Saturday, November 29, 2014

FAQ & A's

What are some FAQ & A's

Q.Why American Girl?

A. 1) Educational, 2) It could be an heirloom and an investment 3) an experience -going to the store 4) the dolls (GOTY and Historical) encounter challenges they overcome 5) quality 6) wholesome you won't find really skanky clothes on them 7) Equality 8) body self image...

Q: American Girl Customer Service
Call: 800-845-0005, seven days a week
6 a.m. to midnight, Central Time
(holiday and summer hours subject to change)
Write: P.O. Box 620497, Middleton, WI 53562-0497

Q:Excuse this question but I am new to the AG world. Why are used dolls selling on ebay for the same price as a brand new one from the online AG store? Is there something special about the older ones?

A: Dolls that are retired are worth more because they are no longer available in the store. Girl of the Year dolls are only made for a year. If they didn't sell a lot of a certain doll while she was on the market she may become rare.. Whether a Pleasant Company Doll is worth more than a Mattel (American Girl) doll... is purely up to the collector.

Fact!!:: American Girl does sell replacement parts and boxes if they have them in stock... Once a doll is retired its obvious that they may not have her items in stock.. Call AG customer service to answer all your needs and don't worry they've heard that question and weirder ones before.

Q: Is $50, $60, ___ a good price for an 18 inch American Girl doll? 

A: An American Girl doll currently retails starting at $115 USD plus tax (if you live in the same state as American Girl doll) and Shipping. This is not taking in account for retired dolls that have increased in value. So if you found a good running car for half the price is that a good deal? Yes. As long as the used doll has no dents or major defects its a good deal. If her hair has a wack job, or her eyes are messed up, or she has ink on her face its possibly upwards of $50 to get a new head (That would be $100 -still cheaper than a new doll) If she is missing a limb or has a chewed up limb its about $32 plus shipping for a new limb PER limb that would be a total of $80 to get your doll back to having two strong arms/hands/feet. If there are holes or major rips in the torso and you don't want to do any repair work on your own that would also be about $50 including shipping depending on where you live. IF it is a current doll you might want to take in account what is she wearing? How much is it going to cost to buy a meet somewhere else *if you care*? If the doll has a jacked up head and her hand is jacked up.. then no she may not be worth $60.. but one fixable defect for a doll around the $50 price tag isn't a bad thing.. Silver Eye is always a free and under warranty if your doll doesn't have the small x on the rear. There are LOTS of Facebook groups  that sell supplies to fix up a doll yourself and there people on this board that also do doll repair as well. There are boards that share ideas and tips for repair as well as Take that in account when purchasing a doll. Most doll repair isn't terribly hard and it might be an easier fix that you thought. The BIG question is she worth $50 to YOU?
You never know the value of the outfit the doll is wearing either keep that in mind. The doll your looking at could have a rare or hard to find outfit on if she is not wearing a meet! 
**PS All dolls sent to the AG doll hospital get a free surface cleaning, hair restyled, a nice hospital gown, socks, and a certificate of well health--- what's cuter than that? 

For the Bitty's I usually try to personally by mine under $50 a piece.. You shouldn't pay more than $50 for a used Bitty baby in their 1 outfit. Again lacking any major defects.. the sliding scale starts to go down like it does for the 18 inch dolls. Yes they can be easily repaired like the 18 inch dolls too! Now that Bitty Twins are retired they are about $50 or so dollars on the secondary market. Bitty Babies should be that or less. I haven't paid more than $30 for a Bitty Twin before their archival. 

Q: Why are things priced higher on Ebay than in the store?

A: A few reasons... Ebay sellers might ship world wide where AG doesn't. Also if you sell on sites or Ebay you might have Paypal funds that aren't linked to your bank account or Paypal Credit (Bill Me Later). 

Q. What is a Meet?

A. When someone says Meet its the outfit that the doll is sold in intended to come "Meet" you.

Q: Does Ivy have PJs?

A: Ivy does not and never has had Pajamas's its a common complaint amongst her fans.
her world is actually very small her collection consists of herself, a book, her accessories (beret, denim purse, coin, and earrings), Her Rainbow Romper (currently sold out), and her New Years Outfit.

