I think this is the best American Girl doll for younger girls that Mattel has ever produced. Her hair hits that note of being fun to style and so easy to keep looking nice. Her meet outfit is easy to manage. Some Josefina doll molds look slightly unfriendly to me, but McKenna has a bright, open expression. She has a very basic, classic look, with light hair and blue eyes, but it's a classic for a reason and she looks great in any color.
The playability of her hair is where she really shines, I think. I preferred Kanani who came before her, but if you have a little girl who loves to style hair, this doll couldn't be more suited to the need. Her hair is soft and smooth.
My doll was played with very little, and she looks brand new. I took her out for a quick photoshoot, and to give her back her hair net (borrowed it for Felicity).
I purchased the parlor secondhand off of Craigslist for $100. I don't have Caroline herself, but I'd admired the piece and wanted to see it in person.
The piece itself photographs very well, and in person it appears nice enough. It could be more detailed, but I think it was styled sort of generically on purpose. In my opinion, AG was thinking about cross collection compatibility when they made this piece, and it definitely has that. Nothing really stamps this as Caroline's.
Compared to Felicity's original stuff, the accessories are underwhelming. Caroline's candle holder vs. Felicity's PC candle holder:
Overall the accessories are plastic-y looking. I don't have the Sailor's Valentine so I can't speak to that. But for $300, and only five little accessories, you'd think a bit more would go into them.
I was most excited for the ship, but in person it's my least favorite.
Overall, though, I do like the parlor. It's big, and bulky, and hollow. And for some reason I thought the wall pieces were reversible, but they're not, just thick. But it definitely has a "Hall of Presidents" from Disney World vibe going that I really like. The fire itself, while plastic and breakable, is a cool effect.
And one last large comparison-- the totality of the parlor compared with Felicity's clothes press:
I honestly don't see any difference in this pic. The eyes look the same to me!
Look at the amount of white showing in the inside corner of the eye on each side. If you look at the eye on the right side of the photo, you can see that much more of the eye is covered up, for a much smaller opening. The crescent is much less. Very noticeable to me in this photo. I've never seen a Kanani in person but I guarantee I wouldn't notice it unless it was pointed out. She has a very sweet looking face.