.  Her hair is also shorter, which gives her a more youthful appearance, and shows off the neckline of her dress nicely.  The new doll's hair is not rooted as well as the old doll's hair, but I don't think this makes much of a difference in the overall appearance (it might actually make the hair behave better).  I also like the two-toned color of the new hair.  The golden streaks are very pretty.

Kit's new dress is a vibrant jewel-toned color, but the design is simpler than my older American Girl mini clothes.


The buttons on the front of the dress are embroidered, and the belt is permanently sewn onto the dress.



In fact, the front of my doll's belt is sewn just above the gathered waistline of the dress, so it looks permanently crooked.


The belt is also sewn in place at the sides of the dress:


The teal color is pretty, and I like the cascading floral pattern on the skirt:


The dress has a velcro opening in back and is easy to get on and off.



The older Kit's outfit has much more detail, but the knit cardigan top is hard to get on and off.  Still, overall, I much prefer the older Kit's outfit.


Underneath her dress, the new Kit is wearing white underpants:


These are similar to the older Kit's underpants.  The older version had a bit more of a ruffle at the legs, but that's the only difference I can see.

Older underpants, BeForever underpants.
 The shoes have taken a turn downhill.  BeForever Kit's shoes are plain red vinyl flats:

Ho-hum.

Compare these to the amazingly detailed sandals of the older doll:

Shoe from the older Kit (left) and a shoe from BeForever Kit (right).
The old shoes are made out of leather and even have tiny metal buckles:


I suppose one could argue that the newer shoes are more practical for little kids, but I see carefully replicated leather sandals versus boring, dime-a-dozen vinyl shoes.

Overall, the newer doll clothes are fine.  They are easy to use and well-made, but they are nowhere near as interesting or detailed as the older clothes.

Underneath her clothes, sure enough, BeForever Kit has an all-vinyl body with five points of articulation:



The vinyl is flexible, and the torso is hollow, so this doll has a squishable tummy, and her arms can be bent to a certain degree (which makes dressing easier).

Despite the new torso, the two versions of Kit are about the same height:


The vinyl body certainly has a more uniform appearance and cleaner lines.  One thing that jumped out to me right away is that while the legs and feet look the same between the two dolls, the arms and hands of the new doll seem much bigger--like they were magnified:


I was perplexed by this, wondering why on earth American Girl would make just the arms and hands bigger:


I think that what I'm seeing in the pictures above is the result of two things: first, the right hand is slightly bigger than the left, and also the dolls' shoulders are set at different heights.  In reality, the arms and hands are the same size (using the same mold).  This was hard to capture on camera, but here are a few attempts:

New hand, old hand.
New hand, old hand.
Old hand, new hand.
And in this picture, the shoulders are aligned a bit more evenly:


So, the arm mold is the same...but how about the arm movement?  The new doll's arms spin around, but cannot hinge towards or away from the body.


The older Kit, with her cloth torso and strung arms, has slightly more movement at the shoulder:

Betcha can't do this!

Even though the older Kit can be manipulated into more positions in my hands with her floppy hips, when it comes to balancing alone in a sitting position, the two dolls perform in a very similar way:


However, the newer Kit needs support to sit up in the front-to-back split position...


...while the older doll does not:


They can both balance well in an upright standing position, and also in a walking pose:


Or even in a more exuberant walking pose:


Both dolls have swiveling neck joints.  The newer Kit looks slightly upwards as her head spins, and the older doll looks straight backwards, but the difference between the two dolls is not large:


Comparing the two bodies is hard to do in still pictures. The real difference is in the feel of the cloth torso versus the feel of the harder vinyl body.  There's something cuddly and special about a doll this small with a cloth torso.  However, there's clear practicality in an all-vinyl doll for kids.  The new Kit will be easier to clean and less likely to loosen at the joints or fall apart over time.  Also, it's nice to have a mini doll without a huge tag sticking out of her body.

The new Kit is ever-so-slightly slimmer through the torso, which is apparent during clothes sharing between these two dolls:


BeForever Kit can wear the older Kit's outfit (the shoes fit perfectly) but the clothes look loose on her.