Doll and accessories Link:
Rainbow Romper:
New Years Outfit:

Pajamas recommended for Ivy are 
Julie's :
Snowflake Satin:
Bell Sleeve Flower:
Sleepover Pjs:

Q & A: Girl of the Years and Dates:
  • Lindsey Bergman was released in 2001; she lasted a little over a year and a half. 
  • Kailey Hopkins was released in 2003; she also lasted a little over a year and a half.
  • Marisol Luna was released in 2005.
  • Jess McConnell was released in 2006.
  • Nicki Fleming was released in 2007.
  • Mia St. Clair was released in 2008.
  • Chrissa Maxwell was released in 2009. (Chrissa's best friends were Sonali and Gwen)
  • Lanie Holland was released in 2010.
  • Kanani Akina was released in 2011.
  • McKenna Brooks was released in 2012.
  • Saige Copeland was released in 2013.
  • Isabelle Palmer was released in 2014.
  • Grace Thomas was released in 2015
  • Lea Clark was released in 2016
  • Gabriela McBride was released in 2017
  • Luciana will be released in 2018
Q&A What are the Current Historical/ Beforever dolls
 Samantha (for a short time), Felicity (for a limited time), Maryellen, Julie, Kit, Melody, Josefina, Rebecca, Addy, Kaya, and Nanea.

Q: Does American Girl have free shipping?

A: . Check for newer codes or sign up for email alerts. Call them and ask to be put on their catalog mailing list sometimes their catalogs have coupons (its rare though), Occasionally there is free shipping or a coupon code available and being pushed around. Telephone number to Customer Service is 800-845-0005

Q: What is Jills Steals and Deals.

A: Jill's Steals and Deals is a segment on Today Show or Good Morning America where items are sold at a discount (Not just AG). Subscribe to her blog Hip 2 Save to see it first!! During the Segment they will tell you what is on sale, link to the sale and coupon code you need for the sale. In the past three years its happened twice a year in the Spring and Fall. This Fall it happened twice. Its not guaranteed to happen.. don't ask for it to happen... Nothing is guaranteed. Warning: Things sell our VERY fast.. items for sale sometimes vary during the progression of the sale. They do try to restock to give the Pacific coast a chance at it... Again its not guaranteed. You have to have your account signed in add things in your cart and cross your fingers you get it. There are some people that look to make a profit and sale these items to cover the cost of the items they bought for themselves. Its not wrong or horrible its life and Life isn't fair. They were just faster with their fingers and credit card than you. The items they have for sale are generally still under retail. If there is buzz the AG groups (not necessarily this one) but the national boards will be lit up like a Christmas tree.. I am usually unlucky because I am in car line during the sale LOL. As of 7/23/2017 there aren't anymore plans to do Jill's Steals and Deals.

Q & A: Who's Best friends?

Samantha and Nellie (Nellie becomes her adopted sister.)
Felicity and Elizabeth
Molly and Emily -They aren't technically friends but companion dolls.
Cécile and Marie-Grace 
Kit and Ruthie
Julie and Ivy
Chrissa, Sonali and Gwen..

Q: What does Pleasant Company and American Girl neck stamps mean? What is Pleasant Company?

A: Pleasant Company  was the original name of the company producing and distributing American Girl products. The company was started in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland wholly owned by her until she sold the line to Mattel in 1998. The company fully transitioned to American Girl in 2000.

Q: How about how to distinguish a PM doll. (PM =Pre Mattel)

A: Pm dolls tend to have paler faces. The older dolls though may loose a lot of the face paint over time. Eye lashes tend to be brown and soft versus the American Girl dolls are black and hard. Felicity PM has red/auburn eye lashes. Their hair color may differ slightly but it would be hard to tell without a side by side comparison. Kirsten and Felicity's hair has changed in color. Their faces and bodies could be chubbier again it would be hard to tell without a side by side comparison and if a doll has lost some of her stuffing then her torso may no longer be chubbier. PM dolls vinyl is squishier. Samantha, Molly, and Kirsten are the only three dolls that may have PM white bodies. If you see a Samantha, Molly, or Kirsten without white bodies that doesn't mean they are not PM but having a white bodied non altered Samantha, Molly, or Kirsten does make them PM.

In 1990, while Felicity Merriman was still in design, a radical change was made in the body of the dolls. Previously, the dolls had white muslin bodies; all clothes were designed to cover up the body with high necks and full bodies, which was historically accurate for the time. Due to the low neckline of historical colonial outfits, Felicity could not have a white muslin body as it would destroy the doll's aesthetics and the image of the body being flesh. The original three dolls were given skin-tone matching bodies, and in the following Fall of 1991, Felicity, with a skin-tone matching body, was added to the collection along with her first three books and related accessories. This led to all future dolls having bodies that were much closer to the doll's given skin tone. 

Whether a Pleasant Company Doll is worth more than a Mattel (American Girl) doll... is purely up to the collector.

Q: Artist marks or other identifying marks

A: In addition to the neck stamp, many dolls also have an additional mark which is found at the hairline toward the doll's right ear (looks a bit like #@).  This is called the artist mark or designer mark and is actually the mark of the designer of the original head mold.                                                   
     The presence of this mark is very random as it can be found on some old dolls made in West Germany, brand new dolls made in China, and signed dolls.  However, it is also absent on some old dolls, signed dolls and new dolls. Despite a lot of attention that is given to it, this mark does nothing to help in the aging of a doll or in the determination of the country in which it was produced.

