Tuesday, February 7, 2017

*NEWS* AG FB Responds to Underwear Outrage



*I giggled as I blogged this....the title! Underwear Outrage. Hilarious.

44 comments:

  1. I am beyond outraged at this. My daughter is 8 and I will not purchase a doll with integrated underwear that cannot be removed. AG is about realism, not wearing underwear with a bathing suit or in an AG bathtub/shower. This brings up issues of body shaming for young girls as well. The story that this is to make it less likely to lose underwear is ridiculous--the AG line is about small pieces and parts. Are they going to stop making accessories, shoes, food, etc..?Someone started a petition: https://www.change.org/p/mattel-stop-american-girl-s-plans-for-sewn-on-underwear and I hope Mattel listens. I'm done and not spending money with them any more.

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  2. There's definitely concern over this underwear change--I purchased a Melody doll through Amazon at the end of December and left a review. This afternoon I was asked a question if her underwear was sewn on! Personally I'm glad hers is not. They're plain white undies but it's the principle of the thing. I equate it to when Mattel started painting underwear on the Barbie dolls instead of including underwear. So ridiculous.

    And yes, "Underwear Outrage" is a giggle-worthy title. :D

    --Jen

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  3. It's funny,this solves absolutely nothing. People don't like this change and they won't buy new dolls as long as they have this feature. It's still a terrible marketing move, why are they not changing it.
    My question however is, are the underwear removable at all? cause like, I don't care if they stitch it to the body or whatever but people will certainly ruin their dolls if they're trying to paint over it or something. It's just..... not what it used to be. The company, the doll, everything is not as it was years ago.

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    1. I think that instead of having the flesh colored fabric attached to the legs, just the pink fabric will be there. If we take off the underwear with a seam ripper, the stuffing will fall out. Madelon

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    2. I agree. Can't really tell from the picture, but in my opinion, Where the horizontal seam is on the backside, that is were the underwear fabric starts. Then they sewed a piece of elastic around where the skin tone fabric and underwear fabric meet. I have mentally thought about dye, but I don't know. I've also thought about buying a really cheap doll off eBay, and sending in the new doll head with the old body (as long as they match, and getting a new body less the pants for $44. Best one is just not to buy a doll going forward if they are adamant that the dolls have to have permanent underwear.

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  4. I don't like this, it is a horrible ideal, when my 6 Year old goes in for her full physical annually at the Pediatrician, She takes her American Girl Brand Doll and they both fully undress and get their physical. #2 We have invested in both the expensive Bath Tub, and Shower from American Girl Brand Doll Company to utilized with Our 57 American Girl Doll's purchased in last 4 years for 1 Daughter at home, we purchased the items and take A Doll to Doctors for a very Realistic Shared Experience!!!!!My Daughter enjoys her Doll being able to do what She does. A Doll who can't off her Underwear is very illogical especially based on where your Company is now. Why introduce a Toilet for Julie when she will not able to utilized it with this new Doll with sew on Permanent Panties !!!!!!! When was,the last time this company really listen to their loyal Fans Base. I don't have a Facebook or Instagram, but please feel free to cut and paste my Comment and post it to either of those two sites for Me.

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    1. OK, that is adorable that Hope-Faith brings a dolly with her for her physical exam!

      None of my kids understand the permanent underwear thing. They think it's weird and creepy. It will definitely affect our future purchasing decisions, and I told AG as much.

      I wonder about the demographics of the customers AG is listening to. If you're giving an AG doll to a 2-4 year old, and the kid is having problems dressing the doll - that's not a problem with the product/doll.

      Someone had mentioned that it should have been released as an option. I would have been OK with that. Applauded that. Choices are a good thing. It'd be like choosing to have your doll's ears pierced or get a hearing aid; buying a doll without hair, or the diabetes kit or allergy free lunch or crutches. Then AG would be listening and responding to some customers' concerns without alienating others.

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    2. Maxine, I saw many people on FB making the same point, and I was saddened by the many people saying it is just a doll and that the kids are supposed to use their imagination when it comes to the underwear and bathroom experience. That it is just the moms saying this, that we all need to grow up and the only ones that are upset about this are ones that collect or this is their hobby. Then for AG to respond to some of those posts with thank you for supporting us type comments. I couldn't hold it in; I posted that AG should be thanking others for their support no matter what the opinion is.

