Wednesday, September 24, 2014

American Girl Place Trip

This past weekend was wonderful, and just what I needed after a week of laundry and fine-tooth combing. ;) 

I was so excited to get to go to the American Girl Place again. :)  It was especially fun to finally get to see the new BeForever lineup in person.  I was very impressed with the new releases.  I only wish I could fully capture on film just how great they looked in real life.

Since I've already taken pictures of this particular AG Place, I didn't take as many pictures of the store itself this time.  I tried to focus more on getting pictures of some of the new releases. :)  For a more detailed look at the store, you can check out my post from last January HERE

I also apologize to those of you who are Bitty Baby fans.  I didn't get any pictures of the Bitty Baby section.  In fact, I don't think I even made it to the Bitty Baby section this time! :}

I didn't end up meeting any blog readers either (which didn't surprise me considering the short notice I gave everyone), but I did get to connect with a personal shopper, so that was exciting! :)

Here is Alice outside the store.  I forgot to take a picture beforehand, so this picture and the next one were actually taken just as we left. ;)

Alice by the front doors.

The BeForever sign outside the front of the store. :)

The front of the store with all of the BeForever displays.

The Girl of the Year section.  They had Isabelle's movie playing.

The beautiful staircase.  I only went up and down ONCE this trip (a nice change from the last time). ;)  I used the elevator for the other trips between floors.

Here are all of the new BeForever collection displays.  As you can see, they changed the pictures above to the artwork from the new BeForever books:

Samantha Parkington

Kit Kittredge

Julie Albright


Rebecca Rubin

Josefina Montoya

Addy Walker

Caroline Abbott

Everything was very colorful and inviting. :)

I tried to get as many pictures as I could of some of the new items and outfits for each BeForever doll.  It wasn't as detailed or complete as I would have liked, but hopefully you'll get a better look at a few of your favorites at least. ;)

Samantha's Ice Cream Parlor was on display for kids to play with.  It's really adorable and extremely detailed.  

Jip also turned out to be unexpectedly adorable.  Remember how goofy he looked in the stock photos? (Click his name for a reminder.)  He's actually really cute!

On a side note, Grace and Tatlo unfortunately didn't have the same success with their makeovers (at least, I'm assuming they also had makeovers):

Grace looks rather irritated...

...and Tatlo...I'm not exactly sure what's going on with him.  I prefer my own Tatlo (aka Rontu):

My dog looks much more realistic and intelligent. 

 The crazy thing is, their stock photos online still look like the older versions.  I would highly recommend buying Grace or Tatlo in person if you can, just to make sure you get a nice one.

But let's get back to Samantha. ;)

And now we come to another surprise.  Aileen, I have to agree with you: the Frilly Frock is pretty cute in person.  The lavender sash and boots are a much lighter tone than they appear to be in the stock photos.

A closer look at her dress...

...and boots.  I still probably wouldn't buy this outfit for my girls (or even myself) because satin and lace are really hard to use without snagging...especially when they're paired with Velcro.

Here's another look at Samantha's Ice Cream Parlor from the upstairs display.

And another shot of her Frilly Frock as well.

Samantha's "Holiday" outfit is every bit as cute as it looked on the website.  Unfortunately, it is also still every bit as expensive. ;)

Mimi and I would both love to get Samantha's Wizard of Oz book from her Bedtime Accessories.

Here is Samantha's new Fancy Coat Set (shown here with the tea set from her Holiday Dress Set).  I think it's really cute, although it reminded my mom of a Cruella de Ville outfit. ;)

Here's Samantha's new nightgown and bed.

Here she is in her Bicycling Outfit and her bike.

One of the other outfits I ended up really liking that I didn't expect to was Kit's Meet Outfit.  The green of her dress is much deeper and more of a jewel tone than it looks in the online pics.  I really couldn't capture how lovely it was on my camera.  It's adorable, though.

A closer look at the detail of her meet skirt.

Here she is in her Reporter Dress next to her desk and typewriter set.

This dress is really cute in person, too.

Here is Kaya in her new Meet Outfit.  I definitely prefer the older version of Kaya.  I think her earlier hairstyle with the lower hairline flattered her face a bit more.

