Wednesday, April 2, 2014

*News* AG Replacement Parts (Be Forever)

Blog reader Jessica sent an email about meet outfit replacements:

"I called AG and asked about meet outfits for historical dolls.  As I mentioned before, when I bought Molly, they quoted me $48 for her entire meet ensemble. I asked them about Kit because if they change the line before we can get Kit, I want to be able to get her original meet outfit. They told me if we have the doll *(I have no idea how they would know if we have the doll or not), we can get the meet outfit. The price quotes they gave me was as follows:

Meet outfit (Includes skirt, shirt, sweater jacket) - $20
Kit's sandals - $10
Kit's underwear - $8 (wow! Just for a pair of bloomers!)
Kit's barrette - $2

The total for her complete meet ensemble is $40 (a little cheaper than Molly's).

Again, I asked if we could get the meet outfit for all historical dolls and the representative told me "As long as you have the doll".  I told her we got Kit at the Goodwill (same as we did with Molly) and she was willing to sell us the outfit.  
I asked if she had Ruthie's hair bow as a replacement part and they do at $4.  Individual pieces they sell as replacement parts, but this gives you an idea of how much they cost. 
For the 'Meet Outfit' it will vary I guess; for dolls with dresses, it will only be their dress (no shoes, underwear). It does make me wonder after Samantha's re-introduction, if you will be able to get a meet outfit as a 'replacement part'.  Something to think about."
*Note: It's been reported AG is requiring sales receipts for return exchanges and maintaining stricter rules about replacements. All purchases are in their database proving a customer purchased the doll in question needing the replacement part.  
My friends and I chat often about Be Forever and AG in general. We believe, all of this is to combat secondary market purchases. Example: Customer buys an AG doll from Goodwill or yard sale for under $15 or on eBay 70% the retail price then sends the doll to AG hospital for a new head ($44) or eyes (silver eye free) and has a new doll for less than retail ($110).

This is also possibly why the revamp of the historical characters. If you go to eBay or Craigslist there are oodles of AG listings. SEVEN of my 15 dolls were purchased from eBay. Eight were purchased from AG. If you consider how many dolls have been re-sold on the secondary market versus retail, you will understand why AG (Mattel) had to come up with a strategy to curb this pesky problem. Sure we as doll collectors LOVE this option and enjoy "scoring" a doll for less, but it is bad for business.
AG DOES make money, but if the secondary market is saturated with dolls for less, then AG can't move inventory out their doors = increase in clothing, accessories and furniture costs. If the furniture is being phased out (slowly) that leaves books, clothes and accessories. Expect to pay more (LE sets $64) as a result of buying used dolls.

Historical revamp + minor changes to doll = eyebrow changes and new meets.
Now AG can track purchases via database or with receipt. Eventually you will still be able to buy the revamped dolls on eBay, but you will no longer have proof to buy replacements or hospital visits. We have seen the new Samantha's sold on ebay, along with no AG proof of purchase.


  1. I am sure they have been keeping track for a while now. When I was at the NYC store last weekend they had just started using a new system. They needed my name, address, e-mail, and phone number before they would ring up my order. Same thing at the other registers. They asked for your name and address to find you in their system. Whenever I have had to call customer service, I have always needed to give my name and address so they could find me in their system. And if I needed a replacement part, I had to tell them where and when I bought something if I didn't still have the receipt.

  2. Wow, with the cost of the meet outfits, it's almost cheaper to just buy 2 other outfits. With outfits from all the lines ranging from $24- $34.

  3. Makes sense but they sure wuld not refuse someone the hospital visit or a replacement part for an older doll , afterall someone bought it at some point and AG cant say You are not the original owner , there would be lots of unhappy customers out there who need to get replacement parts or a new head , body ect for theyre dolls .

  4. It's weird, the two times I called for replacement parts, the representative I had did not ask me for receipt information or anything and I was honest about buying the doll at a secondary market, or in Ruthie's case she was handed down to us. Maybe they will be stricter with the new dolls and are currently stricter with the My AG and Girl of the Year? They were completely willing to send me the replacement parts. In Molly's case, I passed because I agree with AG Collector, I could have brought two outfits. We settled on the polka dot outfit for our Molly's 'meet outfit' and my friend found a knock off pair of her glasses for us. And of course, we have her patterns.

    I think in the end, AG will not refuse to make money. Hence why the complete meet outfit prices are a bit steep.

  5. My grandmother (now deceased) ordered my dolls in the 90's as Christmas gifts and had them shipped to a business that closed in 2001. How can I prove that the doll is legitimately mine? I don't keep 20 year old recipients. I brought two Pleasant Co. dolls into the new San Francisco store last December and they went to the doll hospital with no question. Apparently, the sales ladies had never seen a PC version before. Surprising...

    I agree with Jessica. AG will make money regardless. If they can make a buck out of a resold doll and recoup some of the cost they will figure out a way to do so.

  6. My Samantha doll was bought officially -- from pre-Mattel Pleasant Company. No way they'd have records on that, nor would I be able to prove it. Let's face it, for a company that is almost 30 years old, there's going to be a LOT of dolls on the secondary market. And the irony of making higher quality dolls is that the dolls are going to be able to be passed on to a second or even third owner.

    On the other hand, parents that can afford it are still going to want to buy their young child a brand new Bitty Baby or 18" doll. But the AG Like You doll or whatever they are calling her has a ton of competition, and more coming out all the time. Some dolls match AG in overall quality; some blow them away in poseability. Jointed dolls are the new fad. I think Mattel/AG can't ride on American Girl's past anymore. The company is going to have to come up with something new to make its product stand out.

  7. Just wanted to say how much I like your blog and appreciate your passion for all things doll. I just became an AG collector myself last Fall (at 47!) and don't know anyone else who is into them like I am. (Or at all). Except for the people I connect with on-line.

    Oh, and p.s. ... I hope they don't make jointed dolls. I seriously dislike that idea.

    1. I doubt American Girl will make jointed dolls, but it's an option in the 18" doll market that wasn't available before.

  8. It is an interesting idea that they want you to prove first time ownership. Heck, I didn't even know that you could get replacement parts. that's kind of a cool idea.

    With regards to the doll hospital part, ever since I realized that Melody is stamped Pleasant Company and not American Girl I have been loathe to send her for restringing. I'm afraid they will just try to replace the whole doll instead of taking care of what I want done. This fear was increased by Oprah's tour. Although, Dr. Di over at Doll Diaries has shown fabulous restorations so I know it is possible; it just doesn't seem likely that a big corporation would really go to the trouble to restore a doll they could easily replace. You know the mark up on the dolls is great. (but I still love them).