The typewriter - this is one of AG's best pieces, and the best piece for Kit. We got ours in 2007. It is heavy and feels like real metal! The keys do not move individually, each row presses down and lifts a little bar that would "type" on the page. The paper...loader...thing really moves, the arm moves, the paper clamp holds, it's all terrific! The only problem is that the typewriter is hard to load and could easily damage the paper. Still, A.
The box and paper - Made of paper-covered cardboard, the box looks very "30's". The little drawer pulls out easily and holds all the little pieces of blank paper. The red ribbon is attached and long enough to tie or tuck the sprig of greenery in. It would probably look really nice on Kit's desk, and does look really nice under her bed. A
The eraser - very cute and accurate! I couldn't round it up for pictures, but it is made of rubber and also has little bristles on the end to brush away crumbs. It is very tiny so I'm not sure it's to scale but I like it. A The photo + newspapers - right from the book, the photo is an accurate picture of "Schnozz". I love how AG decided to include this! The newspapers are also exact duplicates of those shown in Kit's books - the famous "It's Not Fair" edition, the "Hard Times News" edition, and the paper announcing Stirling's arrival. A
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:36:39 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The snowshoes - We got our snowshoes in 2008, so they are a Mattel version. They are a nice concept - real wood with strings woven through to provide traction on snow - but they don't stay on Kirsten's feet. The straps are not tight enough. We ended up having to send a pair back because the colors of the wood did not match, and the wood itself is no longer stained like PM versions. I also noticed that the buckles are oval instead of rectangular. Though the snowshoes are nice for display, I'm not sure whether they have much play value. B
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:25:17 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The blanket - The concept for the blanket is good, but it is so scratchy! It feels more like a rug. I can't imagine actually sleeping under one of these things, but I'm not sure it's actually wool or if the wool is just woven so tightly. And yes, it is really woven - mine came from 2004. The pattern is very nice - stripes of bright red, blue, black, and natural fibers. The fringe is the same natural color as that in the blanket. For looks A+, for Josefina's comfort, probably nil. The sheepskin - The sheepskin's kind of fun. It's soft and fluffy, much lighter than fake fur. It feels like real wool stuffing I have, but I kind of doubt it actually is. It's cut in the pattern like a real sheep's skin might look. Underneath, it is mesh. One weird thing is that there were several little black hairs stuck in the fur when I first got it. It may just be natural but it was kind of creepy, so I just picked them out. Now it's fine. A+
The cord - just a cord. But it's really leather! From what I can tell, though, the set does not come with this piece anymore.
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:59:47 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The camisa - This is a nice camisa, more simple than the blouse she arrives in. The sleeves are cut so they lay squarely on Josefina's shoulders. When I saw this in the catalog I wasn't a big fan of the lacework around the top, but it's actually quite nice in person - it seems to be mimicking crochet. While this would make a good work camisa, it's too similar to her meet camisa to do me much good. Like the others, I would have preferred a top with long sleeves. A-
The skirt - the skirt is another practical number which is very thick and seems suitable for winter. It earns points for the woven pattern of blue and gray stripes - it's not printed, people! There are only two flaws: the waistband is very tight and the skirt is hard to velcro, and it's really a lot like her meet skirt in a different color. Still, I shall give it an A. The sash - the sash is nice and woven, not quite as dark as some of the catalog pictures show but still sturdy and well made. Each edge of the sash is finished with threads that are twisted rather than braided, and securely tied at the end. Even if it does make the outfit look sort of patriotic (red and white and blue) it ties the outfit together. No pun intended. B
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:58:47 GMT -5 by Wickfield
We bought our Sari in 2004, so she is obviously Mattel. Sari is very small but looks cute when Kirsten is holding her. Her outfit is sewn on and resembles Kirsten's introductory and baking outfits. I love how her hair is styled like Kirsten's! The only problem with Sari is that her white "skin" shows dirt easily and her body is firmly stuffed, making her feel rather hard. Still, Kirsten needs her doll, and she is especially a good buy on sale. A-
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:21:01 GMT -5 by Wickfield
We got Kirsten's quilt in 2005, and it is one of those pieces that is straight from the book. I love the "signature" from her teacher, and the fact that the blocks are made from Kirsten's clothing (although that is not quite realistic since the quilt was supposedly made by several different girls). The quilt kit is nice - it requires a knowledge of sewing and the recommended stitch is difficult to master. It's not exactly big enough for Sari but it looks darling in Kirsten's hand. This is a great set, nice for play and display. A
