Monday, December 2, 2019

Scored a Free American Girl Addy Mini Doll #BlackFriday

Ended up riding along to the American Girl® Store - Atlanta (in Alpharetta) on Black Friday with my sister. There were several Doorbusters available for in-store AG shoppers including a couple AG Doll Craft Books for $5.00 (regularly $14.99) and select AG Mini Dolls and Books box sets for $10.00 (regularly $24.99).
American Girl Addy Mini Doll
American Girl® Addy Mini Doll and Book
As I had saved my $10.00 AG Rewards Certificate for use during the holiday season, I used it to score a totally free American Girl® Addy Mini Doll and Book box set. (Addy has a special place in my heart as she was the American Girl® Doll that I most wanted back when the brand first debuted in 1986. So getting a free mini version was a definite win.) I also had an AG Rewards Birthday Code, so got a Silver Tier Rewards Birthday Bracelet as a second freebie. (The mini doll is for me, the bracelet for my niece who recently had a birthday.) Not a bad outing altogether!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Ordered Our Generation Let It Roll - Retro Bowling Accessories Set @target #ogdolls #18inchdolls #toys #holidayseason

Our Generation Let It Roll - Retro Bowling Accessories Set
Our Generation Let It Roll - Retro Bowling Accessories Set
After saving up enough rewards GC monies to purchase two Our Generation 18" Boy Dolls at regular prices, I was able to get them both via savings deals. As such, I ended up with a remaining balance on my Target GC account of approximately $12.64. I figured I might be able to score another OG item, if I played my deal cards right. So I waited...

On Sunday past, Target announced a bonus mobile coupon promotion (text a code, get a coupon to "Save 25% on one toy"). By combining this savings with my remaining GC balance, I knew I could get something, probably a decent accessories set. I asked my doll collecting sister for OG item suggestions in the $13 price range and she said that several OG Accessories Sets were currently on sale at Target. She said that she would go back (over her notes) and offer her opinion in a day or two.

This morning she texted regarding an OG Retro Bowling Accessories Set called "Let It Roll". She said it was on sale for $14.99 and I should take a look. I recalled seeing a picture of this set on Target's website a few weeks ago when I was searching for new release OG items for the Fall. I remembered thinking the OG set was cute at the time. I did a few quick calculations in my head and told my sister that I'd order the set and have it shipped to our local Target store for pickup. By the way, bowling is apparently the IT sport in 18" Dollworld right now. (American Girl® is also promoting several bowling themed toys.)

After the 25% Off coupon and my Target Circle cashback balance credit, this set only cost $11.90 which means that I still have 74-cents in my GC account ha!

This OG Bowling Set should make a fun addition to our playspace. (My sister and I often share & loan each other toys, because why not? There's not much overlap to our collections, because we often coordinate our purchasing efforts to insure this doesn't happen.) My order is projected to arrive in the middle of next week.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New eBay Coupon: Scored American Girl® Blossoms Collar & Leash Set! #eBayBucks

So I (temporarily) signed up for eBay text messages because... coupon. Yes, eBay is offering a coupon to "Save $3.00 on a purchase of at least $3.01" when you subscribe to its text notices and I figured that I could use this promotion to score either a free or cheap 18" Doll item.

I was not disappointed. I scored an American Girl® Blossoms Collar and Leash Set, which normally goes for $12.00 MSRP at AG (item may be retired as its no longer on site) for only $1.96 OOP ---after coupon + eBay Bucks! (A vendor in the States has the set listed for $4.99 and it should arrive within days.)
American Girl® Blossom's Collar & Leash Set
American Girl® Blossoms Collar & Leash Set
I don't know that the "rhinestone flowers" on the collar are to my personal taste (these are TOO cutesy and IRL I probably wouldn't purchase such a set for my own pet), but I understand it fits with AG brand character. Apparently, AG Pets like frilly items, or so AG Designers think. I'm hoping this set will fit (at least) one of the 18" doll-sized pets, including AG Sandy the Dog, that I have in my collection.

I'll make it work and make DIY alterations, if necessary. Beyond the sparkly oddities on the collar, the rest of the set is nice looking. I like the plain branded leash, the tiny pet nametag and the adorable miniature butterfly charm quite well. This seems a decent AG Pet Set for $1.96. Thanks, eBay! Another Doll's Christmas Gift down!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Scored A Neat Doll-Sized Toy Race Car @kinderus #KinderEggSurprise #18inchDolls #OGDolls

I found a digital coupon in the Kroger app to Buy One Kinder Bueno Bar and Get One Kinder Egg Free. Because Kinder Bueno Bars are new to the States, these are being promoted everywhere and were on sale 10/$10 at Kroger. So for $1.00, I got both a Kinder Bueno Bar and a Kinder Egg.
Tiny Toy Race Car (Kinder Egg Surprise)
As I've stated before (see post), Kinder Eggs contain toy surprises that often make perfect doll-sized items. It's "luck of the draw" of course, but one can find tiny items inside these eggs that make for fun additions to an 18" Doll Collection. And luck was with me this time, as I scored a tiny toy race car! It's perfectly 18" doll-sized ---and it actually works! You simply pull it back and release it to watch the little car zoom away.

