Magic Attic Club, Fall 1997

‘I loved this catalog,” exclaims one judge. “It’s a simple, well-presented concept that conveys inclusion, fun, and quality product.”

Indeed, the Magic Attic Club catalog of dolls, books, and doll accessories would appeal to almost any little girl. From the cluttered cover depicting a glamorous attic trunk overflowing with magical items, to the array of charming character dolls pictured inside that span a range of ethnicities, to the beautiful fantasy doll costumes and romantic stories that accompany each doll, this catalog could keep any child entertained for hours, the judges agree. “The company hit upon so many interests of young girls,” says one judge, noting the wide range of doll scenarios, books, and costumes. Doll character “themes” include a magician, a lifeguard, an ice skater, a bridesmaid, a junior camp counselor, an equestrian, a ballerina, a gymnast, and a cowgirl, to name just a few.

When it comes to the catalog copy, the judges rave about the first-person treatment throughout, such as this description of the Cowgirl Megan book: “Stunt riding is the next event and I’m all ready to gallop into the ring on Thunderbolt. It’s so dangerous! Was I foolish to dream of doing something this impossible?” Or the text that accompanies the two-page introduction of the character dolls, such as this copy for Keisha: “It was incredible to open the trunk for the first time-I’d never seen so many beautiful clothes to dress up in! Every time we go back there’s something new to check out. I tried to get Ellie to explain, but she just told us ‘the real magic is in you!'” This type of treatment, one judge exclaims, “was a really good idea-it’s the way a child might think about things.”

The Magic Attic Club charm continues in its services, such as a free membership kit, which includes a membership card, poster, stickers and postcards; an unconditional guarantee; and the Doll Hospital, where an experienced “doll doctor” will repair any damage to a Magic Attic character doll for $15 per “visit.” Still, the panelists feel the services should have been emphasized better. “The order form is small, and the 800-number should be larger and used much more often,” notes one judge. Another doesn’t like the toll number for faxed orders. “Why not offer a toll-free fax line? This is peculiar.”

These issues aside, there’s no doubt in the panelists’ minds that Magic Attic Club deserves a Silver Award. “At first, you think that this catalog will just be a copy of Pleasant Co. [a competitor], but it’s a full twist on the concept and stands on its own very well,” one judge declares.

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