NOTE: This set was originally called Chicken and Chiles and it did NOT have the wooden lantern included until AG retired the Christmas Eve Set in 2001.
After it included the lantern it became known as the Christmas Accessories Set.
I got these today to finish off my Josefina's collection. This set consists of the lantern from the Ramilletes and Bizcochitos set, and then the Chicken, two eggs, cage, and chiles from the original Chicken and Chiles set. My grade for this set? C-.
I got the Ramilletes and Bizcochitos set on sale five years ago at least, and the lantern was the big letdown in the set--and back then it was made by Pleasant Company. Mattel hasn't changed the lantern at all, except the door doesn't seem as fragile. The supposedly mica windows aren't mica (they never have been, for Mattel or Pleasant Company) they're some sort of hard plastic glued to a softer plastic glued to the wooden sides and door of the little box. There is no candle in this lantern, so the lantern is pretty much decorative. Mine arrived broken in the set I got today, but I didn't shed any tears or call AG up over it because I have the equally as crappy Pleasant Company lantern from the Ramilletes set.
The cage for the chicken is wood, and has little bits of wood to simiulate bedding glued to the bottom of the cage. The cage opens and closes. The chicken itself is plastic with feathers glued to it; not too bad but she doesn't sit very well in the cage. The eggs, and there are two of them, are very easy to loose and fit right through the gaps in the cage.
Finally there are two strings of chiles, their purpose relevant to Josefina's Christmas story, but otherwise somewhat annoying, because you get another string of chiles with the Cocina Supplies.
This set just isn't that nice. I'm surprised AG hasn't retired it yet. The lantern honestly was not that nice with the original Ramilletes set. It could have been made better but is not made any better.
I'll have pictures up soon, when I get around to reviewing the Ramilletes and Bizcochitos set.
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2015 15:32:48 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Post by American Girl Rescue on Aug 3, 2007 18:39:43 GMT -5
I actually have the older, Pleasant Company Chicken and Chiles set, so I didn't get the aforementioned 'crappy' lantern with my set.
I think the chicken is adorable! She may be plastic, but she's well made, authentic looking and has real feathers (or what looks like 'real' feathers). Her tiny, speckled eggs are very real looking but they do roll right under the bars of the cage, so you must be careful with them.
The cage is so Mexican, it's perfect! Having lived in Mexico myself at one time, this brings back so many wonderful memories of the peddlers on the streets selling their chickens and eggs. I love the bits of straw and twigs glued to the bottom to represent the nest.
I adore the ristras (strings of red chiles.) I find them very life like, and proportioned to Josefina just perfectly. Besides, my Cocina Supplies set came from the MCM and was missing it's chiles so these come in very handy as replacements!
Post by green chile supergirl on May 30, 2009 20:09:50 GMT -5
I received Josefina's chicken and chiles as a gift several years ago. The chicken is adorable with its fluffy feathers. I love the bits of straw in the delicate cage. AGR is so right in warning about watching the eggs- they roll away so easily! I have two, which I keep in the little cardboard box they arrived in.
The chiles are the same as the ones with the cocina supplies. It's so cunning to use twists of paper as chiles on a ristra!
I have the later version of this set (mine is from the burgundy box era), so I have a lantern with it. I also have a PM version of the Christmas Eve set, and I was surprised to see how different the two are.
The Pleasant Company lantern is on the left, the Mattel lantern on the right. The Mattel lantern is actually much prettier! It has deeper, brighter colors than the more faded Pleasant Company lantern. I found the hinges on both lanterns to be equally cheap. I really wish both lanterns had come with candles inside- they look so empty without them!
It's about time I did the review for this set! I bought this as the Mattel "Christmas Accessories" set which included the lantern. (FWIW, mine is a very new version that came in the star box.)
The chicken and eggs - Here's where AG's scaling is very poor. This whole chicken, which in the book is a full-sized one and not a guinea, is smaller than Josefina's head! She looks very out-of-proportion if you pay attention and take her out of her cage! The chicken herself is actually very cute, with both painted-on feathers and two kinds of "real" feathers glued to her tail and wings. She fits easily inside of her cage. Her eggs are small too, but very darling. They are made from a clay-like material that has been spatter-painted. They are ridiculously small and they do roll out of her cage. B (for scale reasons)
The chicken cage - I didn't find the cage to be particularly cheap - it is made of real wood with a string handle. The string is tied on at the diagonal, and I can't tell if this is clever or annoying, though Josefina can hold it easily. I love the touch of "hay" glued to the inside of the cage! B+
The chiles - I can't tell if these are too small or not but they are very cute! Chiles are such an important part of Josefina's Christmas story and her books in general and are great for setting up scenes. These are made from red paper twisted around green string stems and Josefina can hold these, too. A
The lantern - I actually don't think this is as "crappy" as the other reveiwers have mentioned. It's not fantastic but not horrible, especially considering that it is included in a set with lots of other goodies. It is made from plain wood, stamped with a gorgeous Spanish design. I love the little candleholder inside! The leather straps are glued in knots (again, Josefina can hold this). The windows lower the effect a bit - they seem to be made from layers of plastic and mine are separating, plus the door of my lantern was warped so one of the windows is threatening to pop off. A- (I really like it, except for the windows).
In short, I think this set is worth its original price but wouldn't pay more for it!
Last Edit: Nov 24, 2009 16:27:49 GMT -5 by Wickfield
These chile ristras seem to follow me home often! No complaints, mind you, I love them and the more the better! My Josefina has 5 now. There seems to be little difference between the PC and the AG ones:
The lamp on the right is from an AG Chicken and Chiles set, on the left is from a Pleasant Company Christmas Eve set:
Chicken & Eggs ~ I think the chicken is well-crafted, come on is has real feathers. The coloring is nice too. The set I purchased second hand only has one egg but it's a mighty fine egg. It looks real and somehow manages to stay inside of the cage. A
Chicken Cage ~ I really like this piece of the set. There is a lot of attention to detail here and it can be set down or carried for display purposes. A
Lantern ~ The lantern is a pretty beige color and has a rustic authenticity to it. My only critique is that I wish it had a little LED light inside. B
Last Edit: Nov 9, 2011 12:33:35 GMT -5 by mzmelody1