This will make a great miniature stocking stuffer for my OG Boy Dolls, Ty and Ash. As I finally acquired "the boys" (I'd previously determined that I wanted to re-start my 18" Doll Collection with Boy Dolls) my next step has been plotting their Christmas. (I ordered a red wagon and some stylish shoes from Amazon the other day.)

The boys can pull their toy race car around in their red wagon!
Assembled Tiny Toy Race Car (Kinder Egg Surprise)
Tiny Toy Race Car (Kinder Egg Surprise) - 18" Doll Hand Scale

Sunday, October 27, 2019

My @Swagbucks Shop Amazon Shopping Spree: A Radio Flyer Little Red Wagon + 2 Pairs of Shoes + Clothes #Toys #18inchDolls #DollCollectors #Dolls #Swagup

Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon - Length
Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon (Length Scale)
Ever since I recently discovered that Radio Flyer makes a toy version of its iconic red wagon at a scale described as perfect to cart stuffed animals and other small toys, I've wanted one. I thought the toy would be within scale tolerance for an 18" Doll to use as a "real" wagon (i.e., playscale). I did some research and located the item on the Radio Flyer website, it's called the Little Red Toy Wagon. It's priced $19.99. Once I had this information, I also searched for the item on Amazon.com and found that it's usually sold for only $14.99 there. Then I added the item to my Amazon Wishlist to be able to easily monitor it for deals. (This was back in June around my birthday.)

Illustrations of scale for the Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon show that it should be very appropriate to function as a "real" wagon in my 18" Dollworld. (See photos above and below.)
Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon - Size
Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon (Size Scale)
By the way, I'm an inveterate Amazon shopper having used the ecommerce site for nearly 20 years. I like the convenience of shopping from home (or on the go), of being able to store Gift Certificate balances on account, of a generally wide selection of items, and of the fact that nearly every rewards program in existence offers Amazon Gift Cards as a payment or prize option. As a result, my Amazon account (and my dog's Amazon account) always have money available. Yes, pup has her own account and has treats and meds subscriptions to keep her well stocked. She gets more stuff regularly from Amazon than I do and as such assumes any Amazon Delivery is for her LOL!
Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon - Description
Radio Flyer Little Red Toy Wagon (Product Description)
As I consistently research various toy items for my 18" Dolls Collection, I will often keep tabs on them via an Amazon Wishlist created for this purpose. I'd also recently discovered that Sophia's World, a toy wholesaler that is often referred to simply as Sophia's, makes several styles of 18" Dolls shoes that are very authentic looking. There is a little pair of brown faux leather penny loafers that are particularly adorable. Several third party vendors on Amazon Marketplace resell Sophia's World (or Sophia's) items at varying retail prices.

At some time previously, I'd found an Amazon Marketplace vendor who has up a listing for a pair of the little faux leather Sophia's 18" Dolls Brown Penny Loafers and a pair of trendy faux suede Sophia's 18" Dolls Navy Sneakers together as a set for $11.95. See the photos below. This set of shoes had also been added to my Wishlist, of course. In fact, the little red wagon and the shoes were my most wanted items.

And since the $12 shoes + $15 wagon = $27 (a base amount slightly over the $25 necessary to qualify for free shipping), I had it in my mind that I could purchase the top two items on my Wishlist in the same transaction as a holiday gift to myself. I thought these items would be perfect for my recently purchased 18" Boy Dolls, Ty and Ash (the Our Generation Tyler Doll and the Our Generation Gabe Doll, respectively). Even so, I still wanted a good deal on the items, so kept an eye open.
Sophia's Brown Leather Penny Loafers
Sophia's 18" Dolls Brown Penny Loafers (Faux Leather)
Sophia's Navy Sneakers
Sophia's 18" Dolls Navy Sneakers (Faux Suede)
The stars aligned yesterday, so I ended up shopping at Amazon.com via Swagbucks Shop (earn 2% back on Toys & Games). Also, I had a bonus offer (Swagup) active which promised me $5.00 (500 sb) credit, if I spent at least $5.00 + earned back at least 25sb ($0.25) on a transaction. When Swagbucks first offered me this Swagup bonus offer, I recognized that receiving $5.00 credit back on the purchase of my two most wanted toys would drop my effective cost down to ~$24.00 (the order total with tax for the 2 pairs of shoes and the wagon was roughly $29.00). Initially however, Toys & Games was not included in the list of Amazon categories that earned cash back when shopping via Swagbucks, so again, I held off waiting for a promotion.

I knew that the categories which earn cash back sometimes change depending on what's being promoted at a specific site, so I figured with the holidays coming up that Toys & Games might become activated as a cashback earning category. My hunch proved correct. Last night, I received an email from Swagbucks which basically said that Toys & Games purchases at Amazon would earn 2% cash back for a limited time. This meant that my projected $26.94 plus tax Amazon order would also qualify for the Swagup bonus offer and free shipping. So I bit.