Here's the girl-sized outfit inspired by Kaya.  I meant to get pics of the others as well, but I kind of got distracted looking at all of the doll stuff. ;)

Rebecca's new Meet Outfit is darling.  I think I would put her hat down a little farther on her head, though. :)

Rebecca's new "Holiday" Outfit is beautiful (pictured here with her Teatime Traditions set), although I really like her older Hanukkah dress, too.  I also wish they still called her dress a "Hanukkah" dress (and the other dresses "Christmas" dresses, where it's appropriate, while we're on the subject).  This gown has a lot of lovely detail and would work as a great party dress as well.

Addy's new Meet Dress is just stunning.  The blue of the dress looks great with Addy's coloring.  My mom bought one of these, so I'm sure she'll let me borrow it at some point for a review. ;)  

Addy's School Outfit is also lovely. :)

Caroline's new Party Gown and Table and Treats were on display in the front window, along with her parlor.  

Here's a closer look at her Party Gown.  Again, it's cute (and my girls all loved it), but the satin is a huge turn off for me.

I took a picture of Caroline's bonnet from her Meet Accessories just because I've been thinking about adding it to my collection eventually.  It really does look cute on her. :)

I also got pictures of her Travel Outfit and Work Dress, even though they're not new, because I've thought about eventually adding these to my collection as well:

It was great to get to see the new mini dolls in person.  They were really cute.

I loved Samantha...

...and Rebecca...

...but Addy was my absolute favorite.

Unfortunately, both Addy and Rebecca were out of stock, so I didn't get to purchase her at the store.  I was able to pay for her and have her shipped to my home without any shipping charge.  I'm looking forward to getting her in the mail! :)

As I mentioned earlier, we had the chance to meet up with a personal shopper.  When she found out it was my mom's birthday the next day and my birthday the following week, she gave us birthday stickers.  Even Alice got one. ;)

After a long drive, one of our stops was the upstairs bathroom.  I just love the doll holders in each stall. ;)

And since we're upstairs, let's take a look at the My AG section. :)

Here are the two My AG displays:

I was super excited to see the newest My AG doll, #61.  You'll see a lot of shots of her throughout these pictures. ;)

The Campus Snack Cart is on Oldest Gal's wishlist still.  It's super adorable.  I noticed that it was no longer on display to play with.  I wonder if they got tired of losing all of the little pieces? ;)

A closer look at the Snack Cart.

Here's a display with the Gymnastics Set and Gymnastics Outfit.

I was looking forward to seeing the new pets since their revamp.  I really love what they've done with the pet line.  Unlike the older versions of the pets, these ones have posable legs and are softer and cuddlier.

Coconut is my very favorite.  If she wasn't $28, she would have come home with me.

A side view of Coconut.

The Coconut Cutie Outfit is, by far, one of my favorite new outfits from AG.  Thankfully, my mom bought this one, too, so I'll get to enjoy it on her dolls. ;)

Dolls modeling the American Girl Place shirts, pants, and hats.  (Alice came home with the hat.) ;)

Here's #21 in the full American Girl Place ensemble.  So far, I have the sweatshirt and the hat.  I'd love to add the shirt and jeans over the next few visits. ;)

One of the other displays for kiddos to play with included the Sunset Sleepover Tent, the Sunset Sleepover Bag, the Sparkly Camp Outfit, the Trail Accessories, and the Camp Treats Set.  (There was also somebody's leftover Bitty Baby box.) ;)  There were a lot fun things here.  It's kind of crazy to think that to purchase everything shown (NOT including the doll or the Bitty Baby outfit), though, you'd have to pay $239 plus tax. :{  This is why most of my AG purchases come from eBay and Craigslist. ;)  

The camp stove is so cute with all of its little accessories. 

I especially love the little grill pan...

...and the grilled sandwiches that came with it. :)  (Yikes, I still have to remove my fingernail polish!)

Here's beautiful #61 in the adorable Rainy Day Coat.  The coat was the "purchase with purchase" deal while we were there (only $14 with a purchase of $50 or more), so my mom picked up this one for her collection, too. :)  Doesn't it look great on #61?

