September 24, 2007
Halloween Doll Costume Sale!
Here's a cute new Baby Leopard costume for all the Bitty Baby and Maxy Muffin dolls out there . . . and it's on sale through September 30th.
Several other NEW doll costumes have been added - check out our Halloween Doll Costume Index to see everything available. We've marked the new ones.
Do you remember we mentioned having the Halloween Witch costume for American Girl dolls re-made? It arrived and looks great! (See her at the bottom of the page).
And you may remember that we have matching doll and girl costumes . . . well here's an advanced hint . . . those will be on sale October 1st through 14th!! Our newest matching outfit set has arrived - a Victorian Plaid dress for Samantha and her owner.
Get ready for lots of treats!
September 18, 2007
Information on 2008 American Girl Dolls
Just received from one of the American Girl Fan sites:
Ruthie's (best friend of Kit) book will be entitled Really Truly Ruthie and will be written by Valerie Tripp. Its publication date is given as June 2008, which is when the Kit movie should be released.
Really Truly Ruthie Synopsis from Books A Million::
Ruthie Smithens, a girl who believes in fairy tales and happy endings, would do almost anything to help her best friend, Kit Kittredge, whose family has been hard hit by the Depression. But Ruthie has learned the hard way that offers of help, even between friends, are tricky. When Ruthie finds out some bad news about the Kittredges' house while at her father's bank, she has to find a way to help the Kittredges reach Kit's Aunt Millie, so that there can be at least the chance of a happy ending!
Plus . . . Girl of the Year 2008 News:
Apparently Mia is the name of the Girl of the Year for 2008. She will have two books (just like Nicki, 2007 Girl) written by Laurence Yep, who wrote the Spring Pearl book in the Girls of Many Lands series. The titles are Mia and Bravo, Mia!
Kit is shown above on our new product: Kit's Cooking Studio
September 15, 2007
Dolls Bring History to Life
Article from the Contra Costa Times (California)
by Jackie Burrell
Published September 10, 2007
Parents have bristled over Barbies and her Dream House for half a century. Mention the word "Bratz", and they start frothing. And Mom and Dad are not alone. Overly racy toys and media images concern psychologists and some toymakers too.
But there's been a small revolution in the toy box over the past 20 years, as Barbie alternatives try to make their way in a crowded marketplace. One has managed to carve a multibillion dollar empire out of an interesting conceit - that a trio of historic-era dolls could turn back the clock to a simpler time, when girls took joy in who they were.
"Children are pushed to grow up faster than ever before." says American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks. "We don't aspire for them to be cooler, hipper, older than they are, but who they are right now. (The dolls) allow them to be girls for just a little longer."
The secret, says Parks, is that they're not just Colonial or Depression-era dolls - they're people with stories to tell, in the form of six-book series carried in nearly every library in American.
The latest American Girl - Julie, a 9-year-old San Franciscan - makes her debut today with a story set in 1974, a time when Olga Korbut ruled the mats, Billie Jean King the courts and everyone used words such as "groovy." The accompanying book series is written by Sebastopol (California) author Megan McDonald. And the company hopes to tap into the retro appeal for book-buying moms.
"This is an opportunity we've never had before to connect mom and daughter, bridge the past and prescent," says Parks. "We really hope that through reading the Julie books, it will help spark conversation, an opportunity for a mom to share her childhood and what her coming of age was all about."
The American Girl Library now numbers well over 50 volumes. And the books are key, says Parks, both from a character perspective and accessibility.
At $87 apiece, the dolls are undeniably pricey, and you can spend hundreds more on the various themed outfits and accessories.
But nine out of 10 libraries carry the $6.95 books. And when the girls get hooked on the books, suddenly the dolls become real. That's why they have staying power.
Nice ad copy, but the thing is, it also seems to be true - at least for Hailey C. , a sixth grader at St. Catherine's School. Hailey sews clothes for her four dolls, tries out hairdos and makeup, and has a particular soft spot for her first doll, Kaya, whose books tell the tale of a Nez Perce girl in 1764.
"I love her," she says. "(The dolls) are very good listeners, if you've had a bad day or if you just want someone to keep you company. I like the dolls so much because they are not critical - of course - and because they are fun to create real-life sticky, tempting, wrong, or hard situations with."
And moms and grandmothers seem to get involved too. Barbara Bisel made a trunk for her older daughter's doll clothes - colonial gowns and modern outfits any human girl would wear, including tutus for ballet and jeans. Now the trunk contains younger daughter Olivia's treasures too.
"I just really like dressing them up." says Olivia, a sixth grader. "There are so many clothes and accessories."
Elise Lamarre's grandmother scoops up handmade doll dresses at local craft fairs. And the family has visited the boutique at American Girl Place in Chicago - "a mecca," says Stephanie, Elise's mom.
You won't find many Barbies in the Lamarre family's home, and Stephanie throws Bratz gifts away, she confides in a whisper. But the American Girl dolls? That's another story. The books have turned 6-year-old Elise into a history buff. She thinks the dolls are "awesome" because they come from "different times."
"We read Kaya," says Stephanie, "and since then Elise has been reading about Pocahontas."
It's a whole different kind of play from what's playing out in many U.S. households, as described in an American Psychological Association task force report last spring. The task force studied the potential psychological impact of sexualized toys - a category that specifically included the pouty-lipped, fishnet-stockinged Bratz dolls - and media messages for girls down the road. The concerns: that the media and corporate America's sexualization of girls makes them susceptible to low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders.
Girls who get caught up in the culture of appearance, says psychologist Richard Freed, "often neglect other aspects of life that would enhance self-esteem and character, such as academics or sports."