I clicked through the email to Swagbucks Shop and then was redirected to Amazon. Instead of using my Wishlist links, I searched for the items that I wanted in order to make certain I got the most recent listings, starting with the shoes. I added these to my cart. Next, I searched for the Little Red Toy Wagon and discovered that I could get a used one from Amazon Warehouse.

FYI: Amazon Warehouse is the Amazon department which resells stock that has been returned still in "new" or at least decent condition, as well as stock that might show slight damage due to shipping issues (i.e., the item/s arrived at Amazon's actual warehouse/s having been damaged in transit from the vendor). Such items, if available, will appear for sale by Amazon Warehouse in the list of vendors on a product page, give a condition of the item in its description and be offered at a discounted price. Sometimes there may be multiple "used" items in different conditions and at corresponding price discounts (as in a used bookstore). Interestingly enough, people on various deal sites have reported having good luck with Amazon Warehouse items. I have seen quite a few comments to the effect of "bought an item listed as Used - Like New and the item was New except the box was dented." Obviously, this is a "luck of the draw" sort of thing, but it can be a way to score a deal on an item that you desire.

In this case, when I searched & landed on the product page for the Little Red Toy Wagon, Amazon Warehouse listed one "used - acceptable" item in stock priced at $11.24, plus there's a current promotion to save an extra 20% on certain category items sold by Amazon Warehouse and Toys & Games is an included category. This deal would make my effective price for the (used) Little Red Toy Wagon only $8.99, a savings of $6.00. The used item description basically stated that it might have paint imperfections or slight dings and come in a damaged box. It's a wagon! I figured any little dings or paint scratches would merely add to the realism factor, making it look as if my Boy Dolls were active, adventurous kids who take their wagon out and sometimes bump it into things, etc. So I added the item to my cart, joining the shoes.
MeiMei Dress & Hat Costume
MeiMei 18" Dolls Dress & Hat (Fashion Outfit)
Due to the "used" price discount scored on the wagon, both items now totaled under $25.00 (the threshold for the order to qualify for free shipping), so I quickly searched for a cheap filler toy in the 18" Dolls Accessories category to put the order over the hump. I found an interesting looking 18" Dolls Costume Dress & Hat Set by MeiMei for $3.19, which made the order total ~$26.00, prior to any extra discounts. BINGO! The order would now qualify for Free Shipping.

By buying the "used" Amazon Warehouse item, I was able to score a third item and still spend the roughly the same amount that the two original items (2 pairs of shoes + wagon) would normally have cost. But it gets better. The 20% extra discount on Amazon Warehouse items is tallied in the cart after crediting the base item cost towards the Free Shipping threshold. The red wagon appears in the invoice as a line item costing $11.24. The set of 2 pairs of shoes appears at $11.95 and the dress & hat costume appears at $3.19. Thus, I score Free Shipping (quoted as a savings of nearly $9.00) and then the extra 20% discount ($2.25) comes off.

So, even though the 3 items end up costing only $24.93 total (including tax) the order still ships free. At a rate of 2% cash back, my $24.13 pre-tax purchase should earn about $0.48 (48 sb). So this purchase should also trigger my Swagup bonus offer as I spent at least $5 and will earn at least 25 sb back. The total credit that I receive back on the purchase should be 548 sb ($5.48) which drops the effective cost of the THREE items to only $19.45 or about $6.48 per item. Not bad!

If I'd simply bought the original TWO items at their regular prices ($14.99 + $11.95) the total cost of the order including tax would have been almost $29.00. (I knew this because a few days ago, I'd put the two items in my cart as a test order.) BUT because I was willing to wait and look for a deal, I was able to score THREE items (the original two plus a bonus item) for just $19.45. Being a savvy shopper paid off, I still got the two items that I wanted, got a bonus item to boot, and saved nearly $10.00 on the full price. I consider this a win!

My order is projected to arrive in roughly a week. My Our Generation 18" Boy Dolls Ty and Ash (who are BFFs) are looking forward to playing with their new red wagon and sporting some cool kicks! My Tolly Tots 18" Girl Doll likes the pink dress & hat costume. IRL pictures to come soon.

American Girl: Kit's Camera Case (2009) Arrived! #eBay #18inchDolls #Toys #MailCall

Tolly Tots Doll Lauren Models Kit's Camera Case
AG Kit's Camera Case (from Reporter Accessories)
I scored a nice little American Girl® Camera Case for a penny on eBay. See my post here. It's a piece from Kit's Reporter Set (presumably a factory overrun sold as a solo piece), a black hard shell (vinyl-like) camera case with a slip-tab closure.

Modeled in the picture above by my Tolly Tots 18" Doll who my niece (and my sister) named Lauren. Oddly enough, I've owned this doll for roughly 13 years and had never bothered to give her a name. Don't recall if there was one on her box and it's long gone. Granted she sat on a closet shelf for most of that time, until I loaned her to my niece for a time a few years ago. (This is also how Lauren got the marker "scratch" on the side of her chin.)

