#‎AGDoCGotY
American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

AG Complaint Department: Archival is Not Character Death

Good-Bye, Molly--you have served us well.
So as many people in the American Girl fandom know, by this holiday season--if not sooner--Molly McIntire and her English girl, Emily Bennett, will be packing up their items in Molly's plaid suitcase, waving a fond farewell, and tap dancing into the American Girl Character Vault1. They'll be joining the "kicked upstairs" ranks of Samantha (1986-2009), Nellie (2004-2009), Kirsten (1986-2010), Felicity (1991-2011) and Elizabeth (2005-2011), and you will never ever ever see her again. Ever. Ever. Ring the bells, rent the clothing, ashes and sack cloth and lamentations.

Awk, I hit the Sarcasm Lock button. *unstick*

But on the serious, the wails are everywhere. Molly is the last of the Original Three releases, and with her retirement nothing that Saint Pleasant Rowland started the line with remains. (More on that in another post.) Miss McIntire's loss (along with Miss Bennett) is yet another line-up on the chopping block of Mattel's evil path to making money hand over fist and appealing to the fly by night dabbling of this dim generation of children and vapid parents, all in a nefarious plan to turn American Girl into 18 inches of Barbie. Thus continues the evil path of retiring every historical, never teaching about history ever, and pushing the horrors of gardening, gymnastics, and art loss in public schools while we teach to the test. (But my standing up for the issues faced by the GotY is another post.)

I shall continue on my happy path of being the voice of dissent. While I'm not exactly delighted that Historical Character Archival is a thing, I'm also not going to call this the death of American Girl Historicals nationwide anymore than I did when we lost the others. Lamenting that Historical retirement and archival means the death of history is melodramatic, and acting like children can't learn about history without the dolls and the little items is really laying the whining on thicker than the chocolate frosting on Molly's birthday cake. I refuse to think that retiring the Historicals--any of them--means that Mattel is dismantling history character by character, or that children will never be able to learn about history without holding Molly to their bosoms and dressing her in her holiday dress with its little silk ribbons. The dolls are not the only facet of American Girl, much less history.

Below the cut lies my reasons why. Read them and be educated, or read them and rebut them, or read them and be annoyed, or read them and stomp off in a corner. I'm just one person on the net here, I don't know what you want.

Hey, you know about those book things that the dolls can come with? I do.
1: Books, or "Hey, how about those paper things the dolls come with in the box?"

My first point is probably my heaviest. What can I say, I never forgot that whole method taught in school of putting strong points early in persuasive essays (even though the methods taught blew chunky turnip mash). With all the sobbing that come 2014, no one will be able to buy berets and faux-authentic 1940s multiplication flash cards, many people are forgetting the obvious:

The books are going to still be there. 

 All of them, one way or another. Molly's six book set will still be rolling around, and Emily's book, and even the mini doll if you're into micro versions of historicals. She even has a movie, so you can see the books in condensed modified visual form. And much like those before her--once she retires, the books can still be read and the movies seen. Even the Short Story Collection is available on secondary markets, and the paper dolls. And there's also the fact that Molly might get things post-archival. Samantha, for example, got a Mystery, a set of play paper dolls, and a Ready for Fun book to name a few. There's also the older craft books, the cooking studios--tons of things to read and do and discover. 

The idea that children will never know about certain periods in history if American Girl retires the associated collection is myopic. There's hundreds of thousands of children who know about American Girl only as characters in chapter books for multiple reasons--ranging from "avoiding the line's expense and materialism" to "being too poor to have that kind of materialism as an option" and every other reason there is. I for one read every AG book out at the time before I got Addy. I read my Kirsten books to bits, and Addy's meet book back and forth and back and forth. I don't think there's a single canon AG character I have that I didn't read at least the meet book first. And that's without getting into my idea that any young girl that wants an AG doll should at least be able to read the meet book she comes with.

If you love the character but you can't get her direct from AG, then do what many people have done for years: read the books. Read every book Molly and the others are in and about and has out, if you can get them. In fact, that will segue semi neatly to my next point:

2: Other Options for History, or  There's more to History than AG shows.

So you've already done that, you say. You've read every book and can quote the movie, you've seen it so many times. Good for you!

Now go out and read more viewpoints of the time period. The American Girl series should be a jumping off point into exploring history, not the sum total. Molly's perspective is a small one--a middle class white girl whose main tie to the war is that Dad is gone to the front, and she has to ration things and things are changing and she hates it. That's one narrative of thousands. Emily's perspective--and that of the war as more than a distant situation--was limited to Happy Birthday, Molly! until she got her own book, showed up in the movie, and got bigger roles in the mysteries. But there's more fiction about World War II than Molly and Jefferson, IL.

