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I picked up all the new BeForever outfits a few weeks ago, immediately after they were released.  Now they’re all on sale for about 20% off.  Sigh.  But these photos I took may benefit some of you who are thinking about grabbing these items now that they are on sale.  I was gonna post a really clever story about all of them, but I ran out of energy.  I’m pretty sure I have pneumonia, because everything inside my rib cage is aching as if I’ve done hours of heavy lifting (I haven’t).

So enough complaining, and on to the photos I took a couple weeks ago!

Ivy in Julie’s coat and beret:

Kirsten in Julie’s skateboard outfit:

Mia in Julie’s Maxi Dress:

Kailey showing off Julie’s new sunglasses (she dropped Julie’s tie-dye bag behind the TV…I think I’m gonna have to punish her):

Lindsey in Julie’s Funky Flower Outfit:

Ruthie in Kit’s Springtime dress:

McKenna with Kit’s new overalls and chicken:

Isabelle in Rebecca’s bathing suit:

Julie in her holiday dress and egg chair:

Nellie in Samantha’s Special Day dress:

Felicity in Samantha’s dress:

Chrissa in Samantha’s travel set (and Samantha’s old dress):

Saige in Samantha’s Flower Picking outfit (and the hat from her hairstyling set):

Addy’s new dress:

Marie-Grace in Addy’s sewing dress:

Kaya’s new shawl outfit:

There are some really great outfits in this set.  My first thoughts were “nice, but I wish they didn’t cost so much.”  The sale prices make them just about right.  Not exactly a bargain (like $55 Julie doll from the today show), but a fair price.  I wonder how long these “limited edition” outfits will be around.  I’m also surprised Caroline and Josefina got left out for this release.  Are they on their way out?  While I would be sad to see them go, I hear we’re getting new historical characters soon!  We’ll talk more about that later.  So long for now!

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Ever since I posted old vacation photos on Monday, I’ve been yearning for another vacation!  Too bad my boss is failing to approve any vacation requests.  So, let’s look back on the adventures that my dollies and I have been on over the last few years…

February 2013, Seattle with Leonie

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April 2013, Tulip Festival with Brianne

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April 2013, Oak Harbor with Saige, Elizabeth, and Mia

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May 2013, Disneyland with Mini Kit

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June 2013, Chicago with McKenna

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June 2013, Mackinac Island with Caroline

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July 2013, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia with Jenna

August 2013, the state fair with Brianne

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September 2013, Rieke came home with me from London

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October 2013, Albuquerque with Saige

November 2013, Disney World with Mini Dolls

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January 2014, New Orleans with Cecile

March 2014, Seattle with Henriette

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March 2014, Bellingham with Ruthie (and Valerie and the twins)

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April 2014, UW and a Mariners Game with Sonali

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April/May 2014 Maui with Kanani

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May 2014, pageant in Texas with Kit

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July 2014, Whistler with Taryn

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July 2014, Nauvoo, Illinois with Chrissa

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August 2014, the zoo with Jess

October 2014, Manitoba with Saila

December 2014, the ballet with Isabelle

January 2015, Sing-a-long Sound of Music with Kirsten

January/February 2015, Disney Cruise with Grace

Where to next?

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One week to go!

This time next week I will be on my way to American Girl!

celebrating today is Mia, girl of the year 2008.

And how ’bout a group photo from when Mia first arrived?

I got Mia, Julie, and Ivy all at the same time when I arrived home from school on winter break in January 2008. Nicki is absent from this photo, she was holding down the fort at school.

PS: I updated my AG wish list because I got a few items for Christmas!

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Say hello to Samantha, the first American Girl to come back from retirement!  Here is my Samantha collection:

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I can see my mother rolling her eyes at my third dolly bicycle, but I couldn’t resist free shipping!