AG Kit's Photography Set
AG Kit's Photography Set
Two sets of accessories for the American Girl® Kit Kittredge Doll featured her accordion style Kodak Camera and its protective case (or bag). The first was called Kit's Photography Set, it was introduced to Kit's Collection in 2001 and retired in 2008. This set is associated with the book Changes for Kit and had a retail cost of $20.00. In this version the camera case was thick black plastic (vinyl-like) and had a magnetic clasp. (See photo above.)

Later the camera and bag were reintroduced as part of Kit's Reporter Accessories (also known as Kit's Reporter Set). This newer set was added to Kit's Collection in 2009 and retired in 2015. It's associated with the movie Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and had a retail cost of $28.00. As part of this set, the camera bag was also thick black plastic (vinyl-like), but had been updated with a slip-tap clasp. Mine is the latter item.
AG Kit's Reporter Set
AG Kit's Reporter Accessories

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New American Girl Rewards Member Exclusive Doll-Sized The Elf on the Shelf Set #18inchDolls #Holiday #Toys

American Girl® The Elf on the Shelf
Just in time for the holidays, American Girl® has released a doll-sized The Elf on the Shelf set exclusively for AG Rewards members. Available online and in-stores while supplies last, The Elf on the Shelf set for 18" Dolls retails for $20.00 USD and includes a doll-sized Scout Elf, a doll-sized The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition box, a doll-sized fleece stocking, a pretend lollipop (with a handle that allows a doll to hold it), and a doll-sized letter to Santa with an accompanying envelope.
American Girl® The Elf on the Shelf Contents
One needs to be an AG Rewards Member prior to purchasing the item, but it's free to join ---and membership has its perks!


NOTE: There are a few DIY tutorials posted online which demonstrate how to make one's own doll-sized Elf on the Shelf kit, so this idea isn't new, but AG has officially partnered with the intellectual property owners so its little kit is "official."

Be aware, several reviewers have pointed out that both the stocking and the lollipop in the AG set are retreads (that have been available before as part of other AG sets), so really the only new item is the mini Scout Elf. Is this worth $20.00? You'll need to decide for yourself.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ordered #ToyDriver Battery Powered Mini Screwdriver via #TheGrommet

ToyDriver Battery Powered Screwdriver
ToyDriver Powered Screwdriver
I ordered a nifty battery powered mini screwdriver from The Grommet (website). It's made by ToyDriver, an underrepresented maker (in this case a woman entrepreneur). See picture above. I figured it would be perfect for doll-sized or model/toy projects. The item is currently on sale for $6.99 and I had a new customer coupon code to "Save $10 Off Your First Order," so I got the little powered screwdriver and another item (a hops draining bag) and only paid $1.67 OOP for both, as there was also a free shipping promotion active for Columbus Day Weekend. The product had an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. The negative reviews complained that it's really not very powerful, so it can truly only be used for small screws/toys. But this is exactly what I want it for ---if I need a genuine powered screwdriver, I've got a closet full of power tools. Besides, it was technically a freebie. (I even remitted the $1.67 remaining balance with a prepaid debit card that I'd earned as a survey reward.) It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Probably play around with it this weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Got Him! Scored Our Generation Regular 18" Boy Riding Doll - Tyler on Sale [via Target Circle Offer!]

ModDoll Fun! Image OG Tyler Target Shelfie
OG Tyler (Old Hair Style)
Currently (as in this week, now through Sunday) Target has certain Our Generation (OG) Dolls and Accessories on sale. In addition to this regular sale, there's also a Target Circle (new rewards program) Offer to save 20% on Our Generation items, including those that are not a part of the regular sale. (BTW Target Cartwheel Offers were folded into the new rewards program and renamed as Target Circle Offers.)

I thought this sale might provide an opportunity to score an Our Generation Tyler 18" Boy Doll. Though Tyler is not included in the regular sale on Target's website, with the 20% Target Circle Offer Discount this doll's price drops to $19.99 ---and 20% is about the biggest discount I've encountered on an OG Doll outside of clearance pricing or being able to stack discount offers (like a weekly ad sale + standard Red Card 5% Discount, for example).

I've had a love/hate relationship with the OG Tyler Doll. Check my post here for background. But it seems that OG has actually updated the doll to address the main issue that I had with him. I've noticed that images of the Tyler Doll appearing on various shopping sites (and on Our Generation's own website) all now sport the new slimmer hairstyle and not the old poofy hairstyle. Thus, I'm hoping that when my doll arrives he will be the "newly updated version" of Tyler. If not, I'll probably give him a trim or otherwise try to style his hair myself.
OG Tyler Doll (Updated Hair)
OG Tyler (Updated Hair Style)
As the OG Tyler Doll isn't available locally ---there was some debate about whether all old stock of Tyler was pulled or sold out on the OG IG post which debuted his seemingly updated look --- I was required to order him online and ship him in order to get one (from Target). Of course, I choose the FREE "ship to store" option to take advantage of the current Target Circle Offer. (Like Cartwheel before it, Target Circle Offers can only be used "in-store", BUT buying online and selecting store pickup counts.) My OG Tyler Doll is scheduled to arrive at my local Target next week.

