Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Isabelle at American Girl Boston

So yesterday I ventured out to Natick to use an American Girl gift card and some Christmas money that was burning a hole in my pocket. I figured it would be a good time to take some pictures of the new Girl of the Year, Isabelle Palmer, because it was a slow Monday after Christmas break at the AG store.







Isabelle Palmer is this year's Girl of the Year doll from American Girl. If you don't know what Girl of the Year dolls are, they're limited edition dolls that AG offers for one calender year. She usually has a couple of books and a collection of outfits, accessories, and furniture that go along with her story.

Anyways, Isabelle's collection is themed around dance and she goes to a performing arts school in Washington D.C. Besides dance, she's also interested in fashion design and even has her own little sewing machine.

Now for my opinion on her. I don't like her or her collection one bit. She's boring and repeat of what has already been done in the Girl of the Year line. In fact here's a comparison picture of  her with two past Girl of the Year dolls, Mckenna (2012) and Lanie (2010). Not too different right? She looks like Lanie with her hair straightened and she looks like she could one of the generic dolls from the My American Girl line. Now I've heard the argument it's okay for American Girl to do repeats in the Girl of the Year line because most of the children only stay interested for a couple of years, which I can see the logic in this,  except for the fact the two other blondes were done in the past four years and the same children are probably still around for them.

Which brings me on to my next point. The Girl of the Year line has been running since 2001 and there has yet to be a black Girl of the Year. There has been thirteen (fifteen if you want to include Chrissa's friends) dolls and not even one has represented African American girls and only three of them have been non-white. Except Jess and Kanini were part Caucasian so there truly has only been one non-white doll, Marisol.There's also been Sonali, who was Chrissa's sidekick in 2009, and she was of Indian decent, but she could of very well been mixed too judging by her last name, Matthews.

Now you can say all you want that Mattel won't do an African American Girl of the Year doll because darker dolls don't sell as well, but you can't skip over the fact that it's wrong that one hasn't been produced yet. It sends the message to girls who aren't represented that they are different and that they aren't pretty or important enough for American Girl to feature a limited edition character that looks like them. The time is ticking until the public recognizes this, and then there will be bad publicity for American Girl. Actually maybe that's what they need, for the media to call them out on this crap.

Rant over, let's move on to more pictures of Isabelle's collection.


Isabelle has pink ombre extensions that hook into her wig to attract little girls even more. I don't know why they didn't make it part of her wig, probably so conservative parents wouldn't loose their cool with colored hair.  I wasn't too impressed with this feature in person, especially because they can't be seen with her hair down. Plus, the My American Girl line has had clip in colored streaks for quite a long time now, so it isn't something too new to American Girl. They also can't be used with any other doll besides Isabelle because of the way her wig is made to secure them.

If Isabelle made the dress she's wearing, I don't want her to make me any clothes.

Like I mentioned before, Isabelle is interested in fashion design, so of course American Girl had to produce an over priced set for her that highlights this hobby. It comes with the white armoire, stool, sewing machine, sewing basket and sewing stuff, dress form, sketch book, hangers, hat box, fabric swatches, pictures, and ballet tickets. For the low price of $275. I'm not impressed with this at all, and the only thing that interests me is that sewing machine, but my historical girls couldn't use that anyways.


It was out in the open in another display area, so I was able to get a picture of it up close. Cute, but not cute enough for $275.


Isabelle also has a white cat named Tutu, of course. She's surprisingly cute and squishy, and is the only thing I like out of Isabelle's collection. I'll have to buy her before the end of the year for my girls. She's $22.


Here's the dress I hate on the dress form. It's appropriately called Isabelle's Metallic Dress. It's just so yucky and has way too much going on and the sequins on the hem just make it even worse. It may look better on a darker skinned doll because it makes Isabelle look washed out. I want to know who thought this was a good design. It's also $34.


Next up is Isabelle's Performance Set, which apparently she designed herself. I also don't care for this and I can't imagine a professional dance school would allow this. It's also $38!


One of the unique things about Isabelle's collection is that most of her clothing is sold separately so it can be mixed and matched. You can view all of it here on their website. She's wearing the Coral Sweater ($14), Rosette Leotard ($10), Sparkly Skort ($12), and Funky Leggings ($12) in this picture. If you add all of that up, I think it's quite steep for one outfit without shoes or any accessories.


The Rosette Leotard and Funky Leggings again this time paired with her tutu, which is $14.


The last picture of her outfits I took is the atrocious Practice Top, $8, and her Scrunch Pants, $12. The slippers can't be bought separately and come with her Dance Case for $44.


She also has a barre which is being sold for $65 and also comes with another pair of slippers. It's kind of greedy that they are only selling Isabelle's ballet slippers with more expensive sets and not with her outfits, but hey I'm not all that surprised to be honest.


The last picture I have of her is of more of her mix and match pieces. The purple leotard on the far right is kind of cute but I have no use for it in my collection.

