Wednesday, February 12, 2014

American Girl Caroline Abbott Doll Review

As promised, here is my review of the Caroline Abbott doll I bought at the American Girl Place on February 1st. :)

Caroline in her box, waiting to be opened.  Believe it or not, I actually did not take her out of the box until I got all the way back home!  I wanted to get really good review pictures of her, and I also knew she would make the long journey home better in her box rather than out of it.  I have to admit, though, it was VERY hard to wait!! ;)

Caroline's name on the front of the box.

Side view

Back view

Side view #2 ;)

Almost ready to come out! :)

Caroline has such a beautiful face. :)

She comes with a paperback copy of her first book, "Meet Caroline".  I have not had a chance to read any of the other books in the series, but I really enjoyed this first one.  Caroline's book personality reminds me a lot of Oldest Gal. :)  The illustrations in the book are stunning, which is a welcome relief after the disappointing illustrations from the Cecile and Marie-Grace books.  Sorry if any of you are fans of those illustrations, but my artistic side found them flat and unnatural-looking.

Brand new American Girl dolls are held in place by an elastic band around their neck which attaches to a plastic hook on either side of their neck.  A piece of soft, foam-like material is between their neck and the elastic band, presumably to protect the plastic from getting rub marks or other damage.  

The dolls are also held in place by a rubber band around their ankles, but I forgot to get a picture of that. :}

Removing the elastic from the neck is simply unhook the elastic loop from the plastic hook.

Then you can pull off the foamy material.

Here she is, finally free! :)

Caroline came with a little doll hair care tag attached to her wrist.

The inside has basic instructions for how to care for your doll.

Here she is without her hair care paperwork in front...

...and in back.  

Her dress is pale pink and a linen-like material that wrinkles easily.  

This was what her dress looked like after lifting it up for pictures! 

A view from the back.

I wasn't all that into her meet dress at first, but I have to admit, it's grown on me.  The color really does suit her, and it's got some nice detail.

The ruffle at Caroline's collar.

The pretty embroidered flowers on her waistband.

Sleeve detail

A look at her dress hem.

She comes with lace-trimmed pantalettes and white ribbed-knit stockings that go to her knees.  She does not have any other undergarments.

Her pink slip-on shoes match her dress.

I was very concerned when I first deboxed my Caroline, because her left leg was so tight that it tilted inward.  I could still get her to stand by repositioning her leg, but I was worried that this might affect her ability to stand for long periods of time.  I started looking up doll return policies on the American Girl website and started kicking myself for not opening her at the store. :}  This was also when I decided that having a personal shopper the next time I went to the American Girl Place would be preferable.  Thankfully, within a day or so, her leg loosened on its own, so all was well. :)

Her hair came in a hairnet to protect the curls.

This was what it looked like when I first took it out of the hairnet, in front...

...and in back.  I just love her long curls! :)

Caroline's eyes are a beautiful blue-green color, almost a minty green.  They are a new eye color that has (so far) only been used for Caroline.

My Caroline has a small, shiny mark under her left eye that is sometimes visible in pictures.  I was a little disappointed that I missed this at first, but she is still a gorgeous doll, and it's not enough of an issue to make me want to return her.

So now I'm basically going to bombard you with an incredible amount of Caroline pictures, just because she's so gorgeous. :)  I always enjoy the first photo shoot with a new doll, discovering her best angles and how well she photographs.  Caroline was no exception. :)

Hayden was very excited to pose for a picture with Caroline. ;)  My Caroline will be renamed Coral Brenna Copeland, and will be a sister to my mom's Saige doll, as well as a cousin to the Hathaways (Emma, Hayden, and Charlie) and the Ellisons (Piper, Alice, and Ruthie).  I'm looking forward to working out all the details of her backstory. :) 

After I'd taken the initial review pictures for this post, I decided to play with Caroline/Coral's hair a bit.  I was a little concerned that her hair would be difficult to manage because of all of the curls.  Thankfully, her hair was no more difficult than Hayden's.  I spritzed it with my little mini spritzer bottle, then carefully brushed it out one small strand at a time, and finished it off by finger curling.  Then I decided to put part of it up in a messy bun.  I'm very pleased with the results. :)

I believe I mentioned that one of the other things I purchased at the AG Place was Addy's Blue Dress.  This was originally known as "Addy's Kite-Flying Dress" and came with a kite and a large, plaid hair ribbon.  Then, it was changed to "Addy's Flower Picking Dress" and came with a bouquet of flowers and the same ribbon.  Now, it's simply "Addy's Blue Dress" and comes with just the ribbon.  I've had my eye on this one for a long time, and I thought it would look great on my Caroline doll, so I decided to snag one while I was down there. :)  I left Caroline in her original pantalettes and then put her in Cecile's meet boots.

The ribbon included with the dress.  I didn't use it with the dress because I didn't feel it matched very well. :}

The pale blue is great with Caroline/Coral's coloring. :) 

A closer look at the dress.

I forgot to take a picture of the back of the dress when it was on my doll, but here's a picture I took when I first got home.  As you can see, the back has Velcro closure.

Bodice detail...

...and skirt detail.

Cecile's boots look great with the dress. :)

Oh my goodness, she is so incredibly pretty in blue!!! :D

So, overall thoughts?  I give Caroline a 5 out of 5.  I would recommend her completely to adults or careful younger collectors.  Her hair might be problematic for younger doll enthusiasts, depending on the child, because the length and the curls will take more maintenance than a doll with straight or shorter hair.  However, my two older girls, both in the target age range (eight and up), are careful enough that this doll could work for them.  If your little doll lover has a mommy or grandma who is willing to help with hair, then this could still work for a younger kiddo.  You could also simply keep the hair in a braid or a ponytail, but I know for many girls, playing with the hair is the most fun part of having a doll. ;)  

Caroline's coloring is beautiful, and she takes incredible photos.  I'm already looking forward to future photo shoots with her. :)  Her dress does wrinkle pretty easily, but the wrinkles also come out fairly quickly, too.  After a day or two of displaying her in a standing position, the wrinkles were much less noticeable.  