Ignoring the clothing inaccuracies. The 80s and 90s were a special time for book covers.
To name two narratives and not spoil them? Stepping On the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn is another fiction book about a girl whose brother is fighting out at the Front and who discovers a secret of her classmate's. Moon Bridge by Marcia Savin is a book I adore, about two girls in San Francisco who end up affected by the Japanese Internment. What's that? You don't know about the Japanese Internment? Then it seems that AG hasn't taught you all you know about history. Maybe you should pick up something not published by American Girl and try it out. There's no excuse for limiting the perspective to what American Girl has offered. We are in the information age. Pop "World War 2 children's fiction" into Amazon.com or your library search or Google and get to learning.

American Girl has always offered a fairly sanitized version of history, cleaned up and laced up and set in the shop window to catch your eye. Yes, even Addy eating bugs and having her family torn apart is not the worst abuse seen during slavery. If your child shows interest in Samantha, find her more books about Turn of the Century America. Kirsten? There's tons of  pioneer perspectives. This is true even for the non-retired characters. Screen them, read them, and learn more than what AG has offered.3

3. The Secondary Market: Samantha Wholesale Parties Nightly!

But you don't want reading and books for some reason. You Want Molly (Or Samantha, or Felicity, or Nellie, or any other retired Character). And there is No Molly, on the AG site. Why, I guess you'll never be able to look into her grey eyes or brush her brown hair into braids or ever, ever hold her again.

Except we now have the largest garage and secondary sale place in the world at our fingertips, eBay. Thanks to the magic of technology, people can and often do buy many things off secondary markets. I got my Kit secondary for much less than AG was selling. I got Kaya and Josefina in a dual purchase discount secondhand when I was still part of a message board, that came with several of their outfits. Tara and Abbi were gifts. Even after losing 75% of my private option markets by getting kicked off two boards in about two years, I still have private collectors and sellers to seek out, and eBay hunts. There is no shortage of finding retired American Girl items, if you're diligent enough. Retired Historicals have been out for upwards of 20 years at the time of retirement, and there's options out there to find them.

A quick search on eBay pulled up well over a thousand options for Samantha alone.

If you are that gung ho about getting a character and have the money for it, you're going to get the character anyways. Yes, you will probably be seeing costs over original market value once a character is retired, and it's going to be harder to find a complete brand new doll. But if you absolutely think that someone can't know about or truly love a historical unless they touch her and hold her, then look on eBay or Etsy (Many are now old enough to be vintage!) or secondary markets and look for a decent price and pay to have what you want if you can afford it. Generally, whenever an article shows up on some site somewhere, someone comments that they've tucked a doll away or that they sold one or they're thinking of selling one. There's hundreds of thousands of American Girl Dolls out there. You might even be able to get one of those weird little white body ones that I personally can't stand--or the retired sets that have been gone for years. 

4. Completed Collections: AG Can Only Bleed Us So Long.

Let's start this section with a sad little fact. Once Molly leaves, Addy will be the oldest American Girl released--Sam, Kirsten, Molly, and Felicity have preceded her into the Vault. And it may come down the line that they'll retire her. And if they do, I will be upset. I'll probably cry and curse and scramble to get the last things by AG I don't have already.

See that bit? The last things that AG releases that I don't already have. Because a quick sorting of my collection would show that I have nearly everything for Addy right now. I don't have the Patriotic Party Dress (and I have a well done reproduction of it I made myself), the slide whistle from her fair fun, the African Dance Outfit because fuck that outfit, and the new and not improved Ice Cream Set. Oh, and the kite from the kite outfit but I have the dress. That's it, and I've had Addy for going on eight years this winter.4

Yes, even the Limited Edition Stilting Outfit.
And she's not the only one I have the nearly whole world for--she has most of her things because she's spoiled rotten. I have almost everything for Felicity bar either really expensive things like the Travel Trunk or really ugly things like the Gala outfit. I have a lot of Kit's sets. I have every Josefina outfit but the authentic Harvest Outfit. I've obtained a huge chunk of Julie and Samantha's clothes without even owning the dolls themselves. Hell, I have about 50% of Marisol's things--and I got her after she retired and she was only out for a year.

The fact of the matter is, American Girl can't really make money off of collections that people have. They don't make Addy money off me, and the point is going to come where people aren't going to buy a whole lot of old characters because they have everything that they can get if that's how they want to do it. AG has already done Total Character retirement every year in the form of the Girls of the Year5 and frequent retirement of items in the form of the modern characters. I can't think of many toy companies that
have the same things they started out with when they first started, in the same first iteration. Many companies retire or revamp their main lines. Barbie from the 50s is not Barbie from the 90s, or modern Barbies. Need I remind you we're on the fourth generation of My Little Pony--and I highly suspect we'll get a fifth after it? (Please have a fifth. Focus it on ballet and twirling and unmitigated girlness.)

Retirement sucks, but so does stagnation. The clearing of the old makes the way for new characters come out, and there's so much of American history to cover--and AG won't feasibly cover every perspective that has come out. (The day they come out with an Native School character, I'll eat my shoes.) So if I have to lose Addy to get a new Historical, then I'll cry and wail and then see what AG has to offer next.