So you might be able to tell by now I don't like her or her collection one bit. Well I do like the cat, but that's her pet and even then somehow they sneaked glitter onto it's collar. I actually liked her less in person than in pictures and she's just not unique even with her pink tips, something I feel like the Girl of the Year doll should be. Her clothes are also covered in glitter and sequins, which is a turn off to me. Needless to say, I spent my gift card and money on Kit's Reporter Dress and Accessories, Kit's Summer Dress, Cecile's Parlor Games, and her Chemise and Crinoline. Cecile will be my next doll because I'm afraid she'll be archived soon. The stuff I bought for Kit has been removed from the website, which means it will most likely be retired soon. My mom was also really kind and bought Caroline's Winter Coat and Skate Set for me, so Caroline's pink dress is now covered up.

Anyways, here's hoping next year's Girl of the Year is way more interesting because I'm already bored of Isabelle.





Thanks for reading!


~Heather

14 comments:

  1. Out of curiosity (although I'm dreading the answer a little ahaha), how did the historical displays look? Considering they've retired three things this week alone, I am starting to get a bit concerned that my trip to the New York store on Saturday is going to be super depressing.

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    1. Well New York's displays are always way nicer than Boston's, but last time I was in New York it was August. They also have more in the main display cases because their historical section is smaller than Boston's, but I like how you can see everything together in New York. They weren't too bad but some of the cases had displays of the same thing on both sides and it looked like they were just trying to fill up extra space. I was also sad because I couldn't find Rebecca's Summer Dress in the store. When I got home I looked at the website and it's been removed, so I think it's gone for good. :(

      Take pictures and blog about it if you can though! I always like to read when others go to the store.

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    2. I didn't really get a chance to take pictures - it was super crowded for a random Sunday morning, but honestly I feel like the New York store is really congested no matter when you go, the floor plan just kind of sucks. Every time I've been, I feel like I'm not really enjoying shopping because people keep bumping into me. I also didn't spend too much time looking at the modern/goty stuff because we were sort of in a hurry, but the historical displays looked pretty sparce compared to what they used to be. Like, they do a pretty good job of filling in the gaps? But it's weird realizing how much has been cut lately. Addy's Summer Outfit (the one from her books) has also officially been pulled from the stores according to the sales staff along with Ivy's Rainbow Romper although I kinda expected that, and they said they don't know what's going on with all the speedy retirements either, or at least if they did, they didn't share it with me, haha. :c Julie's Casual Outfit was still in stock though, which surprised me.

      It's also always kind of sad to see how many kids just have random MAGs or Isabelle/Saige/whoever with them at the store versus the historical characters. I saw one each of Rebecca, Kit and Caroline, and two girls had Julie, but so many people commented on how they thought it was awesome that I actually had Addy with me because apparently they never see people buying her or bringing her in. Kind of sad. The girl with Rebecca ended up asking for my advice in what outfit to get her next, which was pretty cute though! Nice to know that there are still some fans of the historicals out there who aren't old fogies like us.

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    3. Yeah it is always really crowded there so I don't blame you. I'm a little worried about why they've been retiring so much of Rebecca's stuff lately. I mean she's lost three things in the last couple of months and I thought things like her Sabbath Set and Hanukkah Accessories would be important parts of her collection. I'm a little sad about Addy's dress going too because I haven't started buying things for her yet because I've been focused on buying stuff for Cecile before it disappears.

      I also am sad to see all of the little kids with the MyAGs and GotY dolls. When I was little everyone had a historical doll but GotYs and MyAGs were pretty new then still. I think it's cute that they were glad to see Addy and the little girl asked you for help. When I brought my Kirsten in a few months ago they were happy to see her too.

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  2. I'm glad someone agrees with me About Isabelle! Plus they already had a girl of the year all about dance and another one with sewing! It's like they are getting lazy to be honest. Almost as if "people liked these two things in past goty dolls lets but them together and make her blonde!"

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    1. I know! There's so many other themes they can choose for them besides stereotypical girly things for them like dance and horses. What about a girl who likes to cook or is interested in photography or something? I mean Marisol was made in 2005, so I guess most girls wouldn't have any idea who she was but still.

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    2. I mean all last year I thought Saige was exactly like Nickie! It was ridiculous!

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  3. I agree completely!!!! Anyway this will save me money---I won't be buying anything!!! I have Marisol and was hoping to get some dance things for her but not this junk !!!!

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    1. I feel like Marisol's collection was much more nicely executed than Isabelle's, so I don't blame you!

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  4. When i was in the NYC store, the little girls and parents were snapping up Isabelles. Some Sewing studios were being ordered too--yeah, I got one and they weren't even in stock. Had to order them, and the website was out too. So she's a-sellin'!

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    1. Oh I'm not surprised! Blonde + pink + ballet = successfully sold to little girls.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this!

    I've been curious to see what the 2014 displays would be like - I keep meaning to visit the Tyson's Corner/DC store, but I wasn't impressed by what I'd seen online of the goty, so I've been lazy about it. I'm sure it's pretty similar to the Boston store, so now you've saved me the trip!

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    1. No problem! Tyson's might be a bit different though since it's probably bigger but you've got all of 2014. ;)

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  6. Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Isabelle!!!

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