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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

AG shop in Washington DC

Norvell very kindly took me to the American Girl Doll shop in Tyson's Corner shopping Mall in Washington DC during my trip to the city for a work conference during November.  I had a shopping list of items but also wanted to see the way the dolls and their accessories are displayed.

The shop is on two levels and was dressed for Christmas more than a week before Thanksgiving.  It was a Sunday which meant, as Norvell had explained in her emails, that the shop would be busy and filled with little girls making big decisions!  I couldn't resist that spectacle.  In fact it wasn't overwhelmingly crowded though it was busy, which was a relief, as it was possible to take photographs of the displays without having to avoid capturing other people's children in the photos.
Isabelle, Girl of the Year with the window display
The upstairs entrance to the store
AG horse and carriage
AG girls on skis
AG horse and rider
AG horse and foal
AG bicycle and rider (with pet dog who looks like he delivers the newspapers)
AG girls in their fancy dress outfits
The busiest area of the shop was the beauty parlour for dolls, where the shop assistants would do the hair, gently wash dolls who were a little grubby from play, fit earrings etc for the dolls, all the time demonstrating to their owners how to take care of the dolls.
AG doll beauty parlour, this was busy
AG doll gymnast and her friend who perhaps had an accident while doing gymnastics?
AG dolls and American sports (baseball, volleyball and softball)
AG doll party dresses and matching dresses for their owners
Isabelle, girl of the year 2014 (a ballerina)
The wonderful grand piano for AG dolls
AG dolls baking for Christmas
AG doll Kit, the young reporter
(I wish I had photographed the display with all her wonderful accessories)
Kaya and her tepee (much bigger than the tepee's I made for the Sasha dolls)
Kaya in one of her other outfits, with her foal
Julie and a car to wash
Caroline and her sailing skiff
Addy in her different outfits
The Christmas tree in the AG shop
in the shopping mall we spotted these two AG dolls at a restaurant
I will not reveal what I bought in the shop (yet) and I had to be careful about size and weight because of my luggage allowance.  Norvell bought Kit's reporter set for her dolls as she said that of all the accessories, Kit's are her favourite.  Kit's typewriter was amazingly detailed (this was not part of the reporter kit). I don't know why I didn't take a photo of the wonderful display of Kit and her accessories, they were good.  Norvell made sure I had a catalogue from the shop, which my younger daughter loved when I got home.

We must have spent at least an hour in the shop just looking and choosing and exclaiming.  I'm not fond of the full size AG dolls, as their body shape doesn't appeal to me (yes, they are cuddly but they have very broad shoulders and chunky torsos), however some of their accessories are amazing and I do like the mini dolls (my younger daughter has 2 already).  However, having seen the AG horses up close, I definitely prefer the Canadian made Our Generation (Battat) horses instead (which is what we have got) and have discovered that a small selection of the Our Generation dolls and some accessories including the horses are now available in Smyths Toy Superstores in the UK.  I'm not that keen on the Our Generation dolls, they are nice quality (and much cheaper than the AG dolls) however I definitely prefer the Gotz 19.5 doll faces.  Some of the Our Generation accessories are good.

I would like to thank Norvell for a wonderful day - I felt truly welcomed to Washington DC and hope to meet her again at a future Sasha doll festival (yes, our family are saving and planning for 2016...).


Julie said...

Your comments about the AG dolls and their accessories mirror mine. My daughter does have one of the AG horse but prefers another horse she has (it is possible and I feel of equal or better quality). I also agree about the scale/mold of the doll. What I really appreciate about AG is that for at least the US, I feel they got girls playing with dolls (that aren't Barbies or cheaply made baby dolls) again.
How exciting that you may get to come to the US for a festival. My daughter and I would enjoy meeting you and your daughter. We had hoped to attend the festival in 2015, but it looks like we will have to wait until 2016 (we can probably drive to that one.

Kendal said...

What a delightful tour of this AG shop. Like you I'm not keen on the dolls or their clothing but do enjoy seeimng the accessories ....and which I feel are more in keeping, size--wise, with the smaller Sasha Dolls.

I'm 'dying' to see just what you bought keeping within your luggage limitations.

I too, love perusing over catalogues like this, prioritising all the items that I would like to eventually buy!

Serenata said...

Glad you had such a fun time and seeing these photos brought back some happy memories of taking Henry and photographing him in this very store last year.

Rosie said...

What a super visit - there's no doubt that AG caters for all dolly needs.
The little sailing boat caught my eye it looked amazing.
Thanks too for the link to the toy shop - do the clothes for those dolls fit Sasha? We have a few Design a doll clothes but they're a bit big in the waist and if I'm honest cheaply made!

Dee said...

I don't know how you got out of there without sending home a very very large parcel of their wonderful accessories!

It's probably just as well I cannot visit one of their shops, or I'd be poor for the rest of the year!!

Thanks for all the lovely photo's showing everything that was happening and just what was on offer.

I am not fond of the dolls but everything else is just wonderful..oh to have a Sasha shop like that!!

How kind of Norvell to take you round and help make your visit so special.

Dee said...

Forgot to say that I agree about the horses :)

Sharon said...

Thanks so much for the 'tour' and photos of the AG store, Dollmum, I really enjoyed it! I think I'm with you and the others on these dolls, they're not to my taste because of their big shoulders and I don't like fabric bodies, too restricting, but I do like seeing all the wonderful things that are available for them. I love the little sail boat. I look forward to seeing what you bought, and yes, like Dee says, I do n't know how you contained yourself!!!
Hugs Sharon x

DollMum said...

Julie, we'd love to meet you and your daughter at the 2016 Sasha festival if we can make it. I agree, it is good that AG has influenced children to play dolls again, however I wish they had boy dolls too, as my girl loves the boy dolls we've got.
Rosie, the 'Our Generation' dolls are 18" their clothes are too big for Sasha (and not quite nice enough in my opinion, their shoes are very big). The accessories are nice though.
Kendal, Dee, Sharon you'll have to be patient until Christmas and February (younger daughter's birthday) before you see the full shopping results!
Lorraine, Norvell was telling me all about Henry's visit to the AG shop - I'm glad I followed in your footsteps.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.
It it kind of a bit too much?

But the things have perhaps nearly the right size for Sasha? I looking forward to see you purchases :)