Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review & Comparison for Girl of the Year 2016 Lea Clark

I took the plunge and purchased the Girl of the Year for 2016, Lea Clark. My review is below and consists mainly of a photo bombardment of everything I could think of. ^_^ 

Lea Clark in her box!

She has the new purple Girl of the Year boxes that started last year with Grace. Her name is printed on the front lid.

There is also a sticker on the bottom, similar to Grace. There seems to be a new "Warning" sticker style now, with the message printed in 3 languages: English, French, and Spanish. I'm assuming this is because AG is now selling in Mexico and Canada as well.

Back of box.

Lots more print on the back of the box now, also in the 3 languages.

Top of box

Side of box

Bottom of box

Close up of sticker on bottom of box. I love that I can learn French and Spanish now with each AG purchase! XD

Ta-da! With the lid taken off! ^_^ Be blinded by the bright, tropical colors of life!

This is just a small note but I believe the lids of the boxes have been changed as well. They now have this white, folded over flap on the side which wasn't there before. Not a big deal by any means, just something I noticed. :)

Lea with the plastic book insert removed.

Plastic book insert

Once you lift up the meet book, you can see the secret compartment underneath where her messenger bag and compass necklace are hidden.

Na na na na na secret compartment!

For all your hiding needs! Just the right size for the messenger bag and necklace.... or a square of Ghirardelli chocolate!!! :D

Messenger bag and necklace taken out of secret compartment.

Messenger bag

The yellow "V"s on the strap are embroidered. A very nice detail!

Front of bag.
The symbol is a decal and the yellow loops on the pink straps are plastic. 

Back of bag.
Ego tag! Otherwise it's plain. There is not additional pocket/holding space on the back side.

The bag closes with velcro squares.

Inside of the bag is simple with just one compartment half full with ego tag.

Compass necklace front

Back of necklace

The strap of the necklace is adjustable so you can put it on the doll and adjust the length. This is the "long" length necklace.

And this is the "short" length.

Close up of necklace face.
The arrow moves but it's not an actual, working compass. The arrow's tushy end is just heavier than the head so I guess you could say the arrow always points away from gravity. XD

Cover of book.

Back cover of book

Onward to the doll packaging!

The feet have the styrofoam wrapped around the ankles so the rubberband holding the legs in place won't make marks on the vinyl. There is a sheet of plastic behind the feet, to help protect against shine marks from the vinyl rubbing against the cardboard box.

It seems like moving forward, AG is now wrapping their doll arms in plastic gloves as well to also protect them from shine marks. And as an added measure of protection, there's also plastic on the sides of the boxes where the hands would hit the box. I guess They're getting a lot of returns from disgruntled consumers about opening up a "new" doll to find it covered in shine marks.

The neck is held in the same way as always, with an easy to remove white elastic around a styrofoam wrapped neck. 
I opted to have my Lea's ears pierced while I was at the store. The doll does not come with pierced ears and earrings unless you request and pay for it.

Close up of the face with the new light, yellow-hazel eyes and arched eyebrows.

Lea... Deboxed!

Apparently AG considers her hair straight, but it is definitely wavy-borderline curly, so sometimes a quick finger curl/brush works better than the regular wig brush.

I was able to slip the plastic arm gloves off fairly easily without cutting it, but this could vary from doll to doll. 

When I got her ears pierced at the store, I choose the special Lea Clark earrings that are only available for her. They gave a new, unopened pack of the 3 earrings that come in the set, and then pierced her ears with an additional set of the circular symbol studs. So basically I ended up with 2 sets of the circular symbol studs. 

Now let's look at the doll at her meet outfit.

Side view of shoes

Back view
I was surprised to see these shoes used velcro (it didn't seem like it would need it), but there you go! ^_^

The left shoe is imprinted with a product code on the bottom.

1) Ego tag!
2) Belt does not go all the way around to the back and is permanently attached to the sides.
3) Mismatched prints galore! I can't really fault them though, the skirt does look like it would be too cost consuming to match it up, especially in a mass produced, factory setting. That doesn't mean I like it though. XD

Back view
Luckily, the prints on the back at least match up! It's just the back and front don't. So no side view photos of you doll in this outfit, unless they're rebels!. :D

Lea does not have neck strings. Her head is held on with a zip tie, and the seam is sewn completely up. I'm not a fan of this, because I frequently take off my doll's head to readjust the stuffing to fix head tilts. Also, this will make customizing a lot more work. For someone who has the tools and knowledge, it would not be too difficult to put their own neck strings in. However, I'm not one of those people so... Boo stringless necks! >_<

The shoulder straps are braided yellow cord and can slide around in the loop holding them to the front of the dress. 