The skirt droops a little at the waist:


And the cardigan looks thin and hangs off Kit's chest a bit:


The older Kit fills out the cardigan better, and her cloth torso gives the look and feel of an undershirt or slip worn underneath the sweater:


Here are the two dolls wearing the older Kit's outfit:


The older Kit wears the BeForever dress nicely, too:


The torso is tighter on this doll, though, and there are a few more puckers along the sides:


Here are the two dolls wearing the BeForever dress:


Here's a lineup that includes the new cloth-bodied Our Generation mini doll, Sienna.  Sienna is slightly taller than both American Girl minis, and Sienna's seams are bulkier--especially her neck seam:


Sienna can also fit into the BeForever dress, but it won't close all of the way in back:



The red shoes are also tight on her--you can see her heel making a bulge in the shoe at the back:


Also, the decorated collar of the dress highlights the thick neck seam on this doll, which isn't very flattering:


BeForever Kit can wear the Our Generation mini clothes with (as expected) a bit of a loose fit:


I actually think that this Our Generation outfit is nicer than BeForever Kit's outfit...and the Our Generation dolls only cost $10.


The shoes are quite big on Kit, and tend to fall off.


Remember how good the older Kit looked in the Collector's Lane Kids blue jacket?


The color and fit of the jacket suit the new Kit really well, too...


...but the fit of the skirt is not as good:

Her underwear would help hold that up a bit....
Here are a few more pictures of the BeForever mini Kit:

BeForever mini Kit


BeForever mini Kit


Bottom line?  I outlined the biggest changes and what I thought about them throughout the review, but here's a summary of my initial impressions of this newcomer and how she compares to the older Kit.


What's better about the old Kit?

The book: Neither book contains Kit's complete story, but the older version has a hard cover, a dust jacket, and a stitched spine.  It is beautifully-bound, easy to keep open, and closes nicely after it has been read.  This elegant, illustrated miniature makes the new book seem like a flimsy gimmick.  The new book has a glued spine that bends out of shape after opening the book only once.  This book can't close completely after it has been opened.  I don't know why I expected a new story with the BeForever doll, but the story is the same as the previous edition--although the two books are edited differently.

The clothes: the original Kit's twin set top is hard to get on and off, but I have always found that it was worth the hassle.  The sweater is intricately knit with antique rose thread, and has real working buttons down the front.  The skirt is simple but nicely done, and the shoes are tiny leather strap sandals with metal buckles and hard soles.  The new doll has a one-piece dress that is easy to get on and off, but doesn't have the attention to detail of the older outfit.  The buttons on the new dress are embroidered, and the belt is sloppily sewn into place.  I find that the red thread on the white collar looks messy (and a bit clown-like), and the stitched buttons look too fake.  I would prefer the dress if it had a plain teal top.  The BeForever shoes are simple red vinyl slip-ons with nothing to distinguish them.

The body?  Choosing a favorite body is difficult because I see benefits to each design.  What I like about the older doll's body is that it's a perfect replica of the 18" American Girl body.  I really enjoy authentic miniature replicas, and so this level of detail is important to me.  I also like the feel of the cloth body in my hands.  The older Kit has a nice softness to her, and feels more special somehow than an all-vinyl doll.  I also like the added joint mobility that the soft body allows.  The older Kit can move her limbs into a much wider range of positions because of the forgiving flexibility of her torso.


What's better about BeForever Kit?

The face: I really like the changes that were made to Kit's head mold and face paint.  The old Kit has a lot of personality in her scrunched features, but the new doll is bright-eyed and youthful, and more closely resembles the equivalent 18" dolls.  I think that a few small changes to this face made a big difference. For example, lifting the hairline opens up the face significantly and gives the doll a younger look.  Lowering the freckles and changing their distribution makes them seem more natural.  I also like the more realistic eyebrows on the new doll.  It's harder for me to pick a favorite eye style.  I like the level of detail in the older Kit's irises, and the new doll's eyes can look a bit vacant in some pictures.  However, with a doll this small, I find that the wider, un-cluttered eyes of the BeForever doll look less squinty and more engaging in real life.  