More pictures of the 2005 version; we lost the embroidery hoop.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:21:25 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The bed - I love Josefina's bed, which I got in 2004. The color is a muted shade of sage green which is very pretty, and it's distressed around the edges. Which I'm glad of, considering my bed has been banged around in the closet and it doesn't even show. : ) The bed comes in four pieces - the headboard and footboard screw into the mattress box, and a piece of heavy cardboard goes in the bottom to place the mattress on. Obviously there are not real mortise and tenon joints, but there is a nice imitation detail. It's really easy to put together, plus all the hardware is included. The headboard and footboard appear to be "carved" in different patterns. The bed is higher than both Kirsten and Kit's beds, but it's not heavy. And even if it's off-scale, Josefina's just too comfy to mind. A+
The mattress - well it's kind of just a mattress, but it's a nice mattress. It's made from off-white muslin, which is stitched down in several areas to make it look more like a mattress. It's not stuffed very much, so it's pretty floppy, but that doesn't really matter. A
The pillow - A perfect little representation of a bolster pillow. From what I can remember, I think it's the same muslin as the mattress. It's stuffed very tightly, and has a panel of fabric stitched over the opening so the stuffing won't come out. Then it closes with a drawstring. The only problem I've had is that, since it's round, it tends to roll out of place. Oh well. Still A
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 15:01:14 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The night shift - not much here, but what's here is nice. I bought this little number in 2008. A style very similar but a little longer than Josefina's everyday camisas, the night shift is a thin cotton with "shadow stripes". The ribbon is permanently tied and is a deep red color. I always thought that the edge of the neck was just a ruffle where the ribbon gathered, but there is actually lace stitched around the neckline! The sleeves, though, really are gathered. I think that the price is rather expensive for one piece, made of sort of thin fabric. Just a hint - you can use this night shift as a long-sleeved camisa in a pinch. Another hint - it wrinkles easily. : ) A-
Here it is being worn as a camisa with Josefina's rebozo and school skirt:
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:54:32 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The doll - I got my Josefina in December 2004, after the Mattel takeover but before the revamp of late 2005. My Josefina seems to have the original/transitional face mold - it's rounder and not as broad as the current Mattel girls, and it reads Pleasant Company on the neck. Josefina's arms and legs are not as elongated as, say, our Kit from 2007, and although she has a body tag she lacks the V-shaped fabric insert at the neck. Her eyes are a deep warm brown. Her earrings are permanently attached, and as of four years they haven't even begun to tarnish. Josefina's face paint is pretty and minimal and surprisingly cool-toned, with barely rosy cheeks and slightly darkened lips. To sound conceited, she's one of the prettiest - PC or Mattel - I've seen. Josefina's hair is a blast to style - she rarely wears her trademark braid but I DO STAY HISTORICAL. : ) It's the silky texture of the Mattel dolls, but mine has a major problem - it is horribly dry at the ends. Some reviewers say they can run their fingers through her hair - mine just get tangled and snagged. I can't even brush it. Fortunately, it's just the very bottoms, so it doesn't show too much, and this is not a problem with all dolls. To sum it up, Josefina is a wonderful doll. She looks best in clothes from her own period, and she's difficult to photograph, so believe it or not she's even prettier in person. I would recommend hand-picking a Josefina to find the best hair and eyebrows, the face you like best. You will not be disappointed with one of these lovely girls! A+++
The outfit - Since I took so long on Josefina I shall try to be brief here. The camisa is my second favorite (Feast Day camisa beat it out), made of thick cotton and substantial lace around the neckline and the sleeves. The skirt is probably my favorite, because I think red looks wonderful on her and this skirt is soft and the perfect thickness. There's a panel of lace-edged fabric sewn underneath to imitate a petticoat. The drawers are a pair of white cotton shorts. The sash is just brown but coordinates well with the skirt, and it is finished on each end with a single braid. The hair ribbon doesn't really match but it wins points for being mentioned in her story, and the primroses are a good idea but they are rather cheap - they started to fray around the edges. The moccasins seem very accurate; they have synthetic laces now but the shoes were still real leather, and these are necessary because Josefina wears them with several outfits. This is a nice, practical outfit for Josefina to arrive in, and the pieces do mix and match well. A
Here's the same picture without and with flash. Look how different she appears!