Can't wait to see this doll in the flesh! He'll get to join his BFF OG Gabe Doll in being held ransom by my sister, no doubt, as she has "volunteered" to go to the store to pick him up. LOL! (Check this post for more on my sister's shenanigans concerning my recently purchased OG Gabe Doll.)

Welcome to the family, OG Tyler! Gosh, I'll now have three dolls (two boys and my original girl) in my burgeoning 18" Dolls Collection. Haha!

___
*Collection Notes: I renamed my OG Gabe Doll. He's now called Asher Gabriel. I think Tyler will become Caiden (pronounced with a hard "C" and rhymes with Aiden) Tyler, with Ty as his nickname, of course.

Friday, October 11, 2019

eBay Freebie (Almost) --- American Girl: Kit's Camera Bag from Reporter Set

Image (Fair Use) by eBay Vendor cutesource
American Girl® Kit's Camera Bag (Front, Closed)
Scored an adorable 18" Doll's Camera Bag (or carryall for other items) for only a penny! This item is a part of the American Girl®: Kit's Reporter Set, and is designed to hold Kit's old-timey accordion-folding camera, but an eBay Vendor in China had some solo (presumably factory overrun) pieces up for sale. Get It Now Price: $3.99 CAN. [Used $3.00 off any purchase eBay coupon, paid $0.01 OOP.] Stylistically, I love the time period depicted by Kit's items, so this little satchel will be a nice addition to my collection ---and you can't really go wrong for a penny. I mean, the item was very nearly free.
Image (Fair Use) by eBay Vendor cutesource
American Girl® Kit's Camera Bag (Front, Open)
Image (Fair Use) by eBay Vendor cutesource
American Girl® Kit's Camera Bag (Back, Open)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Did #OGDolls Update Its Tyler Doll? #OurGeneration #18inchDolls #ToyDesign

I first saw Tyler, the Our Generation (OG) Black Boy Doll about a year ago when my sister sent me a photo of him (see below) NIB on a Target shelf. My initial response was basically "WTF is up with his poofy hair?" Otherwise, he was a OK looking doll, but for whatever reason his hair was this weird poof that made him look hyper-feminine. (It's a Boy Doll so Gender Normative Stereotypes are OK.) You can read my initial thoughts on the Tyler Doll here.
ModDoll Fun! SKD Smartphone Picture
OG Tyler NIB (Poof Hair)
Since then I've caught a few "live" sightings of him (IG posts from people who have this doll in their collections, like the picture below) and I came to think he was adorable. Don't get me wrong the actual design of his hair is off, it is overdone, too much up top ---but, having seen people try to tame his wild poof mane via brushing, etc. I could now see how cute the doll is. That said, I'd pretty much decided were I to acquire a Tyler Doll that I would probably give the doll a trimming hair cut myself to correct the issue.
Instagram Post
OG Tyler Live (Styled Poof Hair) by ceces.doll.world

Then the other day Our Generation posted a photo scene on Instagram that featured two dolls, a girl & a boy. The boy doll in the photo is Tyler, except he looks quite different. Most noticeable is his hair. It's seemingly closer cropped to his head. No more big poof! You can clearly see his faded sides and there is no crazy overhanging poofy curls overshadowing his face. He may also be a shade or two lighter brown. (This could merely be a lighting issue.)
OG Dolls Instagram Post Screenshot
OG Tyler (Tighter Cropped Hair)
The effect takes Tyler from being an also-run to being a very adorable little boy. The problem is I'm uncertain whether this is an official update (i.e., OG redesigned the doll's hair, gave him a new hairstyle) and all Tyler Dolls going forward will have this new, better 'do OR whether the stylist for the OG Dolls Instagram photoshoot merely made the change herself ---she took one look at his normal overpoof hair, said oh hell no, and trimmed & styled the hair on this one doll.

I'm hoping its a brand level change, of course. And the Tyler I purchase (likely around the holidays) has this fab new 'do. But if not, I have now seen proof that correcting the poof on Tyler is the right way to go and I will have a go at DIY re-creating a better hairstyle for my doll on my own. It would be nice, if the doll came out of the box updated, because the old Tyler needs a haircut one way or the other.

So, did OG update Tyler or am I dreaming?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Got Him! Scored Our Generation Regular 18" Boy Surfer Doll - Gabe on Sale [via Target Price Drop Alert!]

Received a price drop alert email from Target.com yesterday morning that stated, "Something you had your eye on has a new low price. Still thinking about this? ...Get it." It was the Our Generation Gabe Doll, a surfer 18" Boy Doll that I'd been researching (looking for local stock, etc.) ---and he was currently "reduced" by $5.00, on sale for just $19.99.
OG Gabe Hangin' Ten!
As I've been monitoring various 18" Doll prices for a "minute," I recognized that a 20% savings is about the largest discount I'd seen on an OG Doll at Target outside of clearance pricing. So I bit. I checked nearby Target stores for stock, generated a web order (which was $21.59 total with tax) and sent Gabe ---using the free store pickup option--- to a locale that my doll collecting older sister happened to be going by that afternoon.

