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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Comparison of 18” Doll Sunglasses

In my recent order from American Girl I got a pair of Tortoise Sunglasses. I mainly got them because I wanted to see what makes them cost $10 compared to the Springfield ones I can get at the craft store for around $4. Are they really twice as good????
Well, here they are side by side in their packaging. The American Girl pair does come in a cute little plastic box that does protect them in shipping. (I saved the box it will show up in one of my blogs someday as the basis of a project- I just don't know when, where or what yet) and they also come with a sunglasses case. The little case is really cute although a bit bulky but would protect the sunglasses from being scratched. The Springfield pair is just packaged in a plastic bag with a card that invites you to join their free “style Club” this packaging really offers little in the way of protection from getting broken before you get them home.

So right off the bat before you open the product the folks at American Girl has presented their sunglasses in a much more attractive way. Some people feel that if that much detail is given to packaging there must be more detail in the product. So we have to ask is this the case here?

Here are some pictures of both pair together from a couple of angles so you can kind of get a feel for both of them.

both pair, you can already see a scratch in the right lens of the white pair

look how much bulkier the white pair looks

take note of the size of the hinges and the overall shape

notice how curved the brown pair is

Now let's look at each pair separately.

The American Girl pair is definitely much more delicate, everything about them is lighter and more in scale. The hinges are nice and tiny and if you were to look at a photo of them you might mistake them for real people size sunglasses. The ear pieces are tiny and straight and there is a slight curve to the temples (that's the correct name for the arms of the glasses that hug your head) Even though the hinge is very delicate looking it feels rather sturdy for its size. The bridge is again very delicate and in scale and there are tiny little nose pads molded into the glasses. This pair has lenses with a nice tint more amber than green and seems to be nice and even. Now the on the downside, I am worried that these might be a bit fragile in the hands of a child. Since all parts are more delicate I am wondering how they would hold up to playing and being taken on and off as many times as a child might do so. On the doll these sit very nicely and look comfortable. They do have the case which would be wonderful protection if it is actually used, how many children are going to put the sunglasses back into the case after each use? I think for the adult collector or older child that is responsible these would be a wonderful addition to the 18” doll wardrobe. For a younger child I am not so sure.

 Now let's look at that $4 pair from the craft store. I do see these at the larger Joann's that I shop at and also at Michael's and both of these stores often have coupons to bring the price down even more. Looking at this pair they are not as pretty, they are bulkier and much less in scale. The temples are really large with very little in the way of a curve and don't fit the doll as well as the other pair. The hinges look to be as big as the hinges on my real sunglasses so that too is way out of scale for the size of the doll. The bridge is much bigger in comparison to the lenses but since this is a point that real glasses tend to break I am thinking this might not be all bad. They also have the nose pads molded on but not they again are largers. This pair has pink lenses and there is a bubble visible in the coating and they are already scratched just from the handling I did to them taking the pictures for this blog post. On the doll this pair sticks out a bit in front of the face so the fit is not as nice as the American Girl pair. I am not sure if these would stay on the doll as well during play either. Since this pair is so much cheaper (especially with those coupons) I think for a child that doesn't take as good of care of their dolls or for just occasional use this pair might be preferable. They really are cute and even though they have some flaws I am glad I got them.

So in the end, I think the real American Girl pair is much nicer but are they really that much nicer. I mean that is a $6 difference (more if you have a coupon for the craft store ones) so you could buy at least another pair or another accessory with the money saved. You will have to decide which pair your dolls need to get but for now my girls are just going to have share both pair!

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