Friday, January 8, 2016

Review: Grace's Bistro Set (American Girl)

Every year American girl puts out a new "Girl of the Year", a limited one-year doll with a number of tie-in books and accessories.  Some of these sell out before the year is over, but the ones that don't usually go on sale.  I happened to be wandering through the American Girl Place Houston shop in December, and came across the 2015 doll's bistro set at a 30% discount.  Given my great love for doll chairs, it ended up coming home with me.
Grace's Bistro Set

The set is packed in a purple carboard box that's branded with both the American Girl and Girl of the Year logos.

The box.
Inside, the items are protected by two wedges of styrofoam.

Opening the lid...
Each item is individually wrapped in plastic, and the smaller items are double bagged together.


Some of the items contain warnings like this one:
Just in case you wanted to eat the plastic croissant, don't do it!


The set contains 14 items: a table, chair, seat cushion, menu board, menu stickers, menu, Eiffel Tower-shaped menu holder, plate, cloth table napkin, a bottle, a glass, plastic berries, a plastic croissant, and a plastic wedge of brie cheese.

The plate.
The menu
The quality of each item varies, with the metal frames of the chair and table leading the pack, while the flimsy plastic of the sign is significantly less impressive (although that surely kept the price down).

Surprisingly, the scale of the items varies as well: the berries are enormous relative to the size of the other food items, and the height of the table and chair aren't quite in line with each other.  In fact, the chair is significantly smaller than other AG chairs I own.

Grace's chair is dwarfed by Felicity's.
In fact, I actually thought that full-size AGs look a little oversized when sitting in it:

Cécile feels like a giant here.
At the same time though, the table seems like the right height for the size:
Standing with the table.
Now that's not a huge complaint against the set: I doubt that kids would be turned off by it, and for collectors, if you collect a variety of doll types you'll probably have other dolls who can use the chair, but I do think it's something that's worth noting for the AG-purists out there.

As for how other dolls fit with the items, let's take a look!

Hearts for Hearts Surjan is a little short for the table.
But she fits the chair perfectly.
Sasha Caleb is a good height for the table, but is a little too long legged for the chair.
.
.
MSD range dolls, like Lumedoll Atik here, are a little too tall
for the table.

SDC Miko is both a good height for the chair and can hold the glass in hand.
The glass is more in scale with his hands than with the bigger AG ones.
SD+ sized dolls like SDGou Claude here, are too large
for the furniture.
But they have the right size hands for some of the food items.
Overall, I have to say I'm very pleased with the set. Giant berries aside, I think it's a great piece for both play and display purposes, and I'm pleased to have had the chance to pick it up (especially at a discount!).
I don't own the full-sized Grace doll, but I think my mini Grace is looking
forward to eating that giant cheese, don't you?
ETA: Xanadu asked how these pieces would look with a YoSD-range doll, so to answer that question I took a couple of photos of Island Doll Kevin with the set (apologies for the lighting, in the interests of saving time I used my phone for these two):

The table is slightly higher than the top of his neck.
Seated all the way back, his feet just overhang the edge.


26 comments:

  1. Thanks for your review on this. I had heard a few people mention using American Girl furniture for their MSD sized dolls so I was glad you displayed this with a few sizes.

    And you know, that croissant looks awfully tasty (and realistic). I love your comment under that photo.

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    1. Heh, what I love is that the cheese and berries didn't have the same warning, so they must have known that the croissant was the only one that someone might look at it and thing "This might taste good...". ;)

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  2. I don't know why, but I'm a sucker for bistro sets. Great review! The photos of the different dolls trying out the table and chair are very helpful.

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    1. I feel the same way about bistro sets - I think it's because I enjoy sitting with a cup of coffee watching the world go by, so why shouldn't my dolls get to do the same thing? ;)

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  3. Lovely set JS, you seem to have the knack for catching a bargain! How tall is your SDC Miko? I like that you have put several different dolls up against the table etc, but I would love to see how a YOSD or an IH KID would go in comparison. Still I can't have everything. :)
    Hugs,
    X

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    1. The SDCs are the more mature version of MSDs so they're more or less the same size - just a little bulkier and 44cm rather than 43 for the boys.

      The Yo comparison is a good idea, so I took some extra photos and added them to the post. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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  4. Nice review! It seems to be that most of the AG items seem a bit too small to look realistic (especially the newer stuff) but it's really cool to see other dolls next to it. Felicity's chair seems so well made!

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    1. Felicity's chair is one of my favourites too - it was retired in 2008 (a few years before the doll herself), but this one in particular was from 1992 (it used to belong to my sister).

      After it came to me, the BJDs took it over immediately. :)

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  5. Lovely to see a review of these items - most aren't seen here in the UK due to the expense of shipping them, but they are fun and it was interesting to see how the sizes varied. A fun set!

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    1. It really is a fun set!

      Maybe one of these days AG will expand into the UK - they've recently moved into Canada and Mexico, so if those shops succeed, the overseas market must be next, right?

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  6. Hi JSarie! I really enjoyed reading your review of this 'Parisian Café Terrasse' set.
    If only American Girl dolls company could read it and make some adjustments.
    Keep having fun!

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  7. This set is just too cute, and loved all of the little details! Thanks for the review :3

    I also tagged you on the Liebster Award: http://bit.ly/MLiebsterAward

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    1. Thanks! I love those question tags, so I'll look forward to it! :)

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  8. I can never have enough doll chairs. Thank you for this review, although I don't know if any of my girls would work with the chair. I imagine the table was cheaper to make than the chair, which was why they made it closer to size.

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    1. I feel the same way about doll chairs - other furniture I can take or leave, but extra seating is always something I can make room for. :)

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  9. Great review! This is a charming set :-).

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  10. A very good review JS, but I particularly love the wooden chair, it's super.
    It's good to see the MSD sized dolls with the AG furniture, they work quite well with some of the pieces.
    And I'm so glad that you didn't eat that croissant!!!!

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    1. Heh, it's a good thing they included that warning. Otherwise who knows what might have happened! ;)

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  11. Great find! The bistro set is too cute.

    It looks like Mattel said sized each piece for maximum adorableness rather than for mutual compatibility.

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    1. Heh, "maximum adorableness" sounds like a fair enough explanation for the giant berries, doesn't it? ;)

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  12. An adorable set with some quality details. Congrats!

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  13. I d share your love for doll chairs and this one is so elegant I can easily imagine your dolls sitting in the garden next summer!

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    1. Yes, we'll need to have a garden party, won't we? :)

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