Thursday, December 10, 2015

Honest Editorial: Our Opinions on Grace, GOTY 2015

So in this previous post about our opinions on Lea's Leaks:
...we mentioned that we'd be analyzing Grace and her collection, from our point of view.
(We can really only write from our point of view, haha.)

So today we address that topic.

"She's a big-ideas girl who 
makes baking her business."

(For some reason we kept reading that motto as
"She's a big-breasted girl who makes baking her business.")

(Clearly we have some mental issues.)

(For some of our Instagram pics of Grace, go here:

Grace is on her way out.

Is she going out with a bang???
A big bang???
A big-breasted bang???

Well, her bakery sold out quite quickly.

But given the amount of flailing American Girl was doing with sales and deals on her collection items, I don't think the rest of her collection has been selling as well as they thought it would.

And the bakery probably only sold out so quickly because their stock was so small.

The rest of the stuff went on bizarre discounted specials,
like they were trying to make sure it all sold out BEFORE NOVEMBER.

What? Why?
Huh. Okay....???

Our primary opinion on Grace's collection 
is that the items are just way-way too expensive.

And not just expensive -- but over-priced.

Like not worth the cost they are asking us to pay.

So we haven't been paying it - and apparently you haven't been paying it either (???) because they have put up a lot of things on discount.

We've never really seen this many deals before for any GOTY merchandise during her year.

Yes, we've still been seeing Saige and Isabelle's merch on sale, marked-down in price, and with different names on their website now for quite a while.

And we saw that with Chrissa's stuff as well.
(Snowtube, anyone??)

Which is just weird -- but I'm not complaining about it.

Sure, if it's still in stock, keep selling it.
Don't waste it by throwing it all out.

And you are giving people who couldn't buy the stuff at the time the chance to buy that stuff.

I don't mind that the GOTY stuff hangs around.

What I mind is the over-priced-ness of it when you release it, American Girl.

$120 for the doll and a paperback book.

Why $120? Why so expensive?

Why not the same price as other dolls?

I'm confused.

There isn't really anything in her packaging worth the extra $$$.

Is that hideous meet outfit worth $5 more than
the $115 for a Truly Me doll and her hideous meet outfit???

$5 more for Grace's charm bracelet?

$5 more for some Chinese person to braid her hair?

$5 for "free" ear-piercing, if you want it?

If you don't want it, too bad -- you still have to pay the $5.

Why are you charging me more?

But besides my whining about her price --
The Grace doll is the most valuable thing in her collection.

We love the doll.

We love her hair, her unique eyebrows, her unique freckles, and the combo of brown hair and blue eyes. And we love the Josefina face mold in general. We even like her weird side-bangs.

She is a very beautiful doll.

We bought two of these dolls, we liked her so much.
One to scalp (un-wig and customize) and one to keep as-is.

So yes, we laid down $240, plus taxes, for 2 of these dolls.

We are suckers.

The meet outfit.

80% useless to us.

We love the boots, even with the bows.
We accept the existence of the bows.

And the bracelet is cute.
We like tiny jewelry.

We have no use for the shirt, skirt, or undies, though.
We kept trying to mix and match them into other outfits, and they just didn't work.

And "blergh" to the pink-ness.

We don't like pink.

So the $38 Opening Night Outfit 
was not purchased for our household.

(Yes, we said that in bold and larger font.)

We like the design of the dress.
It is very pretty.

But it's pink.
And not like a little bit pink.
Like all-over, unavoidable 80's blush pink.

We thought the sandals looked neat -- but who wants to spend $38 on sandals?

And what is that thing growing out of her head?

I think she needs to see a doctor....

$32 for her Meet Accessories,
aka "Welcome Gifts."

Pink. Pink. Pink.

Pink beret. Pink cookies. Pink flowers.

And you want me to spend $32 on what?

Yeah, no. Not happening. I have no use for any of that ^^^.

This is also true of the....

$32 Paris Accessories.

They are like a second set of Meet Accessories.
So that's $64 of meet accessories.

Okay. I like a good accessory set.
I like accessories.
But these aren't worth $32.

I can find a doll purse like that in Target for like 5 bucks....
what is so special about this set that I am going to spend $32 on it?


The $34 City Outfit. Um.

We bought this ^^^, unlike that pink dress that is never coming into our house.

But we haven't been able to mix and match it into outfits yet.
Nothing looked right when we tried to style it for our dolls.

The shorts kept looking like pajama bottoms,
or like sporty practice shorts for cheerleaders or something.

And the sweater was just over-powering with it's giant LOVE,
sequined heart, and bright red color.
This is not a subtle red that goes with a lot of other colors.

And those shoes.
They look like bedtime slippers.
Not "city shoes."

Perhaps someday we'll figure out how to use this outfit -- but so far it hasn't worked for us.

So that's $34 that we are like -- why'd we do that???

$24 Pajamas.

Completely lackluster.

The cheapest outfit in her collection, and not even worth buying.

What about these was supposed to call out to me?

They look like they were bought by Grandma for a 3-yr-old.