      Belle,
      I'm glad that you saw someone post the underwear option. I homeschool and had showed my daughters the picture. One definitely does not like pink, and she said I wish that would have been an option and the other said yeah and kids could choose their own color of permanent underwear. I posted their suggestion, plus I added that AG could have that option available online through AG only. A customer could order either the permanent underwear or no underwear, however AG decided to do it, then have the doll shipped to the store, give an expected delivery date so the parent could plan the store visit to pick up the doll and maybe AG could even create an event where they have a special meet celebration for the child getting the doll. If you didn't live by a store then just shipped to their residence. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that because someone else mentioned it, maybe it will reach the right people.

      And I'm going to pray that they go forward with this suggestion. I believe that since they will be making the original doll bodies, that it won't cost them extra for the manufacturing. It would also be nice to have them manufacture her in the USA.

      There was one post I saw. The person asked about a rumor that in the future they have plans to add a sports bra like they are now with the underwear. AG didn't respond to that, and I didn't see anyone else respond or post something that they heard that rumor. I haven't seen anyone here mention it, so hopefully not a true rumor, maybe somebody adding a log to the fire.

      Tonight as I was going through the posts from the late afternoon, I saw one person mention that their Wellie Wisher had painted on underwear. We have three that we bought between the release date and October, all of which have cloth underwear. Does anyone have a WW that has painted on underwear or knew if AG has already switched to this? I feel so lucky if they switched to painted on underwear.

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    3. Funny you mention imaginative play and the bathroom experience--Julie's going to be getting the underwear treatment, and she's getting a bathroom complete with a toilet. One does not use the toilet with underwear still on. Nor do they shower with their underwear still on. This is problematic.

      I have no reason to buy Julie's bathroom, or desire, but I am glad that I bought an older Julie off eBay a few months ago. People are going to be scrambling for her even more now. (I kid you not, it took me months to get that Julie because of my budget range and the fact that I didn't need her meet outfit--I bought it during a sale.)

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    4. Ariel2Belle- The WellieWishers have imprinted underwear in their skintone. The texture of the plastic body is slightly different, and the WW logo is on the right hip. The cloth underwear go over the imprinted undies.

      I saw the question on FB about the sports bra. I think it was a legit question. I think the lady truly wanted to know if AG planned to release sport bras like they do cami/underwear sets. It's actually a good question since beginning with Tenney the age range is now middle school. Bras and puberty here we come.

      I am very much hoping AG makes this underwear an option instead of a mandate. My kids aren't interested in permanent underwear.

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  5. NO TO PERMA-PANTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What I find most insulting is AG's treatment of the issue and their customers via Facebook/ Social Media.

    They are deleting comments, locking threads, promoting comments that agree with them and having people post fake comments that this is a good thing/ not a big deal!!!

    A new low, AG.

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  6. I like "underwear outrage" it's very appropriate. Unlike the perma-undies.

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  7. If your child cannot keep track of or take care of their $115 doll's underwear, they shouldn't have a $115 dollar doll. Not everyone should have to buy sewn-in underwear because a few are not responsible.

    I have been collecting for for over twenty years and I'm appalled at the rate at which the quality of the American Girl products is falling. Plastic furniture and accessories where there was once wood, cheap paper accessories for way too much money, historically inaccurate clothing and colours, sewing products into their packaging, zip-ties instead of neck strings, poorly constructed doll boxes that won't hold up to moving or storage, dumbing-down the historical books to avoid controversy, and now this. I'm extremely disappointed in how Mattel is running this company into the ground.

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    1. Exactly! Just how often do children deliberately take off and loose a doll's underwear?

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    2. I absolutely agree!
      -RainingCats&DollsMom

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  8. I will call it. After perma underwear, permanent stockings in pale pink. Legs will never be improperly exposed again! Now your doll will always have her essentials. Bare doll leg limbs will be a thing of the past! Thank you AG!