So he's mine! Technically, at least. My sister still has OG Gabe currently. An avid collector, she has quite a few 18" Dolls at this point. All Girl Dolls. But I only had one 18" Doll, period: a Tolly Tots 18" Doll that I purchased circa 2006. They weren't even considering 18" Boy Dolls at this point so obviously, it's a girl.

SOME BACKSTORY HERE: Though I wasn't actively collecting 18" Dolls stuff at the time, I still paid attention to the 18" Dolls marketplace in a cursory manner simply because I had desperately wanted an American Girl® Doll as a teen when the brand was first released in 1986 by Pleasant Company, but of course a $100 Doll was well outside of my childhood price range. As a result of this unrequited desire, I would occasionally catch wind of special items or sales in 18" Doll World and browse in nostalgia. But I'd never actually bought anything, even after reaching young adulthood and slightly better finances.

Some years later, around April 2006 I believe based upon my notes, I caught mention on an online deals forum of a once in a lifetime deal at americangirl.com which combined a clearance sale + an active coupon code + a free shipping promo to make a slew of AG accessories (mainly little pairs of shoes) entirely FREE. This was too good to pass up. In a moment of unbridled glee, l basically ordered 1 of every item that you could get as a freebie and I ended up with a bunch of shoes, some doll clothes hangers, an AG Logo Doll Tee, doll hair brushes and a few other random items.

Out of the blue, I suddenly had a budding AG collection, but no doll lol. Though an adult by this point, I still wasn't about to pay $100+ for a doll, especially because at the time I considered it all a lark. It was the childhood me actually getting an object of desire. I hadn't yet considered becoming an adult collector. I had all these little accessories and I wanted to see the items in action on a doll. So I searched online for a cheaper 18" Doll "American Girl® knockoff" and stumbled upon a blond Tolly Tots 18" Doll for ~$20 at target.com. I happened to have Target Gift Card money and so was able to get the doll for close to free. I think I paid the tax OOP.

So there I was with an 18" Doll and a bunch of accessories in 2006, all of which I'd scored for proverbial pennies. I kept everything in boxes in a closet for years just pleased knowing it was there. When my niece became hyper fascinated with all things American Girl® a few years back, I was able to pull everything out and play with her when she came to stay for the Summer. It was like coming full circle and realizing doll stuff was still fun. Thus, I became a budding adult collector of 18" Dolls.

I came back to the hobby slowly, filling in the gaps of all that had occurred in the market in the interim years since I'd been a teen. I still only had the one doll. I would sometimes borrow a doll from my doll collecting big sister to stage scenes, etc.. I'd mainly focused on doll furniture and accessories in my adult return to doll collecting. Yesterday, however I scored my first new doll. It's a boy! (As my sister has a bunch of dolls in her collection, I thought I'd start with a boy to be different and make her jealous lol, since she doesn't have a boy doll yet.)

Over the last year or so, I'd researched all the 18" Boy Dolls currently available and decided Our Generation Gabe was my top choice. IMO surfer boy Gabe is the best of the current crop based upon design, looks, price point, etc.. The American Girl® Boy Doll Logan, the brand's first boy doll, came in second place for me, mainly because of the price difference. For the money, Gabe beats Logan hands down. (Regular OG Dolls are generally about $24.99 at Target whereas American Girl® Dolls run about $115.) Oh, I'd still love to score a Logan Doll, perhaps second hand since he's been "retired" now because I still balk at $100+ dolls even as an adult. BTW I think OG Tyler is third best (he's nearly identical to Gabe except for darker skin, brown eyes and a weird "poofy" hairstyle that dropped him to third) so I'll eventually get him, also.

Thus, I put OG Gabe on my Buy List at the beginning of the year and starting planning to score the best deal. As my 18" Dolls hobby is pure indulgence for me, I seldom have a strict time table for acquisitions and such. I just look out for things that interest me, save up any applicable rewards monies and then look for good sales. (I am a bargain hunter, first and foremost and believe in getting the most bang for my buck regardless of the purchase.) Initially, I was leaning towards buying an OG Gabe for my birthday back in June. Around this time however, my crazy doll collecting sister told me that Target usually puts all the OG stuff on sale around the holidays, so I thought I could wait and score a Gabe Doll at a better price then. I'd already been saving up Target gift cards earned from rewards programs and surveys to that end and figured the extra time might also allow me to earn enough to score some OG accessories also. But due to this price drop alert, I was able to order one a few months early at what amounts to holiday pricing! I got my OG Gabe! Haha!

Here Gabe is (see picture below) at my sister's house. My sister sent me a text message yesterday evening with a "proof of life" pic and a ransom note lol. Said that her Kendall Dolls are holding Gabe hostage and would release him for $250,000 in small unmarked bills, expect contact tomorrow with a drop location ha!

