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Goetz v. American Girl – Which is Better?

Götz (Americanized to “Goetz,” although sometimes misspelled Gotz) was the original company that produced the American Girl Dolls back when they were first created. This was the Pleasant Company era in the late 80s and early 90s when the dolls had white or tan bodies, flat neck strings, and were marked “Made in Germany.”

Although Götz has not produced American Girl Dolls in many years, their modern dolls are quite similar and have the same individually strung joints. Götz remains a highly respected doll manufacturer. If American Girl is the Cadillac of play dolls in America, Götz is a BMW. Recently, Pottery Barn Kids has been importing them.

We thought it would be very interesting to compare a Götz Pottery Barn Kids doll to a modern American Girl doll to see how far each of these companies have come, and which is better. We have a Just Like You American Girl Doll from 2010 and a 2016 Penelope Goetz doll purchased through Pottery Barn.

American Girl v. Goetz

Continue reading Goetz v. American Girl – Which is Better?

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Too Many Dolls – Is American Girl Overextending Itself?

Overexpansion – Too Many New Products

This past year or so has been release after release for Amerian Girl – far more so than in previous years. Just off the top of our head, here’s what AG has recently added to its collection:

1. Two new Truly Me dolls (#65 & #66)
2. New outfits & accessories for Truly Me, Bitty Baby, & ALL of the historical doll line (that’s a lot at once!)

3. The new 15″ Wellie Wisher line (5 new dolls)

Continue reading Too Many Dolls – Is American Girl Overextending Itself?

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American Girl Doll Logan Examination

American Girl finally released their first boy doll in early 2017 – Logan Everett. Logan is a musician and plays the drums. Logan was released simultaneously with Tenney Grant, his bandmate and the main character. Logan immediately sold out and was back ordered for several weeks online.

Continue reading American Girl Doll Logan Examination

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American Girl Benefit Sale Dolls

A Second Look at Seconds
Food For Thought About American Girl Benefit Sale Dolls

Once a year in July the Madison Children’s Museum puts on their largest fundraiser, the American Girl Doll Benefit Sale. Several thousand shoppers come to buy AG products at deep discounts out of a local warehouse. Most items are about 50% off. My American Girl Dolls were as low as $40 and Bitty Babies as low as $25. Undeniably great deals, but you have to factor in the costs of tickets, transportation, hotel, and an entire day of standing in line with no guarantee that any particular item you want will be available. If you do it right, it is worth it. Otherwise, it might just be an “experience” thing.

The dolls and items are store returns, factory seconds which have minor flaws, refurbished dolls, and overstocks. The dolls are sold as-is, and there are no returns or exchanges. Theoretically, every doll sold is looked over by a volunteer to make sure they are in good shape. The dolls are dressed but they are usually missing accessories like bands and fasteners to hold the dolls in place, hair nets, books, charms, activity games, etc. Dolls are marked with an “X” on their butt to differentiate them from full retail dolls. The X may be light or thick and dark, but is usually about the same size shown below.

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American Girl Doll Rewards Program

The American Girl Rewards Program:

A Review

In June 2016 AG finally released a rewards program, and on the whole we are pleased.

 

The basic structure is that you receive a $10 off coupon in your email when you accumulate $200 worth of purchases. Each dollar spent is one point, and the coupon is generated at 200 points. The points accumulate on in store, online, and over the phone purchases, including sale and clearance items and AG restaurant purchases, but doesn’t factor in the costs of tax or shipping. Any such purchase must be registered to your AG rewards account, either at checkout or within two weeks after by doing it yourself online or calling customer service. The program is easy to sign up and easy to use for the average consumer. Continue reading American Girl Doll Rewards Program

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How to Afford an American Girl Doll

How to Afford an American Girl Doll

A lot of parents are hit with sticker shock when they see the whopping $115 price tag ($125 with tax) for that brand new American Girl Doll their child wants. “$125 for a doll?” they ask. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to get your hands on a doll cheaper. We’ll start out with the easy ways, and work our way to the harder (but more rewarding) options. We also talk about options that haven’t worked for us.

1. Free Shipping at AmericanGirl.com

 A few times a year American Girl will offer free shipping from their website. Shipping and handling for one doll alone from their website is around $12. So what makes the additional savings to buy online cheaper than in the store, if it is still the same $115 price? Taxes. Online, AG charges a ridiculously low tax rate – around 3% – whereas if you buy in store, you have to pay state, city, and special business area taxes of 8-12% depending upon where the store is located. Thank goodness Congress hasn’t passed that online sales tax bill, right? Sign up for their email list to be notified when the free shipping happens (and be prepared to be bombarded by sub-par offers until the 2-3 times a year you get the golden Free Shipping email).

Continue reading How to Afford an American Girl Doll

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American Girl Doll Hospital & Silver Eye

The American Girl Doll Hospital:
Our Experiences & Silver Eye

We’ve always fixed our own dolls, with the exception of AG Doll eyes, since they are so delicate. We know that eye swapping has become very popular, but it’s a practice we are opposed to. American Girl Dolls have “sleep eyes” which open and close based upon weights in the eye. It is very easy to mess up the balance or mis-position the eyes, leading to eyes that are slow to open and close, completely static, or sunken.

We ended up sending 3 of our dolls to the AG Doll Hospital since we acquired 3 dolls with Silver Eye. Silver Eye is the condition where the sicker of the eye pulls away from the plastic dome, making the iris look silver. Continue reading American Girl Doll Hospital & Silver Eye

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Pleasant Company v. American Girl

A Guide to PC & AG Differences

For those who aren’t experts at American Girl Dolls, it may be confusing to understand the difference between the earlier Pleasant Company brand of American Girl Dolls and today’s brand of American Girl Dolls.

To better understand, we need a little history lesson. American Girl started producing the first AG dolls in 1986. There were 3 historical dolls: Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. They were manufactured in West Germany and had white bodies.

In the early 90’s the doll bodies were changed to be tan, to match the color of the doll arms and allow for outfits with lower necklines. At some point, the production center was shifted to China.

In 1998 the entire American Girl enterprise was sold to Mattel (the makers of Barbie). Once the original creator retires from the board in 2000, substantial changes start happening to the American Girl Doll line. In 2004 Pleasant Company was officially renamed as American Girl, and items are now produced tagged as “American Girl” instead of “Pleasant Company.”

There are some occasional exceptions to this rule. For example, the Logan doll released in 2017 is stamped Pleasant Company. Continue reading Pleasant Company v. American Girl