Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Poor #ToyDesign: #BadgerBasket #18inchDolls Chair #FailWhale #ToyReviews

I purchased a Badger Basket: Upholstered Doll Chair with Foldout Bed - Pink Chevron (MSRP $29.99) from Kmart.com. The product description (on Kmart) states that it's appropriate for 18" Dolls like American Girl and a non-AG 18" Doll is shown using the chair on the manufacturer's website. (The chair design on the manufacturer's site seems slightly different from the chair I received --- the top seat cushion looks thinner and thus firmer --- so I don't know if it's an update, an older model or an assembly-line variance.) 

Unfortunately however, the chair I received does not support the weight of an American Girl Doll (other 18" Dolls may have different weight ratios) which means it fails at being an American Girl Doll chair.

The chair is made of foam covered in fabric. The foam used for the top seat cushion of the chair is too thin to support the doll's weight, it flattens almost completely and the doll slides forward. (See image below.) Both seat cushions should remain the same thickness, but the top cushion becomes roughly half the thickness of the bottom cushion with a doll seated on the chair and the loose fabric puckers out.
Badger Basket Chair Weak Seat Cushion
To use the chair at all, an American Girl Doll (like the one pictured) must not only be pushed all the way against its back, but the doll's arms must be extended against the chair's armrests as stops to prevent her from sliding off. Were the doll seated more toward the front of the chair then the top cushion would appear nearly non-existent. The chair may work OK for other dolls made of a different weight plastic, but American Girl Dolls are fairly solid. It would be fine for a light-weight stuffed animal. It is not appropriate for an American Girl Doll which is the reason I bought it.

I contacted the manufacturer to try to determine if it was a manufacturing defect (i.e., I happened to receive one poorly made chair because the seat cushion foam was cut too thin on an assembly-line) or a design defect (i.e., we actually didn't try the chair with an American Girl Doll only with other brands that have different weights, but want to capitalize on the popularity of American Girl and sell to those customers). Was told they had never received such a complaint before, was asked for photo proof (I sent the photo above) and then was basically brushed of with an "Oh well, write a bad review of the product, if you want." Not exactly proactive customer service.

So here it is, my bad review.

Needless to say, I would not purchase this item ever again. It was not worth returning to Kmart due to the fact that between the cost of return shipping, my time and hassle, etc., I likely would have paid for the chair again. So I kept it, but we are not amused.

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