The car is plastic and fairly sturdy, but I think you could easily lose a bumper with rough play so if your child is not so gentle you might want to think twice about getting this and just go with the Target car instead.
It fits two dolls fairly easily. You have to put the one that's going into the driver's seat in first because she'll have to go in a bit sideways.
Minis and Julie's dogs that she walks can fit in the back, but the minis don't really sit. I'm sure the regular AG pets (i.e. Coconut et. al.) won't fit in back, but they'll fit in the front seat.
The bucket of stuff doesn't fit in the back or the trunk. There is enough room in the trunk for some small items. The front lights turn on, but not the rear. They only stay on for ~30 seconds or so, though. The radio plays about fifteen seconds of four different songs all of which sound like they're from the 70s but none of which I recognize. There are videos on youtube if you want to know what the car sounds like. It has a wee little stick shift! I love it, I've been driving a stick shift almost as long as I've been driving.
There are seat belts, of course, but you can feel free to ignore them because no one wore seat belts in the 70s. LOL! This is a great item and your kids will have a ball with it but it's awfully pricey. Still, I give it a solid A for AWESOME!
I saw it in the St Louis store. It is large, cute, plastic (I expected it to be metal/ diecast), and overpriced. The eagles sign is made of cardstock thickness paper! For the price of the set, I couldnt believe they didnt make the sign a sturdy plastic.
I was at the Dallas Store Sunday and everyone had great things to say about it, it was "awesome"...but, I have no room for it and the price is too high for what you get. There were lots of girls, Mom's and Dad's looking at it, I was there for two hours and didn't see anyone buying one, I did hear quite a few mumblings about it being "too" expensive and a few of "maybe" it will be a Christmas present (two twins were really in love with it and Mom put them off with them asking Santa for it).
I received Julie's bug a couple of days ago and I love it! Even though the car is plastic, it is very well-made and HEAVY. It's heavy enough to make you think it was made of metal. Even though I wish the doors opened and the windshield wipers worked, it is still really cute and my girls can't wait to have fun washing and riding in it. I think it is well-made despite the fact that it's plastic. The plastic is a lot nicer than that used for the OG jeep.
I saw the car yesterday in the store, and it is not worth the $350 IMO; however, I did buy it for my dd for Christmas. She really wanted it for her birthday yesterday, and she had enough money, but I told her to wait. She said okay, reluctantly, so I decided to buy it for her. I do think she will play with it quite a bit. She does have the Jeep from Toysrus, and she plays with that quite a bit. She loved that the lights really worked on the VW and that the radio played. I did see lots of kids looking at it, but no one buying it when we were there.
Went to AG-Natick today to take a look at this set. Here are some pictures. I hate to dampen anyone's spirits or their enthusiasm for this product if it makes you happy. However, I think it is very breakable. The other adults around the display seemed to be saying the same thing - Cute, but flimsy. They were also talking to each other about why the girls had a car if they couldn't even drive it.
Here are some pictures. (Broken image links removed)
Very thin plastic hood. Not particularly sturdily attached either.
Very flimsily attached sideview mirrors. The windshield wipers are thin plastic, too, and could easily break off.
Interior. Steering wheel not sturdy at all.
Here you see how the windshield is attached to the vehicle.
And here you can see how easily it separates from the vehicle and how flimsy it is.
Here is the boot and you can see how thin the plastic is, just like that of the hood.
Rear bumper, wiggles. Not sturdy.
Rear of vehicle shot.
About 4 girls were around the car with their moms while I was watching. They were opening and closing the hood, and reaching over each other and grabbing at this and that, just like kids do when they explore. It would not hold up to this kind of play for very long, imo. The camper and treehouse (large ticket items from the past) are much sturdier and have many more varied ways for kids to play with them. Also, one good ram into a wall (which kids do, especially when the siblings move in and want to play car-crashes) and it would be smithereens.
As a toy I think it is a failure. For an adult collector that has nostalgic feelings for the era, he/she could make that call on his/her own.
Let me start by saying that I LOVE this car! But, I am an adult collector. Here is how I would rate it:
Collector Grade: A Play Grade: C
Collector Comments: The car is gorgeous. Pictures do not do it justice. Although it is not metal, it is a heavy plastic with a beautiful bright blue coat of paint and shiny bumpers & hubcaps.
Unlike some previous mentions, I sat two dolls in with no problem and no weird angles. They are arm to arm, though - no extra room. One doll fits and looks great.
Following the insertion of 3 AA batteries using a phillips head screwdriver to remove the battery compartment (aka the spare tire under the hood) - the only assembly necessary of the "some assembly required" - pressing a button on the dash "starts" the car and turns on the headlights. My DH says it definitely sounds like a VW bug starting up. The engine "runs" for about 10 seconds and then shuts off. The headlights stay on for about 30 seconds and then turn off.
Pressing a second button turns on the "radio." There are 4 songs that play for about 20 seconds each. They are not recognizable songs (at least not to me or DH). I assume AG didn't want to pay the rights for actual popular 70's tunes so they recorded their own. One song has a disco-ish feel and is probably titled "Shake It," if it has a title. The other three are more easy-listening style. One is about the Pacific Coast Highway & San Francisco, the second has the lyrics "free and easy rolling down the road" and the third goes something like "'round here there's nothing but fun for you." Each time you press the button you get static as if you were turning the dial until the next song comes in.
The horn honks when you press the center of the steering wheel. The steering wheel tuns, but does not turn the wheels.
As far as the design goes, DH says that all the details are correct.
The accessories are really cute and nicely made.
