REMINDER: You can get one or both Chatty Cathy patterns from my etsy store FREE until Jan 1st – Post a picture of something you’ve made during this Chatty Cathy series (for your CC or any other doll they’d fit) here and send me a link (jenniebagrowski at gmail dot com). For each thing that you’ve made you can request either “Nursery School” OR “Sunday Visit”. If you want both patterns, you’ll need to post 2 things you made during this series. If you just post on flickr, I don’t have your email, so make sure to send me a link and tell me which pattern you want!
I’m going to guess you’ve either gotten the new AG catalog or seen the leaks online by now.
The AG GOTY dolls’ back stories lately are so realistic and relatable to regular kids’ lives, right? I mean, when MY grandparents’ bakery in France was struggling, MY family dropped everything, hopped on a plane and helped save it, just like Grace! And then this year is even MORE relatable, because, you know, lots of kids get to abandon their lives here in the US and go live in Brazil, and all of Brazil is just rainforest, fruit stands and treehouses…right? 😉
So I happened down the Our Generation aisle at Target and check out my find:
No, not Saila, the science set. Pretty awesome, huh? For around $6 you get the safety glasses, flask, test tubes and microscope. It gets better…there’s an actual light and a lens you can focus on the microscope!! No slides, but those are easily made from scraps of clear plastic. As I was taking apart the packaging to toss in the recycling, something caught my eye…http://www.ogdolls.com/free-the-children
This was so reminiscent of my dearly departed H4H and Karito dolls I actually went back to Target and really LOOKED at the dolls themselves. I always pass them up as generic “imitation” dolls, and in all the stores I’ve visited, their ethnic diversity has, until recently, been sadly lacking. The April doll caught my eye, primarily because of her beautiful green eyes that are similar to mine. Most doll manufacturers do a grassy green color that is blatantly unrealistic, and that’s sometimes the case with red hair too. AND April came with glasses…just like me, poor thing. She lacks freckles but I’m thinking some time in the high altitude sun should cure that 🙂
So, even though I was super excited about the release of AG Lea, who disappointingly just looks like Rebecca with longer hair, and Melody, who Amazon led us to believe was also getting released Jan 1, I bought April instead, and she’s going to be the WrenFeathers GOTY for 2016. Why an OG? AG is just getting shameless with their price increases and big-ticket items and I don’t always see quality to match those prices. I love my AGs, I love going to the AG store, but it seems the “store experience” has become a thing and they’re skimping on quality while you help pay their rent in the most expensive shopping districts in that area. In contrast, probably everyone has a Target within a reasonable driving distance and goes there anyway to get other things and the doll aisle is just a bonus. Based on the devastation of the OG aisle at my local Target right before Christmas (hubby commented it looked as though it had been looted), OG dolls are hugely popular with kids. They’re affordable, supposedly responsibly manufactured, and giving back some of their profits to help kids in developing countries. Plus, this doll is more relatable to real people than one that’s jetting off to live in Brazil and needs you to buy her a $400 tree house to live in and a $150 fruit stand to run.
The “GOTY” plan is that every month there will be a free pattern or craft for her, sort of like a year-long series and I will try to make an effort to relate those to her hobbies, interests, etc. (Don’t worry, I’ll still do other dolls too!) As I examined the OG offerings, they’ve really stepped up their game in terms of creating trendy, cute things. Unfortunately, it’s rather hit-or-miss as to whether you can actually find what you want for sale at your local store and when you order online, apparently they don’t really have what you ordered. I found Zuri, who has a beautiful new face mold, on the Target website and ordered her just before Christmas, thinking she and April could be friends. A few days before she was scheduled to arrive, I got an email saying my order was canceled without any explanation why. I was pretty sad, and am hoping the birthday fairy might come through and you’ll see her here soon…
So, you might not be able to get the OG outfits you want, and since they’re trying to mass-produce them for a reasonable price, the quality might not be the same as what an experienced seamstress could do at home for her own dolls, and for those reasons I might do versions of some of their outfits in this series too. Look for the first installment next week!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you have a favorite OG outfit you can’t find and want to make? Suggestions for April’s “back story” (hobbies, interests, etc.)? Post a comment below!
Happy New Year!