Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day, Spirit Week, AG News, and Disney Store Dolls

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope your day is spent with someone special, whether it's a husband, wife, sweetheart, or good friend. Hubby and I were too tired to do much other than say "Happy Valentine's Day" to each other this morning as we stumbled out of bed and got ready for the day. That's what happens when your girls have Spirit Week, Homecoming, Valentine's Day parties, and the Awana Grand Prix all in the same week. ;D

Speaking of Spirit Week, I thought I'd keep with tradition and share some photos of the girls here. :) A HUGE thank you to my parents for helping with costumes.💓This year, all of the dress-up days have a board game theme. Today's was "Candyland." Oldest Gal and Middle Gal's costumes were so wide, I had to do individual pictures this time. ;)

Oldest Gal went as a peppermint. Best costume idea ever! She chose all red and white clothing. We cut a big circle out of cardboard and painted it to look like a peppermint. (She actually did the painting herself.) We added handles on the back and then wrapped the "candy" in clear cellophane to look like a candy wrapper. This whole look cost us $2 because we didn't have red tights. ;) Everything else either we had or my parents had.

Middle Gal went as a slice of cake (complete with a cherry on top). This costume is actually one that my mom made for me when I was in high school celebrating Spirit Week. We just added the red beanie ($1 at Walmart) for a finishing touch. (Middle Gal didn't want to wear a paper candle hat with orange and yellow tissue flame like I did.) ;) I think she kind of looks like a Shopkin. She just needs some eyeballs on the front of the cake slice. ;) 

Little Gal decided to be Queen Frostine from the Candyland game. This was a dress my mom had in her dress-up tote. We added a tiara from Dollar Tree to complete the look. :) Unfortunately, Little Gal's throat started bothering her again, so she wasn't able to go to school. I'm hoping with a day of rest, she'll feel well enough to go tomorrow.

Any of you who follow the American Girl Facebook page are probably aware of some of the changes being made to the dolls this year, and the backlash that's happening from fans. This year, American Girl dolls will start having permanent underwear as part of their lower torso. The reason is supposedly to make playtime easier and to keep the underwear from getting lost, but it seems more like a cost-cutting measure. 

There are some definite concerns from AG fans on this. Aside from the fact that the underwear can never come off, it seems like a cheapening of the brand. I'm particularly concerned with how this will affect the quality of the dolls after seeing this video from an AGPlaythings member who actually ended up with one of the dolls with permanent panties. I mean, it kind of looks like the doll had an accident in her pants. :( It's possible (hopefully) that this is a defective doll and they won't all look like this.

My girls are incredibly disappointed at this decision by the company. It's actually made them think they might not want to add the dolls they've thought about purchasing for their collections. It will be interesting to see what happens with this in the future. All I know is I'm really glad I'm not working in the American Girl marketing or design department right now. ;)

In happier news, American Girl has released information about some of the new dolls they'll be releasing this year. Among the more notable releases are Logan, their first boy doll, Felicity, the cherished historical doll back from the archives, and Nanea, a new BeForever doll with a new face mold. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the look of the new mold, but I want to hold off on my thoughts until I see her in person this fall when she's released. You can see a slideshow of all of the new dolls and a little information about them HERE.

Speaking of seeing things in person and holding off judgement, I've tried really hard to not voice an opinion on the infamous Disney Store live-action Belle doll until I actually saw her in person, which was supposed to be next weekend. But then I discovered the the 25% off Friends and Family sale was this past weekend instead, and an online exclusive (I'm so sorry I didn't get on here to let you guys know!). Because of that, I made the decision to go ahead and order both Belle and the Beast on Friday. Amazingly, they arrived yesterday!

And...yeah...I have to say I'm pretty disappointed: 

I really hoped that seeing her in person would help, but she's all wrong. Her forehead is ginormous, her freckles are way too dark, and while you can tell she's supposed to be Emma Watson, she's about the most unflattering version of her you could find. Her face mold seems almost crooked, too. One eye is higher than the other one. When you look closely, it's really noticeable. She actually looks better in this photo with the soft lighting than in person. It's so sad. :( I really wanted to love her.

