Today, I will be reviewing American Girl’s newest doll, GOTY 2016 Lea Clark!
Let’s start with the doll herself.
Lea is gorgeous, and quite unique. Her wavy caramel hair, tanned skin, and never-before-seen hazel/brown eyes give this 1/8 Brazilian beauty an exotic look.
She has the Josefina face mold.
Her eyes have a thin band of black around them, and are hazel with some brown near the pupil. Lea Clark is the first American Girl doll to have this eye color.
She has thick, feathered eyebrows, and they have a slight arch to them.
Her hair is soft, and is parted on the side.
Lea’s hair has more than one color in it. Caramel, blonde, light brown, even a little bit of auburn are all in her hair.
Her wavy hair comes down to her hips, and is layered.
There’s a section of hair in the front that’s about an inch and a half shorter than the rest.
It could just be my Lea doll, but the hair on the left side of her head doesn’t curl nearly as well. The section in the front becomes straight in just minutes after I’ve curled it. To other Lea Clark owners: does your doll have the same problem?
Unfortunately, Lea has no neck strings. Instead, American Girl tied her head on with a zip-tie, which makes it very difficult to move her head. The only good thing I can think of about the zip-ties is that photographers won’t have to deal with neck strings getting in their pictures. But it’s definitely a problem for people who want to tighten Lea’s limbs or customize her, since there’s not a way to tie her head back on.
Lea has darker skin than most of my dolls. In this picture, you can see how different Lea’s skin is in comparison to Grace Thomas’s (GOTY 2015).
Moving on to Lea’s meet outfit! It’s a sundress with a crazy and colorful geometric pattern.
Closeup of the pattern.
A strip of bright yellow fabric edges the neckline.
Two braided strands of yellow rope go around the waist of Lea’s dress. Sadly, the braids don’t go all the way around.
Another thing: the pattern on the front and the back of the dress don’t line up.
The sleeves are two braided ropes, the same kind that goes around the dress’s waist.
Lea’s sandals are . . . interesting, to say the least.
Pink and yellow-striped ropes crisscross the shoes.
There’s a design of little yellow Xs on the sandals.
They close in the back with velcro.
Lea comes with a compass necklace. The arrow really spins!
The compass pendant is on a black cord.
You can adjust the length of Lea’s necklace by moving the knots back and forth. I myself have some trouble working the knots, and I can’t imagine how hard this would be for younger girls.
Lea Clark also comes with a messenger bag, described by American Girl as being made from canvas.
The bag is a crossbody.
There’s a pattern of yellow triangles on the strap.
There’s a neon flower on the bag’s flap.
It closes with two velcro squares.
The inside of the bag.
American Girl’s neon green ego tag is on the back of the messenger bag.
Lea comes with her first book, Lea Dives In, by Lisa Yee. I liked it a lot more than Grace’s books — I could relate to Lea much better (the annoying nickname given to her by her older brother, her love of photography). I never really liked baking, but travel is something that excites me.
However, I didn’t like the ending. (*SPOILERS!*) Lea’s grandmother, Ama, told her that when you travel, you leave something behind. On her travels, Ama always gave some things to the locals she befriended (sunglasses, a recipe, a watch, etc.). Lea wanted to do the same thing, so when she was at the Queen of the Sea festival at the end of the book, a festival that celebrates an African goddess, she puts her compass in a basket and allows it to sink to the bottom of the ocean as an offering. (*END OF SPOILERS*)
Overall, Lea Clark is a beautiful doll, and I definitely recommend her!