Her underwear will blind you from the front!
Another new thing AG is doing is putting these plastic protectors around the leg joints. I'm not sure what protective purpose these serve though, as this is not an area prone to shine marks (since it's protected by the clothes), and it can't be stains since AG uses colorfast clothing. :/

And the back!
I kind of miss the cute little graphic that always used to be on the GOTY underwear (I think they stopped with Saige), but at least it's one less secret symbol. :D

To my eyes, her hair looks blond. However, I concede Lea has the type of hair coloring that people will debate on over whether it is blond or brown. A lot of it depends on lighting and personal perceptions. 
Above, the two images show that with greater exposure and more light, it appears more blond, and with less exposure and less light, it will look more brown.

Now we can move on to the doll herself!

Although each individual aspect of her look (Josefina mold, hazel eyes, wavy blond/brown hair, medium vinyl) are not unique, I really like the combination together and think Lea is a beautiful doll. 

I'm probably most impressed by her wig. It is wavy and layered, but it goes down to her butt and feel so soft and silky. I've brushed it multiple times now and it still feels soft and easy to handle despite the length. Depending on how you pull back the hair and curl it, you can give her a completely different look which is really nice. 

Here is a close up her eyes. They're a light, yellow hazel color, which is more or less just another variation on the tried and tired hazel coloring. -_-

This is what her hair looks like fresh out of the hair net. It is longer and more straight once it has been brushed out. Gloriously thick and not bad at all to style!

Her hair has blond highlights, which are most easily seen near her hair part. :)

Left to right: Rebecca, Lea, Kanani
All 3 dolls have the side left side part, though I would say Lea's is the least wavy/curly out of them. They also all have hazel eyes, but Lea's are a lighter, more yellow hazel. Lea also has the arched eyebrows that are new.

Left to right: Rebecca, Lea, Kanani

Left to right: Rebecca, Lea, Kanani
So just as a note, this was taken right after taking both Lea & Kanani's hair right out of the hairnet. Once both their hair had been brushed and relaxed a bit, lea's was down to her cloth butt and Kanani's was between mid-thigh/knee length, and more curly that Lea's.
Lea's hair also feels softer and easier to maintain than Kanani's, which felt more dry in comparison despite also being new out of hair net.
Lea's hair is the lightest of all 3 of the dolls. 

Left - Rebecca, Right - Lea
Many people say Rebecca and Lea look alike for them. I personally don't feel like they are very similar but I can understand those who do say so. For me, the difference in hair coloring and length, as well as the vinyl coloring and the fact they come from 2 different lines enough for me to keep them apart in my mind. 
You can see how Lea's eyes are lighter than Rebecca's as well.

Left - Kanani, Right - Lea
I would say Lea's coloring is a little lighter and more "yellow" than Kanani's medium vinyl 5 years ago. Most likely this is due to a batch variance and not intentional on AG's part (though the medium vinyl coloring has been getting lighter through the years). 
Her lip coloring also seems to be darker than the other dolls though this is only obvious when compared next to them.

Overall, while I don't find Lea terribly unique, I think her coloring combination does make her quite lovely. For me, she looks much older than the other dolls, due to the arched eyebrows giving her a "plucked" look in my eyes, as well as the stylized "beach blowout" hair. 

I haven't decided yet if I will keep her, so I'll probably end up doing a Dress Up Gallery for her the way I did for Maryellen to help me make up my mind, but right now I'm leaning towards keeping her. I *love* the feel of her wig, but I would want to swap out her eye colors and the zip tie is a big hindrance for me. 

"Like" us on Facebook and Follow us to get notifications of updates, news, reviews, and more!