The hair:  The hair on BeForever Kit is thinner than the older Kit's hair.  The rooted hair plugs are also larger on the new doll, and they're placed in wider rows.  Ordinarily, I would see thinner hair as a bad feature, but on a mini doll the sparse hair is a good idea.  The new Kit's hair stays in place better and lays more smoothly against the doll's head.  This, combined with the pretty two-toned color and shorter bobbed style, make the new hair my favorite.

The body?  Again, I can't say with certainty which body style is the best because I see the benefits of each.  I like BeForever Kit's all-vinyl body because it has very clean, smooth lines and a pretty neck.  I also like that it would be very easy to clean, and doesn't run the risk of falling apart or loosening over time.  I assumed that the vinyl body would have better balance than the cloth body, but I actually found that the two dolls were similar in their balancing abilities--if anything, the cloth-bodied doll has better balance.  I suppose I slightly prefer the cloth body for its authenticity as a miniature replica of the larger dolls, but I can easily see why the new body might be better for kids, or perhaps for collectors who enjoy making a wide range of clothes for their dolls.


I can't help but feel like there were several decisions made with these new dolls that simplified the manufacturing process significantly.  The vinyl bodies are surely easier to make and assemble, the clothes are much less complex, and the new books are a joke compared to the older versions.  This would all be fine if the savings was passed along to the consumer.  However, these new dolls cost $25, which is a dollar more expensive than the previous minis.  

BeForever Kit is very cute, but she cost me $30 with shipping, which is a lot.  When I think about the choices I would make if I could spend another $30 on mini dolls, I see myself choosing an older American Girl mini (before they disappear...) or buying three Our Generation minis from a local Target.  If the BeForever dolls were in the $15 range, I would be much more enthusiastic about some of the changes.  At this price, though, I wish American Girl had simply upgraded the heads on these dolls, while keeping the cloth bodies and the quality of the clothing and accessories unchanged.

BeForever mini Kit

37 comments:

  1. This post has basically come up two seconds ago. I wish the same things as you! Yay Im First!

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  2. Shame to read about the deceased quality of the book; Those hardcovers were my favourite part of the old minis since they're such a solid prop for a wide variety of doll sizes.

    I'm on the fence about the clothing difference though, since I've thought that the old outfits were too detailed for the mini dolls and made them look too bulky as a result - but that the quality went down while the price went up is hardly a positive balance in the end, is it? Ah well, at least both versions are cute!

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    1. That's a really good point! You're right that some of the old outfits look bulky on the minis and that the new dolls seem less encumbered. I am so easily entranced by mini replicas, I think the accuracy of the details made me a little blind to the clutter. I like your positive angle on the outfits, though (if only they came with a lower price tag...) and agree that both dolls are cute. :)

      The book difference is just sad though. I don't even think I fully appreciated the old books until I saw the new! Such a change...

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    2. The new regular sized books don't have illustrations either. At least part of the consideration was probably money, since they would have had to pay for all new illustrations, since they've changed the clothes.

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  3. Cool, Kit was one of my favorite new minis! How does Rebecca's outfit new look on her online it looks like it has a funny fit and in store I couldn't exactly tell because the minis were behind the glass. I'm upset about the new body's if my doll is cuddly my dolls doll should be too. I can act like an adult or I can be natural you can't have both;) I'm probably going to get the Isabelle mini, I highly doubt that they changed her cloth body mid-year and the book probably didn't change either, also I think it'll be cute for my Isabelle to have a mini Isabelle. I'm disappointed that they don't sell the minis of the retired dolls, Nelly and Cecile are my personal favorite minis. I don't know if they have them in stores like New York and L.A. I've heard they're bigger than the other stores so they might have retired doll minis.

