[Returned] Create Your Own American Girl Doll | American Girl
Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently ordered a second Create Your Own doll and she didn’t turn out quite as nicely as the first.
My first doll, Mia, only had one minor issue – uneven eyebrows. These were fairly easy to fix with a little bit of acetone-free nail polish remover and acrylic paint.
When I opened my second Create Your Own doll, I was happy to see she had even eyebrows… but her eyes were terrible.
She had two different sized eye sockets (much more so than in my first Create Your Own doll or any of my Josefina mold dolls) and her eyes were pointing in opposite directions – one of them with an additional slight downward cast:
I’m not sure if you can tell from these pictures, but in person it was pretty evident – especially when comparing her to my first Create Your Own doll. I tried to move her eyes into normal position, but they just reverted back to their original spots.
It was time to contact American Girl. I tried calling first, but I got a customer service rep who really didn’t seem to understand the issue. And I get it, when you deal with hundreds of irate customers, it’s probably hard to care what anyone has to say. I’ve read the American Girl Facebook page comments – I can only imagine what they have to put up with.
That said, I try to be the exact opposite any time I talk to a customer service rep. I’m super patient, I’m friendly, I explain the situation simply – and I did this time as well. “My doll arrived with eyes that are pointing in opposite directions and one of her eye sockets is much smaller than the other.” I even told her that this was the second “B” mold CYO doll I’d ordered and it was easy to see the difference when comparing the two.
I got the following:
“You can return it and reorder it.” (To which I replied, “Is there a way I can include a note so I don’t get one with the same face issues?”) “I haven’t seen the Create Your Own website, so I’m not sure how it works.”
“Let me check with my supervisor… So, that’s actually how the mold is designed – it makes the doll look more realistic.” (Me: “Is this a new change then? My first Create Your Own has more similarly sized eyes.”)
“That’s the way that mold is. Just choose a different mold.”
“We have someone who personally inspects all of the dolls before they’re shipped out.” (Uh huh…)
“Well, you could try sending it to the Doll Hospital and they can fix the eyes.” (Me: “They’ll change the head?”) “No, I think they’ll just fix the eyes.” (Which wouldn’t fix the eye socket issue.)
“You should just let your daughter open it for Christmas and then return it later.” (Never mentioned a daughter or Christmas, but oh well. I’m used to AG refusing to believe there are adult or even non-female collectors.)
So, after feeling like I wasted half an hour for nothing, I decided to try sarahangeline (of AGPT)’s suggestion of writing directly to the Doll Hospital. She had had success admitting her CYO doll to the hospital and was even getting updates on her doll’s status.
Unfortunately, I got the same response – even with photos showing the issues. So, I decided it was time to throw in the towel. I packed the doll up and sent her back requesting a refund – along with a note explaining that I had no interest in reordering the doll until production could be made more consistent.
I discovered something interesting as I was packing up my doll. Someone on AGPT mentioned that the CYO dolls have an embossed copyright mark at the base of the head. This doll had an etched copyright mark, which makes me wonder if they’re using regular Josefina heads to try to quickly fill orders.
I think my doll is still en route, so I’m not sure if American Girl will give me the refund I requested or will try to push for store credit.
After I posted images of my doll’s wonky eyes, agallthetime suggested it might be due to foam behind the eyes – as she discovered after removing her doll’s eyes. At first, I thought maybe that meant some kind of shaped foam to help the eyes stay in place.
Nope! Actual 3M SQUARES OF FOAM. For a $200 doll. *sigh*
At this point, unless you want a mold that American Girl doesn’t offer any other way (e.g. dark Josefina mold), I don’t really know how much of a better deal the CYO dolls are compared to building the custom yourself or even having someone else do it for you. When they’re done well, they’re fantastic! When they’re not, the only recourse you have is to return the doll and try again (and hope it’ll turn out well this time). Judging by the photos I’ve seen on Instagram, there are a lot of dolls that have somehow passed inspection when they really shouldn’t have. And there are a lot of collectors who opt to try to fix the issues themselves instead of sending the doll back. It’s ridiculous to think you have a better chance of getting a good $115 doll than you do one that costs $85 more. Twice as expensive and twice as much chance of arriving wonky.
Sorry for such a downer post. I wanted to get this out of the way before introducing my newest doll – an older doll that I bought off of eBay, and one that seems so much nicer quality-wise than the CYO I just returned. She’s so pretty, I’m really excited to have her!!
Anyway, I’m off to take photos of said new doll, so I can make a much happier post soon! (Check out my Instagram if you want to see a sneak peek!) 🙂