American Girl, Doll Blogging, Ice Cream Truck, Lea Clark, Our Generation
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Our Generation Ice Cream Truck

My husband, Forehead, and I left town for Christmas.  We weren’t gone long–barely even two full days–but it was long enough for something bad to happen.  On the day we headed back home, it had begun to rain and continued to do so all day and into the night.  When we got back, there was a massive leak in the ceiling in the doll room, and I shrieked for my husband to come help me move everything out of the way.  He came crashing down the stairs because he thought I was having another heart attack, but it was much worse than that–both of my big ticket items were sitting right under that leak.  (Grace’s French Bakery and Caroline’s Parlor.)  The Parlor didn’t get any water damage but the Bakery did, and I was so crushed that after everything had been moved and the water mopped up I just slumped over in the floor and cried.  The damage to the Bakery was very slight and it could have been a LOT worse–you really can’t see it unless you know where to look–but still.  After all that time saving for it, selling extra items to finance it, and waiting anxiously for it to arrive–only to have this happen.  It really hurt.  Oh crumbs, it did.

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As you can clearly see, something has gone quite badly wrong here.  No, I’m not including pictures of the bakery damage because even with as slight as it is, it’s still very depressing and part of me is hoping that if I ignore it long enough it will disappear.

My husband has many faults (and he’ll be the first to admit it) but he has always been supportive of my doll hobby (even though he doesn’t get it), and I was touched with how angry he got on my behalf.  He may groan and snarl about my things whenever he has to move them, but that evening after he’d calmed me down he called our landlady and ripped her up one side and down the other–we’d had another leak in the living room and a piece of ceiling threatening to come down since April that no one had even come to look at until October and nothing had ever been done, and now this.  Apparently the landlady’s husband (who had come in October) had never told her about the living room leak.  She ended up filing a claim with her insurance company to have the roof completely replaced, but all the roofers in our area are booked up nearly two months out–we’ve had the heaviest rainfall on record for 2015.  So the doll room is a mess and a disaster, with things piled up and the big pieces sitting in our master bedroom until the roof is fixed.

So with this latest annoyance, I needed something to pick up my spirits.  Finding the OG Ice Cream Truck at my local Target didn’t come close to fixing everything, but it was a start.  I brought it home and, with a wary look at the ceiling, put it in the floor where the big items had been to take pictures (it’s the only place where I had enough space to do so).

My Target only received three of the trucks.  The first one they pulled for me was damaged, with a crack in the front windscreen, so I got the second one.  The third one had already been sold.  None of them had a chance to hit the floor.  Please check their website for availability, because I really do like this piece and think it has fantastic play value, especially for all the little pieces and odds and ends that come with it.

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Behold!

So yes: if you buy this, CHECK THAT THING FOR DAMAGE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE!  I found several scratches and scrapes that removed paint and/or left scuffs on mine, but it doesn’t bother me enough to return it.  Neither of the two that I got to see came up to Guest Services in its shipper.

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The brake lights come on, ice cream music plays, headlamps light up, the wipers work and when you turn the wheel the appropriate turn signal comes on (just like it does in the OG roadster…which I still need to finish detail work on…oops).

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Many pieces.  Many treats.  The ice creams come out of the little holders.  I plan to get some of those chalk pens like they use at pubs to name the truck “Kanani’s Kanteen”.  I think that will give me a better color payoff than the three chalk colors included with the truck–but at least they provided some.

004.JPGThe other side has a sliding plastic window, and the top of the roof comes off and folds down to create a patio area.  Isn’t it cute?  The body style looks like something right out of a Pixar film.

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The back doors do not open–it’s just for looks.  I like the detail of the vent though.

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I decided to make this truck part of Kanani’s collection because there is no way I’m buying that shaved ice stand, especially if high dollar items are just going to get damaged anyway at my house.  This could work for Kanani, it could work for Lea, and Jess, and even Maryellen with its bright turquoise-like blue.

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For sheer quantity of play pieces it can’t be beat.  There is a LOT of stuff.  According to the little booklet that came with it, this set has 127 pieces total.  There’s not even enough room in the truck to display every sweet–some of it has to go in drawers/storage areas because there simply isn’t enough room for it all.  The quality of the food is varied, but on a scale of 1 (my half assed attempts at sugar cookies) to 10 (Pippaloo) I would average the sweet treats with this set to be in the 5-6 range.  Some items look better than others, which we will see here in a bit.  Is it museum, collector quality?  No.  But I think it would be fine for target aged imaginative play (and it’s not the end of the world if something gets lost, either).

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An important note–when I finally got the truck home, I thought the wipers didn’t work.  I pressed the button and…nothing.  I was pretty annoyed but then a friend (who had already bought one) clued me in that there is a switch on the underside of the truck, and you need to move this switch from “try me” to “play” (I guess to preserve battery).  After you do this, the wipers will work and the music will play longer cuts.

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The patio area, with the roof folded over.  You can see, lying on the floor next to the truck, the stuff I didn’t have room for on the counters.

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Plenty of storage area under the ice cream.  The shelf with the popsicles is slanted so that they are tilted toward you for easy access.

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The shelf over the patio portion.  If you were wanting just the bell from Maryellen’s Diner and don’t care if it really works, fret not.  You can get a silver plastic bell here.  It’s not shiny and it doesn’t ding, but for appearance’s sake it’s fine.  Sprinkles, straws (the jar does not open) and napkins.  Some of these items will be quite similar to those packaged with the OG diner, and if you have both you can easily swap between the two.

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Kanani examines her new truck.

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At this point I remember that I own Samantha’s Scenes and Settings.  In my defense, during the initial excitement of the Great Ceiling Calamity it got tossed in a closet.

Maryellen comes to check things out and order a banana split.  (I am pretty sure you also get one of these with the diner.)

