My getting Ashlyn is a bit of an interesting story. I agonized for days over which doll to buy, since I could only get one. I was disappointed when the Wellie Wishers didn't go live right at midnight Thursday morning, considering that's also midnight AG time. But I followed up on my secondary theory, that they'd go live midnight Pacific and I was right.
I skimmed down the page, gleefully looking at all the things I didn't want. Yay. My final wishlist for this particular release is all 5 dolls, Emerson's ballet costume and Camille's Ocean Treasures set.
|This is the only place you'll see the tiara.|
And how cute is that butterfly doll carrier?!
So then the debating began.
If I wanted Emerson's ballet outfit, I should get that with her, but did I want to spend that much right away? Also, that tutu is kinda short and I'd love to see someone else's owner pics first. Although who are we really kidding, it's GRAY and purple and that's really enough to get me to buy it.
Second consideration: if I only wanted the ocean set, I should get that and Camille. I put the ocean set in my cart and then stuck Ashlyn in there because I was on her page and wanted to see the $5 come off in the cart. It did. So I went back to Camille's page and was going to debate whether I had firmly decided on her or not. And her add to bag button had turned from pink to gray. I was surprised she of all dolls had sold out so quickly. I poked at Emerson and she was still there, then I tried to go back to the main sales page and it took me back to "arriving in just 0 day" page. I freaked, thinking either they were selling like hotcakes or the site was crashing. I noticed I still had my bag, so I quickly deleted the ocean accessories and zipped through checkout with Ashlyn.
Then after checkout, the website was fine.
Apparently fate decreed Ashlyn was for me and so she was.
|The torso is hard plastic, the rest is vinyl.|
Deboxing was a snap. She's only held down by the rubberband around her feet and one of those white thicker paper ties around her neck, not elastic like the AGs. Her hairnet came right off and she was good to go.
Ashlyn is 14.5" tall. She's a nice height. Her torso is made of hard plastic, but her limbs and head are all vinyl. For the $60 price tag, a vinyl torso would really have been nice. Her poseability range isn't that great. She sits with her legs splayed. Unlike AGs, they can't be brought together more. Her arms swing out a little to the sides, but not much. Her eyes are inset with painted lashes. Her wig is soft and smooth, but thin. Think Julie's hair if you have her. I'm honestly okay with all of these things though, because they're not inappropriate for a doll that's intended for younger children and the entire line encourages outdoor play. Dragging a cloth body doll around outside when you're 5 is going to not be good for that poor doll.
Bear in mind that Ashlyn does photograph orange. She's a warm brown, not orange, in person.
Those gold glitter Mary Janes though? Prepare for glitter shed.
Ashlyn is the character that got the most outfit changes from leaked photos to final product.
|Final vs. leaked|
Starting at the top, the tiara got the worst change. You'll have to skim back up to the boxed pic to see it, because I didn't even take it out of the bag. They added a giant ugly faux diamond at the top and it makes the entire piece look dollar store cheap. Something like that has no business on a $60 doll.
Her shirt went from textured to patterned, though the ribbons got better. The skirt seems a bit more pink, but otherwise looks the same. The wellies went from patterned all over, which I liked more, to just a little lace print near the tops. I do like the shade of pink used for them though, so I'm a bit torn on this change.
Overall, her outfit used to look far more luxurious than the final version, but the final is still cute. I thought I was going to change her right out of it, but it actually won me over.
|Ashlyn and Hearts for Hearts Girls Surjan|
Some HFHG pieces do work for these girls. I tried 3 pairs of pants and they didn't fit, but both skirts I tried did work. All the shoes I tried (flats, flipflops and Dell's stock shoes) did fit, although you can see the lines of the toes in the flats. Any shirt with fitted sleeves will not work and any with a slimmer cut will not velcro closed. I tried Consuelo's stock from both her regular doll and her deluxe doll and neither fit Ashlyn properly. The white tee I had from one of the random fashion packs did fit though. It was a little short, but it worked. So there is some clothes-sharing possible.
Here's Ashlyn wearing her own shirt, deluxe Consuelo's skirt and sandals she borrowed from Surjan.
|Global Friends Mariko and Ashlyn|
I didn't want to undress one of my Global girls, since most of them are in complicated outfits, but the bodies are definitely comparable. The heights clearly are, as you can see here. Hats are a bit tricky though, because you can see how much bigger Ashlyn's head is.
|Ashlyn wearing a Global Friends fashion|
Since Ashlyn is the character into princesses, I had to put her in Gretchen's princess dress.
So Global Friends clothing can increase the size of your Wellie Wishers wardrobe, something people might want to look into, because AG only released Ashlyn's princess dress, Emerson's dance outfit and the pajamas so far. The separate outfits can be harder to find, but the dolls themselves turn up for reasonable prices fairly often. Mariko's kimono would look really cute on Emerson!
|Rebecca and Ashlyn|
I think the Wellie Wishers are a nice addition to American Girl's doll lineup. They're definitely not the quality level of the 18" dolls, but they're also $55 cheaper. I think they're perfect for little girls who are younger and more active, who might play a bit too hard for one of the bigger dolls. They're a good starter doll that would be easy to clean up.
I do think the $60 price is a bit high. For $25, you can have a Hearts for Hearts Girl, assuming they're going to be the same price when they come back out. I think HFHG are actually better quality than these and you get way more than $25 worth of doll. However, American Girl has been around for enough years to be able to charge more just because they're American Girl. Frankly, I'd go with HFHG over these, but they work pretty well for young girls who are into AG, but aren't ready for one of the more expensive dolls yet. I'm looking forward to seeing more from the line, including the cartoons and books. And I will definitely be getting the other girls. I may prefer HFHG, but remember, that's one of my favorites ever, so that by no means says I don't like these!
PHOTO CREDITS: All mine, except the leaked image, which I combined with mine.