Mia Heatherly | Create Your Own American Girl Doll
I DID THE THING AND I HAVE ZERO REGRETS!
My first Create Your Own doll!
When word first leaked about American Girl’s proposed custom doll line, I was crazy excited, but also cautiously optimistic. During that time, AG’s cost-cutting measures and decrease in quality seemed to be the new norm, so it was hard to imagine what the “premium” custom doll experience would actually be like. Reversing their decision on permapanties gave me some hope, and I decided that if their options were robust enough to let me create a much closer mini me than Arista, I’d give it a shot.
Don’t get me wrong, I love how Arista turned out – especially for being my very first attempt at customizing dolls – but there have always been things about her that I wished I could tweak and make her look more like a true mini me. When Tenney’s light brown eyes appeared, I seriously considered trying to swap Arista’s eyes, and I’ve often thought about giving her boil perm curls. In the end, I was too afraid I’d mess her up.
When the Create Your Own doll generator was released, I was floored by just how close I was able to get to my own features – same light brown eyes, same hair color, even my exact same hairstyle!
My Mini Me’s
The preview image of my Create Your Own (CYO) mini me was different enough from Arista that I decided to go ahead and order her. If she had been pretty similar, I probably would’ve focused on making my second choice – an AG version of Megan Ryder from Magic Attic Club.
“I’m here and I brought coffee- er, hot chocolate!”
I ordered my CYO on release day – August 8th, 2017 – towards the end of the day. Thankfully, nothing I wanted had been backordered yet (I think at the time it was just the Jess mold and hazel eyes).
CREATE YOUR OWN MAKEUP:
Face Shape: B / Josefina in Light Vinyl
Eye Color: Light Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Haircut: Medium Curly with Bangs
I went with the “Let’s Create” outfit (mostly for the adorable cat shoes) and the “Let’s Smile” accessories (because I LIVE on coffee during the work week and the purse and necklace are pretty cute). I also got her ears pierced and selected tortoise shell sunglasses. I didn’t have a name for her at the time, but now that she’s arrived, I don’t actually see anything that notes the name, hobby, location, or pet that I chose during the creation process. Overall, the only part of the process that I found really confusing was the Create Your Own shirt section. I thought you designed the shirt and ordered it along with your doll, but you actually get the code for the free shirt (with free standard shipping) after your doll arrives.
I checked my account religiously over the following weeks to see if any estimated ship date had been added, but my order remained listed as “In Progress” up until it shipped. I did get an email notice that she had been shipped, and she arrived a few days later – a couple of days ahead of schedule!
“‘Sup, MTV? Welcome to my box!”
My CYO doll came in a larger-than-normal shipping box and had a cardboard sleeve on top to keep her from jostling around. The red and hot pink keepsake box was under that, in a large plastic bag. Inside the keepsake box, the doll was well-protected, with plastic covering her limbs and even a circle of foam to protect her forehead.
Her limbs are nice and tight and she has the same thick fabric torso as the older style dolls (the color does look a little brighter, though, so I’m not sure if it’s the exact same fabric). Her lip paint is a tiny bit lighter than Arista’s, but I’m pretty sure she has the same face shape or very close to it. Her wig also seems to be pretty good quality – silky and easy to brush. My doll’s eyebrows are ever-so-slightly shifted left, but not quite as bad as my Cécile’s had been.
Cat Shoes!!! :3
I’m so happy I got the “Let’s Create” outfit! Just look at these shoes! I also like the fact that the top, skirt, and leggings are all separate pieces that I can incorporate into other mix ‘n’ match outfits. I absolutely love the donut print, too – just too cute!
Here’s a close-up of her accessories. I really love the purse – it holds its shape well and it’s roomy enough to fit the pen and notebook (though the notebook is a little wider than the purse). The hot cocoa is my favorite part. I forgot to take a picture of it, but you can actually open the lid and see a heart swirled into the drink inside.
Mini Me and Mini Darcy
I thought about calling my new mini me “Marina” or “Cypriana,” which are two of my middle names, but neither were quite right. I definitely didn’t want to take Arista’s name, either. And then it hit me – “Mia”! It’s a name I’ve been wanting to use for a custom for awhile now (being the Princess Diaries fangirl that I am) and it sounds similar to “me” haha. I thought about making her Arista’s older sister and having both have the last name “Micallef,” but I decided to give her a last name similar to my maiden name and make the two cousins – both being half Maltese.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Create Your Own doll line. It was fun to design a custom doll and not have to worry about swapping her eyes or removing and gluing a new wig! They’re pricey enough that I definitely wouldn’t do this all the time, but for customs requiring harder-to-find parts, I think it’s well worth it. I’m excited to see photos of more CYO dolls appear!