Monday, September 3, 2012

american crafts album clones spotted at michaels

I stumbled across something very, very interesting and somewhat exciting in what I thought was going to be a short Michael's run yesterday. I ran into my local store just to pick up a package of vellum paper, but when I walked past the scrapbook album display,what I saw made me stop and stare for a minute.

Apologies for the grainy iPhone photos- it was the only camera I had on me at the time. Yes, that is indeed a rack full of 12x12 3-ring Recollections-branded binders that bear a striking similarity to American Crafts albums. What made me quite giddy with excitement was the range of colors that they came in- see those pretty greens and that lovely aqua?

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And there's even one that's completely covered in kraft paper- so perfect for customizing!

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And if 12x12 isn't your style or you're looking for an album for a special project, they've got a huge range of colors in 8.5x11, too.

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By now you're probably wondering about the quality of these albums. Are they comparable to American Crafts? Are they possibly made by the same manufacturer and rebranded for Michaels?

I was curious, too, so I picked up one of the aqua ones (the albums are on sale at 40% off this week), and brought it home to do a comparison. Here you can see the album next to one of the newer AC albums- the super fun Amy Tangerine camera print released at the winter CHA show this year. As far as dimensions go, they're exactly the same, and the fabric on both has the same texture and feel to it.

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A quick look at the insides shows more similarities- the creases are in the same spot and the window cutouts have the same shape both inside and out.

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What's got me convinced that these are indeed American Crafts albums, though, is the branding on the binder mechanism (pay no attention to the page protectors in my camera print album- I use these for Project Life and have some Becky Higgins pages already loaded up). Both are made by "World Wide" and have the same snag-free D-ring design. I'm going to go ahead and call it- these are AC albums, and Michaels has them in more colors and available at a lower price on sale or with a coupon- something I'm very happy about!

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The albums weren't the only American Crafts clone item that I found in the store- a new paper pad in the Recollections line called Night and Fall looks a heck of a lot like AC's Nightfall line from last summer's CHA release. The name doesn't even try to hide it. :)

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There were a few more new items scattered around the store, including DCWV's Wild Splendor stack, a Michael's exclusive.

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Scrapbook Update has already reported on the slew of new 6x6 paper pads from My Mind's Eye that are popping up at Michaels, though my store had them in a different display than editor Nancy Nally's local one. In fact, my Michaels had three such identical displays- one near the scrapbooking section and two side-by-side toward the rear of the store near the framing section.

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Some of the lines are repackages of older My Mind's Eye collections (I spotted some Miss Caroline, Lost & Found and Lost & Found 2, along with Lost & Found Christmas), but there were also several lines that were definitely previously released by Teresa Collins that have been rebranded by MME.

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And, finally, we always expect new seasonal goodies from K&Company, and my store had just put out the Halloween display. I'm wondering if there's more to come for the empty left side, though- I'm going to have to keep an eye on that!

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