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    1. Tricia, Please don't give them any ideas. :) When Mattel started painting the torso on the some of the Disney Princess dolls, I wouldn't buy those doll, then came painted legs and I stopped buying the dolls all together. I can understand with the Barbie type dolls that it is hard to put on the little socks and such. For a young girl that might be interested in creating her own look on a doll, having blue or green legs doesn't always coordinate with other colors. Having grown up with dolls that had skin colored bodies, I didn't prefer the painted bodies. I thought it was interesting that Disney chose to contract with Hasbro instead of Mattel. Mattel was worried since the sale of those dolls was a huge chunk of their sales. Another interesting thing is that the former AG CEO went to Fisher-Price, which is one of the better selling lines this year, helped keep Mattel positive for the annual earnings, compared to the prior year sales. AG ended up with no change between 2015 and 2016 earnings.

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  9. You know what? I'm actually very pleased with AG. I was VERY disappointed several days ago when I found out, but now I'm very glad for them. It's more modest, and though AG dolls aren't Barbies (I'm very glad they aren't), it is more modest. And I'm all for that.
    ~ LIght4theLord
    https://dollsnall.blogspot.com

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    1. modest sure, but what if small girls don't think anyone should change their underwear. It's a model of poor hygiene.

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    2. Modest or body shaming? Why are we allowing children to be taught that girl parts are to be covered? They're dolls! They don't even have girl bits to cover! Dress up is play. Underwear is modeling behavior. Why doesn't anyone ask how much money this saves/makes Mattel since only their styles will fit over the tiny bikinis now? And what little girl is running around with bikinis that barely cover her who-ha? The sewn in panties don't even go to the belly button area. There's nothing modest about these. They demean and sexualize a girl doll with pretty skimpy panties that they can't remove. Hello 2017 chastity belt! #notformydaughter

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    3. This is where it would have been great if AG had made the permanent underwear an OPTION. Then everyone would be applauding them.

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  10. Tell AG you won't buy a doll with permanent panties. They can't say we didn't warn them. #pantygate

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    1. Yes I will not. I got 51 Dolls at my house after giving 6 away and I can stop there. Hope to afford Sonali someday, but, if not I am ok with that too. I want to buy Gabriela, but if she has sewn on underwear I will not. They would do better by just not putting underwater on at all and sellinh them separately if they are in a pinch financially.

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    2. The secondary market will still be there. We do not have to buy from AG now.

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  11. Please everyone who can go on Facebook and tell them,we out number, their group of people who get free Dolls to review, and those who have Dolls cause their mom or motherlaw buys them, or even their employees who write in to help keep their jobs and we don't need panties sewn to our Dolls Body's.

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  12. http://fortune.com/2016/02/04/mattel-hasbro-merger-talks/ Now this... the fate of American Girl is uncertain it seems.

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  13. Someone just made a comment on AG fb (regarding the underwear) that was quite insulting to every older girl or adult collector, & AG responded by thanking her for her "kind words" & "warm fuzzies." I feel just sick now. I took a screen shot of it. Not sure how to go about reporting it, or if I should just let it go?

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    1. I saw that too. I thanked AG for saving me money as I would not be buying from them with their attitude or cheap products.

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  14. Here is a different perspective on the possible merger. https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/02/15/hasbro-and-mattel-merger-talks-not-a-rumor-but-not.aspx

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  15. People need to wake up. Why shouldn't consumers of all ages complain when they see a grievance? Isn't that what AG books have taught young girls for years stand up and be counted. If not, then they totally screwed up the theme for Julie's whole book series premise. I really feel that AG is mocking girls of all ages now pinning collectors against parents and other consumers. Collectors start off as young girls enjoying dolls at least I did. So they really think that will change in 10 to 15 years when their client base grows up and goes on to have their own families? By alienating collectors of all ages they are playing with fire and biting the hand that feeds their company with revenue and profit shares. Young girls need to see this. AG always respected their customers when I was a girl reading and playing with their products. But now, this is a lesson in gender discrimination. They think women who collect dolls are somehow too opinionated and should just shut up. While men who collect say Legos or model cars are just avid collectors who have superier taste in everything. I do not see companies insulting them or criticizing them for commenting on changes that affect the bottom line and hurt the brand. No, they are admired and listened to as experts or long time fans. AG is not scoring any points with my family as they are watching me and others being belittled on fb or by other consumers who neglect to see the loss of value in an iconic brand and why mothers are fighting to preserve it for their daughters and daughters daughters like an 1800s woman fighting for a vote. AG will probably laugh at that too or find a way to make me feel silly but it is what it is. Who is running the show...why put down consumers who disagree in front of thousands of young girls who are reading how they will be treated in their future if they keep and value dolls.

