Here I am, six months later! Things have been hectic and time for blogging has been at an all-time low. I'm beyond excited to be back, especially considering the topic of today's post! While I bought my MCM tickets the very first day they were available I didn't know if I'd be able to go or not until the night before the event.
|I swear my heart leaped seeing this sign! It's been a dream of mine to attend this event.|
For those who don't know, American Girl donates returns and overstock to the Madison Children's Museum every year. These items are sold at the Annual American Girl Benefit Sale hosted in Middleton, WI. All proceeds go to support the work of the Madison Children's Museum and American Girl's Fund for Children. It's a fantastic way to purchase dolls, outfits, accessories, and books for a low cost!
|This year was the 31st year of the sale!|
I am from Minneapolis so the drive was exactly 4 hours for me. My entry time was at 10:45AM so I left home at 6:45- I was lucky to arrive just in time for my time slot! I spent the night before watching and reading any sale experiences posted online so I had a good idea what to expect. This year entry times also had assigned groups which allowed the process to go smoother, at least from comparing it to accounts from previous years. My group was let into the warehouse at exactly 11:00AM, so they were only running 15 minutes behind schedule! There was a sign going into the warehouse that listed all character dolls and if any were sold out. When I went in only Z and Logan were sold out.
|Z and Logan were sold out. Luckily I wasn't looking to buy any named dolls this year!|
I was amazed at the sheer amount of merchandise available and definitely was overwhelmed for the first 15 or so minutes just taking it all in. One of the things I liked best is that you could easily lift the dolls out of their boxes to inspect their limbs, faces, wig, and eyes. I enjoyed listening to the conversations around me- hearing people examining and talking about permapanties in person definitely made me laugh!
I went in knowing I wanted Melody's Bed and Bedroom Accessories (because at $45 together that was a steal!). Melody had the biggest presence at the sale. She was available for $60 at a limit of 10 on Saturday. You could also buy her Bed for $35, Bedroom Accessories for $10, Fancy Coat for $18, and Pajamas for $12. On Sunday she was available at an unlimited limit for $30, her Bed for $20, and Bedroom Accessories for $5. Most of her dolls were brand new in box and the fact that so much of her collection was available has me worried about how Melody is doing overall.
The front end of the warehouse had the Beforever dolls, furniture, outfits, books, mini dolls, accessories, and Wellie Wishers. The back end was where the Truly Me dolls, Girls of the Year, voucher table, Bitty Babies, Bitty Twins and check out area were located.
I also went to the sale knowing I wanted to pick up one Truly Me doll to bring home. While I debated between a few different girls, I ended up going home with Truly Me #42. She came in the lavender Truly Me meet outfit with pierced ears. I was lucky to find the vest and tulle skirt from the matching meet accessories in a ziploc bag for $12! It was the only set I saw so I snatched it up. All of my girls need to come home with pajamas so I also picked up the Purple Peacock PJ's for $10. I missed out on the Spring Breeze Dress when it was in stores and was happy to find it at the sale for $18. #42 has settled in nicely at home and has officially been named Margot!
|Margot grabbing some McDonald's for lunch with me.|
|Melody was the happiest when she saw what I brought home!|
Outside of the warehouse were lots of vendors. There were quite a few selling outfits and furniture for 18" dolls. My favorite was a booth that was selling food and drinks! I was a huge fan of the Unicorn Frappucino from Starbucks and when I saw they were selling ones for dolls I knew Margot would need one. There was also some vendors 'for adults' such as Lularoe, Tupperware and Young Living. There was also a silent auction tent that had some amazing retired sets. I didn't have a ton of money for this year so I didn't bid on anything.
I did take advantage of the Dolly Day Care service offered at the sale when I went back in for a second time. I dropped off Margot and was given a loom bracelet to wear that matched one they put on her. When I picked her up they matched our bracelets which is how they knew she was mine. It was a free service and I loved seeing how they set her up on a chaise lounge with headphones on while I shopped. She certainly had a relaxing time!
|Yes, Margot insisted on being cozy for the drive home!|
I was lucky to meet a ton of other collectors in the community. I met up with Beth of DollTraume (also known as IGSBeth on AGC! She has some fantastic posts up about her MCM experiences) and historic_ag_dolls from Instagram. There was also an AGIG meet-up hosted at 3PM on Saturday where I met up with Sew4Dolls and OnceUponAnAmericanGirl. Everyone was so nice and it truly was amazing meeting up with so many people I knew from online in person. This was by far the best part of this experience.
|Look at all of the AGIGers!|
Some weird highlights I saw- entire extended families going in and buying up to the limits available and leaving in a rented U-Haul with all of their merchandise! I later found out that this was a family of resellers. Another sight? A van parked about a block away from the sale that had black and white stock photos of dolls taped to the side. It looked like an ice cream truck where you went up and just pointed to the doll you wanted to buy. I didn't get too close but I'm guessing they had a stock of retired dolls that they were trying to sell.
|Here I am with Sew4Dolls and her Tesla and historic_ag_dolls!|
Gosh, I'm sure I missed a ton of details! Overall this was an absolutely incredible experience. The drive was beautiful too so I know for a fact I'll be making a return trip next year. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments. I'll be more than happy to do my best to answer them!