Here’s Samantha in the winter coat that came out around the same time as Samantha’s movie:

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Marisol looks sensational in Samantha’s Cranberry Party Dress:

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Here’s Gwen in the new winter coat:

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Samantha’s bike is really beautiful.  Critics say it’s too modern, but someone on the dolly boards found a vintage advertisement for a bicycle that came in vermilion, and safety bicycles were first designed in 1876 according to Wikipedia.  Mia looks gorgeous in the pink hair ribbon and turquoise-accented blouse:

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Here’s Caroline in Samantha’s new meet dress (which I think is pretty mediocre) and Kanani in the Frilly Frock…

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…that I think is amazing!

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Nellie looks quite sophisticated in the dress she borrowed from Samantha:

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Molly, Marie-Grace, and Jess chillin in sleepwear:

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Rebecca models Samantha’s new holiday set:

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Poor Kaya is dressed to be shipped off to boarding school:

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And Kirsten borrows Nellie’s dress, which happens to be her favorite color:

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Best Friends Forever Elizabeth and Felicity display timeless beauty:

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I have mixed feelings about Samantha’s return.  Her new collection is very pink, but I’m eager to see future releases.  Who wants to share their favorite Samantha outfit, new or retired?

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Dolly A-Z: Mia

Mia was the lucky doll that accompanied me and my friends to a special event at American Girl.  It was free, reservations were required, and they had lemonade and chocolate-covered strawberries.  And there was a drawing at the door, and they gave us a goodie bag with a Saige poster, another Saige t-shirt, a copy of American Girl Magazine, and a book called Express Yourself.

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They almost didn’t give me a goodie bag because I looked like a child.  Since we were unsure what they meant by “refreshments”, we didn’t eat before we went to the store.  So after we went the the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Yum.  We got to sit in the train.

 

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The best part came the next day, when Becky won the drawing!  She won the dolly daybed, the dreamy bedding, the blue pajamas, and a night at a hotel in Lynnwood.  She called the hotel and booked New Years Eve!!  And I get to come!  Girl of the Year 2014 here we come!

Let’s find a few more photos of Mia.

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Mia was Girl of the Year 2008.  She has a bunch of brothers and loves figure skating.  Conveniently, I love figure skating too, so I love Mia.

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If you were born yesterday, and therefore know nothing about American Girl, then I’d like to introduce you to the Girl of the Year. Well, 12 of them actually. American Girl didn’t start calling them Girls of the Year until Jess was released in 2006. Lindsey and Kailey were released as limited edition–while supplies last, and if I recall they lasted a little longer than a year. Since then, each girl has been available for only 1 year. I was going to stop after Jess, but then I saw Nicki in person at American Girl Place Chicago, and I had to take her home. After that, I just had to keep collecting. Here they are, from left to right, back row to front:

Lindsey Bergman, 2001
Kailey Hopkins, 2003
Marisol Luna, 2005
Jess Akiko McConnell, 2006
Nicki Fleming, 2007
Mia St Clair, 2008
Chrissa Maxwell, 2009
Sonali Mathews, Chrissa’s Best Friend (absent from my collection is Chrissa’s other best friend Gwen. 2009 is the only year they released more than 1 doll.)
Lanie Holland, 2010
Kanani Akina, 2011
McKenna Brooks, 2012
Saige Copeland, 2013

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Who’s your favorite Girl of the Year?

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When people find out I have 30 American Girl dolls, they sometimes ask, “Don’t they all look the same?” Or, when I get excited about a new doll, my sister has asked, “Don’t you already have a doll that looks like that?” The answer to both of those questions is no, and this post is going to explore that. Please prepare yourself for a page full of dolly mugshots. I also want to say that my comparison will neglect the Girl of Today/My AG/Just Like You dolls, because I don’t collect them. That line offers even more hair/face/eye combinations, none of which I feel need to be added to my collection.

Let’s start with the biggest difference: there are dolls with different faces! American Girl has used multiple face molds through the years. Let’s go through them. I will follow conventional naming, naming the molds after the first doll that had them.

First, the classic mold. Pictured here on Kirsten, Felicity, Kit, Lindsey, Kailey, Emily, Nicki, Mia, Ruthie, Lanie, Caroline, and Saige.

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I left Samantha and Molly out of this picture because my Samantha and Molly were made before the Mattel takeover, and I think they look different. Here are the first three American Girls: a pre-Mattel Molly, a Mattel Kirsten, and a pre-Mattel Samantha.