$19.95 for an apron and oven mitt.

Burn them. Burn them with fire.
And then burn the ashes.

Yes, a lot of people went bonkers over these things and HAD TO HAVE THEM.

No. Just no.
Totally out of scale for the dolls.
We think they're really, really ugly.

Which is kinda appropriate since we thought her Baking Outfit was hideous and styled for babies.

$34.00, First Day of Preschool Outfit.
Sold Out.

Yeah, I think that wraps up our opinion on that thing ^^^.

$28.00 for a Coat.
Sold Out.

Totally typical for American Girl's pricing.

But no boots. No hair accessories.
No mittens. No hat.


Is this one of a kind?
Am I the only person on the planet with this coat?
Is it made out of baby seal skin?

We bought this. And intended to take off the bow from the front.

We took some pics of Maple in it.
And it looked hideous on her.

We like the style of the coat.
But this baby blue color is just not to our taste.

So this is another purchase we are like -- why???
We still haven't figure out how this works in our wardrobe yet.

$44 for a Suitcase.
Sold Out.

Even if I didn't think this was hideous 
-- those two colors should not be put together -- 
why would I spend $44 on this???

Didn't buy this.

$22 of uselessness.
Sold Out.

I didn't even flinch toward the "Add to Cart" button when this came out.

$22 French Bulldog.
This doesn't really look like a French Bulldog to us.

And the stitched eyes don't do anything for this dog.
They make her look fake, like a stuffed toy
(which she is one---but not to Grace).

I think the other American Girl pets are really cute.

Why didn't they use the same styling for this dog???

So no. Didn't buy this either.

$28 Sightseeing Accessories.

Oooo!!!! An accessory set that isn't $32!!!

I wanted to like this set.

But as previously mentioned, Maple thought those looked like some kinky kinky boots -- so we skipped those.

And the shrug's red color was really REALLY red.
Again, a red that doesn't go with many other colors.
AND it's not even the same red as the LOVE sweater.

And those sunglasses.
Well, it's not 1985.
And I'm no longer 4 years old.
So, nooooooo.

$30 Sightseeing Outfit.

The fact that they charged less for this outfit than the "Welcome Gifts" and "Paris Accessories" tells me -- because this was the halfway through the year Grace release -- that her overpriced items were not selling well.

The only outfit cheaper than this one is her pajamas.

Of course, this is only a top, skirt, and shoes.
And they wanted you to buy the hairstyling set, and the sightseeing accessories set as well when this was released.

But really, $30 is surprisingly low in comparison to
what they had been charging for Grace items.

Is it worth $30?
But we bought it anyways because it actually seemed to be useful.

We have actually styled a couple outfits with these pieces.
(After we took the bow off of the shirt.)

We haven't photographed them yet, because that would make too much sense.

But out of all of Grace's outfits -- 
this is the most useful one.

We'll say that in big font, just so you take note. ;-)

$150 Pastry Cart. You're kidding, right?
Sold Out.

So this thing was $150.

It's worth about $65 bucks, at most $75.

Even those are expensive price-tags not meant for mortal humans.

And even I really, really wanted it -- I wouldn't have paid $150 for it.

And this was the more-affordable option if you couldn't drop the $500 for the bakery.

Sold Out.

$500. Yeah, right.

Um, no.

We we're going to buy it. 

And then we decided we could make a whole 6 foot by 6 foot doll kitchen 
for a lot less money. So we did that instead.

Anyways, there is a lot of play-potential with the cart, and the bakery, and the bistro set.

$85, also sold out.

But that's $735.

And $820 if you actually wanted 2 chairs.

Goodness, why would you want TWO CHAIRS?!?!?!?!

So you just dropped $820, so you could have more than one customer at a time at your bakery.

And you don't even have any dolls, or clothing.

And if you wanted the set to actually make cookies and stuff...

$68 Baking Set.
Sold Out.


Not including taxes and shipping.

We got this because we wanted the mixer.
But really $68 is insane for a doll mixer.
I acknowledge this truth.
I acknowledge this insanity.

So it becomes a game of -- 
"What can I afford to buy this year from the collection?"

And no longer -- "Oooo!!!! 
Let me get the whole GOTY collection!!!"

Which is fine.

Especially if you really want to cater to the people
who will drop all that money for the whole collection.

But I don't like it.

I get it, American Girl, you like rich people more than you like me.

But obviously there are only so many rich people in the world ready to drop all the money for everything at the top price -- because you had to give discounts on almost everything except for the bakery.

And that seems to be the only way you were able to get things to sell-out.

Cough, cough.

And there was so much back-lash that if someone actually wanted some baked-goods she had to pay at least $150 for that cart -- that American Girl released
an in-store exclusive set of baked-goods for $18.

Grace's French Dessert Set, $18.
Sold Out.

This sold out faster than you can say "French boogers"
-- and is now re-selling online for $40 or more.

But that ^^^ totally felt, to us, like this:
"Here poor people. Here's some cheap treats.
Stop complaining about the cost of everything else
that looks completely awesome,
like the bakery and the cart.
You can't afford that stuff.
You are poor.
We don't like poor people.
Have a baguette and shut up you stupid whiners!"

