So I got Nanea and lots of Nanea stuff for my birthday. I was hesitant because I have Emily and my sister has Molly, and Nanea is the weird new replacement for Molly after all. Emily has real war trauma, Nanea doesn’t even come close. But I really like the Hawaiian stuff. I almost wanted Kanani for the Hawaiian stuff but I much prefer the historicals over the Girls of the Year. Nanea’s World War II experience is similar yet different from Molly. I think they could have tried harder to make her even more different from Molly like not having the threesome best friend squad. Nanea’s friend group calls themselves the 3 kittens, they’re a cuter and sweeter version of Molly, Linda, and Susan. That really irks me. And they should not have given her a teenaged older sister like Molly. Other than that, I love all the cultural Hawaiian stuff, Hula with Grandma, and of course the tragedy at Pearl Harbor. Nanea has less blind patriotism than Molly which is good, but throughout the books she’s striving to help the war effort because she thinks once the war is over her happy island life will go back to being paradise again.
So this is where my Nanea lives. Her nearest neighbor right now is the colonial Elizabeth. I got the bed last year when it was on sale and before they got rid of it. I’m so happy now that I did that.
I found this jewelry box at Savers, I think it’s a perfect dresser for Nanea. She can fit all of her clothes and tiny accessories in it.
I took the stickers from the Market and put them on construction paper and then taped them to the wall. Nothing like some World War II propaganda says home sweet home.
Nanea is such a pretty doll! I love her face mold, I love her hair, and her eyes. Her body itself is well made and quality. However, I’ve already had to sew the buttons back on her shorts because they came off. Brand new buttons should not be falling off.
I love the details in her accessories, I love the stuff that they decided to include in this set, but I hate how the necklace looks so fake and plastic. This necklace was a special present from Nanea’s grandpa who gathers special shells on a special island at sunset for each of his children and grandchildren. It should not look like plastic! I also wish the handle on the bag was a little bit longer so she could put it over her shoulder. Just a centimeter more and it would’ve been great.
Nanea is half white. Her real name is Alice, but her grandmother calls all her grandchildren by their Hawaiian middle names whether they like it or not. Nanea is one of American Girl’s most diverse dolls, and she’s 50% white. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, being mixed race is cool and wonderful, but I dislike how they can market her as 100% Hawaiian and therefore the most exotic and diverse doll ever when really that’s not the whole truth.
I love this dress. It is so pretty and looks great on her. However, I hate the strings on the shoes. I’m glad they included the hair clip and the Pearl Harbor Pin, those two objects played important roles in the story. The hair clip was a Christmas present from her brother David who goes off to war. The Pearl Harbor Pin was a present from her Dad who works the night shift at Pearl Harbor. Nanea isn’t that impacted by the tragedy. Her friends have more hardships than she does. I think they could have done better in emphasizing what really happened at Pearl Harbor, it’s disappointing how little information we learn about it through Nanea.
I regret getting the lunch box. It’s a hunk of plastic. But all my other dolls have their lunch boxes, it was on sale and I don’t want to hunt it down on ebay someday.
I love this outfit, but I wish the skirt were a little bit longer because sometimes you can see her boxer shorts underneath. Yes, Nanea gets white boxer shorts as underwear. I love what they decided to include in the birthday set because it all plays an important part in her books. The red barrettes were a present from Donna who was kicked off the island for being non-essential. (I feel like Nanea’s experience of World War II is like my experience of coronavirus, annoyed by new rules but not really impacted by any major tragedy.)
The dog skirt was a present from Hawaiian grandma, part of me really wants to buy her dog but another part of me is why get another overpriced stuffed animal? The camera was a present from her white midwestern farming grandparents. The black and white pictures that go with it are way too small to be proportional. (I read somewhere that during the war people in Hawaii were not allowed to take pictures of the beach in case it fell into enemy hands. So why does Nanea have pictures of her friends at the beach in this set?)
The purse is disappointing, the clasp is plastic not metal. I expected it to be metal like Samantha’s original meet purse but it’s too much to expect quality from American Girl these days.
I love this dress. Well worth it. I like that they made the hula implements for her, but I wish it came with a pamphlet explaining and describing how each one is used. Josefina’s rebozo came with a pamphlet describing how and why it was used, why couldn’t this set too? I also wish that they could have made it so she could actually hold the ukulele, it irks me that she cannot.
I got her bathing suit on ebay for $12. No goggles or towel, but if it’s a difference of $50 I can live without the goggles however cool they may be. They shouldn’t have stopped selling her bathing suit, the girl lives in Hawaii for crying out loud! I also wish they still sold her fishing set, important to the story, and her pajamas which are essential. WHY?
The only reason I got the family market was because it was on sale. I wouldn’t pay full price for this. It’s a complete and utter disappointing hunk of plastic. It’s so important to the story, it’s her grandparents market and she wants more than anything to work in it with them but she can’t because she’s the baby of the family. Then Pearl Harbor happens and the rest of her family is so busy helping win the war that she finally gets her wish of helping grandma in the market. Not exactly what or how she wanted it, but she does love working there. So the market is very important to the story and I’m glad they decided to make it, but quality is really lacking.
Part of me really wants the shave ice shop too, but I already have Kanani’s so it seems like a waste but Nanea’s is way cooler than Kanani’s shaved ice and I know I’ll regret it if I don’t get it while they still sell it.
The leis are a little stiff. Why not make it a couple centimeters longer so it can lay flat? Ignore Caroline in the background, she’s just chilling on her bed over there.
I don’t know how to feel about the Luau dress. Normally I hate this color combination, but it’s kinda cute? My sister absolutely hates this dress but I’m indifferent verging on liking it sometimes. The material is weird too, just feels cheap.
The Luau set is very important to Hawaiian culture and the story because they have a Luau for her brother before he goes off to war and it’s hard for the whole family. I’m glad they made it, good idea, but execution is severely lacking. The table itself is good wood, and the mat is cool. But the food is an abomination. It’s total ugly plastic. It’s Barbie food. Nanea and her poor brother who probably dies in World War II deserve better.
Again, I got it because it was on sale. Don’t waste money on this one.
And this is how Nanea’s area fits into the rest of the Playroom. Living below the homemade Seaside Diner, next to colonial Elizabeth, and next to the Addy, Kirsten, Josefina high-rise apartments. Kit’s homemade Treehouse is on the other side of the diner.
I love Nanea and her story. I think American Girl did a good job choosing important things from the story to make for her, but quality is very poor. Nanea deserves better than hunks of ugly cheap plastic and clothes made out of weird material. I love Nanea, and I want her collection to be great but it’s really disappointing. I’m used to the old Pleasant Company stuff or even the early 2000s like 2007 was my childhood. This newer stuff has the makings to be something great but they just don’t quite make it there.