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Felicity was the next doll released, and she shared the classic face mold. The next doll is Addy, who was released in the mid-90’s (after I got my first catalog, but before I picked my first doll). Addy is African-American, and thankfully she gets a new face mold.

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A few years later, but still before the Mattel takeover, we get Josefina. She gets her own face mold, and since then many dolls have shared it. Some argue that it’s more popular than the classic mold (Chrissa and McKenna both sold very well), but I like the classic mold better.

Here are dolls with the Josefina mold: Josefina, Elizabeth, Nellie, Rebecca, Julie, Marisol, Chrissa, McKenna

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To really see the difference, here are Julie and Kailey. They both have blond hair and brown eyes, but you can see how different they look:

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In 2006, we meet Jess, who is half-Japanese. While at this point there was an Asian Girl of Today, Jess got her own mold. The same mold is used for Ivy and Kanani.

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Even though these three dolls have the same face, there’s no denying how different they look from each other. In fact, for years I thought Jess and Ivy had different faces because Jess’s eyes looked more round than Ivy’s. As it turns out, Ivy’s face is painted to make her eyes look pointier.

Slightly creepy close-up of Ivy’s eye:

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And Jess’s eye:

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And I’ll through in a round eye (Josefina’s) for good measure:

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Kaya gets her own face mold. She is the only doll who doesn’t show her teeth, because showing teeth is rude in Nez Perce culture.

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Sonali is of South Asian descent, so she got a new face mold when she came out:

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But now Cecile has the same face:

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Here are my three Black dollies:

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And finally, Marie-Grace has her own face mold.

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Compare it to the Josefina mold (Chrissa) and the classic mold (Ruthie)

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Marie-Grace has a pointier chin than Chrissa and fuller lips than Ruthie.

So that covers all the different face molds. Let’s look at some other differences. Look at these 3 dolls with blond hair and blue eyes:

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Different hairstyles and different faces make for three distinct dolls. I think even their eye color is different:

Kirsten

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Kit

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and Elizabeth

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Next let’s compare the redheads:

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A beautiful rainbow, from strawberry to auburn. Let’s get closer.

Felicity (left) and Saige (right)

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Emily (left) and Felicity (right)

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Nellie (left) and Mia (right)

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There’s so much variation in each of these wigs, that I wonder if you’ll even find differences among each Saige doll, each Felicity, etc. Each wig has multiple hues, and that’s what I love most about these redheaded dollies.

Here are all the dolls with freckles:

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Nellie is the only doll with freckles who’s not a classic mold. I noticed right away that Kit and Lindsey have identical faces:

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That was most noticeable because Kit was my second American Girl, released in 2000, and Lindsey was my third, released in 2001. Nicki and Saige have the same freckle pattern as Kit and Lindsey (here’s a closeup of Saige):

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But Mia’s freckles are significantly lighter:

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We’ve covered blondes and redheads, how about caramel? What is caramel-colored hair? I’d never heard hair color described as caramel until American Girl, but here it is. Nicki and McKenna have caramel-colored hair. It’s not red, it’s not blond, it’s not brown.

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Let’s finish off with some buddy shots of dolls that are similar, but different.

Caroline and Lanie. Both have curly blond hair and green eyes, but Caroline’s eyes and hair are both much lighter.

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Samantha has darker hair than Molly, but after 20 years or so, the frizziness looks pretty much the same color:

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Brunette variation is easier to see on newer dolls Lindsey and Ruthie:

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Of my 30, I think Chrissa and McKenna are the most similar looking. They both have blue eyes on a Josefina face mold, with straight hair and no bangs.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the similarities and differences among my American Girl dolls. I wish the photos had more consistent lighting (I took them all today, indoors, with no artificial lighting. All color correction was done automatically by the camera. I did no editing.) so that the details were more clear. As of right now, I have decided I will stop collecting when they come out with a doll that looks like one I already have. But as you can see, that probably won’t happen soon. The possibilities for American Girl appear to be endless!

Oh, and here’s what one’s living room looks like after a 30-doll photo shoot:

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