79 comments:

  1. Lovely review! I think Lea is a very pretty doll but I don't think I'll be purchasing her. Do you think that her eyebrows make her look slightly angry? And I think her dress not matching up is very annoying. I did like what you said about the mass production.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I can't say I've ever found Lea's eyebrows to look angry to me. They just looked like they were plucked. :)

      Delete
    2. I agree with OurAGDollhouse, I think she is pretty enough but won't be adding her to my collection. I think Lea looks mean in many of her photos even though I also have naturally high arched eyebrows that give me a Disney villaness vibe.

      Delete
    3. I've never associated arched eyebrows with villains before. :D To me it gives her an older, "I've got this" expression.

      Delete
    4. I think the angry look comes from her pupils appearing smaller. Larger pupils give a friendly, attractive impression. If they were just the tiniest bit larger, she'd look so much better. This was the first thing I noticed when I looked closely at her face. It's the reason I probably won't be getting Lea. Linda R.

      Delete
    5. That's interesting! I didn't notice her pupils being smaller, and even now when I look at her, she doesn't give me the impression of looking "mean" or aggressive. :) I associate her look with an older, more mature girl in my mind.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for the picture-heavy comparison of all three dolls. Lea is indeed lovely. I don't think of her as a blond. Just one of those brown haired people who get highlights when they're in the sun. (AG probably thought that would tie into Lea's visit to Brazil.) I do agree that the doll looks a bit older, and I think that her lip color contributes to it. It looks like lip gloss.

    I have a positive emotional response to Lea, but I will probably not buy her, having recently bought #62, Marisol, and Rebecca. Not only is my doll budget maxed out, but Marisol and Rebecca are too similar to Lea for me to be able to justify her purchase. (Which is to say, I wouldn't mind having her, I just won't be buying her.)

    Nit-Picking Amusement: AG used the French word for "and" in the Spanish notice of the contents of the box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that with Marisol & Rebecca, you've got 2 dolls with similar features or Lea so she may not add enough diversity to your collection. :)

      You're right about the use of "et" in the Spanish contents of the box! :D I'm surprised that escaped the proof checkers!

      Delete
  3. Thank you so much for your review. It's wonderful! I just went to the DC store to see Lea in person, and then got to read your review as well! I'm not sure I'll get her, but it really helps to be able to refer back to your review as I spend the rest of the year making up my mind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear it is helpful! Thank you! ^_^

      Delete
  4. Since you mentioned the zip tie, I have a question about it--is the area where it goes into stitched completely closed? I know they used zip ties for a brief time a few years ago, but the closure stuck out a bit. Just curious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Flo! The neck opening where the strings used to dangle out of is now stitched shut, so you will have to go at it with a seam ripper to get it open. I believe when AG used zip ties in the past, the opening was still left open. Stitching it shut gives it a more finished, complete look, but presents another hurdle for customizers. :)

      Delete
    2. That's what I kind of thought. Won't stop me though! ;) Thanks!

      Delete
  5. Thank you for doing a Lea review, Lilly! :D Arghhhh she's sooooo cute!! I am wayyyyy to in love. But my mom said that I can't buy any more dolls with my own money........ now I just have to convince an unsuspecting relative to buy her for me!! XD That's gonna be the hard part. way harder than falling in love with Lea. :D
    -Nova <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My poor, poor Aunt............ XD
      - Nova <3

      Delete
  6. Thank you for your Lea review! Lea is so pretty and I love her curls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She has such a beautiful wig! ^_^ Thank you!

      Delete
  7. This was such an awesome, detailed review!!! I just got Lea too, and I agree that she does look a lot like a few other AG dolls........But I am very glad I got her! I was wondering, did you happen to pick up any of Lea's other outfits, or accessories? If so, I would love to see your reviews on them. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! ^_^ Yes, I did pick up Lea's Beach Dress, her meet accessories, and her special earrings, but I'm not sure I'll keep the Beach Dress. It's just not very flattering in my eyes on any dolls. :D

      Delete
  8. Thanks so much for the reviews. I have a feeling we will end up with her. But then there is Melody too so we'll see. She is the first GOTY my daughter has showed an interest in actually purchasing. Her eyes appear somewhat lighter than other pictures I have seen, which I am happy to see. Not as light as Caroline's, but still nice. It would be nice to see a side by side comparison of their eyes as well. Beautiful blonde highlights too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her eyes are very solidly hazel, and I personally found it hard to even distinguish them as a hazel variation until I put them all side by side. :) It's not close to Caroline's at all in my eye sight, and not even close to the amber eye color. She's a beautiful doll and her story sounds like such an adventure so I can see why your daughter is intrigued! ^_^