Here's the Pet Grooming Set, featuring the Chocolate Lab Puppy.

I loved this display with the Violin Set and the Baby Grand Piano.

I would LOVE to add this piano to my collection someday.  I just need more space and more spending money. ;)

This display shows one of the fun backgrounds from AG (this particular one is the Gala Party Scene) as well as the Sweet Spring Dress, the Himalayan Kitten, the Dining Table and Accessories, and the Double-Bow Dress.

Another fun display with pets and some great outfits. :)  From left to right, the outfits are the Coconut Cutie Outfit, the Starry Hoodie Outfit, the School Stripes Dress, and the Bright Stripes Outfit

And another close-up of adorable #61. ;)

And Coconut, too. ;)

Oh, and look at that!  Yet another shot of #61. ;)  She looks really cute in these pajamas. :)

Here is #27 on the adorable Bouquet Bed and Bedding.  I love this set.  I especially want the Coconut pillow.  Unfortunately, the pillow is part of the accessories set, and spending $38 for a doll-sized pillow I want (even if other bedding is included) seems a bit excessive. ;)

This display also includes the Bouquet Nightstand and the Sleepover Accessories.

My favorite part of the accessories is this cute little Apples to Apples Game. :)

I wish I could have gotten even more pictures for all of you, but I'm thankful for the ones that I did get.  As always, I had a wonderful time seeing all of the beautiful dolls, outfits, and accessories in person.  There's something amazing about shopping at an American Girl Place.  I wish all of you had the opportunity to find out for yourselves.  

I didn't purchase much this time around because I knew we had some other stops (such as the Disney Store, Toys R Us, and more), but I definitely added a lot to my wishlist. ;)  In fact, working on this post has kind of been a bad thing.  It's reminding me of all the stuff I like. ;)

It was also great to see the new BeForever releases in person, I'm happy that American Girl has made such an effort to make the historical line appealing to their target audience, and I hope it helps the line to continue for years to come.  

I hope you guys enjoyed this little peek into some of the new things AG has to offer.  I didn't get a whole lot of pictures of the rest of the trip.  Although some things about our trip didn't go exactly as planned, we had a wonderful time together. :)

I'll be sharing some of the goodies I brought back from the trip in coming posts, so be sure to check back soon! :)


Farrah Lily said...

Great photos! I'm really glad you had a nice time. I just adore the historical line, sigh...I have several on my wish list! I especially love Josephina. Rebecca's holiday dress is gorgeous! Such a nice color. #61 is a cutie for sure and she's also going on the wish list as well as a few other My AG dolls. I can definitely see why people collect them :). Going to the store looks like such a fun experience...the displays are very nicely done! Again, I'm so glad you were able to enjoy that time with just you and your mom, browsing the displays and taking your time :). I'm sure the girls were glad to see you when you got home!

Melody Silverleaf said...

Thank you very much for sharing your trip. The closest AGP is over 2 hours from my house, so I have never been able to visit one.
Alice is adorable. I love her outfit!
My Tatlo looks like yours. I think the eyes are a little funny on him, but not nearly as odd as the new version.
I have one issue with the Kaya display and that is the broadly smiling sign...Kaya fans understand why she doesn't show her teeth. This picture and sign are distressing.
Thank you again!

Jan said...

Looks like you had a great time! :-). Your photos definitely flatter the BeForever collection much more than the stock photos!! In fact, after looking at your photos, I like (even love) most of it, even that Fancy outfit of Samantha's that I used to positively hate. ;-). And thanks a lot for making me fall in love with #61. ;-). I really should not purchase her since she looks a lot like Saige, whom I already have, but she is just soooo adorable. I need to go to my 'local' (its like 4 hours away ;-) ) AG place soon!!! :-)
Sorry for the long-winded comment! :-)

Jan <3

Manta said...

