Wednesday, April 30, 2014

PC vs Mattel - Argument

I would like to clarify, since this is my blog, my personal feelings and thoughts regarding PC vs Mattel.

I have chatted with collectors who complain about AG cheaper quality of clothes, balding wigs, loose limbs on new dolls, etc. Personally I haven't had a problem with new Mattel dolls except Isabelle. Her eyes were crossed, but AG offered EXCELLENT customer service and stand by their products so they took care of this for me.

I was not collecting during the PC days. My only experience has been with Mattel AG. I have only had excellent customer service experiences, amazing dolls with pretty clothes and accessories. I do own second hand PC dolls and their clothing. I have not seen the PC versions "NEW". I love my PC Felicity, but prefer my Mattel Samantha.

I think what I wish for are the old ways of offering items to complete a collection thoroughly. It was nice to see the historical characters have their school supplies (slate or books), lunch box, bag or pail, school awards, report cards that sort of thing in complete sets. It would be ridiculous to demand notebook paper for Julie because that is so easy to make yourself. 

I would love to see Julie have a Pee-Chee folder or Mead folder, report card, or school ID. For me it's about details. Am I angry that I don't have this from AG? No of course not.

I am sure there are many items you wish for too, but Mattel can't (or won't) produce every single item requested.


Mattel makes quality furniture and Kit's desk is so beautiful I was so impressed when I opened it. 

Kit's table is heavy and solid, sure to last!

Kit's bed impressed me. I also prefer the newer Mattel comforter more than the chenille bedspread (even though its more to period). 

I was not impressed with the design of Kirsten's blue bed. It looks like a bed tray one would serve toast and coffee on. I do however think the quit is beautiful and well made.

To produce these beautifully made furniture pieces seems costly and they are rumored soon to be phased out. Again we don't know what BE FOREVER will bring, but it has some collectors worried it will consist of clothes, accessories and smaller items similar to the LE sets that just came out. (LE now being labeled SE). If this is the new pattern it could mean leaving the furniture trend behind. 

Historical Character Dolls:
Pleasant Company: 
  • Samantha
  • Kirsten
  • Molly
  • Felicity
  • Addy
  • Josefina
  • Kit
  • Kaya
  • Nellie
  • Elizabeth
  • Emily
  • Julie
  • Ivy
  • Ruthie
  • Rebecca
  • Marie Grace and Cecile
  • Caroline

Mattel did a nice job when they introduced Kit. However the scooter is plastic, many believe PC would have used wood. Yet her school desk is wood and very well made.

I think its a matter of personal preference. No one is right or wrong for liking or appreciating what they do, whether PC or Mattel or a little of both. I don't judge another collector for what they enjoy in their collection. It should be personal that's why its called a collection. I don't belong to a PC club or a Mattel club. This is a hobby and one that I enjoy, I choose not to complicate it. Either a piece speaks to me or it doesn't.

I get several questions asking whether the newer Mattel clothes fit my PC dolls snug. Yes they do. However, I don't mean to sound rude, but an easy simple fix is to remove some of the stuffing to "slim" the PC body a little. (If only all diets were this easy!)

My PC Molly has a fuller bottom than Mattel Emily. It doesn't bother me, but for those of you concerned with the new historical launch and the outfits fitting, consider doing what I suggested by removing the stuffing and your doll should be fine.


  1. I miss the way PC used to do things as well, with a school story, a Christmas (or Hanukkah) story, etc. Each girl had the same accessories, tailored to what would have been used during her time period. For example, each girl had her own doll, unique to her story. AG could still do things like that, even if they cut back on the number of accessories. However, with the newer historical dolls, it just became some books and random accessories. What was fun was linking all the dolls together by what they had in common.

    Unfortunately, the economy is very bad and inflation is an issue, so it makes sense that Mattel might have to cut back on what they produce. I'm disappointed, because I had hoped to pick up a bed for Samantha without secondary market inflated prices and without the wear that her "brass" bed seems to get. Oh well.