Last Edit: May 10, 2011 12:20:57 GMT -5 by Wickfield
My, it's been a long time since a review! We just received our carpetbag from an AGFMB board member, so I can't say exactly what year it is but I'm fairly certain it's Mattel. It is not lined, as earlier versions, which actually does not bother me as it seems more rustic that way. The handles and fasteners are made of REAL LEATHER, people, and the tapestry portion is soft with a nice pattern. This carpetbag is large and very roomy - we were easily able to fit Kirsten's winter skirt, her winter blouse, her apron, three pairs of socks, and three pairs of hair ribbons inside! Even though it is not lined, I think it is just the cutest accessory and give it an A+!
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:20:23 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Our 2004 Kirsten is such a wonderful, classic doll! She looks so sweet and warm, and her coloring is beautiful and goes with tons of different outfits. Her hair could be hard for younger children but for collectors like us, it is fun to play with and the braids can be styled in many different ways. The only flaws I can find with Kirsten is that her plastic is so hard, and her eyelashes don't match her hair at all. Otherwise I love her to pieces - A +!
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:19:54 GMT -5 by Wickfield
I absolutely love my Amanda! She's PM from 1997, and she looks so young and friendly. Her waist-length hair is thick, coarse and plentiful, w/o the undercurl of Mattel girls; it is a cool brown shade that looks slightly warmer in the sun. Amanda has the periwinkle PM eyes with soft brown lashes, and very minimal face paint. Though she is quite chubby and soft, she is not as broad as our other PM, #7, and she doesn't have the "linebacker" look. The only problem with Amanda is that she doesn't wear pastels well, especially blue which tends to bring out the gold tones in her skin and makes her look sallow. She looks really wonderful in bright, bold colors! A
*MOD EDIT to remove member's broken image links*
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2013 20:37:12 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The shoes - these are some of my favorite shoes for Josefina, though I wish they coordinated with more of her outfits - they really only match her party dress, but they are essential to that outfit. Mine are a 2005 version and they aren't real leather, but they are a good enough substitute. The laces seem to be cotton. The soles of the shoes are simple, matte plastic without a heel and, interestingly, the shoes don't have a tongue. I also like the fringe around the top - that's a really nice touch. A
The socks - the socks come in three colors - a deep red, tan, and black. The black ones get used the most, as I don't have the socks that go with the Winter Accessories. The red ones are a beautiful dark color but they match her meet skirt and school sash too much for me to use them much. The tan ones shall go with her short story outfits, whenever I luck up on those. All the socks are heavy and thick and reach past Josefina's knees. Unfortunately, they're all too dark to match with her party dress. I use the similar Christmas stockings for that. A-
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 15:00:29 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The doll - I was absolutely stunned by how much I liked Nina. This is one of those cases where the actual doll looks better than the catalog pictures. She's been one of my best purchases (and for $10 shipped, I really love her)! She looks very saintly with her solemn face. I love how she matches Josefina's dress, although Nina's outfit has a few extra touches with the lace petticoat and ruffled collar. She even has earrings - they are jewelry rings stitched on at her ears. The only problem is that the dress fabric does not quite match Josefina's - they both have the AG fabric, but Nina's is a bit more orange in tone - Josefina's looks more green. I'm not too bothered by that though, because it would be hard to match them if they were from different batches. Nina is a bit taller than Sari, our other mini doll. I give her an A++!