      Delete
  9. Such beautiful photography! Well done. A month ago I was sure I wasn't going to get Lea (just her sloth!), but she has completely won me over! I'd like to add a doll with the Josefina face mold to my collection and I think she might be the one! Is it possible for you to post a comparison photo of Lea with Marie-Grace? I haven't been able to find a photo with the two of them together so I can see them in the same light. I'd like to see the difference in hair color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm afraid my Marie-Grace is currently packed up, but her hair color is nearly the exact same as Kanani's (slightly darker than Rebecca's). :)

      Delete
    2. What you mean packed up?

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure I understand your question? Marie-Grace is packed up right now so I can't take the comparison photos.

      Delete
    4. I think Anonymous just means, like is Marie-Grace in some storage space or closet or something, and hard to access?

      Delete
    5. Merci beaucoup!
      -Léa

      Delete
    6. Ah, thanks for clarifying Amelia! I wasn't sure what they were asking. :)

      Delete
  10. I am really disappointed about the neck strings and I wonder if they'll start doing that will all the dolls? I don't customize but I do like to tighten limbs and freshen up dolls I get so this is very disappointing. I really like Lea but just had two custom dolls made for my girls so I'm not sure if I'll buy her as the year goes on or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, unfortunately I believe this will be the new method of securing the doll heads from this point forward. :(

      Delete
  11. hey did u hear that leas white dress came up on ebay again but with accessories

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you by any chance know the seller it came from and what the accessories were? ;D I'm so curious to see what it comes with! Thank you!! -AGPinkBlossoms

      Delete
    2. Yes, I saw that! Her shoes are cute, and I'm trying to figure out if that is a necklace or headband. Hopefully not a necklace, since I think her dress is pretty embellished already. ^_^

      Delete
    3. Can you leave a link please?

      Delete
    4. http://m.ebay.com/itm/Doll-Clothes-for-American-girl-18-inch-white-dress-suit-/201503311002?nav=SEARCH

      -Lea

      Delete
    5. Thank you! I LOVE the shoes! I hope I can get it soon! I love the dress to! I think the necklace/headband is going to be part of the separate accessories set, remember the bracelet that was leaked with the girl who go Lea early? I think that matches the coloring of the dress better and I think that the bracelets will come with it. I personally am headbanded out with Lea's collection, but think it is a headband because of the elastic on the back

      Delete
  12. Do you recommend lea or #61? I take lots of photos, so I think #61 would be more photogenic, but I want to know if lea is better quality so I can decide what doll to get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually think Lea is more photogeneic of the two. :) They're both pretty, but Lea photographs well and looks great in a lot of clothing.

      Delete
    2. I think #61 is more photogenic personally. I put my #61 in more colors than most people are willing to, as I am a fellow redhead and know that we can do orange, pink and red just as well as a brunette :)

      Delete
    3. Thank you for your help, Teal!

      Delete
  13. Is the plastic on the thighs removable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is! It's easy enough to peel the tape holding it together off, or to just snip it off.

      Delete
  14. do u think i should get julie or lea? i am having trouble deciding who to get

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's up to you. What do you like most about each doll? What is more important to you? I personally prefer Lea myself, because I'm not a Julie fan, but it depends on what you like.

      Delete
    2. i personaly went with lea due to her looks and her story. after checking out julie i figured out what i like most about her was the clothes. thankfully i can buy them seperatly. i was also atracted to the fact that lea has a tan from being oustide, while julie doesnt. i thought it was a good thing.

      Delete
  15. Hey! Great review! I completely agree with everything you said. I found this ag pajama set, and I don't know if it is available? http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Girl-outfit-Dress-and-Shoes-for-18-Inch-doll/272083701614_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D34493%26meid%3Df05cfd708b39478a8f15e2cc24f50076%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D201503311002
    Just thought I'd share! Do you have any idea of when her special dress will be released? Thanks!