Freed points to efforts by the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood and Dads and Daughters "to combat the corporate push for girls' sexualization." Those groups managed to persuade Hasbro in 2006, for example, not to move forward with a line of dolls based on the Pussycat Dolls.
But American Girl and other nonsexy dolls on the market run counter to that. The colorful Groovy Girls dolls have been endorsed by Girl Scouts of America and Only Hearts Club Dolls, a line of posable Barbie-sized dolls that look like real girls, moved from indie toys stores to Target last year. But it's a crowded market.
"All of my reps were talking about them being the next really hot thing and they never were," says Lance Ghulam, manager of Handlebar Toys in Lafayette. "But they had a small following."
Meanwhile, American Girl continues to grow, with sales of 13 million dolls and 117 million books and a magazine with 650.000 subscribers. After a string of three made-for-TV movies, AG hits the widescreen next year in a Julia Roberts-produced film with an all-star cast.
And once moms get over the trauma of having their 1970s childhood referred to as a "historic era," the new Julie dolls will begin their campaign to win more hearts, one girl at a time.
American Girl Quiz Book shown at top of page -
The American Girls Pencil Play 2 shown below -
September 13, 2007
September DollCloset.com Newsletter
Did you get your copy? (Sign up on the DollCloset.com HomePage)
If not, there was a picture of our new Madame Alexander Halloween doll called "Pumpkin Full of Treats" - that's her at the top of the page. Too cute!!
We also featured one of our two new matching girl and doll costumes - the Lilac Princess was shown there and below for you:
The other new matching costume is Snow White - isn't it cute?
Next, we talked about the many new doll outfits that have been arriving such as the Tunic Pant Set by Corolle shown here:
It's available in sizes to fit Small, Medium and 17 inch Baby Dolls. Adorable! Lots more new outfits arriving all the time (as fast as we can get them up on the website!) Did you notice the Retired Bitty Twin Prince and Princess outfits? They just arrived too.
We ended this Newsletter by announcing the new Cooking Studio Sets (such as the Molly one shown below)by American Girl. They feature directions for girls to make typical dishes from the era of Felicity, Samantha, Kit and Molly. A cookie cutter and party ideas are included too for lots of fun!
PS: The reason we featured Molly is because her friend, Emily, has a birthday coming on September 30th . . . so we will have a sale of her era items in her honor from September 29 through October 3rd!
September 11, 2007
Julie and San Francisco Landmarks
Here's another pencil game for you from the Julie introduction . . . sad to say, but I'm a Northern California native and had never heard of one of the places!! See how you do . . .
September 09, 2007
Julie Albright is HERE!
To celebrate the release of Julie and Ivy, here's a pencil puzzle we received at the AG Place introduction - have fun . . . there's a few more coming!!
September 06, 2007
Ginny Doll Fun!
We took a "Field Trip" today to visit the Vogue Doll Company in central California! At the same time as we picked up our order of lots of out-of-stock items (including the cute Ginny at the Spa pictured here) we also received an informal tour of their very nice facility plus enjoyed a fun lunch with two primary people, Linda Smith and her son David.
Linda shared some of her plans and I had a chance to see some of the future designs - there's an especially cute pair of dolls coming called Peanut Butter and Jelly! An 8 inch Ginny plus a mini-Ginny dressed to compliment each other.
Also in the works is Jill - the big sister of Ginny. Her face has been resculpted by Susan Wakeen and she is sooo pretty! A small edition was already used for a doll event but more Jill dolls are in the works for 2008.
I took some pictures of the displays they have (fun to see all those Ginny dolls!) and will have them sometime in the near future. Also saw the doll for the Modern Doll Convention (HINT: anyone remember ". . . killed him a bear when he was only 3"??) AND came away with several of a VERY popular Ginny in either 1999 or 2000 - Little Miss 1930. Watch for her on DollCloset.com very soon!!
Also watch for some new outfits for the Vintage Dress-me Ginny dolls -including a white winter coat, PJs and a pretty pink Victorian dress. In the meantime, we are pleased that the Dress Me Modern Ginny outfit, Sweet Dreams (seen below), is back in stock. Have fun!
Molly Gets her Hair Done!
This is Molly with very messy hair . . . some of my friends say she's not really very bad BUT she didn't look good enough to be a model in our pictures any more - so she needed help!
Molly's hairdresser straps her in her red chair and covers her up so that her dress stays nice. Notice the little spray bottle . . . it's just water BUT never, ever get the water in her eyes or it will turn them silver!!
Molly is able to check out Nicki sitting in her chair for her hair appointment! Molly had to wait an hour in one of those little cubicle boxes (shown in the photo above) until it was time for her appointment.
One braid is done and she already looks better! The hairdresser said she could tell Molly was from the Pleasant Company days as her bangs are longer and hair is finer than the Molly's of today.
Almost finished! We got to pick out the color of her hair ribbons . . . red for Molly to go with her dress. She received lots of compliments on it - we call it Emily's Dress. Do you recognize it from the picture on the Brave Emily book?!
Here she is looking brand new!! We received a sheet of hair tips and some extra hair thingies. Molly was so good on this trip to the American Girl Place, she even got a Build A Bear from McDonalds!!
September 02, 2007
Labor Day Sale Ends Monday!
The DollCloset.com Annual Labor Day Weekend Sale is on now - an automatic 15% on all orders over $15.00.
Most of the summer items are gone but Back to School outfits are being posted like the Special School Skirts shown above AND Halloween outfits are coming too! See the Matching Girl and Doll Cinderella Costumes below . . . ready for fun??