Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lea Has No Neck Strings - Zip Tie Instead

So this is a jfyi post.

Jfyi - Lea Clark does not have neck strings.

She has a plastic zip tie holding on her head.

She does not have a string through her neck.

There is no knot at the back of her neck.

There are no strings.

She has no strings.

"I've got no strings
To hold me down
To make me fret, or make me frown
I had strings
But now I'm free
There are no strings on me"

I had to do that ^^^.

And apparently, according to the word on the street, 
all AG dolls will eventually transfer over to this type of production.

So I asked on Instagram for peeps to send me pics of the back of Lea's neck.

And my two new bffs @outdoordolls and @ag_dolphins came through for me.

Crowdsourcing my friends.

@outdoordolls sent me a poster from the store display 
that flagrantly displays the back of Lea's neck.

It's like ^^^ "Hey! Check out my lack of strings!!!
But they still tucked my compass necklace string into my dress for some reason...."

And @ag_dolphins sent me three pics of the back of Lea's neck.

And you can see the bump of the zip tie closure under the copyright sign.

According to everyone's research - the company made this change because thousands, if not millions, of poor ignorant idiots would cut the strings down to the nubs or try to cut it out altogether.

(Not because the price of string suddenly went sky-high or something....)

I guess those idiots thought it didn't look good.

But they didn't put one and one together 
to get the fact that that string is the only thing holding the doll head in place.


So then American Girl had to keep fixing all these strings left and right - for free.

So yeah. Now we have zip ties.

Because American Girl is tired of paying for dumb people's mistakes.

Now I understand if it's like an 8 yr old who thinks -- 
"I don't like these strings, let me cut them out" - not knowing what was about to happen.

But why are we trusting 8 yr olds with scissors!?!!???!!?!

Some 30 yr olds shouldn't even be trusted with scissors....

And so - the people with the scissors 
were most likely adults - who never studied how the doll is held together 
before they decided to play surgeon.


A lot of people don't like the zip ties.

I honestly don't care.

I will rip open the seam.

And cut the zip tie.

And take it out of her neck.

And re-string the neck with a safety pin and some candlewick 
or string or ribbon or whatever I have around me.

Part of a cat toy.

Who knows?

It's more exciting that way.

And I will tie and untie Lea's head whenever I feel like it.

But I'm an adult, who can do those things.

Anybody else who isn't trusted with a seam ripper and scissors is screwed.

So true story:

A long, long time ago I ordered a Just Like Me/Truly Me #25 once.

And she came with a zip tie in her neck instead of the string.


Who knows.

She was supposed to be brand new.

And there was no X on her butt or anything.

Somewhere along the line she got a zip tie.

Was her string replaced?

Did she always have a zip tie?

Who knows....

It will be a forever-mystery, as she can't talk...

But I was like -- "What the heck is wrong with her neck? Where's the strings?"

So I cut that zip tie apart.

Took her head off.

Inspected her insides.

Because I was really wondering why the eff she had a zip tie, as a brand new doll.

Not one back from the doll hospital.

A returned doll maybe?

Who knows...

Can you tell that this still bugs me?

I don't like unsolved mysteries.

But it's not like I could put the cut zip tie back into her neck - 
that's not how they work.

(I foresee AG having to replace a lot of cut zip ties...)

So I restrung her neck with a brand new white shoelace.

So yes - one of my dolls sports a white shoelace at all times.

My point is -- restringing the neck is not fun, it's not necessarily easy either, 
but it can be done.

So don't be afraid to slice that zip tie and restring your doll's neck.

That's the way I remove the heads to take off their wigs.

It's a lot easier scalping just a head than a whole body.

And of course, you need to take off a doll head to do an eyeswap.

Or restring a limp doll.

Or replace the stuffing.

Or clean the cloth body in a washing machine, etc.

Or make sure AG hasn't stuffed a dead rat into one of their dolls 
and shipped it to me as a payback for this blog....

So yeah -- it might seem like American Girl is telling all of us customizers to go jump off a cliff - but it's not like you can't get around the zip tie.

It's just a pain in the butt.

I will report to you how my restringing of Lea's neck goes once I do it myself. :-)

I am hoping that it will go as it has in the past - a fairly straightforward job.

Just not with a white shoelace this time....


If you have Lea and you have already re-strung her neck - 
please comment below about your experience!

I'd love to hear how it went and if there were any problems, etc.


Thank you so much to @outdoordolls and @ag_dolphins 
for helping me with this post!!!


Thank you for visiting us today!!!


jSarie said...

For what it's worth, I don't think zip ties are much trouble at all. I have a doll from SewDolling's SewAble line whose head was attached that way, and when I re-headed her with an AG head it really wasn't any kind of pain to snip it and go on with the head swap. :)

Melody Silverleaf said...

So does this mean that if I send a doll to the AG Hospital for re-stringing she will not com back with her original string?

Nora and Maple said...

Good question Melody - but I have no clue of the answer.

I'd ask that on the AG doll boards before sending in the doll in for restringing. Other people could tell you about their experiences.

But I would just assume that she might not come back with her original string and with a zip tie instead in the future. That way if it does happen, you aren't too traumatized. :-/

You could always take out the original string before you send her in. Then replace it in her neck once she comes back.

Melody Silverleaf said...

I've read some experiences and have been hoping to avoid sending her anywhere. Alas, limbs do not tighten themselves. I've seen the tutorials and know I couldn't do it myself either.

Traci Akierman said...

It does seem like they are trying to discourage customisers, but I've also heard that they had to make the change to conform to safety standards in other countries they are hoping to expand to. I also heard that AG plans to use strings on those dolls that previously had strings when they go to the hospital, but i don't know if that's true. If I get Lea, I have no problem cutting that tie if I need to do work on her or customise.

Laura said...

I'm very upset no strings and I don't even customize. I don't like the idea of my dolls with plastic garbage tie around their necks.

MakenzieAG said...

About your #25 having a zip tie, Back in the day (idk when) AG temporarily gave all their dolls zip ties (idk why). So your 25 is probably fairly old, and is one of the rarer dolls that had zip ties :)

Anonymous said...

I received my Lea doll in February and did not know she had a zip tie until that time. I started researching it and found out that was the case with all the Lea dolls. One person on an American Girl website review had posted that the zip tie on her doll punched a hole in the fabric of the neck and she sent it back to the company for a replacement. I was concerned that could happen with my doll as I could feel a sharp end where the zip tie had been cut. I decided to replace the zip tie as I had a neck string. There were only two stitches closing the seam where the zip tie was located and I removed them with a seam ripper. I was glad to find the fabric would need no mending or seaming as it had a finished look. I stretched the zip tie out a bit with a jewelry plier and that made it easy to cut in two with scissors and not worry about damaging the doll's vinyl. I ran the neck string through by using a small safety pin to pull it along through the fabric. The whole process took about 20 minutes and I am very happy with the result.

Kaleysmomma said...

At the end of December, we sent in our Emily doll for a new head, and limb tightening. She returned with head strings. However, several years ago my mother sent in my pleasant company Samantha doll in for a new head, and she came back with a zip tie. So I'm not really sure if there's a way to predict how your doll will return to you.

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