5: New Characters Always Come Out: Meet Caroline (And Rebecca, and Cécile, and...?)

Meet Caroline of 1812.
With every Historical retirement, there has been a new historical release near the time just removed. We lost Sam and Nellie of the 1900s and gained Jewish Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm 1910. We lost Felicity and Elizabeth of the Revolutionary War and got Caroline of the War of 1812, otherwise known as "The War where England tried to make American move back into the house." And when Kirsten slipped off to settle, we got two characters--Marie-Grace and Cécile of New Orleans. Now we're losing Molly...and we're getting someone new, eventually. I'm sure of it. Yes, it's a PR statement that AG retires old things to make room for the new ones. But so far, they haven't lied about that. We're likely getting a replacement near the 1940s-1960s time span, to replace the loss of Molly.6

Yes, we're losing a Historical Collection--and in a while, we'll get a new one in their place. American Girl doesn't tear something down so far without putting something back up. The new girls collections are smaller, and less focused to the stories, true. And you can't get authentic glass and pins and nice things--but that's less AG and more sue-happy people who freak out if toys can hurt children. I miss Felicity's collection--and then I look at Cécile and take joy in knowing that AG released a new black girl in history after Addy having to hold down the fort alone for so long.

We've got new girls in history--and they deserve a chance the same as the others. Short of American Girl having twenty Historical characters available at all times which they can't feasibly do, we're not going to get new ones. And I for one like new characters--reading their books and digging into history and maybe, maybe getting the character in doll form if I like her enough.

Conclusionations:

I'm not jumping up and down that Molly is leaving. I'm not adding her to my Gang, and I'm still not quite sure that Emily might be joining us here. But at the same time? I'm waiting to see what American Girl is going to offer us as her replacement. Molly can remain in your hearts, along with the others. Read her books, and seek out her facts. Dig deeper, read more, make mistakes, get messy. If you have her love her. If you want her, get her--the secondary market has expanded thanks to technology and the world wide flea market known as eBay.

But just because American Girl covers history perspectives doesn't mean they have to stay old themselves. Miss Molly McIntire. Grab what you want--I'm eying her school bag herself for my Edith. Wave good bye, and blow a kiss as she goes into the Historical Archives. Her stories will live on.

And then clear off space in your heart and on your doll and/or book shelf to take in someone new, cause she should be part of history too.

--Neth

1 Perhaps like Disney they'll release them again when the format changes. >.> Just think, Samantha with real robotics! Kirsten on BluRay!
2 Look, I'll even give two more books: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Farewell to Manzanar by  Jeanne Houston and James D. Houston. Now read.
3 But for the love of god try not to reinforce racism and bigotry--I have to be cautious about Laura Ingalls Wilder now. Native fail and Blackface, c'mon.
4 Somewhere in my house are her Work Shoes, I swear.
5 Want to feel the time passing? Lindsey, the first Girl of the Year, was ten in 2001--which means she's old enough to drink plus a year.
6 Or they could go way out, grab someone from the 1980s, and I can really have a field day!

48 comments:

  1. WORD WORD WORD. I love every bit of this. Yes, Molly being gone will be sad - I remember seeing her on the catalogs as a little girl, she was the one who looked like me and had glasses like me, but I never wanted her - some new girl who might be pretty cool will be coming along and she is worth learning about too.

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  2. I am soo happy Molly is leaving. Now,if AG takes away Addy before I can get ny hands in her, there are gonna be some problems. Yes I am eleven and are Christian.

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    1. I'm sorry, but did you read the bottom of the page? Have you heard of COPPA? Do you know how many typos you have in that little comment?
      ~N~

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  3. I know this is off topic, but I love your Lindsey's old enough to drink plus a year comment! Lindsey drinking.... seeing what sober ten year old Lindsey did, drunk Lindsey would be very interesting!

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  4. It's apparent you don't work in a school, probably just have children of your own. You don't really understand how influential the American Girl CAN be for children.

    But you're right. Why whine about it? simply go to another company to suit WWII needs. That's where I'm going. Good going Mattel. Just give business to someone else.

    And I really could care less about Samantha and Kirsten's archivals. But what kind of doll American company excludes the American Revolution and World War II?

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    1. You're right. I don't work in a school, and right now I don't have any children. But are the schools suddenly hubs where children must have AG toys specifically to learn? I might be pretty far out of school but I don't remember allowing dolls as anything more than show and tell in elementary school. Unless things have radically changed and AG archival suddenly means that the books are suddenly going to dissolve overnight and not be allowed to be read by children, I think the kids will be okay. I somehow managed to learn a good portion of American History--white washed as it was--without Felicity and Molly, and I think that today's children might still be able to do it.

      But what kind of doll American company excludes the American Revolution and World War II?

      Several.

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    2. And probably those companies aren't very respected and will/have fold(ed).