    As far as Kirsten's bed, I always thought it looked odd too, but I presume it was based on something period, especially since she was one of the first PC dolls. I forget if Kirsten's bed was a trundle bed, which would have to be low.

    1. I agree that all the girls having the same accessories, but specific to their time period, was great because it showed that they still used the same things throughout time. Back then it was supposed to be about how things around us change over time, but inside, we still stay the same.

  2. *From Julie;s doll mom*:

    Pleasant Company did make Julie as well. If you check Ebay, you can see the slight difference in the shape of the face. It would have been nice if AG had made a school set for Julie w/ knapsack or bookbag, a binder w/ a cute design on it, as well as a Pee Chee folder, school supplies box, report card, and reader. Julie has a Molly "style" book bag, (the book bags were similar to this in the 70s), and her friends have various book bag and knapsacks I've bought or made. All have mini composition notebooks, and "fake" school books I have made. I'm a crafty person, but it would have been nice if AG made Julie a whole "school set" like the other dolls, instead of just a lunchbox.

  3. I do feel like AG needs to wake up. Kit should not have had a pink dress, not everything for dolls has to be pink. We need a holiday dress that is not red! Let's have more historical accuracy. I personally have only been able to purchase Mattel products. I think the historical collections need to be expanded. Some girls only have like 4 or 5 outfits!

    1. Also, Kit hates pink. She says in her story that she wishes her mom would realize should AG!

  4. I personally would prefer collections with depth rather than breadth--I don't need a doll from every era, but would love a ton of stuff from the eras they focus on. I also want the stories to mean something. Josefina has one of the best stories and her collection used to be so intricate and beautiful but now...barely anything. It is such a shame. That said, as a child, I only collected the dresses (we weren't rich and if I had to choose for birthday between dress or school supplies, dress always won) so I can see why Mattel phased the accessories out, but as an adult, I now want all of the accessories and the clothing is second choice.

    Kirsten's bed is the shape it is because it serves as the top tray for her trunk--it is actually very clever.

    As for clothing, I've never had an issue with new clothing on my old doll except that Molly's Dude Ranch boots don't actually fit my Molly's legs. Some of the newer boots have similar problems (but lesser because velcro gives you some play and the Dude Ranch boots zippered). As for clothing quality--older PC items relied on cottons rather than synthetics and the cottons seem to stand up to the Velcro closures better. I also liked that items had other types of fasteners from time to time--Samantha's boots actually buttoned up, Kit's sweaters have buttons, Kirsten's coat has toggles, etc.

  5. I grew up on the first five historical dolls and loved them all. I ended up with a first generation Today doll. I now have a transition Samantha and a Nellie. Nellie has a much slimmer behind than the first two dolls, and her limbs are a slight bit slimmer. As a result, her dress will go on my doll, but the velcro barely closes and raising the arms is a challenge.

    The older outfits also seem to be made of more durable, thicker fabrics. I'm looking at some of these newer outfits coming out and they just don't seem as substantial. As you mentioned with the shoes that buttoned up, by switching to Velcro, this created a terrible snagging hazard for socks and stockings. I got an outfit two months ago, just put it on, and when I was adjusting a skirt leaving the socks on, the Velcro caught. Special pink socks for that outfit only.

    Speaking of that outfit, it was one of the early Today outfits. Those early to mid 2000s are amazing, with some fantastic accessories. I am addicted to the ones with jewelry. A number of the accessories I saw on my recent visit to the AG store seemed to be made of cheap plastic. That just doesn't measure up to the wonderful accessories the dolls had fifteen years ago when I was wanting just about everything. Even the violin seems to be all plastic now, when originally, it was wood, worked and the bow had real synthetic hair. Not formed plastic.

    It's very disappointing. But that's why I've been combing eBay for the things I wanted most when I was a kid.

  6. When I make a doll dress or outfit I always try it on my PC Samantha first! It'll still fit my Mattel Kirsten or Josefina just fine, and if it's for a doll I don't have yet (Felicity, Molly and Addy), I dont have to worry "oh no I got her as a PC doll but the dress is made to fit a Mattel doll!" And it's not a big enough difference that anything will be too loose for a Mattel AG.