Hope you enjoyed the review. :)  If you have any specific questions or I missed a detail you'd like to know about, feel free to leave me a comment. :)

To visit Caroline's product page on the American Girl website, click HERE

Next up, a review of the Disney Animator's Collection Kristoff doll, followed by a review of Toddler Anna and Elsa from the Disney Store. :)


Juliet XD said...

Coral+Blue dress+ Messy bun= Beautiful!

Your Coral is stunning, you got a very pretty one :) I love her background, wonderfully complex and realistic. Christopher Jason and Sallie-Mae are fraternal twins, with Piper as their non-twin sister ;) Josie, Kanani, and Rachel are all only children. Oh, Beastsbelle, your doll family is so well thought out, the Hathaway sisters, their cousin(s), perfectly set up :)

Aileen said...

Caroline is beautiful, I love her eyes! i was just wondering, what is the benefit of using a personal shopper? I'm not familiar with the services they offer. I'm hoping to have my first visit to an AG store soon.

Nina said...

I love Caroline! I got her two years ago for Christmas, and she's absolutely gorgeous! She's Lanie's fraternal twin because of their similar hair and eye color.

Have a great day!

Dollygirl said...

Awesome! She is so pretty! I have a question, is it hard to take the doll out of the box? Like, could you do it without scissors in the middle of the store? I'm going to get Isabelle in the Spring at one of the Canadian AG stores that will be opening, but I want to get her ears pierced while I am there, so I will have to take her out of the box. :)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Juliet. :) I'm really pleased with her hair and outfit combination, too. :)

Lol, I've spent a lot of time working on how she would be related to the other dolls (pretty much ever since she was released). ;) I had the idea to make her a sister to Saige, and when I put her next to my mom's Saige doll, I definitely decided to move forward with that plan. :) They look so cute together!

Yeah, I'm kind of obsessive about familial relations between dolls and how everything works. I've done that since I was a little girl. Setting up doll families and creating their backstories was always my favorite thing to do. ;)

Hi Aileen! I think she's lovely, too. :)

I've never actually used a personal shopper, but I've heard about them from AGPlaythings. Basically, a personal shopper will assist you in selecting your purchases on a shopping trip. Apparently they will even set aside some of the things you're planning on buying ahead of time. I've heard that some stores even have a special area where you can sit and inspect the dolls you're thinking about. Hope this helps. You can find out more on the American Girl website. Go to the "Stores" page and find the store you're planning on attending. Click on that store name, and somewhere near the top of that store page, their should be a link to contact a personal shopper. You could also probably call AG's 800 number for more information.

Hope this helps! :)

Hi Nina! Caroline and Lanie would make great fraternal twins! Good thinking! :)

You have a great day too.

beastsbelle said...

Hi Dollygirl. :) You actually don't even need scissors to take them out of the box, so you shouldn't have a problem getting her deboxed for her ear piercing. :)

Enjoy your trip when you go!

Gracie said...

Caroline is such a beautiful doll! I love the eye color.
I like to think of my dolls as my sisters and instead of buying a doll, I say I'm adopting her. :)

Heather said...

You're Caroline is gorgeous! Mine has definitely become one of my favorite dolls. I think her hair is easier to manage now that I've had her for awhile and know how to take are of it properly.

Kelly said...

She's gorgeous! There's something about the soft combination of hair and eyes, and even the lack of freckles, that really appeals to me. I think she'll be my first AG later this year! I look forward to seeing photos of her in modern clothes. Addy's blue dress could work for a modern girl, couldn't it?

Kelly said...

Also, I'm tickled to read that you brushed out small pieces of her hair a bit at a time. I don't think I could bear not being able to put a brush to a doll's hair at all!

Nana Sew Dear said...

I forgot to ask if you'd seen the Disney Small World dolls? I got Kenya for Christmas and bought my granddaughter India. My daughter was adopted from Calcutta when she was a baby and my granddaughter (age 4) is half Indian. These dolls are just darling and rumor is that they will release more every year.

beastsbelle said...

Gracie, that sounds like a fun idea. :) I'm sure its fun bringing home lots of new "sisters". :)

Thanks, Heather. She's definitely becoming one of my favorites, too.

Her hair wasn't too bad for me because I've done a lot with Hayden's hair. While hers isn't quite as curly, it's similar enough that it wasn't too hard to transition to Caroline's.

Thanks, Kelly. :) I love her coloring and everything about her, too. :) She'd make a great first doll for you. And yes, I think Addy's dress could work as a modern dress.

I definitely have to have the option of brushing and styling a doll's hair, because with all the photo shoots I do, their hair tends to get a bit messy and windblown. :}

Hi Nana Sew Dear. Yes, I did see the adorable Small World Dolls at the Disney Store when we were on our trip. The store we went to had a great selection. I didn't end up getting one, though I was terribly tempted by the India doll. :) She's a perfect doll for your granddaughter. :) I hope they do continue to release them...they're really sweet, and I love how they sing in their native languages. :)

elizabethj2018 said...

Oh, she's gorgeous!!! Uh-oh... now I want a Caroline...

beastsbelle said...

Lol...sorry. :} She is a beautiful doll.

Anonymous said...

When will you put Coral's character on your my dolls page?? I'm really excited!

Joanne Mariel Maniago said...
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Joanne Mariel Maniago said...
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