      No, children will not learn less. But really, I see American Girl not capitalizing on something that made, and can continue to make, them successful. Let's be honest. The sell of their newer girls have been poor.

      What kid would completely understand the American Girl book without the doll, or vice versa? The doll-sized Horno of Josefina's really helps in getting a child to understand the character. Without it, they are just reading another book...and can easily read Dear america. In that case, what point is there in American Girl. What makes American Girl stand out among it's competitors is the fact that it focuses on history. I'm sure they lost sponsorship and donors, historians who supported history. No, they don't need dolls specifically to learn. But it sure as hell was a genius idea because it WORKS. The gimmick works. it makes the company seem like they actually care about educating girls, which is what boosts them against the more glamorous dolls like Bratz and MH.

      It's easy in other doll lines like Barbie to get rid of things. Yea, because no matter what, Barbie will still be around! They've changed Barbie's appearance, but they never got rid of her. That's what contributes to her success.

      Every time Mattel comes out with a line and retires a doll and replaces, they lose more money. Diva starz, Myscene, Generation Girl. All the same. And fans said the same thing.

      That never happened with Barbie because there was always originally just ONE. Even Bratz dolls couldn't get away with it, which is why they had to bring back meygen. Once they did, they blew up. I collect hundreds of dolls, and trust me American Girl is nothing without it's history, especially the history that people can relate to...history that can produce topics that can potentially bring promotion to the American Girl brand.

      Girls learn what life was like for other girls-not boys and men who were getting their heads blown overseas and extreme interpretations that don't relate to most American Girls.

      American Girl is the most popular historical brand, and they can take advantage of the huge amounts of people fascinated by WWII, not just in America, but worldwide. There are many international fans, believe it or not, and many of them searched first for WWII.

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    3. And probably those companies aren't very respected and will/have fold(ed).

      or--go with me on this--not everything revolves around Three single wars.

      What kid would completely understand the American Girl book without the doll, or vice versa?

      I managed to understand Kirsten at the age of 8 or 9 without ever buying anything from her collection. But then again I'm not stupid. I guess if you're poor or can't afford AG you just will never understand the beauty of History ever.

      And you keep going on and on about WW2 and the American Revolution like those are the major hits of American History, but AG can and should focus on other eras because there's 200+ years of American history from a thousand different perspectives. If a parent starts in on AG in this year and then see there's no Felicity direct from the company and decide well, guess we won't study the Revolutionary war because all they have is books and I can't buy a set of colonial draws, then they're stupid.

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  5. To add, the dolls were models that helped children remember what they read. They were excellent learning tools. One isn't going to sell without the other. Even though the books will be around, they won't be memorable without the dolls.

    To add, the recent dolls (Caroline and MG and C) are not in important times in history, and are not in times girls learn about in school, so the children can't relate. Most of the girls in the schools only read the books for reports, and were exposed from American Girl through them. The dolls helped them "live" in that moment, and learn from it. While, no American Girl isn't the only company that is capable of doing this (hey I could come up with a company of highly qualified historical dolls), it was a unique idea for teaching subjects that most children will actually learn in school.

    The reason why no one learns about the Second War of Independence is because there was no point in the war...The Yellow Fever epidemic happened several times in New Orleans, and there were many, many other diseases. So American Girl wants to make a doll for EVERY disease that existed? It seems slapped together to me.

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    1. Even though the books will be around, they won't be memorable without the dolls.
      Did you miss all of point three where if a precious child is so stupid that she can't understand American History fully without Molly's tap outfit or Samantha's teddy bear, they can go to eBay?

      Furthermore, every moment in history is important. Every section of history is important. The idea that there are ever low points in history where shit ain't happening and we need to revolve Historical Education around the bursts of the wars America "won" is some straight up bullshit.

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    2. Yea, history overall is important, but there are some moments in history that should truly be reflected upon, as the power of it's presence is the reason so many things are happening today. If you go to our nation's capital, to all the museums and monuments, you will mostly see things about the American Revolution, Civil War, and World War II. America is a young country. But most everything you read or hear about in this country centers on those three crucial periods in history. Those are the main educational focuses.

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    3. The deeper subjects, sure our important, but why start deep? It's not to say a historian would not respect you if you went deep, but you're missing some very important things here. If I was a historian JUST getting into American Girl, I would find it lacking, despite the deeper issues it covers. I'm an old-time fan, so yea, I know that they've already covered these issues. But new-time fans will be like, "Where's WWII? What kind of historical dolls are these?" Much the same way I said about the journey girls dolls when they were around in the 90s...

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    4. There are no moments in history that are so goddamned precious that American Girl has to focus on those lest the company crash burn and die.

      But most everything you read or hear about in this country centers on those three crucial periods in history. Those are the main educational focuses.

      This is because History education is stupid and likes to focus on "Fuck you Mom Britain we're moving out of the house" "look we stopped having slaves people died about it why are the black people still whining" and "Fuck the Nazis USA." Also WW2 is the last war the US got into where people like to point to a definitive bad guy who lost, so that little Americans all can be proper patriots and feel good.