Eye Variations
Face Molds

Q: What are neck strings and what are they used for?

A; a longer neck string is useful and necessary its meant to keep the head on. For a short period of time American Girl doll hospital used plastic zip ties.

Q: What to look for when buying a used doll. What to expect when buying a used doll. Questions to ask when buying a doll. 

Shine Marks, bumps and bruises.. Shine Marks and scuffs occur when the vinyl has been bumped or rubbed its a natural part of play or even displaying a doll. The vinyl isn't indestructible it will get rubs on it and sometimes they are hard to notice

Loose Limbs.. I call it does your doll do the hula alone? Some dolls just have loose limbs Lindsey and Marie-Grace have  typically loose limbs. Its an easy fix at home, review the links in this document. Or you can send it in to the doll hospital but I have heard good and negative responses from the doll hospital about loose limbs. You might find a person on the boards that is experienced in limb tightening if your not brave enough to attempt it alone. The Doll Fairy in Knoxville, TN will do some repairs look her up on Facebook. Expect limbs to be some what loose over time.

Sleepy Eyes.. All Bitty Dolls and 18 inch dolls have sleepy eyes when they lean back their eyes should shut. Sometimes a loose eye lash can impact on how well they close their eyes so it may be as simple as shutting their eyes. Sometimes they can have Silver Eye or retracted eye lashes both of which I think is covered by warranty and the doll hospital through American Girl will repair that for free. If your doll is having a lazy eye problem try some compressed air first, be careful not to get moisture on the eyes. 

Are there major defects to the doll you want to buy? Holes in the cloth, chewed limbs, missing limbs, hair cut. Hair cuts versus frizzy hair may be hard to tell. marks on the vinyl or cloth may not be a deal breaker because it can be an easy fix. 

Are the neck strings intact? again this may not be a deal breaker but all of these things may effect the value to YOU. 

  • Does the doll have "silver eye" --- a defect in one or both of the eyes in which the pupils can become tiny or the colored portion of the eye separates and discolors to a bright silver color?
Silver eye is a warranted defect in the doll they will replace the eyes but they will no longer have the PM eye lashes if your doll has those. 

Is there a tiny x on their bum?
f so, this means that the doll was a returned item or a second quality item  which was sold either at the American Girl Outlet or at the annual Benefit Sale in Wisconsin. I generally don't think there is any loss of value there but its up to each collector

Keep in mind when purchasing a doll that isn't new in box that it may have some "shine" marks. ALSO, please note that limbs are NOT supposed to be Tin Man tight. They should have some give to them. If you hold a doll out on her back with her legs up in the air they should be able to hold a pose. If you position them flat and they sway down a tiny bit that's okay too but if they swing completely to the floor then THAT is considered loose legs. A doll with loose legs will not be able to stand on her own very well or very long if you are even able to get her to stand at all.
So please please keep these things in mind. If you want a new doll then you should buy a doll that is new. There are a lot of NIB dolls out here for sale. - Tara S. 

If you aren't sure your getting an American Girl doll. Most American Girl dolls have their two front teeth showing there is only one named doll that doesn't show her teeth and its Kaya.

Complete meet outfit? Book? To get an understanding of what complete's your dolls meet there is a file over on Eye Spy group.

**When buying a doll from a Facebook Group or Board or even Craigslist.. Always use Paypal (never send as a gift) Go ahead and pay the small fee to guarantee your purchase is backed by Paypal Terms of Service.

Please see my other post here

Q: What does the neck stamp mean?
A: Some dolls neck stamps say Pleasant Company or American Girl. The neck stamp means nothing it is just whatever the stamp has on their mold. New dolls are still being sold with the Pleasant Company stamp from the AG store as of 2014 but PC hasn't owned the company since the 90's. If you look at a Barbie head or Cabbage Head you will encounter the same thing.. A date that could represent just when the mold was made not the doll. Same goes for body tags.

Q: What types of dolls has American Girl sold?

A: Bitty Babies, Bitty Twins (both are 15 inches), 18 inch Historical or Beforever line, 18 inch Girl of the Year Doll of today (GOTY), and 18 inch My American Girl/ Just Like You/ Truly Me (they are often identified by numbers not names as the others 18 inch dolls have names.), the contemporary doll line,  8 inch Mini Dolls, and Girls of Many Lands

Q: When is the Girl of the Year released and when does she retire.