    -Jessica and the Gang

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica! The link seems to be broken and I can't see which item you are referring to. As for Lea's special dress, I am guessing it will be part of her mid-year release. :)

      Delete
  16. Lea is such a beauty can't wait to add her to my collection :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am still waiting to see a Lea with Caroline's eyes. Has anyone seen any customs done?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not seen any so far, though I think the light eyes would be very striking. :)

      Delete
  18. Wow, Lea is gorgeous but, I wish she came with her camera. It is such an important feature in her collection. They could of swapped her compass into her accessories and/or her bag. But overall, she is keeper! I definitely MUST pick her up someday, though I live abroad. I think my doll Grace Thomas will thoroughly enjoy her company, she is an only doll!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is why they put the camera separately, because they know people will buy the accessories just for that one item. :) It's a smart move from a business standpoint.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, Great for AG, not for my purse! XD

      Delete
  19. Yes! You are so right!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks so much for the review! I love that Lea is from St. Louis (where we live). I'm looking forward to reading the third book, which I've read is set here in Stl. She's a very pretty doll, but my AG-loving 10-year-old has said she doesn't want her. (Lucky girl got two AG dolls for Christmas). I have a feeling daughter will change her mind in a few months. However, I was very glad you mentioned that Lea has a neck ziptie instead of strings. Very disappointed in that, and because of that, I will discourage my daughter from adding her to her collection. I certainly hope they don't start making all dolls with neck zipties. Love all your blogs! Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How neat that Lea is from the same city! :) The zip tie is annoying, and unfortunately I've heard various rumors that AG will be transitioning to them permanently. :/

      Delete
  21. Should i get Lea or grace thomas from ebay? please answear

    ReplyDelete
  22. i like lea and the doll herself but i dont like her collection its not that appealing like her outfit dont come with that much and her hiking outfit doesnt come with socks who wears hikeing shoes without socks. On the other hand i love grace and the doll herself i also love her collection it so deataild and very modern i think ag went a bit down hill on leas collection. Im still deciding if i should get lea or grace from ebay, which doll do you recommend me getting

    ReplyDelete
  23. Plus i think that grace's collection if my fav goty collection but that does some what reflect on lea but im not sure if i should get lea or grace. btw i know grace is retired but im getting her on ebay. if i am planning on getting grace, im probaby only allowed to get one outfit which one outfit should i get?

    ReplyDelete
  24. which outfit should i get out of grace's collection either her city outfit, her baking, or her pajamas which one do you recommend be getting im having trouble deciding which one XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whether you should get Grace or Lea depends on what sort of look you prefer. It sounds like you like both dolls but prefer Grace's collection, so you'll have to decide which would be more worth the money to you. Grace's collection is easy enough to find on eBay, though it may cost more. Out of the outfits you listed, which style of clothing do you like best? I don't collect PJs and my dolls don't really use them, so you'll have to consider what outfit your dolls would use the most. :)

      Delete
  25. which one do u think is better lea or grace and also what matters to u the most the doll or the collection

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not like Lea or Grace myself, and for me the doll and collection are equally important.

      Delete
    2. you said lea is a lovely doll that just makes my heart break u dont like grace or lea :( im really upset now not to be mean but i thought u like lea why would u buy a doll u dont even like!

      Delete
    3. First of all, just because I don't like a doll doesn't mean she is not a pretty doll. Second of all, I have many reasons for purchasing the doll, one of which was to see if I could bond with her. I do not understand why my feelings for the doll make your heart break. It does not matter what I like or dislike, only what you like and are responsibly able to afford.

      Delete
  26. then which doll is prettier grace or lea pick one

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would really like to get Lea but i'm a little scared that I may get a doll with very arched eyebrows.so what should I do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you able to pick out a doll in stores? That will be your best bet. I personally love the arched eyebrows and thinks it gives her a really determined look. :)

      Delete
  28. Anyone have any suggestions for how to style Lea's hair? I'm good with the curly/waviness, but the layers are a new challenge. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully someone can chime in with some advice. For my part, I'm such a fail whale at doing hair (my own and dolly hair) that I usually just give up and leave them in their meet hairstyles. :D

      Delete
    2. ThePolkaDotPatriotAugust 27, 2016 at 9:27 PM

      :-)That works!
      I usually find curls easy (when I was a kid a hairstylist at the AG Salon asked how I got my doll's hair so perfect) but Lea...I re-curled her hair with AG's curlers, but I'm still not that happy with the result.

      Delete