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    5. The deeper subjects, sure our important, but why start deep?

      Because I like to not start with shallow ass shit, that's how we get stupid shit like "and then native people stopped existing at some point lol we're honoring them" and "we have civil rights, why are black people still whining god"

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    6. Popping in here 13 months late (just found your blog, and I'm loving it) to say that I have almost zero interest in the dolls but will go out of my way to get the books. I do have a Felicity that I got for Christmas as a child, but I'm just not a doll person. I love reading though and I have all the "main six" book sets, the Best Friends books, and the short story collections. I read all the mysteries from the library. :)

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  6. Also, really, you're speaking to people who are already fans of American Girl. What about people who haven't learned about American Girl yet? By getting rid of this doll, she will be forgotten. This one person came to me asking "Why doesn't American Girl have Revolutionary Girl?" I told them, "Oh they got rid of her." The look on their face showed that they couldn't respect a doll company that doesn't have the American Revolution, especially because they were taking their child to Williamsburg. It was their first time learning about American Girl.

    Yea, believe it or not there are still people who don't know about the brand, even kids.

    It depends on what you like American Girl for. Some are there for the dolls, others, like myself, only collect the dolls for the history. And no serious historian would care to invest in anything historical without the American Revolution, the civil War, or World War II.

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    1. What about people who haven't learned about American Girl yet?
      eBay.

      By getting rid of this doll, she will be forgotten.
      I'm still fucking hearing Samantha and she's been archived since 2008 or so. If these people want to know about other characters and you actually want to tell them instead of being sensationalist, the proper thing is to point them to the books, which are available to the point there's shelves of them at Half Price books (any character before Julie? I managed to get every book secondhand.)

      But you know, if you want to be sensational about it, you can mewl she's been "gotten rid of" like she was taken out back like a horse and shot instead of saying, "They still have the books and the character, and there are resources for obtaining retired toys."

      And no serious historian would care to invest in anything historical without the American Revolution, the civil War, or World War II.

      Are you fucking shitting me? This is the stupidest thing I have ever read! You can study history without those special points you seem to have geek on for whatsoever! There's entire history classes that focus only on Texas as a country which was between 1836 and 1845, which doesn't have any of that in it because it doesn't fucking matter or didn't happen yet. There are people who can devote a career just to studying Hawaiian History or the Reconstruction Era or Civil rights! There' books on nothing but the presidency of William Henry Harrison who died thirty days into office! Seriously, I can't believe you strolled up in here with this level of total bullshit.

      Fucking hell, "you can only study history if it's on these specific periods represented by a for-profit toy company." Miss me with that shit.

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    2. No, those are not the only points in history you can focus on, but American history is America with them. Why study all history, when you can't even focus on when it began: the American Revolution? That's like having a Dunkin Donuts and you don't sell donuts.

      The people you say are still talking about Samantha are FANS. Not new people. New people don't know about Samantha or care. I should know. The vast amounts of my students don't know who I'm talking about when I mention Samantha. They are NEW to the brand, and only know the dolls in the magazines.

      While ebay is around, the only one searching for American Girl dolls on ebay are also FANS. New people just look on American Girl and see what dolls they have to offer.

      There is so much in history to cover, but the major events truly are the ones people actually can relate to and actually learn about. I'm a history major in college, and I teach history. All of those other events aren't eras in history, neither did they touch the whole nation (as minor influence possibly), neither can everyone relate to them. Relating to the market is what sells.

      Those resources available are mostly for fans, not newcomers, who really have no founding knowledge before they open a magazine.

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    3. If I buy your pamphlet will you fuck off?

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    4. No, those are not the only points in history you can focus on, but American history is America with them. Why study all history, when you can't even focus on when it began: the American Revolution? That's like having a Dunkin Donuts and you don't sell donuts.

      I'm pretty sure there's history before then, the continent had stuff before that, unless you think that American History revolves around white people doing shit. I somehow managed to learn Texas History in 7th grade and it did not start with or discuss at any point in the class the American Revolution, and only mentioned the Civil War because at that point Texas was part of the US and fucking up along with the rest of the South.

      New people don't know about Samantha or care. I should know. The vast amounts of my students don't know who I'm talking about when I mention Samantha. They are NEW to the brand, and only know the dolls in the magazines.

      Then you are a bad teacher and you should take the books into the classroom. Or better yet, don't teach around AG.

      New people just look on American Girl and see what dolls they have to offer.
      If they don't want to dig any deeper, that's their bad? How is this my problem?

      There is so much in history to cover, but the major events truly are the ones people actually can relate to and actually learn about.

      The fuck? If people can only hit the highlights released by AG or taught to them as the jump through points glossed over in third grade history class, their history teaching/learning is bad and they should feel bad. Shit like that is why we have the Tea Party. They need to pick up a fucking book.