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Lea comes to chillax on the patio.  This doll has some gorgeous hair, but since AG legs don’t bend sitting her in this chair took some doing.  I still think that her skirt is kind of helping to hold her in place.

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I know the sloth’s name is Amanda in the books but for some reason I just can’t get behind that name for this sloth.  I can’t think of a better one either.

Even Lea’s sloth gets in on the action.  He can easily hang from different places on the truck.

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Aya comes for an ice cream.  The larger cones are a bit tricky to place in the doll’s hands, and I would recommend getting some of those clear Goody plastic hair bands to help the dolls hold items.

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Different storage areas/refrigerated areas under the fryer.  One door has a clear panel to see through, the other two do not.  I’m not sure what to do with the two clusters of green ice, so I just threw them in there.

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This is an example of some of the slight damage that my truck had…

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And that was the worst spot.  I am sure they were in shippers from the factories to here, but this arrived with a bit more scrapes and scratches than I would like.  This one in particular can be easily fixed with a sharpie–but if you decide to buy one, be aware and check it out thoroughly.

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Three cups can be stored and retrieved from the cup dispenser in the corner.  When the roof/patio area is up, it makes it a bit difficult to get the fryer out but it can be done.

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Lea opens the sliding door, up to no good I’m certain…

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…and standing in the doorway of the truck.

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A closer examination of the treats.  These ice cream cones with the cherries on top look familiar, and I’m sure I’ve seen them in another OG set but I can’t remember which one.  These look a bit on the lower side of the scale to me, like a 5 or a high 4.

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Chocolate, vanilla, and half and half soft serve.  I think these look a bit more realistic than the larger cones.

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Even though you can see the seams on the pink ones I’m happy there is plenty of shaved ice and a holder for them.  These will definitely be used by Kanani.

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I think the speckled looking popsicles look a bit more realistic than the two toned solid colors.  There are 15 of them in total.

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Simple parfaits, one of each in chocolate, strawberry and caramel with the bottles to match.

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I was most disappointed by these twin pops.  There are wrinkles and creases in the plastic when it was molded, and it’s hard to tell here but the tip of one of the orange popsicles looks like it has a smudged fingerprint.  However, with all the rest of the sweets this truck comes with, I can overlook three misses.

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If the chocolate paint hadn’t gotten on the handle of one of these, I would be pretty pleased.  Even though the seams are visible, I like these sweets.

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Only one of each of these ice cream sandwiches.

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Doughnuts–the paint from the yellow sprinkles has smudged on one, but I still think these are okay.  I’m a bit more forgiving with OG food…

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But even I have my limits.  These aren’t as bad IMO as the twin pops but not by much.  The seams, the bright, garish colors, and they just look sloppy.

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Four cups but only one helping of purple soft serve.  I wish they had included other colors.

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Another great addition for this to be Kanani’s shaved ice truck.  Who needs a stand when you have a food truck?

 

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I like the general appearance of these pretzels but the white painted salt smears and throws me off.

 

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You’ll recognize these if you own that diner.

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Three different kinds of ice cream scoops with topping.

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No salt and pepper here (like with the diner) but you do get different kinds of sprinkles.  The lids do not open.

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Kanani behind the wheel of her Kanteen.  This is also a problem because the doll’s legs don’t bend.  It was pretty frustrating for me to try and arrange her in a position in the driver’s seat, then rush to take a picture before she fell over.  You kind of have to prop the doll up against the seat and brace her feet against the pedals.  If you can keep everything perfectly still, it’s not a big deal, but if you try to move the truck with her “sitting” like that she’s going to fall over.  I can see this being a problem that resulted from the size constraints of the truck itself.

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Ready to roll!

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Four plastic food trays are included, but you will have to supply any table for them to sit on.  A DIY Grace Bistro Table would work just fine, as shown here at American Girl Ideas.  Make things easy on yourself and just paint it a flat color and skip the marbling.

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If you are like me, you will probably just want to toss everything in the nearest bin when it’s not out for play/display.  The bottom shelf here is deep enough to hold most of the little bits and pieces–I had to stick a few items in the drawers but not very many.

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There is room for two dolls to stand back to back and work both sides of the truck.

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…and of course, there is always room for the sloth.

I love the lines and body style of this truck.  The wheels do roll, and while it does take up space it’s pretty tall and relatively narrow.  I would be interested in outfitting this truck entirely in Pippaloo foods eventually.  For the target market it can’t be beat–I could see kids getting a lot of use out of this set, and I’m excited to use this to give Kanani something for her collection.  I didn’t buy her the year she was available, and I don’t want her items badly enough to pay secondary market prices.  This, however, is a great piece.  If you get a chance to check it out in your store, do it!

In my previous post, I mentioned how purchasing Maplelea items is the same with the devalued Canadian dollar as it is ordering from Amazon.  I played around with some more test carts and saw that you can still actually save, even paying out the teeth for shipping; and a lot of Maplelea items are sold out/fixing to sell out on Amazon.  Saila is not available on Amazon as of this writing and they have no date as to when she will be back.  So while it may drive me bonkers paying those shipping costs (something our Canadian friends have been doing with AG for quite some time) it appears you still can end up money ahead.

I am going to attempt to behave myself and refrain from placing a massive Maplelea order until I at least get paid on Friday.  Saila and some of her items will be coming here, and while I am charmed by the idea of a Quebecois doll something about Léonie’s face mold gives me pause if I look at it too much.  That girl just has too high of a forehead.  (It shouldn’t bother me, seeing as how I call my husband Forehead, but still…) In some photos on their website she looks fine, even sweet.  Others…I don’t know.  But I have been wanting Saila for quite some time, so she is definitely coming along with her tunic outfit and Amauti set.

That’s all for now.  Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

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