Tuesday, September 4, 2018

American Girl #18inchDolls Kailey's Collection: Sandy the Dog (2003) #ToyReviews! #ToyDesign #Listia #Cryptocurrency #MailCall

My Listia online auction win arrived today! I bought this item used, but it still looks virtually new!

Product: American Girl® Sandy the Dog Plush (2003)

Review: The pup is a bigger and sturdier than I expected. But this is because American Girl® made the stuffed animal with articulated joints and (according to the AG Wiki) a sound box that allowed it to bark when its front left paw is pressed. (As with most older AG toys, the only way to replace the batteries once these die is to tear the toy apart. Urgh!) As this toy is from Kailey's Collection, it was originally released in 2003 and retired in 2004, so I didn't exactly expect that the batteries inside would still be working. Overall, it's a very nice toy. Well made and of an adorable design with nice glass eyes and a hard plastic nose. AG put some effort into this.

My main gripe would be that it's no fun to get a battery-enhanced toy (or any item for that matter) that gives one no easy way to replace the battery. (By the way, this was the same gripe I made about the original iPod when I, as a Stanford Bookstore Computer Department employee and resident tech geek, was asked to give feedback on the product years ago. Stanford and Apple® have a rather incestuous relationship, if you didn't know. My Apple® ID is older than that of many current employees, as I've been told upon several occasions when I've had the need to contact tech support.) Accepting that the battery issue is a shortsighted AG design flaw, the rest of the plush is pretty awesome.

AG definitely had a desire to add authentic details to this toy to make it seem more like a real dog. For starters, the plush has a body-only endoskeleton (no head/neck articulation, but all four legs & the tail). From the feel of it through the surrounding materials, I would guess this is made of a hard plastic. An interesting concept to include in a small stuffed toy. These plastic joints fold at preset points and snap into locked positions, so that the dog can be posed in a number of ways. The result is that Fido can stand, sit, pounce, or put its tail up or down, etc., which turns out to be very cool!

The lavender AG logo bandana is actually sewn onto the pup's body at the knot in front. I don't particularly like this convention, but understand why AG chose to do it this way, which is likely the reason that 14 odd years hence, the stuffed toy dog that I purchased still has its bandana. Certainly without "permanent" attachment the bandana would likely have been the first thing that a child lost.

In spite of the locked-in battery issue and the permanent bandana (my only two gripes), this is a great dog toy! Kudos AG!

Specific to the (used) plush I purchased: The joints of the dog plush are still very firm (no wobble or looseness overall), but the left-front leg's endoskeleton-joint is detached from the body piece. As this is all inside the stuffing, you can't tell it from the outside. I only discovered it by feel. As a geeky tinkerer, I like to see exactly how things work, so I do a pretty thorough once-over. The dog can still be posed easily; however, this one leg, while still having the ability to bend and lock into place, is slightly disjointed compared to the others. The naked eye probably wouldn't catch it, the issue is slight.

Considering this 2003 released toy is 14 odd years old, it's in great shape overall! I haven't decided yet, if I want to mod the plush by jury-rigging a snap-close seam opening to allow for simple battery replacement in the future providing the sound box still works. I'll probably try it at some point. I'm a tinkerer. Even without any barking sound, I am very satisfied with my toy purchase ---which was technically free (bought using XNK cryptocurrency that I'd earned by providing feedback to a cryptocurrency exchange on the INK protocol standard). I admit having the dog still be able to bark would also be neat. Either way, this was a score for my collection! I am lucky to have found a Sandy the Dog (2003) for my first American Girl® Pet.

Now I've got to get a leash and collar so dolly can take her new pup for a walk.
AG Sandy the Dog (Image Copyright ModDoll Fun!)
American Girl® Sandy the Dog (circa 2003)

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