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    5. I kind of agree with soraworld, its not the same without Molly, and world war 2. I'm into history and a doll collector and Molly taught us a lot about history without having to read the books, especially when Pleasant Rowland had them. In fact I loved history because of American Girl. The old American Girl have more quality. They were more like REAL girls. These new girls are too Hollywood for my taste. And they all have outfits that do not honestly look like something girls would wear in those times. Like Caroline doesn't even look like she is from the past. Its really whack. And I agree that you only speak from a perspective of fans, but not from a futuristic perspective of people who never seen Molly. I know a few girls in my neighborhood who know the new girls, but they don't even know who Samantha or Kirsten is. :(

      History dolls aren't like fashion doll where you can get rid of one to create the next big fashion thing. American Girl is meant to be timeless, to teach history from all points. I know its not realistic, but it is disappointing.

      And I can honestly say there are hardly any American historical Museums that don't have a large section for World War 2, Civil War, or American Revolution. Visit any museum, these sections are always HUGE, especially in the nation's capital. That's like excluding George Washington from the president line up. Or Abraham Lincoln. Mentioning every president but them. Who does that lol American girl used to be like a living history museum when I went, but it so far infested with modern girls and looks like just another fashion doll store. i'd rather American Girl go down in flames than give us the crappy historical dolls they have been giving us. Its just terrible. I don't see historical dolls lasting in American Girl. Its just too sad. They don't care about history at all. Why even have historicals...oh thats right to make billions of dollars off of people who will buy anything with a title. :/
      And yet nobody wants the new historicals because they suck.

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    6. I'm talking about in casual conversation. This is not to say I don't bring Samantha books in my classroom. The point is they have no prior knowledge of Samantha before then. Truly read what I'm saying. They didn't grow up in the 90s like us. You shouldn't judge something you don't know, especially when it comes to my teaching skills.

      It's not your problem if they don't dig any deeper, but I disagree that it won't be American Girl's problem, as it has been for many of Mattel's brands when they did the "retire/replacement" idea.

      I'm thinking of the bigger picture here. I wouldn't say that the "teaching is bad", especially from someone who has no knowledge of the educational system, or the way children learn.

      Again, American Girl can do what it wants, however I do feel the major points in history are the American Revolution, Civil War, and World War II, and those events have ALWAYS opened the door to new historical points. If you ask any historian they will tell you the same thing.

      But then again, I'm talking to doll collectors, not historians. I feel it's not a smart move, considering Mattel's past with doing the EXACT SAME THING with their other brands, and also considering the heavy fascination with the major wars of America and how they began. People usually don't listen to me until it's too late, like when Felicity was first archived, and I predicted they would soon get rid of the others.

      Again, I know history. And I collected enough of Mattel's dolls to know how this will pan out.

      Delete
    7. I kind of agree with soraworld, its not the same without Molly, and world war 2

      You'll live.

      Molly taught us a lot about history without having to read the books, especially when Pleasant Rowland had them.

      You are the problem that is killing AG, go read a fucking book.

      any American historical Museums that don't have a large section for World War 2, Civil War, or American Revolution.

      Yeah, the San Jacinto Battleground and Alamo each have a whole wing devoted to those wars that happened 30-100+ years later or 80+ years earlier later oh wait.

      i'd rather American Girl go down in flames than give us the crappy historical dolls they have been giving us.

      BURN THE LOT, SALT THE EARTH I CAN'T BUY FELICITY'S TEA SET ANYMORE

      And yet nobody wants the new historicals because they suck.

      You keep saying nobody when you say you. You. You don't want the new historicals. You think they suck.

      Delete
    8. Nethilia you get mad when someone disagrees for no reason. It questions the validity of what you're saying when you get mad for no reason except that they don't agree with your points. I like how Its obvious by her response she is an educator. You I don't know what you are, but its just sad someone can't disagree without you insulting them. Ridiculous and pathetic. Glad I didn't recommend this blog. If someone disagrees you're going to be a popping hormone. :/

      Delete
    9. I'm talking about in casual conversation.

      How is it my fault you're surrounded by idiots?

      however I do feel the major points in history are the American Revolution, Civil War, and World War II, and those events have ALWAYS opened the door to new historical points. If you ask any historian they will tell you the same thing.

      She said to the black casual historian who focuses on Civil Right Eras, early era Video game history, technology, and Texas History.

      Again, I know history. And I collected enough of Mattel's dolls to know how this will pan out.

      Money? They'll make money? I'm guessing they'll make money since AG happens to be the Mattel brand that is always in the black for them every quarter.

      I'm going back to writing my novel.

      Delete
    10. Nethilia you get mad when someone disagrees for no reason.

      Don't roll up in my house, spit on my floor and call it a swimming pool.

      its just sad someone can't disagree without you insulting them.

      Don't say stupid shit and I won't call you stupid. Welcome to American Girl Outsider.

