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Old 01-06-2010, 01:27 PM   #1
WeLoveLilo05
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AMERICAN GIRL doll experts, some Questions Answered please?

We are fairly new to AG Dolls. DD just got Kit for Christmas and ADORES her! (I have posted on her about this probably 10xs already this week, but just for those who don't know) She kept saying that was all she wanted for Christmas and I was a little "iffy" about getting it for her, but she is taking really good care of her and plays with her constantly. We are also enjoying her books as well, we are on book #2.

Here are my questions:

1) If something is "sold out" (not backordered) on their website does that mean that they retired the item? We are looking for Kit's typewriter and it appears to be "sold out" on the site. I also noticed her reporter dress is "sold out" as well.

2) And if the item is "sold out" does that mean there's a chance we could find it at an AG store? is there a chance we could find Kit's typewriter? we are heading there next week for her birthday. Also, I know DotY Chrissa is now retired, but some of her accessories are still on the AG site, does that mean her accessories may be in the store as well?

3) When buying on ebay I noticed people saying "No X on the bottom" does that mean its a fake? Or is it slightly imperfect or something?

4) Where do you usually find cheap used AG items? I found one of kit's outfits @ a thrift shop in WONDERFUL condition for $9. anywhere else I could search?

5) When did mattel buy out pleasant co.? And now what does that mean? Are the dolls not the same quality. I noticed those dolls that are made by Pleasant Co. on ebay are going for much more.

If there's any other info, news, where to find things cheaper, etc. you would like to share, we are listening.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
ceecee
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There's an outlet sale every year in Wisconsin and they put Xs on the bottoms. You can find sold out stuff on Ebay. One year when the doll of the year sold out, I was able to find her and all the accessories at the LA store, so it is possible. You can try calling, they used to ship but I don't know if they do anymore.
I have both Pleasant Co and Mattel and I really noticed the difference when Mattel took over. I imagine the collecters would want the Pleasant Co dolls over the Mattel. But if it's just for a toy it shouldn't matter.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
icalum
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You should join an AG internet forum, like AGPlaythings. Lots of information there and buy/sell forums, too. Be careful, AG can become an addiction! I am so glad that you and your DD are enjoying the books along with the doll. DD9, DD7 and I have been reading the new Lanie book since last week. It is something that we can all enjoy together. Although I bought Lanie at Barnes and Noble, usually I check the historical books out of the public library to save $$$.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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I wouldn't call myself an "AG expert" but I think I'm getting to where I know quite a bit so I'll try to answer.

1) If something is "sold out" (not backordered) on their website does that mean that they retired the item? We are looking for Kit's typewriter and it appears to be "sold out" on the site. I also noticed her reporter dress is "sold out" as well.

As far as I know, the typewriter is no longer available but may be available again sometime in the future. It was backordered for a LONG time and now people are getting them but have had problems with keys sticking, etc. so Mattel is looking for a new manufacturer...or something like that. I think the dress was archived, but could be wrong.


2) And if the item is "sold out" does that mean there's a chance we could find it at an AG store? is there a chance we could find Kit's typewriter? we are heading there next week for her birthday. Also, I know DotY Chrissa is now retired, but some of her accessories are still on the AG site, does that mean her accessories may be in the store as well?

I am pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find the typewriter in any of the AG stores, because it was out of stock for a really long time, but there could always be a return I guess. The Chrissa stock should be pulled from the store shelves since a new GOTY is available, but it wouldn't hurt to ask about anything you are interested in because they could still have them since they are still on the website.
3) When buying on ebay I noticed people saying "No X on the bottom" does that mean its a fake? Or is it slightly imperfect or something?

Every year, there is a benefit sale for the Madison Children's Museum in WI which is sponsored by AG. The dolls there are returns, 2nds, slight imperfects, etc. They are sold at a decent discount, but ARE geniune AG dolls. Most of the imperfections are hard to find, at least they sure were hard to see on any of the MCM dolls we got this year (we bought 5 and so did my mom). MCM dolls are not supposed to be resold, but they turn up often enough on Ebay that people like to let buyers know that the dolls are non-MCM dolls I guess.