It looks like you had a great time!:)

Your pictures make the new AG BeForever stuff look MUCH MUCH better than the stock pictures...I didn't like any of it by the stock pics; now I'm thinking "Weeelll....that IS kinda cute..." LolXD I still don't think it's all historically accurate, but anyways, whatever, I'm not a historian, so yeah...:P
Love your pictures!:)

beastsbelle said...

Thanks so much, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

Melody Silverleaf, I'd completely forgotten about that, but you're absolutely right! Kaya should not be smiling with her teeth! Interesting that that got overlooked. :(

Manta, I'm with you. I do wish the outfits were more historically accurate, but seeing the effort they've put into the line and seeing how beautiful everything is has made me more excited about BeForever. :)

beastsbelle said...

Farrah Lily, we did have a wonderful time. :) Mom, Mimi and I all decided #61 was on our wishlists, too. ;)

And yes, the girls were very glad to have me back. ;)

Lol, glad you enjoyed the pics, Jan. Sorry to make you fall in love with another doll. ;)

Seeing everything in person was great and definitely improved my opinion of some of the new outfits I didn't care for online.

Gracie said...

The BeFOrever line is defiantly growing on me now thanks to your pics. At first I was a little angry, but I'm glad that they are still working on the historical dolls, especially since I heard some silly romur that it would be completely removed
:) thanks for the post

Aileen said...

I was so surprised! Here I was just reading through the post and I see MY name! I couldn't believe it, so awesome to get a shoutout on one of your posts. I'm glad you liked Samantha's Frilly Frock in person. That really is what happened to me. As soon as I walked in the store and saw Samantha standing there I fell in love with her and her Frilly Frock. I might have to get her for myself as a Christmas present. On a side note I agree that's it's silly for them to rename them Holiday dresses when the books specify the character's religions. Also I didn't see that awesome piano on display at my local store, it looks so fancy! If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods, I'd love to meet up with you at the AG store. :)

Smaller Places said...

This is EXCELLENT. I've been sporadically working on analysis of Mattel for work, so I was curious about the merchandising -- but there's no AG store in Arizona, and I don't really know enough about the line to form an opinion if there was.

This was fun -- informative, and like being with you without the sore feet from those STAIRS.

beastsbelle said...

You're welcome, Gracie. Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Aileen, I had to give you a shout out since you were the one who first drew my attention to the fact that the Frilly Frock was much cuter in person. ;) I might not have given it much thought if you hadn't told me about thanks! :)

On the whole "holiday dress" thing, I get that they're trying to play it safe and be politically correct. I just don't understand why they can't call the dresses what they are when the characters specifically celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever.

The piano is gorgeous, but I have no clue where I would put it. ;)

I would love to meet up sometime. :) I don't travel all that much, but I'll keep that in mind. ;)

Smaller Places, so glad you found the post helpful. I was trying to keep my readers in mind as I took the pictures and shared things, thinking of what you guys would want to see if you were there. ;)

Hannah said...

I am absolutely TORN on the American Girls revamp. I grew up with these dolls, and I always would get excited when a new catalog would come in and I could study the pictures. It's really weird for me see the new versions. However, they are adorable. I love Rebecca and Kit in particular. And I ADORE Samantha's Ice Cream parlor, it's really cutesy and fun. :) Love the post, great job!! Glad you had fun. :)

DisneyWorksGirl said...

Glad you had a wonderful time :) Oh will you look at that! My AG 61 is one my wishlist. Gee, thank you Beastsbelle! Grace the dog cracked me up! She looks both irritated and hilarious!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Hannah! Wow, I'm not sure how I missed your comment...sorry about that! :{ I understand your mixed feelings. While I like some of the changes, there are a lot of things I miss about the older historical line, too.

Glad you enjoyed the post! :)

Hi DisneyWorksGirl. :) MyAG #61 is one of my faves, too. My mom and aunt just got her during the latest Jill's Steals and Deals, so I'll be doing a review post of her within the next couple of weeks. Sorry, more temptation. ;)

I agree, Grace looks pretty funny. ;)

DisneyWorksGirl said...

Good for your mom and aunt! Yayy! A 61 post! Don't you dare take good photos of her! ;)

beastsbelle said...

Oops...too late. ;)

DisneyWorksGirl said...