      If someone disagrees you're going to be a popping hormone. :/

      You can say bitch, it takes less letters and is more accurate.

      Delete
    11. Surrounded by idiots? They're just children. Seriously? This is seriously your response? Children learn at different paces from one another. To add, this is a different generation from the one in the 90s. These kids are more exposed to technology that does the reading "for them", but it isn't their fault. However, their interest in books and certain subjects are limited to what they WANT to research, and it usually isn't something they aren't familiar with.

      I'm African American, but I have no reason to be "black this, black that". I'm simply stating it, as I've experienced it. Obviously, your experience is different.

      Mattel is losing money. Caroline isn't making what they thought it would, neither did Rebecca, and sadly not MG and C. Possibly I should forward you the sales links. Compared to the amounts of dough they got for Molly, Samantha, and are currently getting for Kit, I don't think so. The only one who fared was Julie, and we know it's because she's from the '70s...taking place just a few years before American Girl brand was even released.

      This is the reason they've had to reduce the collection. The price has always been high, even when PC was running things, that's not the excuse. American Girl historicals aren't selling as well. This is a different generation.

      Delete
    12. The new historicals do suck. Be honest. You can't say that Caroline is honestly a better doll than Felicity. Marie Grace and Cecile don't have too many play sets dedicated to the items that they used in the books. Even their personalities stink. Aside from Marie Grace, they are all spoiled Brats in the books.
      BTW You say stupid stuff, so why don't you call yourself stupid? Nothing you said shows you have a brain, and a lack of self control shows how immature you are. All over dolls? Really? Get a life, girl, get a life.

      And Trust me one finger pointing at me, don't forget there are pointing back at yourself.
      You say no bigotry on your blog? Here's a synonym and it describes you: A dogmatist. Its sad there are fans of American Girl like you. You read the books but you do not apply the lessons that American Girl have to teach, about treating with respect about respecting other people's opinions even if they are not like yours. Or maybe you're the one who doesn't know how to pick up a book and read about the ignorance that is tearing down our black community and that is that they cannot control themselves in public and do not know how to show respect to their fellow black Americans. Its the black on black, as always. SMH. I'm done here. Thanks for your time even though it made me sick to my stomach about how bad off our people really are.

      Delete
    13. Hey, you two who apparently are going to just pick these hills for your final battles?

      My father just died.

      So I really can't give a fuck to reply to any of your whiny mewling bullshit.

      Delete
  7. You can't say that Caroline is honestly a better doll than Felicity. Marie Grace and Cecile don't have too many play sets dedicated to the items that they used in the books. Even their personalities stink. Aside from Marie Grace, they are all spoiled Brats in the books.
    =============
    I disagree. I thought Caroline was a very nice character; yes she was thoughtless a couple of times, but I liked how she was able to learn from her mistakes and that she was properly disciplined by her Grandmother in book 3 rather than just let go to do whatever she pleased. In comparison, I think both Felicity and Caroline were just fine, with Caroline appealing to me a bit more as I felt she was a believable child. (I'm going to re-read Felicity's books soon, so I'll re-judge her then)

    I'm quite curious to understand why you dislike the new character so much: what about them makes them less presentable than the older girls?

    ~ Mai

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually LOVE Caroline, and I have her too. I will NEVER EVER say that one doll is better than another. I just wish they didn't archive all the friends+some other people. However, I think that when they brought on BeForever, they changed the outfits WAY too much. Addy's new outfit makes her look kind of rich, even though she was extremely poor, Julie's outfit looks like a halloween costume, Samantha's new outfit is not that bad, but her old one was better fit for 1904, Kit's doesn't look 1930's-ish, even though it's cute, etc. What also makes no sense is the book change. It's weird. And what's going to be the excuse for how the book describes the outfit? Idek.

      Delete
    2. Let me tell you how very wrong you are.

      Addy's new outfit makes her look kind of rich, even though she was extremely poor

      No it doesn't. This is like saying that any girl wearing anything in fashion regardless of her social status looks "rich." Addy's new meet dress is made of grosgrain and calico with minimal but fashionable trims. Back in the 1860s, calico was common dress fabric for a day dress. A dress's cost was in the print--the more a print needed to be matched and laid out, the richer the dress, with plaids being some of the most expensive. Also? If you've ever read the books, you'd know that her meet dress was a gift from the woman who helped her run away and could be as damn fancy as she liked.

      Julie's outfit looks like a halloween costume

      Only, people in the 70s wore things like that.

      Samantha's new outfit is not that bad, but her old one was better fit for 1904,

      Her old one was a better fit for the Victorian era, which Samantha was not, and was inaccurate. The fabric was stiff and laid poorly, and it gave her the look of an era more than a touch before her time.

      Kit's doesn't look 1930's-ish, even though it's cute, etc.

      It looks exactly like something in the 1930s, down to the fact that teal was a common color of the time.

      What also makes no sense is the book change. It's weird. And what's going to be the excuse for how the book describes the outfit? Idek.