    I'm annoyed that the books don't have any pictures, (Big and mini.) if they're lowering the quality why not lower the prices (I'm not just talking about the minis they raised the prices on all the new things and the dolls, not counting Isabelle she's already really expensive.) instead of raising the prices soon enough American girl is going to start losing customers. They actually just lost me as a customer for the accessories, outfits and furniture, they have Target stores in Canada now and Our generation stuff is awesome. Any who nice review. Hey that rhymes!

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    1. Hi Alice, I got Rebecca out of her box for a moment and her outfit looks nice--more detail and more pieces than Kit's outfit, which is a good sign. The fit looks good to me, too. Also (spoiler!) her hair is SO much nicer than my older Rebecca! Wow.

      I like the cuddlier bodies, too. They feel more special to me.

      That's a good question about Isabelle. The mini doll is not on the AG website anymore, so I feel almost positive that if you bought her through Amazon or something, you'd get a cloth-bodied doll with an older-style book. The good news is that Nellie IS on the AG website! I love her, too! She looks really cute.

      It's nice to see secondary brands like Our Generation improve the quality and appeal of their dolls and accessories. I agree with you that a lot of the new OG things are very appealing and affordable--especially the mini dolls! :D

      Now, I should also end with a rhyme...but I don't have time. ;)

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  4. too bad about the mini books but overall the new AG mini doll is much better and much prettier nthan the old one. the OG mini doll however wins them both. If I wanted a doll for my AG doll I would get an OG mini.
    Nia

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    1. Hi Nia, I think that's very true: dollar for dollar, those Our Generation minis are hard to beat right now!

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  5. In my not so humble opinion, I thought that the six-book series, as set up by Pleasant Rowland, did a pretty good job of showing how girls how children from other periods in history were actually similar to themselves. That was Pleasant Rowland's whole reason for starting Pleasant Company. Now, I'm not counting Kaya, or the newer sets of books put out that did not follow the six book pattern. In the six books, each girl went to school (or lessons), had a birthday party, celebrated Christmas, played with friends, did chores, had a pet. Each girl had a doll, a book, toys. Some of the dolls even came with a mini cooking set of real food that related to the girl's story. The dolls and accessories were made to give girls a way to bring the stories "to life." The activity books gave girls even more knowledge of what life was like for girls of other eras.

    I will also say that I'm not an expert on fashion history, in that I've never studied any kind of fashion at an institute of learning. However, I have spent almost 20 years studying fashion history books, contemporary photographs, fashion plates and advertising, and extant clothing of different eras, even sewing techniques.. The Edwardian era (Samantha's) is my absolute favorite time period. I'm not a recognized expert, no, but I'd say I've put in more time studying the period than most non-academics. In my opinion, most of Samantha's clothes are really not period appropriate; some of them absolutely appall me. I'm guessing that Mattel did market research and found that the age of girls who play with American Girl dolls has gone down (just like with Barbie,) and so they dumbed down the clothes and accessories appropriately. Yes, I'm upset about this, partially because I loved the original Samantha and her accessories, partially because I feel they are giving an inaccurate portrayal of history now. If they weren't going to do it right, they shouldn't have done it at all.

    I would love to do a post on exactly why I feel that the clothes and so forth are inaccurate, but it would take me probably almost a day to write and take pictures, and I obviously don't own the copyright on any pictures in my books, or ones that I have looked online. I have only contemporary fashion magazines and some actual photos that I have purchased to use as examples. Plus, I have better uses for that many hours. Maybe if I set up a Paypal fund. :-D

    Last thing in my mini-novel, I have seen you express concerns in the past that American Girl products were unaffordable for many. The new items don't seem to be helping this at all. Samantha's bed costs about three times as much as the previous bed (inflation not included,) her bicycle is over a hundred dollars, and her ice cream parlor costs $300!! My middle-class family couldn't afford that even now.

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    1. Hi Barb, that's interesting--it sounds like with this "connecting modern girls to the past" idea that they might be re-inventing something that didn't need re-inventing. From what you said, my concern would be that rather than trying to connect modern girls to girls from the past, this new campaign is trying to make girls from the past seem more modern. I hope that's not true. It would defeat the educational (and eye-opening) experience of appreciating different eras for what they were.

