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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Magazine Monthly: July/August 1993

Mags and dolls.
Another month, another magazine. Yes, I'm cutting it close this month. But it's still October, so there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Historical Clothes Reviews: Addy's Cape Island Dress

Addy's Cape Island Dress. On the only one who should wear it.
You think I'm kidding. 
Addy Walker is my very first American Girl. I got her, as I've said before, as a gift on Giftmas 2005. And I loved her since before then. Addy is my girl. I have read her books back and forth since they came out, I have soaked in her world, I have dressed and brushed her and designed unique sets for her that no one else should even try to cross me on. I have cuddled her at night and carried her place to place. I went to the children's play that was in Seattle in 2007 three times, each with Addy. I consider myself an expert on all things Addy.1 And I will get fucking pissed seeing other people who only have her for false diversity, who call her ugly or boring or too scary for her children to learn about2, or who make her look like Little Orphan Addy when they do her hair. Or who worse, get a lighter skinned doll to wear her collection cause that's good enough, especially some blond ass white girl. Fuck those people. You respect Addy or we will fight like inner city children in Houston. I have feels, and I will fight you.

Aduke "Addy" FirstArrival Walker means the world to me. She heads the AGGiB around here, she is my love, and no one challenges my girl. Because of this, I admit that she's more than a little spoiled. Okay, she's max spoiled. I'll bend over backwards to get things for her collection, including the harder to find bits, and if the price isn't too high I'll pay it. Thus I have, systematically, gotten almost everything for her. Yes, I have paid a bit over face for some of the sets, but I'd rather pay that kind of price for her things than anyone else's. And I will get twitchy bitchy about her clothes being on anyone but her. Here she only shares a few things with Sarah, and even so that's just til I can get Sarah's collection more off the ground.

One of the things I'll admit I paid over face for is the Cape Island Dress.The Cape Island Dress is one of what is classified as the Short Story Outfits. Back story: AG released sets of short stories in the magazines for years3 and later released them as small individual books. Addy--along with Samantha, Molly, Josefina, and Kirsten--got five stories. Felicity initially only got four cause she got kicked to retired for a while, Kaya got just one, and Kit got two. (The stories were also rereleased in total collections, and the short three got a full set of five stories in the collections.) The 1999 stories and the 2003 stories each got an outfit with their stories except for Kaya, and Addy's 2003 set was the Cape Island Dress to go with Addy's Summer Place, the story that shows Addy that even po' ass white folk thought they were better than any black person by virtue of not being black. The dress came with a hair ribbon, and while it was normally shown with Addy's Work Shoes, my house has eaten them. The dress was retired in 2005, which gave it a very short run. I tried to make a version of my own but it didn't come out nearly as pretty as the real one, I'm not even going to lie.

The original cost was $26 dollars. I paid $90 in a big ass private purchase last year that also got me the sweet potato pudding set, gardening set, school supplies, and church fair fun set (only missing slide whistle). Yeah. Addy's spoiled rotten as dirt. On eBay it goes for--when it shows up--anywhere for 60 to 100 bucks. At least she won't outgrow it. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Casual Friday: Abebi Nicole "Nikki" Rhodes

Nikki can't help being gorgeous.
My birthday was on Tuesday, making me the illustrious age of thirty-three years old. And still not too old for a doll. So I decided that my Casual Friday would be on one of my prettiest, most delicate dolls, most photogenic dolls. The one who I'm extremely careful with because of how delicate and lovely she is.

Meet Nikki Rhodes. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why I'm an Outsider - Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face

Otters, really doing that whole outsider thing. (Literally.)
So, if you've been poking around here, you'll note that this blog is called American Girl Outsider. I don't know how you can miss it. This is because I am an outsider to the major American Girl communities. Yes, I run the American Girl Wiki, but I started that after being put out from both American Girl Fans Message Board (AGFMB) and American Girl Playthings (AGP). The only one that I still can consider myself a part of is American Girl Over 18. When I first stepped into the AG fandom back in early 2006--right after I got Addy for Giftmas--it was dominated by an insular community of highly religious, white-dominated, middle aged women, many of which who did not like having their worldview changed or challenged.