4) Where do you usually find cheap used AG items? I found one of kit's outfits @ a thrift shop in WONDERFUL condition for $9. anywhere else I could search?

Ebay, Thrift shops...there is also an AG message board (agplaythings) where there is a for sale section too.

5) When did mattel buy out pleasant co.? And now what does that mean? Are the dolls not the same quality. I noticed those dolls that are made by Pleasant Co. on ebay are going for much more.

Mattel acquired Pleasant Company in 1998. The Pre-Mattel dolls are worth more from a collector standpoint for various reasons but I personally don't see much difference in quality between my PM Samantha and my DDs various Mattel-era AG dolls.


Hope that helps! Welcome to the VERY addicting world of American Girl! We started with one doll (Ruthie) for DD last Christmas and now have 7 dolls at our house. :
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:13 PM   #5
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http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories

You can find almost any retired items on ebay - picked up an irish dancing dress for dd8, and she was so excited, because it's not in the catalogue.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkercat View Post
I wouldn't call myself an "AG expert" but I think I'm getting to where I know quite a bit so I'll try to answer.

1) If something is "sold out" (not backordered) on their website does that mean that they retired the item? We are looking for Kit's typewriter and it appears to be "sold out" on the site. I also noticed her reporter dress is "sold out" as well.

As far as I know, the typewriter is no longer available but may be available again sometime in the future. It was backordered for a LONG time and now people are getting them but have had problems with keys sticking, etc. so Mattel is looking for a new manufacturer...or something like that. I think the dress was archived, but could be wrong.


2) And if the item is "sold out" does that mean there's a chance we could find it at an AG store? is there a chance we could find Kit's typewriter? we are heading there next week for her birthday. Also, I know DotY Chrissa is now retired, but some of her accessories are still on the AG site, does that mean her accessories may be in the store as well?

I am pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find the typewriter in any of the AG stores, because it was out of stock for a really long time, but there could always be a return I guess. The Chrissa stock should be pulled from the store shelves since a new GOTY is available, but it wouldn't hurt to ask about anything you are interested in because they could still have them since they are still on the website.
3) When buying on ebay I noticed people saying "No X on the bottom" does that mean its a fake? Or is it slightly imperfect or something?

Every year, there is a benefit sale for the Madison Children's Museum in WI which is sponsored by AG. The dolls there are returns, 2nds, slight imperfects, etc. They are sold at a decent discount, but ARE geniune AG dolls. Most of the imperfections are hard to find, at least they sure were hard to see on any of the MCM dolls we got this year (we bought 5 and so did my mom). MCM dolls are not supposed to be resold, but they turn up often enough on Ebay that people like to let buyers know that the dolls are non-MCM dolls I guess.

4) Where do you usually find cheap used AG items? I found one of kit's outfits @ a thrift shop in WONDERFUL condition for $9. anywhere else I could search?

Ebay, Thrift shops...there is also an AG message board (agplaythings) where there is a for sale section too.

5) When did mattel buy out pleasant co.? And now what does that mean? Are the dolls not the same quality. I noticed those dolls that are made by Pleasant Co. on ebay are going for much more.

Mattel acquired Pleasant Company in 1998. The Pre-Mattel dolls are worth more from a collector standpoint for various reasons but I personally don't see much difference in quality between my PM Samantha and my DDs various Mattel-era AG dolls.


Hope that helps! Welcome to the VERY addicting world of American Girl! We started with one doll (Ruthie) for DD last Christmas and now have 7 dolls at our house. :
I DO consider myself an AG expert having been in the AG world for over 15 years and I agree with EVERYTHING pp said. Wait-let me change that...... I DO see a difference between the PC stuff and the Mattel stuff. For some people it is a preference. Some prefer Mattel over PC and visa versa.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone! Yes this is VERY addicting. I just can't believe her typewriter, which was $19 is going on ebay for close to $100 or more. Tomorrow I may hit up the 2 thrift shop/consignment shops in my area and see what they have. I am on ebay CONSTANTLY, my fiance laughs at me.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #8
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I actually spoke to a customer service representative about the typewriter. I was trying to get that and the desk for my dd for xmas. The woman I spoke with said they had manufacturing quality issues with both products and were looking for a new manufacturer. She did not know when, if ever that would happen.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
WeLoveLilo05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntink View Post
I actually spoke to a customer service representative about the typewriter. I was trying to get that and the desk for my dd for xmas. The woman I spoke with said they had manufacturing quality issues with both products and were looking for a new manufacturer. She did not know when, if ever that would happen.
O Thanks! I hope they do find a new manufacturer soon. It's funny b/c DD keeps asking about a typewriter since she has no idea what it is. Me and my mom were talking about it last night when I was over there for dinner. My sister (18 years old) never used a typewriter before so we were explaining it to her, it was pretty funny.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:19 PM   #10
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Watch out! It is an addiction!!1 My daughter now has EVERY historical doll, all the GOTY since Marisol, 3 Bitty Twins (2 girls, 1 boy) and 2 Bitty Babies!

