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

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pajama Jammy Jams: Slumber Shirt with Mini Bear (1995), Slumber Shirt (1996) and AG Bear Slumber Shirt

Four versions of the same outfit. The 90s was a highly creative time.
Where have you been for two weeks, my loyal readers said. The answer on the morning of the 13th was going to be "working on my Nanowrimo novel like I do every year, because I am a self publishing author."1 I was going to say how I won early but not as early as I did the year before, and since I hit the 50k barrier on the 12th from writing about 4k a day, I could ease back to only maybe 3.5k since writing is my dayjob, and get back to yelling about AG's bullshit.

But then my father died on the 13th as I was starting to work on this post and instead of getting this posted and snapping pictures of my magazines for Magazine Monthly, it's been a string of bourbon shots (shit you not, that was my modus operandi for five hours yesterday), writing out my grief in my novel, and last minute flight booking to Wisconsin. If you were just here for clothes reviews, advice and bitching, you might not be happy with me. So what? It's my damn space. Welcome to American Girl Outsider, the blog where I will talk about how Mike and the Mechanics just made me do an ugly hideous "I miss my Daddy" cry for five minutes before talking about doll clothes. Writing is how I cope with deep shit, be it about doll shit or in a novel.

Here, it's doll shit.

In 1995, as I said in previous posts, American Girl launched their modern line which has been highly successful for the company to the point that everyone with Nostalgia Goggles set to "Pre-Mattel" seems to think that it's dragging the entire line down the tubes. And since the line was designed at the start to parallel the historicals, they frequently sorted things into the same slots they had: a "school" setup, a "holiday" setup, and so on. This included a "sleep" setup. The first nightgown that your adorable little 18" American Girl of History could have was the Slumber Shirt and Mini Bear, a red nightshirt with a hair tie and a miniature version of the bear and outfit you could have for your Miss AG Bear for the low low cost of $16. The red version only lasted about a year in doll sizes--1995 to 1996--before it came out as the Slumber Shirt, now two dollars higher at $18, sans mini bear, plus a mini copy of the book Games and Giggles, and much more similar to the one Miss AG Bear had (which priced at $10 alone, $28 if you got the bear dressed). This set lasted as an option until 1998 when many more creative nightclothes started to emerge. That's right, there are four versions of the same outfit, two just for dolls. 90s AG was slick as shit for making dollar bills come to them.

The outfits show up here and there on eBay for a high of about 30 bucks. The red set almost always is found without the bear, or Bear Sold Separately. The hunt for a set for Miss AG bear might be harder, and might be listed as a set for a doll. Mini bears are sporadic, but often dressed. The green set I can't pin down when I got it; it was probably in a surge of AG purchases. I remember Mellie wore it to bed soon after her arrival.  I had the red shirt just kicking around from a swap box, and got the actual hair tie for it for 4 bucks off eBay. The bear's outfit was about $20 or so, and the Mini bear cost me 15 bucks with shipping, so it probably all balances out.

Naomi is sporting the 95-96 set, Marisol the 96-98.
Our gang member models today are Naomi Kirkland and Marisol Luna, who decided that this was a good time for an AG pajama jammy jam--and if you have no idea what that is from, you might be too white and too young for me to have a sleeping in the bed sexual relationship with. Google it.

We'll get more of the gang in other posts. The holidays are coming up, and nearly everyone here has an adorable outfit for the occasion.

Friday, November 1, 2013

AG Complaint Department: Girl of the Year: Fifty Shades of White

Notice a pattern? I sure do.
American Girl, soon after Mattel wholly took over the line from Ms. Rowland, tried a new line that, at first, was an add on to the American Girl Today line. They offered a limited edition, contemporary girl of the time with a book and local problems and issues that could relate to girls of the actual era. In 2001, they released  Lindsey Bergman, a Jewish (in mostly name and quirks only) girl who wanted to improve the world but always seemed to get in tons of trouble in the process. Lindsey was out for almost two years, and she was a very poor seller. The 2003 girl, Kailey Hopkins--an environmentalist who wants to save the ecosystems of her local tide pools--did not fare much better. But when Marisol Luna--a dancer dealing with cultural shift and moving--came out in 2005, she took off running, and AG realized they might have a good thing going. Since then, AG has majorly pushed the Girl of the Year--they release a new girl and her collection on January first and officially retire her December 31st, thus making the scramble to get her come with a due date. They have kept the pattern going for now eight years, since 2005. And so it becomes a buzz among the AG news sources and fandom at the tail end of the year--what's the next one going to look like? What's her story, morning glory? What are we getting? Who is she?

Well, Girl of the Year 2014 has leaked, and well...I have feelings, and not good ones. I'll be nice enough to put it behind a cut, since not everyone wants to be spoiled. But still.