Post by moonlightcookie on Jan 19, 2013 7:47:19 GMT -5
Here are the best photos I could come up with for the hair comparisons. Unfortunately I'm currently limited to using the camera on my iPad. I lack the software to get photos from my good digital camera onto my iPad for upload and sharing.
The color rendering on iPad is not the best but maybe you can see the tiny bit more auburn in Rebecca's hair in this pic:
Here is the pic showing a hint more tawny gold in Marisol's wig. Marisol is on the left. Light is a mix of daylight through the window and a bit of lamp light:
Here is Chrissa thrown in for extra hair color reference to compare the shades of brown
Post by moonlightcookie on Jan 3, 2013 10:00:44 GMT -5
My daughter and I each got a Saige the day of her debut. I'll be going back and editing this post as my ability to get better photos improves and as I get the time and optimal lighting. I'll be providing comparisons to Caroline and other classic face mold dolls I own.
For now, for potential buyers just two caveats: newbies please look at the faces of the dolls because not all dolls are identical. You would be surprised to know even within the same character there are variations to give them unique personalities. My Saige looks more quiet and demure and my daughter's Saige looks more outgoing and adventurous. Of course every individual interpretation will vary.
I did not notice any duds among the stock at DC while I was there, but another member reported seeing wonky mismatched eyes with one socket being noticeably larger and/or higher than the other among the stock at their nearby store.
A couple of us have noticed Saige's with a wig defect in which the short hairs that should be in the wig are sticking up in an unsightly tuft for some reason. It is not good etiquette to remove the hairnet to check before you've bought the doll, but if you stay near the premises after you've made your purchase, check the doll thoroughly and take her back in for an exchange if you find this defect. I spotted the defect while the doll was still boxed.
Saige's wig seems to vary from very thick and thickly curled to somewhat thin and lightly wavy, which is the way mine is. It is a really nice wig for 8 year old kids and above as it offers many styling options and stands up to gentle brushing very well. I give it a solid A so far.
Okay back with a poorly lit photo showing what I mean about variations between wig thicknesses. The doll on the left is mine and the doll on the right belongs to my daughter. Upon close examination it appears an unnecessary amount of my doll's wig hairs were clipped short. Tsk tsk:
Color is a beautiful dark auburn that is a couple of shades darker than Emily's but in the same color tone. I hope I've got my color terminology correct there.
UPDATE: even in my poorly kit photo some of you may be able to discern a slight color difference. It is not your imagination and it is not a trick of the light. My Saige has a more blonde or golden hue and my daughter's Saige has a more rich, true red.
So, just be aware that these differences/variances do exist between Saiges.
I'll be back again at a later time to offer up more comparisons between our two dolls.
I'm back with another photo to illustrate the variety in Saige dolls. The one on the left is my sweet shy looking Emily Rose and the one on the right is the feisty and outgoing Saige Felicity belonging to my daughter
For those wondering how she stacks up against last years GOTY, McKenna:
And some may feel Caroline renders her redundant or vice versa. For me, Saige is more of a sister, not a rival and both share the spotlight equally well. Saige is good for those who are drawn to Caroline but are wanting hair that doesn't require the finger curling to maintain the hairstyle.
The ears are pierced and this is a great value for those who wanted this feature on a doll. For me it was one of the deciding factors in choosing Saige over Emily because I have always wanted a doll with pierced ears but the time and expense and long lines at the salon have kept me postponing getting my existing dolls' ears pierced. Her ears have the standard sized AG holes and can take all AG branded earrings currently sold.
Her face is very similar to Kit's. And it's painted in bold hues similar to how 55's is painted. The similarities between 55 and Saige are very strong.
Overall I give the doll herself an A+. She has a certain charisma and drawing power about her. I was not interested at all in getting her, I was there for my daughter and to get Emily for myself. In looking through the stock to help my daughter finalize her selection I came across my Saige. She was not perfect in wig or features. I usually look for straight parts, facial symmetry and other signs of "perfection" and my Emily Rose Copeland doesn't have any of that. Her part is crooked, her eyeballs move around a bit and she tends to gaze to one side or go lazy eyes. None of that mattered.
The lines "Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried" went off in my head. The near perfect Emily I'd so painstakingly selected went back up on the shelf once and for all.
Sorry this is rapidly devolving from a proper review into a squee. I'll be back with pictures of both Saige dolls in our family next chance I get.
