Happy New Year!!! Who is excited about the new American Girl of the Year, Lea Clark? Are you going to the debut today? Some of the Doll Diaries team will be visiting AG today – Laura in Denver and Char in Washington DC – be sure to say hi if you see us.

American Girl GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

American Girl sent us Lea yesterday – she is with us for a few weeks and then she will be going to one lucky Doll Diaries reader! Yes, a giveaway for Lea is coming up! Anyhow, I took a few quick photos of Lea and thought I would share them with you before we head out for the debut. Be sure to watch our Instagram channel and Facebook page for updates from the store.

American Girl McKenna and Lea

The first thing I thought of when I saw Lea is that she looks like McKenna but with curly hair! This is just a quick photo from my iPhone in not so fabulous light, but you can see what I mean. Lea has hazel eyes, light brown hair and a lightly tanned complexion. She is darker than McKenna and just a little lighter than Kanani. I will get better photos of the three of them in the next few days using the good camera.

American Girl GOTY Lea

Unlike McKenna‘s blue eyes that really popped, Lea’s hazel eyes are more subtle.

noneckstrings

Lea is the first American Girl doll I have seen that does NOT have neck strings. Her head seems to be attached with a zip tie and the opening is sealed up pretty good.

lea-shoes

Lea’s shoes from her meet outfit. They are definitely different – not quite sure how I feel about her meet outfit in general yet.

So, what do you think of her collection? I am not super impressed yet – but maybe after we see it in person I will change my mind. And $450 for a treehouse – that is crazy!! Again, I will take photos!

More exciting than Lea’s collection, in my opinion, is the release of the new BeForever Melody book.

BeForever 2016 Book 1 (American Girl Beforever Classic) is available now. Melody’s story takes place in 1964. Th synopsis on the back of her book, No Ordinary Sound reads:

Meet Melody Ellison…

Melody can’t wait to sing her first solo at church! What song will she choose? She gets advice from her big brother, who has his sights on becoming a Motown star, and she gets inspiration from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Melody’s also inspired by her older sister, who’s home from college with new ideas about making things fair.What isn’t fair in their cousin’s struggle to buy a house. Melody learns that they’re not welcome in certain neighborhoods because they’re black. Just as Melody’s ready to sing, an unimaginable tragedy leaves her silent. Can she find her voice when it really matters?

No Ordinary Sound, the first volume of Melody’s stories about growing up in the 1960s, shows how people can come together to create social change.

I wonder if her doll will be released in February, July or will they wait until September? Only time will tell.

What else from Lea’s release and the other new items has caught your eye? Anything?

Stay tuned for updates later today and over the weekend!