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    1. Tricia, Great observation! The whole purpose for the dolls was to teach about history. Mattel took that and expanded on it. On Mattel's FB page they even mention the people who started some of the brands they own and how they are continuing what they started.

      About the gender discrimination, most of those comments came from other women. Interesting that you bring up men collectors. On Mattel's FB page, there is a video of guys playing dolls with their daughters. Mattel is trying to encourage fathers playing dolls, so is this the purpose of Logan? Will that message come over to AG? Just by looking at the Ken doll and his accessories in the stores, he must not be a big seller. Is the video of the fathers playing with dolls to sell more boy dolls? or to get more men involved that won't care about the permanent clothing? Men typically do have bigger hands, so having permanent clothing could make playing easier, not 'exposing' a doll in front of a male.

      Do they think we believe manufacturing changes happen overnight? So the permanent panties had to be planned a while back. Someone posted a picture of what appears to be an internal AG paper, something that would given to their employees. The wording on that paper about the permanent paper is almost word for word what they have been saying in the comments. They did leave out a sentence or two. The ones were it says the dolls with permanent pants have already shipped through the catalogue and will be available at retail as well. This will be a rolling change. The post was somewhere around the 800 - 900 out of 1,000 comments. So there you have it, AG has already done this. Just feels so sneaky. Just like their comments of we don't have any information to share at this time. Especially when they do have the answer.

      I also think AG made a big mistake. This is African American History month, so why wouldn't you have an event planned in your store in with the GOTY, Addy and Melody? Then release Tenney and others in August, or March if they wanted it to be sooner.

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  16. In discussing this panty predicament with my almost 12yo, we have come up with another possibility. Many times over the last 7 years that she and her friends have been playing dolls, the panties have managed to get stuck in the leg joints. Is it possible that this is causing damage to not only the small garment, but also the legs after much tugging and twisting? Could AG be trying to eliminate an influx of repair for when they go international? Either way, we are feeling the same as all of you. Bring back the special and uniqueness. Bring back the quality and value. Bring it back.
    #pantypredicament #pantygate #underwearoutrage
    -RainingCats&DollsMom

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  17. I think it is a great idea. Being a doll rescuer, most of the dolls I find are naked. If they are dressed they almost always do not have undies or shoes. It makes sense to me for a doll to have permanent undies and I would not think less of the brand for doing it. Fawn

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    1. I agree with you that it would be a nice idea for the second hand market, but the reality is that in the second hand market, there is the greater potential that something will be missing, because they are used items. I have seen items for sale on etsy that look like what the original doll clothes. If we start making everything permanent, then were do we stop? We have temporarily lost dice to games, game board pieces, and Legos. Can you imagine the outcry if they went to the store one day and the Lego in the box was already assembled and glued together, so people didn't lose the pieces, because they had customer complains?

      As for thinking lesser of a brand, AG, through their marketing, has created an image of what their dolls are. The dolls were always supposed to be a way for girls to learn about history. When Mattel bought them out, the branched into other doll offerings, and still providing some learning, caring for pets, earning money, playing musical instruments, dancing, karate, etc. All those activities had or have outfits or other accessories for the dolls. Currently, they have a kitchen. Prior to that they had Grace's bakery to inspire girls to learn how to cook, and they partnered with Sur La Table and now Williams Sonoma for cooking lessons for young girls. So having the underwear permanently attached doesn't match up with having a bath tub, shower and soon to be released toilet. None of us do those activities with underwear on, so why would the dolls, whose primary purpose has been to teach children.