Post by moonlightcookie on Nov 17, 2012 22:38:28 GMT -5
I almost put off getting Cooper, thinking Honey would suffice. Then I went to see him/her in person and noted the dog appeared to be in a sitting position. I put Honey back and got my daughter and her best friend two of the final three Coopers remaining in McKenna's collection. The kids prefer the dogs to be in a standing pose so they can have the dogs in action in their stories and so the sitting lose just doesn't cut it as far as AG dogs are concerned. Especially not for active breeds. The Yorkies and Westies could get away with sitting but the girls I was shopping for want hunting, sporting and other working breeds to be frozen in a standing position. Your mileage may vary, but it is something I decided to mention because it was a factor I had to consider with this particular pet.
Oh yes, and I agree he is too small. He could pass for a puppy but not an adult. Not with the husky and Cooper being so much larger.
Post by moonlightcookie on Nov 17, 2012 22:31:10 GMT -5
My daughter got him from her aunt who owns a bulldog who is Meatloaf's real life twin. So far all my daughter's friends favorite AG pet is Meatloaf. Poor thing never gets a moment of peace when the girls are visiting my daughter for a playdate. They make most of the stories revolve around him. He has been everything from pound rescue stories to being in his own pet gymnastics competition at McKenna's gym. The girls do not seem to mind he is a plastic shell covered in fabric as opposed to a real stuffed animal. He is cute, he is in a standing pose that they consider versatile, and he really looks very much like the breed he represents, so that seems sufficient to make him a hit. I don't consider him to scale, myself but my sister in law's dog is a very large version of bulldog so what do I know, really.
Post by moonlightcookie on Nov 17, 2012 6:36:59 GMT -5
I just got a used one from EBay too. My daughter liked this one so much we are getting another for her. I'll add to my comments after the second one arrives.
Meanwhile the first was perfect in every way, just a wee bit dirty on the legs. I had read enough reviews here that I opted not to look at new in box dolls with hair nets and very basic photos, and instead looked at used dolls that were photographed in detail from every angle. I could then see which dolls appeared to have thick wigs and which didn't. My experience of getting several dolls from eBay has taught me NIB is nice but not necessary if you work with a really good seller who takes great pains to accurately represent the product.
My Chrissa arrived with no wear marks and a thick beautiful wig. It is much better than the new Emily doll's wig I had that had almost put me off short straight wigs forever. Chrissa can endure a busy day without flyaways. I can just smooth her hair down with my hand.
Dark hair and blue eyes is a stunning combination. The meet dress is dull on Chrissa but took on new life on Marisol especially when paired with light purple leggings from the current Striped School Dress and Charm set. Chrissa looked better with the bold dark colors of the striped school dress itself.
Post by moonlightcookie on Sept 25, 2012 4:53:55 GMT -5
The quality of this doll seems high. By that, I mean not only was my particular doll impeccable, but all of the ones I opened to gently feel the wigs and examine looked in perfect shape, too. I'm impressed by that, after what I've been through recently with Emily. I bought and returned an Emily after I had searched diligently for a good part on her hair from among every available doll on the shelves. All of the other Emily dolls had gloppy parts, so I was pleased by my find, only to get her home and find her hair was unevenly cut, one might even say "chopped", she shed incessantly, and there were kinks in her straight hair. I could not do an exchange because I already knew mine was the best of the lot and the rest had more obvious wig defects that were visible. Maybe it was because she is possibly at the end of her run and they are at the bottom of their stock now.
So I went back and decided to get a curly haired lass instead. I considered 56, but the longer curls of Caroline beckoned, as did the fact she is a historical doll and comes with a story I can share with my daughter.
I found that with so many excellent quality samples to choose from, I could narrow my choice down even further to select for face shape. While they are all Classic faces, of course, each Caroline has a bit of a distinct look to her thanks to individual slight variations in the mold or the placement of the wig. I found one with a less chubby face and a pleasing profile. I noticed others had slightly wider or flatter faces, so anyone who prefers that look, has that option. The variations I must stress are very slight and subtle. Few children would notice them. And even though I prefer the Josefina mold, I think the classic looks beautiful on this doll. Skin tone is brighter and pinker compared to our Rebecca doll.
The hair is not a flat Barbie platinum. It's got the same beautiful subtle variation in tone that the excellent brunette and auburn wigs have. You may not see that well in official photos or even under the store lighting, but in normal household lighting, it's there.
There are short hairs in the wig, and they somehow seem to hold the longer hairs close to the "skull" so that flyaways and tangling isn't as bad as you might expect. The long curls are actually play-friendly. As they can get quite messy and still look beautiful and like they are meant to be that way. It's a contrast again, with my poor Em, who got unsightly flyaways when she got jostled (though I could quickly smooth her down again).
It takes me about five minutes with a pick and finger curling to set her hair to rights again after my daughter plays with her. You can see by the many photos of her on this forum that there are so many options for hairstyles with this beautiful doll.