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2011 10:24:16 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The dress - This is one of my all time favorite outfits for Josefina to wear. I got mine in 2004, so the dress fabric is the second edition, with a slightly more simple print. It really does not make much of a difference to me (except you would have to get a Nina from around the same year). The dress is cut with an Empire waist, and the sleeves puff at the shoulders. The dress falls to about ankle length to show the pantalettes. In case you're wondering, the ribbon edging does continue all the way around. This outfit combines the Regency style and the Spanish influence of New Mexico perfectly, and it looks wonderful on Josefina! A+
The mantilla - the veil itself is made of a relatively sturdy nylon tulle fabric. It doesn't pick easily, though I would still store it gingerly with all the velcro of American Girl. I tried to get a good picture of the embroidery detail - the edges of the veil are stitched with black flowers. The comb is attatched, fortunately, and is an imitation of tortoiseshell but I think it's just one color, without any spots; interestingly, a 2001 catalog described the comb as velvet, but mine was certainly not. The prongs of the comb are nearly horizontal making it very easy to slide into Josefina's hair. In my opinion, the outfit really needs the mantilla to look complete, and once you get it arranged correctly it adds a very Spanish touch. A+
The pantalettes - I LOVE THIS PIECE! IThe pantalettes are sewn in one-piece like a pair of overalls. The majority is made of cotton, and the straps are woven. The bottoms are gathered in ruffles with a ribbon stitched over the top. Though the piece velcros up the back, there are tiny buttons stitched to the front, as well as a white ribbon. This is kind of impressive detail, considering you'll probably never see the pantalettes without something over them. Again, these are a necessary piece because the dress would look too short otherwise - they are also very handy for the party dress and probably for Josefina's new fiesta dress. A+
The stockings - Not much to discuss here, really. They're made of stretchy, ribbed tights-like material - I have a pair of Samantha's Christmas tights and they are the same fabric. They go past Josefina's knees and are the same style as the socks of her shoes and socks. I actually pair these stockings with her party dress, too. For what they are, I give them an A.
The shoes - the shoes are kind of boring but they certainly don't detract from the dress. They are simple slip-ons, made of a thin but sturdy material that may be representative of leather. They fit well over the stockings. I have the velvet flats from the AGT First Day Outfit and these are very similar. A
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:50:33 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Oh, I love this outfit! This was one of the first outfits I got for Amanda, right after it came out in 1998. I lost the necklace though, which was one of my favorite pieces. But good news - I found the missing slipper! I bought an extra one from a board member and was surprised to find it did not match mine! I give this outfit an A.