I saw, in my high points of the fandom, at least two other communities split from the one that I first found, AGFMB. And I was pushed out by the two biggest boards by about 2008. And gotta say that shit all has changed from the little I hear from the places. Let's get this out right now--I was flat out banned from two separate American Girl message boards within the span of two years, for reasons that were petty, bigoted bullshit. At this point I no longer think that there's a board out there that would accept me as I am other than AG Over 18--which, thanks to LJ fading away, has gone near-dormant. It's annoying that I've been banned, but not embarrassing. I'm more offended by what went down than hurt, as time has gone on, because it screams of privilege and maintaining status over open mindedness and actual inclusion. While many people would say the problem was me and my brashness/personality, I believe that the fact that I am who I am was never the problem. It was an easy excuse and I was an easy target. The problem was and still is prejudice, privilege, bigotry, and Mean Girls/Nice Girls mentalities, just to name a few of the issues. 

There is a problem in a lot of doll collecting communities. And MLP fandom--yes, even before Bronies1--and BJD collecting and on and on. Doll collecting among women has a running strain of separation--the idea is that you're never too old for dolls, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to grow up, and these people have never grown up. There is a huge middle and high school mentality that has never ended and, until American Girl Fandom--and several others--actually really look at themselves, isn't going to get any better. I'm starting to feel part of the circle again with doll blogging, but it's a touch like a wounded wildcat--I'm going to lash out if hurt, and be wary. 

I will tell as much of my story as I can, from my side. But my AG rejection doesn't start with an American Girl. It starts with a sweet little Baby Face, in the early part of the new millennium.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Historical Clothes Reviews and Historical Accessories: Julie's Meet Outfit and Accessories

All of Julie's Meet Stuff. None of the Julie.
Julie Albright was the first historical launch I was actually in fandom/alert for, coming out along with Ivy Ling in 2007. The lead up to her release had a chunk of the fandom kinda flipping out about her. The seventies were considered historical? Oh noes, that meant that the middle-aged white women collecting AG were old, and there ain't nothing more whiny than middle-aged white women that have been informed that they are no longer "twenty-nine"1. Considering the fact that the target AG audience wasn't around for an era that didn't have equality in women's sports (though it was getting fixed), a lot of rights we take for granted, the internet, and even cassette tapes--yes, the Seventies were historical in 2007 and every day they get more historical. I, being born right at the start of the Eighties, completely missed the era. The closest I got was the fashion cycle of the mid to late Nineties when platforms and bell bottom pants came back into style. Oh and that my mom was in her college years in the Seventies so she can tell me a lot about some of the stuff from there.

I like reading Julie's books--Divorce! Women's Rights! The Bicentennial! Fairness in sports! Chinese New Year! However, I don't have Julie proper. As much as I like the Josefina mold and Julie's clothing, I tend to ease away from blond girls in my gang. I had originally planned to get her to reform into a Pre-Platinum Lizzie2 but I got one as a gift. "But you have the whole meet outfit," you say. Yes I do. Because AG and people sell meet outfits separately from dolls, and that is what I did--got her meet outfit in separate chunks.

Like Julie, her meet outfit and accessories launched with her in 2007. Julie's meet set consists of a multicolored long turtleneck, white peasant overshirt, two-tone bell bottom jeans, a braided and beaded belt, pink panties, and platform sandals. Her meet accessories are a shoulder bag purse, crochet lace hat, gold name necklace, and bicentennial quarter. In the most technical sense, Julie's Meet outfit costs $110 and comes with a bonus Julie doll and book; however, "replacement" parts can be purchased separately, even directly from American Girl. The meet outfit--dual shirts and pants-cost $20, the belt $4, the shoes $10, and undies $3 for a total of  $37 bucks. The meet accessories cost $20 bucks. I was gifted the undies by someone cleaning out their doll stock collection for free, and got the meet outfit sans belt for $32 off eBay. I then ordered a replacement belt and added in her accessories at full price (not including taxes and shipping.) So I paid a little lower than standard at a total of $56.

--and all of the Otters. Far out, man.
When I reviewed Felicity, I put my foot down that around here, historical clothing sets and accessories are for Historical Characters--when I choose to have them. While girls in my gang like Addy, Josefina, and Kit will always be modeling their own gear, Historicals I don't and won't own will get their clothes and things modeled by designated moddies who love that era of clothing. Since I don't have Julie, Otters will be modeling this set and the many, many seventies clothes I have and have made. Some quick data on Otters: her real name is Amber Kathleen Flynn, but no one calls her that, not even me--they call her after her selected animal patronus.3 Otters is probably one of my signature gang members along with Naomi and Addy and is one of the "oldest" in the gang at 13 1/4. She is my badass snarky nerdy goth bohemian blatantly pagan girl--she even had her own series that I plan to pick back up, Otters Teaches Paganism--and I have adored her since she joined the gang even if the person that gifted her to me is damnatio memoriae4. Basically, if you know me as a AG fan, you know that I am the one who has Otters.