Proof of Life Pic: OG Gabe being held hostage by The Kendall
BACKSTORY: My doll collecting older sister has two American Girl® WellieWishers Kendall Dolls. (Don't ask.) She says that the second one she acquired is a clone of the first one and they function as a collective like the Borg on Star Trek, thus they are "the Kendall" ---and these little girls are very naughty, always getting into shenanigans. So of course, they immediately kidnapped Gabe after my sister picked him up for me from Target, and texted me a ransom demand lol.

I told the Kendall via reply text that there would be no negotiating with terrorists and I would await a Seal Team to take the fight to them and spring Gabe free.

What can I say? One of the main toys which I grew up collecting is "G.I. Joe men" and I really wanted to be both a Navy Seal AND a Navy Fighter Pilot as a little girl long before either aim enjoyed the cache of our modern era 'cause I'm bad like that lol. BTW my ASVAB score was phenomenal. I mean, the "Pentagon contacted me as a high school student in order to schedule an interview to gauge my actual military interest" level of phenomenal. I considered going the military route ---Navy or alternatively Air Force Academy --- as my family is filled with military vets (we ARE Southerners dude) until I assessed how slim a chance that I'd get to be BOTH a Seal and a Fighter Pilot was, especially as women weren't really being given the opportunity to even try for those positions back in the late 1980's. Not to mention the fact that I don't bow to authority well. (I'm stubborn as a mule. Born this way.)

We're a funny family like that. My older sister (the one right next to me in birth order who also collects 18" Dolls now as an adult) and I loved Sci-Fi, science and tech as little girls and played with as many "boy" toys as "girl" ones. In a small, old school, patriarchal, Southern town where both minorities and women were often systematically sidelined, we were VERY odd ducks and proud of it. Still are. Booyah!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Thrift Store Find: A Working Miniature Wind-Up Music Box by Mr. Christmas #18inchDolls #Toys #Miniatures

Image (c) 2019 ModDoll Fun!. All Rights Reserved.
Mr. Christmas Smallest Music Box (product packaging)
Working miniature wind-up music box in original packaging found at Value Village for only $0.60. The manufacturer is Mr. Christmas. The product is labeled "Our Smallest Music Box" and it's a small lidded wood box (clear viewing window in the lid) containing a winter scene inside with little trees, snow on the ground & a tiny choo-choo on a circular track (disc piece holding train & track rotates) that plays "We wish you a Merry Christmas." Still works.

The scale is such that it makes a lovely "working" model train for 18" Dolls (or similar). Will be a great piece for creating Christmas scenes. I can see this nestled next to a miniature Christmas tree as a doll watches the little train go round...

My Life As #18inchDolls Hearing Aids Accessories Set #ToyReviews

My Life As™ (Walmart brand) Hearing Aids with Earring Sticker Sheet, for 18" Dolls
My Life As™ Hearing Aids

A nice little 18" Dolls accessories set which includes two (molded plastic) doll's hearing aids, one for either ear, and an earrings sticker sheet (five pairs) which provides a simple alternative to actually piercing a doll's ears.

The hearing aids were designed to fit 18" My Life As™ Dolls, but should fit other brands, too depending on doll's ear design. The sticker earrings should fit almost any 18" Doll.

These sets have been on clearance at many Walmart stores for around $1.00+ (depending on location). The original MSRP is ~$9.99. I scored this one off eBay for $0.35 OOP (see post here).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

My Life As... Hearing Aids #18inchDolls Accessories Set (A 35-cents @eBay Score) #Earrings #HearingAids #Stickers #Toys

2019 Image Copyright eBay Vendor Image (Fair Use)
My Life As Hearing Aids Set
There is a new limited time/redemption eBay coupon to save $3.00 Off (most) purchases of $3.01+. (It's scheduled to expire at the end of the day or when all coupons are claimed.)

Anywho, I found this My Life As™ Hearing Aids Set, which also includes some doll earrings (sticker sheet), listed at $3.59 w/ free shipping. I also had a random $0.24 left on an old eBay Gift Card. Thus, my transaction became: $3.59 - $3.00 - $0.24 = $0.35.

I paid the 35-cents that was due using my Paypal® balance. (I generally keep a few random coins there specifically for odd-lot situations like this.) So I scored a nifty 18" Dolls accessories set for a mere 35-cents OOP! I like being able to replicate real world diversity in my staged scenes, so this set will come in handy. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

How Are @American_Girl Dolls Created? #18inchDolls #ToyDesign #Toys

Recently American Girl® put up some interesting articles and videos which detail the process for how its signature dolls are created. First up, is an overview of how AG looks for (expert) guidance. Read the article here.
Image Copyright American Girl®
Character is everything.
Next, there's an interview with two product designers who work on the Create Your Own Doll line. Check the Behind the Scenes Interview here.


Also of interest is the fact that AG employs a historian full-time to insure accuracy in its creations. A toy company with a historian on staff? Indeed. There's an interesting YouTube interview with Tessa discussing her role below:



It's neat to see all the hard work that goes into bringing these characters to life. Must be a great place to work, if you love toys.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Psst! @kinderus Kinder Eggs Toy Surprises Equal #18inchDolls Sized Toys!