      That reminds me of this PBS series that I used to love where modern families would be set up in houses from different eras--like an educational reality show. The family would have to live life (cook, clean, etc.) as it was done in the past. Anyway, neat show, but--tangent!

      As for the fashion, I am even less of an expert (I have never studied fashion history books!) but I have read similar opinions about the BeForever collection. I would be very interested to hear your breakdown of the inaccuracies in Samantha's outfit. I'll take the pictures for you if you want! Let me know. Maybe we could collaborate or something. :) Meanwhile, A Girl for All Time does historical clothing exceedingly well (from my limited knowledge). A contrast review would be very interesting...

      The ice cream parlor is $300? Whoa. Reminds me (somewhat inappropriately) of the Victoria's Secret Christmas catalogue, which always has a diamond-studded bra or something that only about ten people in the world can afford. It's not that bad with AG, clearly, but still. SO many kids will be wishing for that toy (it looks very cool...) and so few will get it. I guess I don't mind a few overpriced fantasy items in a line like this, to help build the magic, but there should be a wide selection of affordable accessories, too. If all of the accessories are creeping out of reach for most families, it does make me sad.

      There. Now I've written a novella, too. ;)

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    2. That's an excellent way of putting it -- trying to make girls from the past seem more modern. That's exactly how I feel about where they're going with this. I don't mind that they've modernized the "dress like your doll" historical clothing line, but I do feel that the doll size Kit and Samantha's clothes, especially, are a modernized take on historical fashion. My mother was a girl during the 1930s; I'm going to ask her opinion on Kit's new clothes.

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  6. Awesome! I love your review and especially because you did that full comparison!

    NOTE: Some of the old historical mini's are still on the website, these are archived mini dolls they still have. They are the same price as the old mini dolls and still have the old books,boxes, etc. I highly reccommend you get them!!!
    Link here: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/thumbnail/id/1536/uid/1004

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    1. Thank you so much AGCollector!! I just found Nellie there and she is one of my favorites...

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  7. The new dolls are very cute, but I think I'll be picking up a couple more of my favorite old versions first. Change in inevitable, it's just too bad the price point had to go up and the quality go down, even if this isn't a bad doll.

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  8. I agree with Molly! Thanks again for the great review, Emily...it's so nice to see the little details like the body, hair, etc before possibly purchasing these dolls. I think I am pretty 50/50 and although they are a little pricy, I still have an urge to collect them! There seem to be some pluses and minues with both...I think some new ones might make their way into my collection (Rebecca) as well as some older ones (Julie.) I really like that so many other lines are coming out with dolls and you can mix and match accessories with them.
    BTW, I got my first Tonner doll the other day (which I had no idea they even existed before discovering your blog in early summer, lol)...a Nu Mood Jess. She's stunning in person...a lovely doll with such a beautiful face. Thank you for this blog and all the great info you have shared with us. I feel like a kid again and I love it ;)

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  9. i prefer the beforever kit's face, but everything else is just blah. :)

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  10. Kit's new Meet Dress is something I am coveting so badly! I was squealing at Neth when all the BeForever stuff dropped over all her new clothes. And Addy's because Addy won BeForever. Rebecca's new Meet is gorgeous too, very classy. I even like Samantha's, and I'm not someone who really ever went for Pretty Princess 'Mantha. The new Samantha is actually quite cute, cuter than the original run, and they blessedly thinned out those pie bangs she had for her entire run. Her stuff actually is quite historically accurate.

    As for the books... the girls are still getting their central series, it's just that now, instead of being six different books (Meet..., Changes For..., Happy Birthday...), the six books are divided into two longer books, each with three. Then each of the BeForever girls also gets a third book, which is more of a Choose Your Own Adventure book that is the book that ties a modern girl in some way to the historical character. I think in most cases the modern girl in the book is a relative of the historical character. And that's where the girl-sized outfits come in and why they look how they do. Instead of being... for lack of a better term, cosplay of the character (If you look at the AG Wiki, you can see pictures of the old Dress Like Your Doll stuff for the historicals), the dresses are modern takes on each character's meet outfit that a young girl could conceivably wear to school or just out and about.