      As I read the posts here and thought about Tenney, I realized that my daughter has chosen dolls with whom some of her personality is reflected in that character. As her mom, I look at each doll and I'm reminded of something that she does or has in common with the doll's features or the doll's character. The Truly Me doll has taken on some of her personality. All of the dolls really aren't 'just a doll' to the child. Maybe to the adult who does nothing with them, but gets annoyed that they have to brush the hair or buy an outfit, etc., they are just another doll.

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  18. I do not have facebook, but I am concerned with AG censoring consumer criticism instead of responding to it. It seems short-sighted, too--no matter what their marketing studies show, one of their demographics is the adult collector, and also adult collectors who buy for grandchildren. Who else is buying the $350 set pieces? I think it is a deep misunderstanding of their own brand. The dolls were heirloom items, with special, almost museum quality accessories. Because of this, they could charge more than a Walmart or Target toy. Now they are looking at ways to mass produce, mass market, and rake up the profits. We could say that makes the dolls more "accessible, " less "elite," but only if they started charging Walmart prices for them. Otherwise, they are removing both cachet and quality while bilking the customer. It is like Gucci saying, "You know what? Our all leather designer purses have a strong customer following. Let's start making them out of vinyl and selling them at Walmart!"

    It is a nonsensical marketing strategy.

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  19. The difference with regards to Lego and it's treatment of collectors and customers...Lego is a privately held company. Pleasant Company was privately held. I feel for Pleasant Rowland; I wonder if she knew Mattel would do things to destroy her vision and legacy.

    As for making permanent panties an option...that would be awesome! Then those that want it can have and those that don't...well, we'd still be buying from them, right?

    My Timey Tell doll from the 70s is more anatomically correct than the AG dolls and had removable panties/bloomers. The bloomers are somewhere, but not currently on her and I could care less. As many are fond of saying, they are dolls. I always laugh when I announce "naked dolls" during a changing session - there is NOTHING to see.
    ~Xyra

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    1. I saved my dolls for my kids. A couple years ago we went to visit my mom and we took out my dolls and the items I stashed away. I had Dawn dolls, Crissi baby doll, Mia (Crissi sister, with pull out hair) and Timey. One of my daughters loves Timey. Her o-ring is broken so she doesn't talk, and she would just love to hear her talk. I searched for old advertisements of Timey, but I can't find any. LADL posted the link for the old Sears catalog, and we spent hours looking at the old toys. They wished that all those toys were still made.

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  20. I think that this idea kind of abuses some of the doll's accessories like the bathtub. If someone looses the doll's underwear, then the girl is not responsible enough for a nice doll like that. I had my Kit doll for four years and I play with her a lot. I still have all my dolls' underwear and you don't wear underwear while wearing a swimsuit or in the bath, it's common sense so why does a doll. Finally girls who don't like the design or young children will try to rip off the underwear and destroy the poor doll and reduces sales immensely and makes me not want a new doll.

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  21. Everyone, I was reading another blog that mentioned this post and someone commented this link that may give us some answers:

    https://www.zawya.com/story/Majid_Al_Futtaim_Leisure_and_Entertainment_Signs_Deal_to_bring_American_Girl_to_the_Middle_East-ZAWYA20161212084636/

    It discusses how AG signed a contract to bring AG dolls to the Middle East. Possibly this has something to do with the whole underwear thing?

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    1. Interesting. This reminds me of the time I was 7 and went to visit my grandparents. I just came inside from swimming in the pool and wanted to change my doll's clothes before I changed. My doll was unclothed...no underwear on her. I walked in front of my grandfather with my doll and he screamed at me to put some clothes on her! My parents giggled but I ran to the guest room to dress her. I never understood that. What was the big deal? To my grandfather that was weird, but to a 7 year old I was clueless.

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  22. I was reading a wonderful article by Cafe Mom and one of the comments mentioned trying to get out of paying royalties to Gotz for the body design. Adding perma-panties changes the torso enough that it no longer falls under Gotz.

    What bugs me about this new development or angle is that you can't tell me that the price of the doll is not high enough for Mattel to make a tidy profit and pay royalties. We know the price will not come down.
    ~Xyra

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    1. Yes. Diana mentioned this as well. http://livingadollslife.blogspot.com/2017/02/news-changes-to-ag-doll-body.html

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