The Beast, on the other hand, is incredible. I'm really having a hard time sticking to my original plan of leaving him in the box, especially since the box got a little smooshed in the back during shipping. 

So, at this point, my plan is to take these two to the Disney Store with us this coming weekend. I want to see if I can get a Beast with a better box and see if there happens to be a Belle with a slightly better face. I do plan on keeping a Belle doll, though, either way. I'm still following through with my original plan of deboxing her just enough to remove her freckles and face shine. I'm also still planning to buy a Hasbro Belle to practice a face repaint. If I'm pleased enough with the result, I'll try repainting my Disney Store Belle's face. I'd also like to rebody her on a Made to Move Barbie body. But I'll keep you guys posted on how that all goes.

I'm not sure that I'll debox the Beast, as tempting as it is, but I will definitely share more pictures either way in a later post. Just not this week. This week is crazy. The only reason I managed to scrounge up enough time to post anything today was because I ended up home with a sick kiddo. ;)

Hope you all have a lovely week! I'll be back next week with pics from our birthday trip. :)


Meritre said...

Such creative costumes!

I saw some edits and Belle looks better without her freckles and if her hair is arranged a little better. There was even a photo of her with removed freckles (not an edit) but I can't find it now.
In short I agree, the freckles must go.

Hannah Prewett (beastsbelle) said...

Thanks, Meritre! It's been fun getting in touch with our creative sides. :) It's always a little crazy coming up with this many costumes in one week, though. ;)

Yes, I definitely think the no freckle thing will improve Belle. Getting rid of that awful shine will be nice, too. From there, we'll see how brave I am. ;)

Al Ro said...

Oof, that Belle looks a bit like she's recovering from the flu...a sweaty face with puffy eyes.

I really don't collect American girl dolls (6 inches too large for my storage capabilities) but I admire Nanea, I think she might be a beautiful and gentle way to teach children about history...only because her description says "She does her part to help and heal during wartime". Then again, AG might not even include anything about that...I guess we'll wait and see.

Amber Spaulding said...

Like you I am totally disappointed in the live action Belle doll, I love Emma Waston but this dolls face is a terrible representation of her and I was really excited about her. I don't know if there a reason better versions of her face or what, I do hope that you can find a better version of her when you go to the store. On the other hand her dress though is gorgeous! I think Disney did an excellent job at copying her dress from the movie, I would definitely get the doll just for the dress.

Maybe do a outfit switch to the Hasbro version, since that one seems to be the better Belle version from the movie.

Farrah Lily said...

Hi Hannah,
I am also pretty disappointed w/ AG's recent decisions and all of the new changes that have been happening. I guess I am the most irritated by the candy-coated responses and reasons they are using as to why these changes are taking place. If they just admitted that they are doing this to save money then fine, I'd be ok with that because from a business perspective, they need to do what they have to do. On the other hand though, that leads me on a whole other tangent though about lining CEO pockets instead of preserving the integrity of the business and value that it has brought to it's customers over all of these years.
As for Tenney, I think she's very cute and if I were younger, she would be my PERSONALITY soulmate doll, lol. Her and Lea, I think have the most interests that would've been similar to mine growing up. I would love to start seeing more photos of her to see if she is one that I would want to add as my AG collection is quite small and I don't have any that look like her.
The new mold looks pretty cute to me in the photos I've seen, but I agree..just have to wait until the real photos come out to make a good judgement.
As for Logan..no interest what-so-ever for me. I'm not the hugest fan of boys dolls in this scale. The only ones that were ever really pleasing to me are the ones by Kidz and Catz.
And I totally agree with you on the Belle doll...such a shame. I have to say though, I LOVE her outfit in the Gaston 2 pack. There have been some beautiful repaints on Instagram that I've seen and even just adding some paint to her hairline and using acetone to remove the freckles, and maybe add some additional shading on her upper and lower lids seems to have made such a difference.
I feel like the body to head proportions are off a bit as well. She may look better on a MTM body that is a little more substantial. I can't wait to see what you do with her (if you feel brave enough). :)