    I guess I'm in the minority in fandom (not the first time that's happened!), but I think BeForever is the best thing that they could have done, and I'm wondering why they didn't do it sooner. They had their failed experiments in the Best Friends line (Ruthie, Ivy, Marie-Grace and Cecile) to try and breathe life into the historical line and that clanked, badly. And people were growing more and more interested in the My American Girl/Girl of the Year line and the historicals were largely ignored. Over at AGC, there's been a lot of talk about what people have seen when they went to the stores, and it's been a mad house at the historicals. People are bypassing Wonderbread the Ballerina and the MyAG fishbowl to go over and look at the pretty black girl with the gorgeous blue dress and that is a good thing. Who knows, if this sticks, maybe we'll get other archived historicals back! Felicity maybe? Kirsten?! New historicals? (The rumor is that a 1950's girl is coming down the pike in 2015 along with the obligatory new Girl of the Year.)

    So, I'll sit here in my 'Happy with BeForever' corner and wave my little flag and continue to covet at least 3 of the new meet outfits. :)

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    1. I fully agree. Kids love the beforever line because it is so much more relatable to them now.the historical girls are being advertized both in the catalog and on the website which makes them the center of attention. it means soon it will be trendy to get a new beforever doll rather than a MyAG so kids will gravitate towards the historical displays. the reason why historicals have been ingored by kids was because nothing new was ever released for them. now that books have no illustrations it means AG can design new school, birthday and christmas dresses for the girls each year if they please. they dont have to go by the book anymore.
      Nia

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  11. Hmm, the things you said were good about the new kit are the things I like the least!!! :P I can't get over her face. It reminds me of Marie-Grace, with the vacant stare, creepy smile, and it just looks incredibly painted on to me. I'm so sad that American Girl got rid of the old style of Mini's. They were my favorites. Who knows if I'll ever be able to complete my collection, not to mention replace some of my damaged ones. :P However old Kit's hair does look quite choppy and poorly executed to me, and the new kit's hair seems a lot tamer. But still, there is no way I will be buying one of those vinyl monstrosities. Thanks for the review though, I was a little curious to see what they were like. The dress is a pretty color- if only it were better made. :(

    To follow your "mini series" (heh. Puns.) I was wondering if you might review some of the Mini Disney dolls? I know they had a collection of Ariel and her sisters, two collections of princesses, and some others, but I think right now they might only have the Aurora collection. I want to know what those little dolls are like! :D

    Love you Emily!

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  12. I love that you are reading my mind about what reviews I want to see, Ms. Emily.

    Kit is actually on my top 3 list of BeForever minis I want to get, and is probably only one of two I will actually buy. Seeing this just made it more definite for me. I do not think she looks more like the 18" version, though. I just think she's one of the cutest all on her own.

    I enjoyed seeing how different the old and the new are as well! Someone mentioned on AGPT about how her character almost seems to have changed with new expression/face mold. I agree completely. To me, the old appears playfully sly (may also be what the AGPT poster said, can't remember exactly), while the new seems nerdy, but determined (and I mean both of these characterizations in the most positive way possible). Infinite possibilities, tiny little package. And now I'm off track.

    As always, thank you for your review.

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  13. Hi Emily! I've been wondering how the new AG minis would look close up. My new favorite right now is Julie. It's a little sad that the quality has gone down with the BeForever minis. The real BeForever Kit dress looks very cute in pictures, I would love to get it but the prices for the "18 in dolls have gone up too.
    BTW I have mini Nellie and she is so cute! The only thing I don't like about her is her shoes which are plastic and very loose, and at some angles her bangs can look a little large for her head. Love the review!

