Dolls / Reviews

Review of American Girl Doll Suzie “Z” Yang

It was my girls that first discovered the stop-motion American Girl videos on YouTube.  When they showed me what they had found I was instantly drawn into the videos, not only due to the talent of the film-makers but because these girls had found a way to still enjoy their dolls at an older age.  Believe it or not these videos have even helped some girls realize a film career, did you hear that YouTuber Anna from basilmentos received a college scholarship based on her videos?  American Girl really impressed me when in 2015 they publicly recognized a few of these YouTube channels, and reached out to the American Girl community through the introduction of their own stop-motion filmmaker, Z!

Z is a beautiful doll, and I am so happy she was able to join our AG family.  I also loved the concept behind the introduction of the doll, but I have read many negative reviews of the newer American Girl dolls… not just about the permapanties.  With all the negativity I was naturally a bit nervous about this doll, but I loved her so much I had to take her home!


Last week while I was working on my article about the new American Girl permapanties, I noticed that there were other differences as well between the two dolls.  In order for me to show you all the changes, I figured I would once again have my Z doll stand side by side with my older American Girl doll, Truly Me #40.

I had heard many complaints about the new dolls having squishy vinyl, so it was the first difference I wanted to check out for myself.  In order for it to be a fair test I had both dolls in my 20 degree celsius basement, and gave them both a squeeze…


These were my findings, Z’s face on the right was much squisher than TM #40’s on the left.  Z’s arm was also a bit squishier, but not as much.  So yes, the new vinyl is softer than the older.


Next I had to check out the hair… this has always been my favourite feature of any doll that I have owned.  Z’s hair on the right is much darker, and has bright red highlights that TM #40 doesn’t have.  Z definitely is a winner in the hair department!


While the two dolls seem to have the same pinwheel brown eyes, and face mold, I noticed a few added details that TM #40 doesn’t have.


Z has brighter lips and added painted details around her eyes, she also has a tiny mole on her left cheek.  I also noticed that Z’s lips are a brighter shade of pink than TM #40.


TM #40 has neck strings, and sadly Z has a zip tie, you can see the bump on her left shoulder.  I hear that these zip ties wear through the fabric after time, but what I really don’t like about them is that fact that it makes it more difficult to repair the doll.


I have also heard collectors complain about the zip ties, stating that they cause an unusual wrinkling in the front.  In the above photo you can see Z’s neck does have more wrinkles around her neck than TM #40, but I also noticed that Z’s torso fabric is a lighter weight than TM #40’s fabric.  This lighter weight fabric would also contribute to these extra wrinkles.


The downfall of Z’s lighter weight fabric is also visible on her back seams.  As you can see in the photo on the right, Z’s seam allowance is visible through the fabric, where you can’t make out TM #40’s seam allowance at all.


I also noticed that Z was a bit taller than TM #40, since both dolls share the same mold I found this very interesting…


So I pulled out my measuring tape, to see if there was a size difference in their torsos.


I measured the dolls from their suprasternal notches to their napes and got different numbers.  TM #40’s measurement was 15 inches, where Z’s was about 15.5 inches, not a big difference in humans, but noticeable in dolls.  I had also heard that the new dolls where slimmer, so I figured I would check that out as well…


Strangely enough I had the opposite findings, my TM #40’s waist was a mere 10 inches, where my Z’s waist was 10 3/4 inches… maybe my Z doll found the jelly beans I was hiding in the basement?

On my way to check out the jelly bean situation in the basement, out of curiosity as I passed by my Pleasant Company Molly I gave her face face a squeeze….


To my surprise her face is just as squishy as Z’s!  Is this because she is getting older?  I mean she is probably going on 25… or is this just a characteristic of early Pleasant Company dolls?  I am not sure… but I feel like another doll comparison is in the works…


22 thoughts on “Review of American Girl Doll Suzie “Z” Yang

  1. I’m curious…if Z’s torso is 15.5, does that mean she is really 18.5 tall. yes, I’m certain that is a common sense thing to presume and may sound like a silly question, but it makes a difference. You can’t just say AGs are 18 inches anymore.

    Thank you very much for the comparison. You looked at details I haven’t seen so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t measure the full doll, I will go do that now, however in my experience any AG doll I measured was less than 18 inches. So maybe Z will be the full 18? I will let you know!


    • I only have a meter stick, so Molly was 45cm, TM #40 was 45cm, and Z was 45.5cm…. a very small difference. With the conversion to inches, Z is 17.9 inches and the other two dolls are 17.7 inches. I hope that helps 😊


      • Very interesting. Now i’m curious about my crew and what difference might be there. The waistline and hips are the easiest to notice, but height, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    • If you look at AG sewing pattern sites you can find comparisons of dolls and see the differences. Even dolls of the same era can have differences in the size of their cloth bodies, and they come out at slightly different heights as well as having different circumference measurements (within what you’d expect for manufacturing tolerances – presumably any outliers don’t make it past quality control).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your insight Daisy, I think that you are spot on. I was very surprised by the size of my Z doll’s waist, as another collector was telling me that her Z doll’s waist was so small that she simply was swimming in her other American Girl doll clothing. I understand that there has to be some wiggle room with measurements, but if it gets to the point where the clothing doesn’t fit the doll properly than there’s problem. I am excited for my Z doll to return from the US with a new body, I am curious to see how that one measures up 😉 Thanks for stopping by!


      • Way back when I only had Melody I purchased the AG Sightseeing outfit for her and when it came it was snug. I didn’t think anything of it until I received an outfit and the pants didn’t really fit at all. That was the first time i noticed the body shift.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So you didn’t notice it until you had Melody? Interesting… maybe this is another sign of AG lowering their quality…


      • I should qualify. My first AG is an AGOT I named her Melody Quinn long before the new BeForever Melody came out. 🙂 Melody (mine), Kaya, and Kirsten are all similar in body shape and size. However, Lanie was the first to be obviously slimmer and more hour glass in figure. Grace and Lea are even more so. My older AG outfits are slightly loose on the newer dolls and the newer outfits more snug on the older ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I see… so maybe with the squishy faces and wider waistlines AG is going back towards PC??? I don’t like the thinner fabric though, I would like that to change back too…


  2. It’s interesting to see that one is taller than the other! Before I sent my first #64/Yuna off to be customized, I bought a second #64 and she was noticeably shorter than the first one. I returned her for another #64 and that one is the same height as Yuna. Your Z and #40 are so CUTE! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting how much they can vary, I saw someone posted an Elizabeth doll that looked to be close to an inch taller than the other AG doll next to her. It’s okay to vary a bit, but when the clothing doesn’t fit due to this variance than It’s not okay. I love these two dolls, the Jess mold is definitely my favourite ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve noticed height differences in my dolls as well, not just the newer ones. But now I have to go give my old PC Samantha a squeeze and see if she is squishy or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review! I was hesitant about ordering Z for a lot of the reasons that you mentioned. I just ADORE her face mold though. So I hit eBay, and guess what?! I finally found a Z mold doll in my price range! (under $80 Cdn) She is a fixer upper indeed, but we can’t wait for her to arrive! The only thing that I am not sure of is whether she is a Jess, or a Truly Me lookalike. The seller had no idea. I wonder how you can tell? Oh well, I am excited because I just love this face mold, so I can’t wait to make her over! 🙂

    ginnie /

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, I actually know the answer to that one… I adore Jess so researched the differences… Jess has red highlights and zigzag part. I am sure you will post when you receive her so I will be looking forward to it as well!!!😊


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