I agree with everything said here, except I don't know anything about the quality of the dolls pre-Mattel.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:33 PM   #11
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I also think its addicting.. my child is an only grandchild on my hubby's side and only girl on the other... so when people want to buy her gifts she wants the dolls.. we have 22 of them... I did go back and buy all the girls of the year... she started with Jess... and I went back to get Linsey, Kailey and Marisol... but... I will say I found them at consignment sales for 30 and 40 each... not bad! We are missing 4 of the historicals... she wants Lanie next! We also have bitty twins and bitty baby! We love American Girl.. my daughter will be 8 this month!
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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shopgoodwill.com sometimes has auctions for a lot of AG clothes and accessories. i noticed a lot of them may have off brand items or may be random, like one left shoe is thrown in. also they charge a shipping & handling fee so keep that in mind when bidding. it may seem like a great deal until they slam you with that. i bought an item and the S&H was more than the item!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:41 AM   #13
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The Pleasant Company used doll heads from a German manufacturer. Mattel discontinued this and went to a supplier in China. My understanding is that there is not a bright line on this switch. Mattel used up the supplies on hand etc. So it is possible to have a doll with a German head that is marked Mattel, but no guarantee. I, too, can see a difference in the faces of the dolls. If you search around on the web, you can find some pictures of the old and new dolls side by side. The main difference that I have seen, however, is in the quality of the clothing and accessories. Pleasant Company was very careful to use appropriate fabrics for their historical dolls -such as cotton. Many -but not all-of the Mattel dresses are made of cheap synthetics including those for the historical dolls. This is where living close to a store is helpful, as you can check out the quality before purchasing. I think the saddest change however, is the turnover of the product lines. I call it the "Barbiefication" of the AG line. The AG lines used to be quite stable and it was possible to collect everything for a particular doll. Dolls were not retired and new items were added only on occasion. Now there are new dolls every year that are only available for that year and items come and go. I am so sad to see Kirsten and Samatha, two of the original dolls, are no longer available.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:09 AM   #14
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Like raftislander said, there are subtle differences between the Pleasant Company & Mattel dolls - slightly different coloring to the skin, hair, & eyes on some dolls, and most collectors agree that the Mattel dolls are "skinnier" and have slightly smaller feet than the older dolls. I think the overall quality of the dolls themselves is the same though.

It is the clothing & accessories where there is more difference. Pleasant Company strived to create collectible playthings for older girls - they used materials like wood, glass, & resin (for play food); a lot of the Mattel accessories are plastic. They do still make some nice pieces, for example some of the dish sets for the historical dolls are still real glass or ceramic. From a collector's standpoint I don't buy a lot of the Mattel accessories, I prefer to look for the older stuff secondhand.

Since you said you are visiting the store, you may want to call & set up an appointment with a personal shopper. If there are specific items you want, they can pull them ahead of time & hold them for you.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #15
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I visited my 18yo niece this past weekend, with my two daughters in tow, and they of course had their new AG dolls from Christmas, so my niece took out her AG doll and although I didnt realize it till just now, my niece has Kits typerwritter I didnt remember her being into the AG dolls, but she pulled out an old tote, and inside was a roll top desk, Kit and the typerwritter, along with some kinda chair and lamp. I bet my niece has no idea whats locked up in her closet is worth some $$$.....ebay gold!!
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