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  14. I have had mini Kit since well a while now I have all the historical minis exculeing Caroline so I was debating on getting her new as Beforever, but I love Kits new look it always dissapointed me that Kit's old hair wasn't very bobish and the shoes were gone pretty quick. Even though the sweater is cute I had a problem with the way it hugged her neck I had the same problem with Molly's sweater so she now wears Siena's. Befoever did make new books they are called "Jorney" series where a modern girl gets sent back in time to meet a historical character. All of the characters got one except Joshfina. -GEM

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  15. Yay! So glad for this review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Now I feel way better about getting a Be forever Mini doll.
    thank you!

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  16. I get the American Girl catalogs, and one arrived recently that showed this new line of minis. I was so enchanted by them! I think the faces are wonderful, better than the older faces. (Although the older dolls were cute, too.) I'm so happy you got one and did a review! I want to get several, now, although I'm not sure I'm ready to drop $100 plus shipping on four teeny tiny little vinyl dolls. But they're very cute! I'm glad the bodies are all vinyl. I never could stand seeing a fabric body at the neckline on any doll. The fabric bodies are the only reason I haven't bought the $10 My Generation minis.

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  17. Argh, I'm so conflicted with the new minis! I think all of the faces are an upgrade, but they do look like younger versions of the originals. And I love the cloth bodies, even though I agree that the vinyl bodies are more practical.

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  18. Le sigh. I was so hoping I would dislike these enough not to support AG and buy them. Maybe my dollfairy godmother will drop the entire set on my doorstep at Christmas...great review. I am surprised at how much more I like the new mini Kit after your review. (I already have both sets of the all the old AGs but the GOTY minis and the OG minis. I was totally planning on using fishing line to hang them all on my Christmas tree this year - fake, don't worry, no sap - and now, I find myself wanting to add these too (even though they are completely different dolls in my mind). C'est la vie.

    Thanks for another great review!

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  19. hello in my country American Girl dolls are rare so do not understand the mania for them for my dolls are cloth body

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    1. Its because AG never did vinal bodies before so everyones getting mixed feelings. Its not really that one or the other is that bad its just new ;) -GEM

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  20. Hi Emily,

    This is an off topic comment- American Girls aren't common down here! I stumbled across your blog when looking for Anna and Elsa for my 6 year old. Down here in NZ you can get the Mattel versions rarely for NZ $50 or Chinese ones. After making the terrible decision to get some on our version of eBay and ending up with the Chinese ones (where I read your review), I decided to take the plunge and see if I could get the Disney versions. Ebay came through and I got them for the same price with shipping as the Mattel ones on the shelf here! Anyway, they arrived and I have passed them on to my daughter, although I would like to have kept them- and they have been for a trip in the Barbie convertible, done some baking and eaten some biscuits (cookies) as they were hungry after their trip!

    So thank you for introducing me to the work of dolls- I have now got a MH Lagoona Blue- Picture Day for me (NZ$19 on clearance) and a Frights, Camera, Action Clawdeen Wolf (NZ $25) for my daughter. The MH and EAH dolls range from NZ$25-NZ$60 so they will be an occasional treat I think!

    So I'm one of those people who browse the doll aisles, enjoying all the different ones that are out there...

    Thanks again,

    Karen, NZ

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  21. I have pre beforever(sorry about grammar,I'm on a mobile device) Marie-Grace and Caroline.
    Norah

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  22. i think the new ones are 100 percent cuter then the old one. but i agree,
    the book thing bugs me. it lacks the charm it used to have.

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    1. I know what were they thinking no pictures!? My little coisin saus she won't read books without pictures, and I always am flippping back to the cover of books I read now. - GEM

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    2. If they did pictures, they would have to pay someone to reproduce pictures for the stories of those dolls who have had their outfits changed.

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  23. I guess, but they could have used picture without the meet dresses- GEM

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  24. Have you see the mini BeForever Addy's hair??? My friend got her and she is gorgeous!!!

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  25. Beforever Kit looks great in Sienna's outfit! I prefer the older dolls, but, I have to say I like the newer Kit's face better, with the shorter hair and more youthful appearance.

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I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.