Hey everyone! I’m “Pearl.” And I’m “Lee.” And together we are Lee & Pearl. And we have a pattern publishing company — Lee &Pearl. And we also have a website, and we have a newsletter, where we send out all kinds of information about 18″ doll crafts and tutorials and patterns, and sometimes FREE patterns. What we’re trying to say is that we’re a company that makes things for 18″dolls, and we love 18″ dolls, and what we’re doing here is we’re reviewing the — let me get it right — Lea Clark 2016 American Girl Girl of the Year collection. But in this video, we’re going to get technical about some of the issues having to do with the fit of the hiking outfit. This is the Lea Rainforest Hike Outfit and the Lea Rainforest Accessories. And we have some issues with how the pants fit and so we’re going to be referencing our patterns and discussing design issues with regard to pants patterns for 18″ dolls. Sol let’s get started. This is a review again of Lea Clark’s Rainforest Hike Outfit and Rainforest Hike Accessories. So we’re going to start with the Rainforest Hike Outfit, which our Lea is already wearing, and it comes with six pieces, which are the hiking boots … which are these pink and green and tan, very realistic
looking hiking boots, with green elastics. Thumbs up on the boots — we love the boots. We’re going to talk about the pants later, but it comes with these capri length cargo pants. It comes with this little, green, nylon webbing belt — actually two different greens, in stripes — and then also this bright, kelly green, side release plastic buckle, which really works. And it comes with this white T-shirt, with cap sleeves. It fastens in the back with velcro. And that has a printed-on pattern that’s made to look like a painted-on pattern, of a water color butterfly. This kind of over-sized tropical graphic is really on trend this year. This is a really nice design. We like the T-shirt. And the last piece is this yellow headband… wait, that’s not the last piece. It’s just a piece of elastic with a knot in it, but it matches the T-shirt. It means you don’t have to go out and find a yellow piece of elastic and tie a knot in it, so… that’s nice. The last piece — the wristwatch! Lea Clark has a bright pink plastic wristwatch with a yellow-green buckle. This is my least favorite piece — and it could have been my most favorite. Mmm. I actually kind of like it. I’m going to differ a little from Lee here… I think it’s cute. I know it’s not super-realistic — It’s the sticker. The fact that the face of the wristwatch
has a sticker on it and it’s curved. Wristwatches can’t be curved because then the hands wouldn’t go around. That’s is a little bit of an issue, I agree… It’s not the most realistic looking piece. But it really does strap onto her instead of fastening with elastic or something. I like that it has a real buckle. It does look sort of like a Swatch… So those are the six pieces, and I guess we both agree that our favorite piece of this whole set is… the boots. The boots are beautiful. I don’t mind that instead of laces, they have these green elastic cords. It’s a lot easier to take them on and off. And not only that… a lot of kids’ hiking boots and shoes these days don’t fasten with laces that you tie… They fasten with straps, they fasten with velcro, they fasten with ratcheting buckles, and they do fasten with elastic. And you won’t be constantly getting your kid coming up and saying, “Can you tie my shoes?” Otherwise the design of the boot is really great. We love the wrap-around sole. American Girl has gotten really good at making realistic-looking soles. They’re super cute. We also like about the boots that they don’t perfectly match the outfit. We like when some elements of an outfit look like the girl doesn’t have a closet full of six perfectly matched outfits with every piece perfectly matched. You don’t travel to Brazil with a separate hiking boot to match every T-shirt. You have one pair of boots, and a couple of T-shirts. So we like that the boots look like real boots, the pants look like real pants, the T-shirt looks like real T-shirts… that this whole outfit looks real. Like a real ten year-old might really have it in her closet. So… let’s talk about the pants. This is a technical issue that plagues American Girl pants… They look great when she’s standing but when she sits… oh, no! The pants are falling off her b*tt. This is a problem w ith American Girl dolls as they’re only jointed at the hip. So when they sit down, the leg moves… … but the rear end does not move with it, the way it does with people. So the pants have to both stretch out to fit the leg… … and remain stationary on the rear end. And that’s not physically possible. So when an American Girl sits down, the waistband gets pulled down. Now if the pants are made out of stretch material or are very loose — and a lot of times, people who make pants for American Girls … they’ll add gathering, and elastic in the back, so you’ve got extra fabric. And that works. But it does kind of look like a diaper… so I can understand American Girl not wanting to do that. But you CAN fix this problem — and we fixed it. And we’re going to show you what a pants pattern looks like which doesn’t have this gapping issue. So, these are our shorts. And these are from our Bonjour, Paris Pattern, which