As you can see in this picture, the 1998 slipper (right) does not look like the newer slipper. Mine is more of a silvery-gold.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:39:11 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The camisa - This is my favorite Josefina camisa. It won't really mix and match, but it seems very Spanish with the sleeve ruffles. There are three rows of ruffles on the sleeves and one row around the neck. It's made of cotton, and like the rest of her blouses it reaches to her knees. A +
The skirt - The skirt is actually one of those items that's prettier in person than in the catalog. The color of the skirt's bottom panel is deeper, more of a cross between turquoise and teal than I expected. There are three black stripes in the print which I always thought were ribbons stitched to the skirt; there really are two ribbons stitched to the hem of the skirt, one wide and another thinner one sewn in loops. Connecting the teal panel to the white panel is a lime green ribbon that seems kind of historically inaccurate, but it was still there during Pleasant Company so who am I to argue. The white panel is thicker fabric and just a slightly different color than the camisa; however, the two still blend well enough and the sash makes the transition between the two pieces easier. This skirt, by the way, was supposed to belong to Josefina's Mama, according to Just Josefina. A The sash - this sash is also mentioned in Just Josefina as belonging to Tia Dolores. I think it's supposed to represent silk, but in reality it's a wide orange woven ribbon with sheen. I actually don't mind that it's just a ribbon, and the color is very pretty. A
The ribbons - just red ribbons. They don't really match the outfit if she's not wearing her shawl, and they were kind of too short to wrap around her braids. B The slippers - I find myself very impressed with a lot of American Girl slippers for some reason, and this is no exception. These are made from a very vivid turquoise satin, with black plastic soles. The 2008 slipper fit just tightly enough on my 2004 Josefina for her to wear them without slipping off. Another reviewer said they would not fit her PM Josefina, but although they were a squeeze I still managed to fit them on our PM 14's feet. Someone also asked if the saturated color of the slippers would stain feet, but if you look closely there's a lining of plastic on the inside, probably to protect against that. More Josefina trivia: these shoes belonged to Clara. Out of all of Josefinas' shoes, these are my favorite. A+
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:47:12 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The dress - I have a feeling that the original fabric was a bit thicker, but that's probably my only complaint. The print is orange with red stripes and yellow flowers with green centers. The dress is cut with a scoop neck and an Empire waist, and again the sleeves are gathered. The waistline seems a bit loose around Josefina which can be a bit annoying, but all you have to do is pull the velcro tighter. The skirt ends in three big ruffles that add weight to the entire dress. A-
The hat - I'm thinking this is the best part of the outfit. It's actually made of straw and it actually fits Josefina's head, plus it's got a leather cord that tightens at her neck. The bead sometimes slips but that's no big deal. There's also great detail around the crown of the hat - two colors of synthetic "fibers" are braided and then tie in tassels wrapped with rope. It makes the hat look very rustic. While it is fairly sturdy, the rows of straw are only stitched together so I think it's too fragile to allow piling a lot of things on top of it. A+
Last Edit: Sept 23, 2010 11:07:50 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Here's some detailed pictures of our set - it's Mattel from 2005. Some of the food seems a bit off-scale to each other, and the etching on the top of the tine is darker than the sides, but it is a really great set!
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2009 6:24:05 GMT -5 by Wickfield
The rebozo - I must say that I am glad they made this, because it is such an integral part in every single Josefina story. Josefina's wearing it in most of her illustrations, too. Mine is from 2004, so it has the first diamond-pattern of blue, gold, red, and natural threads. The rebozo is actually woven, not printed, and the threads are knotted off as four tassels on each end of the rebozo. I'm not a big fan of the colors because to me they seem really dull, but that was probably accurate. The rebozo is a great length though, so you can wrap it around Josefina's arms, or twist it in the ways shown in the pamphlet that was included. My girl usually ends up with it wrapped around her face. B
The jola - I am an absurd fan of the little coins AG produces. I was kind of disappointed Kirsten didn't have one. Josefina's is really metal, with an eagle on one side and a sun on the other. It tarnishes just like a real coin, but you can use a silver cloth to shine it up. Josefina never really uses a coin in her books, but I'm still glad it was included with her accessories. A
The pouch - when I got my pouch American Girl was still using leather. Mine is pretty thick, maybe 1/8 of an inch. It is stitched with a leather thong, which is also used for the belt loop and button loop. The button is supposed to look like bronze and is detailed metal. I have my suspicions that the pouch speeds up the tarnishing of Josefina's coin, and the pouch also always seems to me to be off-scale. I don't use it much, but it's still a quality piece. A
The handkerchief - this piece seems a little skimpy - it's made of the very thin white cotton that Dollar Store handkerchiefs are made from. In the corner, there a red, yellow, blue and green flower which is probably from "colcha" embroidery. Again, I don't use this piece much, except maybe with Josefina's party dress. B- The necklace - now THIS piece gets used all the time. Seriously, Josefina once wore it for nearly a whole year. It goes with her meet, school, and Christmas outfits, and her party dress excellently. It is plastic or possibly hollow metal, with a metal chain and plastic "garnet". The paint is a shade between bright and antique gold, but unfortunately the color started to rub off on the back and on some of the raised detail. I'm kind of not surprised, though, with the use it's gone through. The chain on mine was a bit too long so I cut it shorter, which in hindsight I probably shouldn't have done but now I'm glad it hangs the same length as the catalog shows. A+!