A: GOTY is released on January 1st and will retire on December 31st more than likely when she sells out in the fall/winter prior

Q: What is a custom doll, a Frankendoll, and does AG make Boy dolls?
  • Frankendoll
  • A custom doll could be a doll that has been rewigged, eye swapped, limbs replaced, or freckled or even new make up. Tara Stevens makes beautiful customs... Selena also has a different type of custom American Girl doll and Danielle Bertlin usually takes brand new dolls and rewigs them with real human hair or heat safe hair... for a very custom look but they are a little more pricey because they are new dolls with real human hair or heat safe hair... and the Doll Fairy
  • AG has one current boy doll named Logan and retired bitty twin dolls that are 15 inches.
My Sibling My pal Dolls
Gotz (Pottery Barn Kids)
My Twinn
Harmony Club
Twice Loved Dolls
Gramcats Closet
My Girl Clothing Coheir

Q: Do all dolls have beds?

A: Kaya has a bed roll and a teepee, Felicity and Elizabeth had beds, Caroline has a bed, Josefina has a bed , Marie-Grace and Cecile have a bed, Kirsten has a bed, Addy has a bed, Samantha has two beds, Rebecca has a bed , Kit has a bed or two , Nanea has a bed, Molly has two beds, Julie has a bed, Mary Ellen has a Sofa bed, and Melody has a bed. Out of the Girl of the Year (GOTY) Gabriela, Mia, Lea (has a hut with a hammock). :Lanie had a camper, and McKenna have beds. there are a few JLY beds as well. 

Q: Cutting Corners what other brands work with AG?

A: There are many hand crafted 18 inch doll items available on the market. Etsy and Ebay are good places to find them.
Our Generation and My Life items mostly work with American Girl. Sometimes the shoes may not fit perfect or something just won't sit right. No one American Girl is the same exactly so not one thing will fit perfectly. Our Generation is sold at Target and My Life is at Walmart. There is also My Twinn and Madame Alexander Playtime friends. There are other doll companies that have gone out of business such as Magic Attic Club (they are thinner and made of all plastic), Play Wonder (they work well with AG), and Kidz and Cats. Journey Girls some items work well with AG but overall Journey Girls are thinner than American Girl so some items won't fit right. BEFORE keeping Off brand clothes and shoes on your doll for long periods of time look at videos about doing a vinegar rinse to set the dye.

American Girl will repair your doll free of charge if there is a dye transfer or damage from an American Girl product as long as you provide the product that caused the damage. You have to becareful some non American Girl items can cause dye transfer or shine marks on your doll. I have a general rule of always wearing socks under non AG shoes (or tights), I also try to wash all clothes on the delicate cycle in a delicate bag with vinegar in the rinse cycle.. Hang to dry.. You are responsible for damages that might occur using non AG products.


1. Do not ship a doll in a sitting position or leave them sitting for long periods of time it will start to loosen their limbs. I am not convinced the way of storing a doll by their arm pits is good for them either. You can get inexpensive doll stands from hobby stores and online or nice ones are sold through American Girl

2. Lindsey and Marie Grace have been known to ship with loose limbs directly from American Girl.

3.Your doll's hair doesn't need a lot of product.. It doesn't need a lot of shampoo or conditioner, hair spray, Armor All, Downy or anything else you have ever heard. Stephenswodadancer says leaving them in a particular hairstyle can also cause damage to their hair. (I plan on leaving some of mine in their meet)

4. Most of the time bubble eye and silver eye are warrantied fixes through American Girl doll hospital.

5. Very few American Girl dolls were manufactured here in the United States. The majority of the dolls were manufactured in West Germany and China.

6. Lindsey can no longer be sent to the American Girl hospital.

Favorite Links
American Girl. of course
American Girl Wikia
Collectors Guide
Doll Diaries
Ana White provides plans for woodworking and doll furniture and design
Zuilily frequently carries 18 inch doll items, American Girl Brand, or one of my favorite doll houses
You can find Jill on her segment of Jills Steals and Deals on the Today show... on her blog
or on her Facebook page this is the most popular American Girl sale.

Lazy eye fix and more urgent care

Favorite Youtube Links

*Anything on StephenWodaDancer's Channel...
Important links are...
The Difference Between COUNTERFEIT Dolls and Real American Girl Dolls!
How To Rewig Your American Girl Doll Using A Weave!
How to remove Pen, Sharpie, Dye, and Ink stains from your American Girl Doll!
How to Re String your American Girl Doll Part 1 of 3 
How to Re String your American Girl Doll Part 2 of 3 
How to Re String your American Girl Doll Part 3 of 3
How to Replace Your American Girl Doll's Neck String
How to Manage American Girl Doll Lanie's Curls

*Amy's restringing your doll or limb tightening videos
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

**Addy's Hair: Not That Serious!!


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