But clearly they didn't really intend on having a
significant stock of these treats, because they were gone so quickly.

They wanted you to drop your cash on the bakery, cart, bistro, and baking set instead.

It was more of just a gesture.
Not really something helpful.

So, anyways......

We have come to the final question.....

Does all this ^^^ mean that Lea's collection will be priced as high as Grace's...

Or will it be cheaper???

Well, you are just silly in the head if you think her items will be priced lower.

They will be about the same prices as Grace's stuff or even higher.

Someone out there is paying the high prices.

So with the first wave of release euphoria, American Girl is getting that full price from its customers.

We are suckers.

And there are A LOT of people who need the newest, shiniest items ASAP.

And then later on in the year, in an attempt to clear out stock, they'll probably come back with the discounts and sales and specials.

This seems to be a purposeful tactic.
Like, on purpose.

They'll keep starting out with the super-high prices 
because they are getting away with it.

People are still buying.

And they are in the business of making money.


But overall, for us, Grace's collection was a bust.

Yes, we bought 6 things -- but we didn't really feel invested in the collection or in Grace as a character. She was just too expensive. I couldn't get excited about her, her collection, or her story.

The collection just made us feel like our pockets weren't deep enough
for her to be our big-breasted, baking, gold-digging trophy wife.....I mean, doll....


How about you guys?

Did you get a lot of pieces from Grace's collection?

Just a few pieces?


How do you feel about her collection???

Let us know in the comments!!!


American Girl Doll Artist said...

I understand your views on Grace's collection. I just think American Girl was trying to appeal to the target market, and in doing so, they had to create clothes similar to clothes girls wear today, and add in some of their own surprises. Girls wear a lot of pink. That's a fact. It's also a fact that if they produce a lot of pink clothing, younger girls are bound to purchase or want them.
The pieces of Grace's clothing collection mix and match pretty well with each other, if you only use the clothing from her collection.
I do wish the Bistro came with 2 chairs, I am surprised American Girl didn't think of that. All the other tables and chairs (notice the "s") have 2 chairs.
- American Girl Doll Artist

Cath Young said...

Like Grace. Found the Meet outfit great for inexpensive mix and match as well as the sweater/shorts set. Works with store pieces and TM old meet outfit as well as bits and pieces here and there. Got most of her wardrobe. Agree about the wardrobe accessories.

Not heavily into the bake theme. So didn't buy into it. Just a bit here and there including the in store bake goods.

Frankly, most of her things one could buy at very steep discount. Just not the bakery, and those who had access to Costco cards could even get that at 80% its ask price. With free shipping stackable this year, did pretty well price wise with Grace's things. Did not pay full price for a single thing, on top of using Costco gift cards.

Most of her shoes were terrible. Loved your commentaries on AG shoes. With you all the way on that.

DJwolf-Addy said...

Great Post! I agree with all that you said, When was younger (not that long ago :) Things were a tad cheaper and way more appealing. Barely anything there is worth it to me.

Anonymous said...

you pretty much summed up the whole of this collection. I think AG will continue the overpriced craziness with Lea's collection. Already, there is a $500 treehouse, which will probably sell out like the Bakery.
I bought Grace on sale and only her outfits with the 20% off and I only bought 2 of her outfits. The city and the site seeing outfit and the site seeing accessories. I do like the patent boots though and when they went on sale for $19, I thought it was okay. I WILL make that red shrug work with a black turtleneck and jeans or a black skirt.
There was no way I was overpaying for that pink beret for a doll, when I won't spend more the $10 on one for myself (thank you H&M. I have no use for fake cookies and macaroons. I felt the accessories were extremely overpriced. I also felt, AG should have Grace come with pierced ears, especially is she was already a bit more expensive, then the other dolls, but AG just has to get in that extra money for those dang cute earrings. Apparently, they were successful as they are doing the same with Lea. You want her exclusive earrings set?? Then fork over an extra $16.00!

Melody Silverleaf said...

Hi! Yes, i do believe you are correct about poor Grace and her collection. In January I tallied up what I wanted and even without the big stuff it came to $500+. So I waited and watched and read the reviews about different pieces in the collection. So this past week when her collection was Day 6 of the 12 Days of Specials, I got Grace, Bonbon, and her pajamas for less than just the doll at retail price. I was too late for some of the other wardrobe pieces I liked, but that's okay. Notice I didn't add in the Welcome Gifts. Still way over priced for the reviews I saw. Yes, I might miss them, but there was so much paper.

Flo said...

I picked up several items in the recent sales, and overall I actually liked this collection, but no way was I going to pay those prices. And now that the bakery has sold out, it is going for even more asinine prices on Ebay, I've seen several sell for more than $3000. I don't like that at all because to me, it's going to drive the retail prices up as well. American Girl will see that and think "hmmmm...maybe we aren't charging enough, let's raise the price!" And the Welcome Gifts and Accessory set were way overpriced, yet one of them has sold out. I just shake my head.

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