is Pattern 1033. And we’ve used a special waistband… … it’s a curved waistband, that curves up in back. So when she sits down, there’s a little extra fabric in there, and it kind of hugs onto her back. So instead of adding the extra fabric down here, where it gives you diaper b*tt, we’ve added it up here and the shorts fit better. So you can make shorts that fit, but unfortunately, American Girl doesn’t. So, this whole outfit. What do we think of it? I love the style of it, so maybe a B… B+? A for effort? But maybe a B+ for the pants. We wish the pants were just a little bit better. Another thing about this outfit is if you sew… … this is an outfit you can really replicate. Moving on, we’re going to talk next about Lea’s Rainforest Hike Accessories. Which is seven things… Shall we start with the thing I didn’t like the most and just get it out of the way? Which is these guys — these are your fruit snacks. These are way over-scaled. They’re too big. Look at this: that’s the fruit snack that ate Japan. It’s huge. It covers her entire face. I love American Girl food and I appreciate that they’ve included a playable food in the set, but you can make your own fruit snack that is a much better scale. And we’ve got a tutorial — a YouTube tutorial. If you look at our Halloween candy tutorial on making “fun size” candy bars… … you can do the same thing to make your own, perfectly scaled, fruit snacks. You know, I saw these in the store and I thought some kid had left their fruit snacks with the set. I had no idea they belonged with the set until I bought it and got it home. Moving on… let’s go to our favorite piece. This is not just a backpack — it’s a Camelbak backpack. and when I got into the storage area for
us when I went there was a little girl When I got into the store on January 1st, there was a little girl who was standing under the display just pointing at it — and you could hear her across the store going, “It’s a Camelbak, just like mine!” For ten minutes. It was awesome. That was exactly what they were going for. There isn’t actually a water bladder in there. But there’s a tube, and a bite valve, and it’s SO cute. And here’s another piece — this is a “Butterflies of the Amazon” brochure. And you can tuck that in there… … in the water proof map pouch. And here’s something to hold. A fake spray bottle of bug spray. And it’s got padded straps which go over her shoulders, and a hip belt with a side-release buckle. And pink elastic holding loops. And here’s something to hold. A fake spray bottle of bug spray. And it’ll go in those little plastic loops… there it is! So why don’t you put that on the doll? I’ll talk while you put it on. One of the things I really like about this is that dolls can use it for all sorts of adventures. It’d be great on the bicycle, if you have the bicycle. You should have water if you go bicycling. Or she can go rock climbing. It sits really close to the body so it would be good for rock climbing. It’s just a really realistic-looking piece. And “click” — we’re on! There she is, ready to hike. You can see just how nicely it fits on the doll. It’s really cute. That’s a great piece. But the set isn’t done. There are two other really strong pieces. There’s this marvelous walking stick. That’s a painted walking stick. It looks like it’s wood, but it’s not — it’s hard plastic. And it’s quite sturdy. And it’s got a strap so the doll can actually hold it. Though interestingly, she can’t put it down on the ground. It doesn’t actually reach the ground when the doll’s holding it. So it’s for going up very high hills. And the last piece is a set of binoculars. And I love these because they’re black. They’re not purple, or teal. They have no glitter. They look like real binoculars. You can look through them, though they don’t magnify. Now, I have seen binoculars very similar to these sold in dollar stores… At Michaels, I think, I got a bag of them for a very inexpensive price. But they didn’t come with the two little straps, so to get a doll to hold them, you have to take a rubber band… … and kind of wrap it around. But this has actual straps — one on each side. She can hold it in either hand. But it’s either one hand or the other. I tried putting it on both hands, but it just — But there it is! And that is very cute, very realistic looking. I would give the Accessories… I’m going to give them an A+. I like them. What do you think? Yeah. I mean, I want to dock them for these. But on the other hand — three strong pieces. I’m going to go A+ . I think this is my favorite set in the collection. We would get this set even if we weren’t going to review it. Yeah, I would get this set even if I weren’t going to get THIS doll. This is a nice set. Well, that was our review of Lea Clark’s Rainforest Hike Outfit and Rainforest Hike Accessories. Be sure to subscribe to our channel and give us a thumbs up if you enjoyed this review. And check out the other reviews that we
have already posted and we’re going to be posting this week of the entire Lea Clark collection. And if you like 18″doll stuff, come over to our website at www.leeandpearl.com, and sign up for our newsletter. We’ll send you a newsletter every month full of tutorials, crafts, free patterns, pattern announcements… … and any other news of interest to people who love 18″ dolls. Bye-bye!