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:52:55 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Mattel version, 2008: Well the boots are certainly not leather anymore! These boots from 2008 seemed kind of flimsy and did not have any type of shine to them. They're almost low quality in comparison to Kirsten's two-tone work boots, which we ordered in 2005 and which are made from the same pattern. The soles are a shiny plastic and the laces are synthetic nylon, but they're definitely long enough to tie. You do need a pair of these boots to go with the riding outfit, though, and these look fine once they are on, just not by themselves. B-
ETA: While still on the low end of quality, the boots look nicer with the real leather vest because they match.
ETAA: Okay, I've finally acquired both the original version (early PM, left) as well as my Mattel boots. A picture's worth a thousand words on this one.
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2010 10:24:37 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Let me count the ways I ADORE THIS DRESS. It's perfectly Regency, and in my opinion it might carry over into the Romantic period. We bought it in 2005, and the fabric is quality but still thin enough to count as a summer dress; also, although the description calls it "pale pink" it's really more beige. There's a picture of a very similar fabric in Josefina's World, so the fabric is even historically accurate! There are no problems with the cut - Empire waist, scoop neckline, and square shoulders, although I will mention that the tab trim around the waist will stick out if the seam for the waist does not lay flat underneath. Also, the dress is a little short on it's own, so it really needs to be paired with Josefina's Christmas pantalettes for decency. : )
The spencer jacket seems a little too heavy to go with the party dress, but only because it is MADE OF REAL WOOL! It is heavy and thick, and lined with black satin. It velcros at the arms but it actually buttons and snaps up the front. Also, the collar can lay down or be turned up, as in my picture. The buttons are sewn on kind of loosely and I'm afraid they could fall off.
FWIW, I also have had a PM version of this, and I could detect no differences whatsoever. The PM wool jacket may have been the tiniest bit thinner but I'm not even sure about that. So now we know that there wasn't much of a change in this set from its introduction in 98/99 to the 2005 Mattel edition.
I give this set an A!
More pics so you can actually see how it looks on my Josefina :
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2015 8:46:24 GMT -5 by Wickfield
I really like this set and I think it's necessary for Josefina's Birthday outfit - plus the pieces mix-and match fairly well.
The shawl - the shawl gets kind of a mixed review here. The fabric is very bright and colorful, but it's a thin, slippery nylon-esque fabric that feels like a kite. It's probably supposed to represent silk. The embroidery is really appliques - they are very nice but they are obvious from the other side. The shawl is fairly slippery on Josefina but the fringe helps to hold it on when you arrange it over her arms. B+
The necklace - well see, I like the necklace because the colors are nice, the gold matches her earrings, and it looks nice with her birthday, Christmas, and party dresses. But I was kind of disappointed that the 2008 version is made of a piece of thick elastic instead of the original silk cord. Also I think the charm is more rigid. But for looks and use, it gets an A.
The fan - the fan could be considered cheap by some, because it is all plastic except for the lace, which is raw around the bottom edges. But I somehow really like it - I think it is my favorite piece. It looks great with her birthday outfit, also her Christmas and Regency party dress. I'll probably use it for the fiesta outfit too. It can be attached to her hand with a rubber band, but it WILL leave marks on her hand! Overall though, I still give it an A-.
Here's a nice close-up of the necklace. I thought it was originally a silk cord, but AGR said her's was from early 2000's and was elastic like this one. You can see the semi-flat elastic cord with three ribs, covered in "silk" threads:
Last Edit: Mar 23, 2009 14:49:18 GMT -5 by Wickfield