Post by nararabbit on Sept 1, 2012 17:52:51 GMT -5
Caroline's Party Dishes are well worth the asking price, IMHO. The dishes, cutlery, and cups are heavy metal, very solid feeling and I doubt easily broken, unlike some of the glass and china sets! The jug has a sailing ship printed on it for a nautical flair, the napkins are a good size with crocheted edges, and the apple cake comes "sliced" in two pieces so dolls can share.
The apple cake was a let-down - it has a plastic wedge bottom, similar in shape to a Trivial Pursuit piece. It's really ugly and cheap looking, I don't know why they felt the need to add that! The apples on top are also very poorly painted, and look more like apple shaped mashed potatoes than apples! The cake itself, however, looks like real cake!
They also have a sku number printed directly in large numbers on the back of each fork and knife. You better want only one side of your utensil to show, because it looks really ugly otherwise.
I must say, I like this set a lot. I don't have much experiences with past dish sets released, but I am pleased that the plates, mugs and utensils are heavy metal. The pitcher is ceramic, so that could be prone to breaking. I think nararabbit covered most positives and negatives. Should also mention that the plates also have text printed on the bottom:
F1330 c 2012 American Girl Made in China 1842TPT
A- due to the cake. All the other pieces are wonderful.
I recently splurged a little bit and bought Caroline's party set off of Ebay - I think it was one of those from the recent outlet sale because I got mine shipped for $17 cheaper than AG's price with shipping. Not too bad of a deal!
I have to say I think this is a REALLY nice set, definitely PC quality. Every single piece is heavy and nicely made, and I like the simplicity of the pewter dishes. I think this set would work for a lot of time periods.
The pitcher (or jug, according to Regency conversation) is based off of a real extant piece, it is supposed to be stoneware. The basic pitcher itself reminds me of the kind of things you can get in kids' teasets because it is a really simple design, but the ship gives it an extra touch of quality. The ship design looks period correct, like an etching, and I was surprised to find it is printed on both sides of the jug!
The cake isn't really all that bad in person, the bottom is weird but it doesn't really show when it is on the plate. I like the texturing on the inside, it looks like a heavy homemade cake. The apples didn't bother me as far as shape went but they seem out of scale compared to the apples AG sells for dolls. They are very tiny slices. I appreciate that you can take two slices out (although my mom made the point that they are each getting 1/4 of the whole cake...they must be hungry)!
I LOVE the cups! They are so amazingly heavy, it is really hard to believe. They look just like the mugs you see people drinking out of in period films. At first I thought they were a little on the small side but when I calculated how big they would be for a human (three times as large) the size actually seems about right.
The napkins look kind of coarsely woven in my picture but they are not, they actually have a sheen to them and are really nice quality. I'm not crazy about the way the lace edges were done - they just cut the lace off without any finish and the lace is stitched to the top instead of the underside.
The flowers are a nice bundle of fake flowers, I forgot to take pictures. I prefer them laying on the table instead of in the jug.
I like that there are three plates, they will look nicer sitting on a shelf that way. These are also quite heavy. In my pictures I added some clay food my sister made to create a "meal." The forks and knives are nice and seem like everyday utensils.
This is the little paper included in the box (these items were well packaged in styrofoam, I think I'm going to keep the box for storage).
I really think a lot of Caroline's items would mix well with Josefina's set, you see a lot of pewter dishes and cups in the living history sites in the Southwest. I took some pictures for size comparison - Josefina's items are on the right. The cups are about the same size, although Josefina's plate is a little larger and Caroline's jug is much larger! (Please excuse the errant hairpin.)
Initially I thought Caroline's silverware was too small, and compared to Josefina's it is on the small side, but Caroline's knives and forks are more like household utensils (I compared them to a fork and butter knife and they are in proper 1/3 scale to those) while Josefina's are more like steakhouse knives and forks.
Anyway, for today's current Mattel prices I think this set is a great bargain and would heartily recommend it to any historical collector. A+!
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2014 19:23:16 GMT -5 by Wickfield
Overall, this is a great set! The pitcher is beautiful, the flowers are pretty, the apple cake is adorable, and the dishes are very heavy and very nice quality. My two criticisms are the smooth plastic on the bottom of the cake and the lot numbers on the back of the forks and knives. Still, the set pieces are beautiful accessories for a dollhouse dining room or diorama, and the pieces look appropriate for a number of different time periods.