Play Comments: I don't have a little one, but if I did, I would hesitate to purchase this for the following reasons:
- I'm pretty confident that the hood & trunk lids will break after repeated opening and closing from little hands. Even with careful play, they just don't seem sturdy enough to take much use. Even my DH commented on the fragility of the hood when he was putting in the batteries. It doesn't open all the way and he said that he could see a kid forcing it up higher and easily breaking it. The trunk lid opens a bit higher, but again seems like it wouldn't stand up to much serious play.
- While two dolls fit, the "driver" needs to be maneuvered around the stick shift to get in - it takes a little patience.
- The car rolls very nicely, but only straight up & back. To turn the car, you need to lift it up, and even I grabbed the bumpers to move it - wrong move! The bumpers are definitely not sturdy enough to use as handles, yet they stick out and look like they should be. The car needs to be lifted from the bottom, and I just don't see kids doing that. I think they'd keep grabbing the bumpers to move it as I wanted to do, and soon the bumpers would be off.
Post by beckyboop73 on Jul 14, 2012 8:22:27 GMT -5
As a collector it was a must have for me. Mine was sent on my Birthday so I was more then thrilled. I have to honestly say that the car is awesome!!! I was a big fan of Lanies camper but that far surpasses that. AG did well with making the attachments that hold the bumper and side mirrors on with rubber. So if the girls hit into them or the car hits something they won't break off. The only thing I wish AG would have done is make the convertible top working and make it remote contro!!!!!! I understand about the price but again as a collector when I am paying $200 for some of the retired outfits or accessories an extra $100 more was not a big deal. Oh, and the box is big, not as big as the camper but AG does package it well and for the extra money I would rather have them package it well then it breaking being delivered. Hope this helps!
Post by American Girl Rescue on Jul 14, 2012 15:29:59 GMT -5
Julie's Car Wash Set Item# F0443 $350
When Julie wants to help save the eagles, she could hold a charity car wash, just as many kids did in the '70s. This set features everything Julie needs to raise money for the cause, including a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle car. This set includes everything Julie needs for a super fundraiser:
A 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle car—first in line to be spiffed up! It's big enough to fit two American Girl dolls, and features lots of authentic details: sky-blue paint with a white interior, a lowered canvas top, a hood and trunk that open, plus a "radio" that plays '70s songs, a horn that honks, working headlights, rolling wheels, and an engine that "runs" at the push of a button. Julie can "wash" the car with a yellow bucket, window washer, bottle of faux soap, and two cloth towels. Includes a "Save the Eagles Car Wash" sign to display.
Creating a VW beetle for Julie was a great idea on the part of AG. What an icon in 1970's vehicles! I love the 'car wash' theme, because how else could you market a car for dolls that are supposed to be 10-12 years old? Fabulous idea.
The car is sturdy, double-thick plastic. The tires are rubber, the axles are metal and the bottom is wooden. It's HEAVY! It weights about 25 pounds alone. The windshield is removable and the rear-view mirrors are mounted on rubber arms so they will bend and not break off. The bumpers are made the same way....a bit flexible. The steering wheel does NOT turn the front wheels....they only roll straight.
The doors do not open, but I'm sure that's to make it more sturdy and to hold up to play better. Less parts to break off. Good idea.
The seat-belts are elastic and plastic, but the plastic 'buckle' actually unbuckles so you can stretch the belt around your doll.
The sounds (from the horn, engine or radio) all come out from under the canvas, convertible-top 'boot' that's over the back. Excellent idea.
Two dolls fit easily and comfortably. Easy to use and roll. Hard to carry since it's so sturdy and heavy. We love it and are glad to add it to our Julie collection.
Now for a couple of photos -- the other reviewers seem to have added lots of photos of the car itself, so I'll just show some of the size:
Yajaira, Julie, Ivy and Zendaya play 'driving' with the Volkswagen. The height of the car is a bit short for the dolls, but you wouldn't want it any taller for the sake of moving or storing said vehicle.
Zendaya volunteered to lie down beside the Volkswagen to show you how very LONG this car is. None of the other photo angles can even begin to show the length of this vehicle -- 36" long!!
ETA: more comparison photos -- with Lanie's camper:
We just got ours and opened it tonight. My daughter loves it. It was a birthday present that everyone (all grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc) pitched in to get her. It is adorable and, in my opinion, pretty sturdy. My daughter is 11, so it's definitely geared for her age. She will get a lot of play out it.
It does fit two dolls comfortably and it rolls very smoothly. The lights and sounds are great. It is amazingly cute. I'm glad we have it, even if it's the only thing she gets for her birthday.
Post by ladysapphire on Jul 21, 2012 10:46:17 GMT -5
I also saw it in the store. You know, if it was $250 then I would be tempted. But at $350 it's fairly easy to dismiss. It makes me feel bad because I've said time and again that I would be the first in line to shell out for AG items geared to collectors. But then they cross my personal line of how much I'm willing to spend on one item so I have to backtrack on my original statement. So now that we have this bug, I'm not willing to buy, at least not yet. I can just imagine AG employees pulling their hair out and yelling, "Well what is it going to take to make you happy ladysapphire??!!?!"
I also have to add that the parents of the target market that I saw there were looking at the bug in what I can only describe as slack jawed disbelief. I overheard one father on the phone with his spouse saying, "You are not going to believe this" about the price of the bug. The phrase "you have got to be kidding me" was also used. But in the end it all boils down to personal choice and finances. Personally I think it's more reasonable to look at is as a long term "wait n save" for the collector market, not the kids.