A Dutch friend introduced me to Ferrero Group's Kinder Surprise Eggs (the Italian version chocolate egg with a "capsule" inside containing a toy surprise) nearly two decades ago. We were visiting a Dutch (and other assorted international) goods import store when my friend spotted some of the confections in a box on the counter. He cried out that we must get some, as these were a favorite childhood treat for him. I adored them instantly.

Kinder Joy Egg
Recently, Ferrero Group updated the confection for USA markets (to get around an embargo1) branding the new item Kinder Joy Eggs. This new treat consists of a plastic egg-shaped container with candy in one sealed half and a toy surprise sealed separately in the other half). This redesign was done to alleviate concerns over the tiny toy surprise inside being a choking hazard ---which ostensibly was the reason for the embargo. This logic is the same reason that bakeries which make "authentic" King Cakes for Mardi Gras have posted disclaimers/waivers regarding the tiny toy baby baked into said  cake. (If you bite into the toy and break a tooth say, you can't sue.) While I can understand the change from a supposed consumer safety standpoint, I still prefer the original Italian version Kinder Surprise Eggs, because I knew them first and they are chocolate. However, it's nice that the idea lives on and is more widely available in the current US market.

All this is merely a lead up to say that many of the wee toy surprises included inside (either version) of the Kinder Egg happen to be appropriately sized playthings that are perfect for 18" (or 14") Dolls! (I love discovering tiny items that can be re-purposed for dolls.) Thus, I now have another excuse to buy candy LOL. I'll pick up a Kinder Egg here & there and sometimes come across nifty little items inside that make great additions when staging 18" Dolls scenes. So if you're looking for another avenue to acquire doll-sized things for your collection, check out these candy eggs. It's a win-win, candy and a shot at a cool doll-sized toy.

By the way, a while back Kroger gave away the new Kinder Joy Egg as a part of its Free Friday Download program and of course, I redeemed the freebie, ate the candy and kept the little toy surprise inside for my doll collection.

Check out the toy I received in the Kroger freebie Kinder Joy Egg below:
Miniature Leaping Leopard Game Toy
Miniature Leaping Leopard Game Toy
---
1 Why are Kinder Surprise Eggs illegal in the USA.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

End of an Era @PixieFaire #18inchDolls #DollClothes #Sewing #Crafting

Recently received a newsletter from Pixie Faire (the doll patterns and craft materials marketplace) stating that the site is doing away with both the Mod Doll Monday Giveaway (where a doll + outfit was given away weekly) and the Freebie Friday Pattern (where a free pattern from a featured designer was given away). And I hadn't won my American Girl® Doll yet. Sad.

In all seriousness, both were great promotions, but I understand this is a business decision. The site has to make money to stay in business and giving away "tons of stuff" on a regular basis without recouping at least an equal share is never a good strategy. This doesn't mean that Pixie Faire will never do any giveaways again, merely that the regular weekly giveaways are being discontinued (and replaced with BOGOs, etc.) so that the site can generate more income. I get it.

Still, it's a big change. I looked forward to these promotions each week (though I never won Mod Doll Monday) and it likely means I won't visit the site every Tuesday and Friday like clockwork. I will still patronize the business, but the promotions meant I was guaranteed to visit the site several times a week. Hope the change means more business for them, instead of less.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Today's @American_Girl GOTY 2019 Blaire Wilson In-Store Debut Event #Atlanta #AGRewards What's the Event Gift? #Spoiler

Image Copyright 2019 Moddoll Fun!
American Girl GOTY 2019 Blaire Wilson
My doll collecting sister took the girls to today's in-store debut for the new American Girl® GOTY 2019 Blaire Wilson Doll at the American Girl® Store Atlanta (Alpharetta). Blaire is a chef-in-training --- you can read more of the character's backstory here --- and uses her culinary creativity to help out around her family's farm. Being a farmgirl myself, I like quite few of this character's things even though (as one Twitter hater put it) "she's just a White girl who likes to cook." I also like to cook. I guess you could say I can relate to the character.
Image Copyright 2019 Moddoll Fun!
American Girl GOTY 2019 Blaire Wilson (Kitchen)
I didn't tag along this year as I was working, but my sister sent pictures. The event gift for kid attendees was a doll's apron pictured below.
Image Copyright 2019 Moddoll Fun!
American Girl GOTY 2019 Blaire Wilson In-Store Event Gift (Doll's Apron)

Another Listia Score: Cute Sunglasses + Pink Shoes #18inchDolls #Freebie

Listia Vendor Image (Fair Use)
Cute Pink Sunglasses for 18" Doll
Browsing Listia randomly this evening and discovered an interesting auction for a pair of (odd bulbous) pink shoes and an adorable pair of sunglasses appropriately sized "for your 18" Doll." The shoes, I'll need to see on a doll as I know doll shoes can look strange due to the need to fit on unyielding hard plastic feet, but the sunglasses caught my eye. 

The listing had a Get It Now price of 42.50 INK which is roughly $0.28 at current market values and this price included free shipping. How could I resist? Needless to say, the item/s should be here soon.
Odd Pink Shoes for 18" Doll