      The books updated the texts to match new outfits. They also removed the illustrations to appeal to the older audience that should be reading thier books as opposed to looking so much like picture books, and the lack of illustrations allow texts to work better as e-books. Wow, there's like logic behind this.

      Don't drip nostalgia everywhere, it stains my nice rugs.

      Delete
  8. Stop saying things like American Girl is retiring all historical dolls, and.never bringing any back. I heard that they are bringing back Samantha AND adding a new historical doll. How about that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for catching me up to shit I knew, oh, a month or so ago. Or maybe you should read ahead and not sound like a fucking squealer.

      Delete
    2. Neth, I love you ---- you made my day !!!!!

      Delete
    3. Maybe you should actually be polite, Nethilia. The comment was perfectly fine. Yours was the awful one. Ugh.

      Delete
    4. Wow, run by cranky anons on old posts! I'm sure I care what you have to say.

      Delete
  9. I simply dont get the point of bringing back samantha now that there is rebecca who is practically from the same time period. caroline was never as good as felicity/elizabeth. at first they archived the good dolls that made them a pile of dough, replaced them with less good ones and now those do not bring as much money so AG has to cash on Just like you and GOTY instead. btw some historical movies would be good also to promote historical dolls. how about a josefina/kaya/ addy/ caroline movie? cecile and marie grace movie was never released, could have been a faboulous movie with all the pretty frocks and new orleans scenery. AG are not doing it good for themselves, really. its all baout modern dolls who are trying to save the art program or go to the spa. pathetic really

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old girls did not make them piles of dough. They taped out. Once you've maxed out your collection, that's it. You won't buy more unless they make more, and they don't have endless warehouse space to store things that don't move. Furthermore, with a huge easily accessed secondary market, AG can't pull the money like they did off the same old same old. They need to rotate to keep interest.

      Caroline is just as fine as Felicity. She has her own angle.

      aw bloo bloo bloo they don't focus on what you think they should, you just want them to keep appealing to what you want and not what will work in the long run. And stuff like the moderns and the LES work more. The BeForever refresh made mad hype for Historicals again.

      Saving art programs in a that devalues art matters. And oh noes, not the spa! How dare girls like spas. Those vapid girls, not like Felicity who spent a holiday fawning over a dress.

      Go away and don't bring this hot mess again.

      Delete
  10. Molly is my only ag doll and I have played with her for years and will for years to come and I am sad to see her go as she is my favorite being just like me in manny ways I understand the hardships that time period went through having been learning about it for years. She will be missed.....
    I am excited to see who the will be trying to replace her with because their reputation in no longer the best they have gone to modern when I got my doll it was all about the story that came with them and learning as you play with your best friend. Where did that go....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still there but focused on a different generation. You're not the target audience anymore.

      Delete
  11. I don't like Beforever. Seriously. And I'm glad they brought Samantha back, though I'm not getting her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, I like BeForever, it added new life to a stagnant line.

      Delete
  12. I don't care for beforever either. The only good thing that brought was samanthas return, but it kind of made me sad they had to change her wardrobe. Too much pink! I know for a fact the night gown isn't historically correct. Another dissapointment is that they no longer make the girls nightgowns to exactly match the dolls. I always thought that was cool how they did that. I was so dissapointed when I saw the new nightgowns and mainly pj's.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the beforever change, it made things so much brighter and more colorfull. Im not buying the new books because I already have most canon character books but I do wonder.... does AG still describe every outfit in detail? there are no illustrations anymore - would AG make "neutral" descriptions that could be changed and outfits would get changed on a regular basis? because it would boost the sales if they gave the historical girls new meet outfits and new school/holiday dresses every 5-6 years or so. I just wonder if this is the concept that beforever will have - mix things up a little every now and then.

    Nia

    ReplyDelete
  14. Unfortunately your post doesn't ring so true anymore - they are no longer publishing the books for the archived girls. That is a crying shame I am glad I own all the books, because this new BeForever format got rid of the six book sets and no re-releases of Kirsten and Co into the new format.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have these lovely things called bookstores and secondhand shops. I see Kirsten books everywhere, for example. And there have not been rereleases yet. But there could be.

      Delete
    2. Have you heard of this thing called a library where you can read books for free? And if you don't like it, you don't have to check that book out again!
      ~N~

      Delete

Trolling, pointless bigotry, and hating for the sake of hating will be removed, as will any post screaming "first" because no one cares. Cursing is fine, as I curse myself. I still expect you to act like you have home training. This is not a Free Speech Zone. I reserve the right to delete comments or tell you to piss off. You post, you stand by your words, and all the consequences of those words, even if that consequence is getting your ass handed back to you. Don't come in my space, spit on my floor, and expect me to call it a swimming pool. I can and will cuss your entire ass out. If I told you not to comment, and you comment, your comments will be deleted.

If you are under 13 your comments will be removed; you're too young to be on the internet unsupervised and you know it.