Best of all, the entire two and a half days we've had her, she has shed exactly FIVE hairs total. You can't imagine how happy that makes me after the heartbreak of returning Marie Grace and Emily after watching them shed constantly and watching the lovely hair accumulate into a hair ball collection in the wastebasket. Even McKenna, another recent purchase that has proven to be a "keeper" sheds a wee bit.
We have only the first book that comes with the doll. My daughter, 8, is enthralled with the story and deeply moved by the hardships Caroline faces. The book itself is priceless for the one chapter "Grandmother's Advice". Grandmother indeed provides words to live by and I was deeply moved by this advice and example for my daughter.
I am not sufficiently educated to say how historically accurate this story or the characters are, but for me as a mom, it suffices that the story inspires both me and my daughter to want to research this time period more. Anything that inspires or encourages one to seek further education has a value unto itself.
Caroline and her mom and grandmother are strong, courageous women and good role models. Caroline may look like a delicate princess but she is a tough cookie with bold ambitions.
The doll's eyes are lovely, also. Initially I preferred the pinwheel style for blue and aqua eyes, but I have come to love and prefer this look for Caroline.
The dress fabric is thin. I admit I got spoiled by the feel of Emily's dress. But the dress will look nice and more complete with the accessory package, which I do not have.
Even if you are not into the classic face mold or platinum blonde dolls, you may be pleasantly surprised and fall in love as we did.
Update: my daughter and I are still immensely pleased with this doll. I've found the hair care video tutorial made by board member Wellies and posted under MAG #56's review thread for her #56 Zoe Marie Kate to be very helpful in refreshing and neatening Caroline's curls, too. We still have very minimal shedding with this doll. I tend to style the hair in a McKenna style to keep it neat during play.
Post by moonlightcookie on Sept 16, 2012 7:14:44 GMT -5
We got my daughter #55 at the DC store yesterday. We love her looks for reasons others have already stated. However there may be some quality control issues in their factories, because the Marie-Grace we also bought yesterday was defective and must also be returned. For #55 the wig was surprisingly thin, there were numerous stitching threads sticking out in various places, some that I did not dare try to snip. And the seam where the hair is stitched into the wig base was very prominently protruding like a knot at the left doll's temple, making it unsightly to pull her hair back into certain styles. So, both dolls will have to be returned, unfortunately, (Marie-Grace was shedding like my cat).
I'm hoping the next #55 will be free of noticeable defects, as she is quite lovely, otherwise.
editing to add that as far as hair color goes, I'm stunned by the realism. I took the doll outdoors since we can't get back to VA yet to return it. I looked at the doll's hair to compare it to my daughter's hair. The color match between the doll hair and my child's hair was shockingly close. My daughter has just a hint more of a red tinge in her hair. But you can hardly tell the difference. It's incredible how many different shades of brown are incorporated into the wig to make a natural blend of highlights and low lights.
Post by moonlightcookie on Sept 15, 2012 4:57:19 GMT -5
We are very pleased with ours so far, which we bought at the Tyson's Virginia store, aka DC Store.
This is my soon to be 8 year old's first American Girl Doll and she wasn't sure she even wanted one, so we said this doll will be Mommy's but if she likes it she can take it. She did fall in love with Rebecca and now Beckie is hers. We were torn between Marie-Grace, and Rebecca, and #55. My husband helped break the tie by pointing out Rebecca's story was close to that of some members of his family who immigrated from Eastern Europe around that time. The history buff in him also appreciated the era that Rebecca represents.
Her Meet story so far is fascinating and educational. Rebecca is a sympathetic character and easy to bond with and relate to, even if you are not Jewish. As the daughter of an Asian immigrant I can relate to her family adjusting to a different culture outside of their own.
The doll herself is beautiful. Our doll's wig seems full, but we do not have a basis for comparison. I can only say that we can not easily see the wig base in any of the styles we've tried so far. I've only seen it while combing and detangling, and the color match renders it almost invisible.
I did not get a proper comb until several days afterward so her hair got really messy, but the tangles smoothed out easily with about five minutes of my picking through it with the AG brand comb to remove snarls and then smoothing it slightly with the AG brush. I did not use water to mist it at that time.
Her hazel eyes were a huge selling point for me. They are very much like hazel brown-green eyes I've seen on real people. I prefer this style to the "pinwheel" look for that reason, but I do like both, overall.
The limbs might feel a bit loose. The next time I go to the store I'm going to handle more dolls to get a better feel for them. But she can stand and maintain poses.
I don't have pictures to share at the moment, sorry.
I forgot to add that so far we've not had any problems handling the barrette or other clothing items. But I agree the barrette seems brittle.
I'm sorry I forgot to assign letter grades: A for aesthetics, A for quality of the doll itself, A for clothing and accessories (but beware the barrette is fragile). A for representation of her era and place.