This past Saturday my mom and I traveled to Middleton, Wisconsin for the annual American Girl Benefit Sale, aka Madison Children’s Museum (MCM) sale. I thought I would share the particulars of my experience for those interested. Before you read my ramblings I will sum it up by saying I am glad we went and would go again, but it was not what I thought it would be and the actual time I spent in the warehouse consisted of moments I do not wish to relive any time soon.
My day started at 2:15 a.m. I can’t say I had ever seen what 2:15 a.m. looks like before, so that was new. I had gotten extremely lucky with the ticket lottery and gotten 7:15 entry time tickets, the second earliest possible. The downside is it meant our four hour drive had to start essentially in the middle of the night. After four hours of solid doll talk, we arrived to the warehouse (pretty easy to find) and found street parking relatively close.
All the vendors were getting set up and everyone was getting lined up according to every time, three slots at a time. Everyone in the tent was excited and seemed pretty amiable. We were in our own little world, just so happy it was here after months of anticipation!
I first looked at Saige, who was right there with Isabelle when we came in. My true love is the historicals, but I had become infatuated with the pictures I had seen of her even though I definitely don’t need another classic mold red head. When I picked her up, though, I just didn’t feel….it. The rush of holding a new doll just wasn’t there. So, I knew it just wasn’t meant to be, and feeling slightly let down I moved on to the historicals where my mom picked a beautiful Julie and a special girl caught my eye, too. All of the current historicals were available including Caroline, but there were no archived dolls. There were some in their pre-Beforever outfits, though. The historical doll table was actually the least crowded and most enjoyable to look through.
The book area was navigable and the Truly Me section was busy but manageable. They seemed to have most all of the Truly Me dolls, though my mom had been hoping for # and she didn’t seem to be there.
The real issue happened at the table with all the outfits and accessories, both historical and Truly Me. I was after the skiff, but for the life of me could not get close enough to the table to get it. It was complete gridlock as rude people took there precious time looking at who knows what. I felt myself getting more and more smooshed, but was unable to move in any direction. While waiting for the skiff, I spied Rebecca’s purple meet outfit and was able to catch the eye of a volunteer and ask if she could please hand it to me. I was not within reaching distance, so she handed it to the lady in front of me to pass it back. The lady grabbed it, was about to hand it to me, but then saw it was the last one. She have me a nasty smile, shoved it in her bag, and said, “Sorry, but I want this.” I was outraged! Who does that??? Rude. Rude. Rude. Rude.
I finally got my skiff and got out of there. I would have liked to have taken a good look at that table, but I just literally couldn’t get close enough. They did have a number of items not on the list, the ones I took note of were Kirsten’s nightgown, Molly’s partial meet outfit (minus sweater), and both of Julie’s meet outfits, but I think they might have been partial. There seemed to be a number of Truly Me outfits and accessories, but I wasn’t able to take a good look.
We checked out and walked outside, almost too shell shocked to speak. Mainly due to the restricting crowds, we had been there for close to an hour.
There was a nice coat check sort of area where you could leave your merchandise while you looked at the vendors. We did that and finally started enjoying ourselves as we got a snack and walked around. The silent auction was intriguing. There were a lot of retired dolls and outfits and there was a buy it now option for some of the dolls. They were priced much higher than the warehouse dolls (well, much higher even than retail actually) but with the help of my persuasion my mom brought home Cecile! She is gorgeous and I can’t wait to show some photos soon!
On the streets outside there were some unofficial vendors selling merchandise from their collections or purchased from the outlet. Those were lots of fun to go through; it was more of a relaxing shopping experience.
Now for the fun part… What I got!
I didn’t plan to get a historical because I got Caroline so recently, but I am so glad I did because she is my favorite purchase of the day! I got amazing, beautiful Rebecca in her original meet outfit. She is gorgeous, so I am withholding photos until I can do a proper photo shoot to do her justice (soon!).
I got two other dolls, too:
I got Caroline’s skiff, which is simply beautiful. It is extremely well crafted. I really don’t have room for big items like this, but I realized that if I ever have a daughter I would love her to be able to play with this.
I also got these “world” books that are so educational from a street vendor. I bartered down to $25 for all three.
I also got Rebecca’s kittens and school set. I more or less paid retail, but the school set is retired (and I have a weakness for the lunches) and the kitties were so cute. 🙂
We plan to go back next year, but will be a bit more mentally prepared! If you have any questions about how the sale works or anything I forgot to mention feel free to leave me a comment!