|Man, has technology changed in thirteen years.|
A lot of people who participate in the American Girl Fandom fall into one of two major camps: people who had access to the dolls and/or books as a child and have either continued to stay attached or returning after a hiatus, or adults who got into the company in because their children2 found out about AG and thus they latched on to it and persevere after their child has put away their own dolls. This leads to both camps having a crisis of age when they realize they're no spring chicken anymore and times of their childhood are now historical. Julie was a special litmus test on the fandom: with rumors of and then release in 2007, many women who grew up in the 70s began to lament that the 70s couldn't be historical, because it meant that their childhood was historical. I have even seen the ludicrous3 claim that historical fiction must be at least fifty years old to actually be historical. Which is bullshit. History happens every day, and every day over is another day in the books of history. I made a joke in a book I'm working on when my characters argued that history was anytime before reliable indoor plumbing, but it's just that: a joke. Serious claims that history can't be the 70s will make me laugh right in your face and call you out. Accept the fact that you/your parents are older than twenty-nine and live with it.
One of the major things that scream that history is always ongoing is technology. While early centuries of technological advancement were in less large jumps, the last twenty to thirty years alone have had an explosion of technology--and just looking at the 20th century shows the major changes, Live music playing went to sound recordings went to phonographs went to record players to 8-tracks to cassettes4 to CD to mp3s; from short silent film to talkies to color, radio to TV to streaming boxes, hand drawn animation to CGI--from movies only being able to be seen in theaters to being able to download and stream a movie that just came out a few months ago when I need background noise. And when it comes to computers--whew. When I started on a computer, I typed hunt-and-peck style on an Apple IIe at my grandmother's house when I was four years old. Now I communicate with that same grandmother online over the internet.
American Girl has not released much in the way of doll tech. Whether this is to avoid dating themselves--too late, moddies have dated ways already--because parents whinge that dolls don't need all that tech to play with, or because it's cheaper to ignore it, they don't really give their modern a lot of technological play items. But a few of the Girls of the Year have had some technology. And they started it off with Lindsey Bergman and her Laptop and Bag. After her release in 2001, she plodded along for about two years before retirement in 2002, doing so poorly that AG was debating that maybe this modern limited line wasn't going to be a big thing. Lindsey had a very tiny collection--she didn't even have a change of clothes--and for accessories, all she had was her laptop set and her scooter set, with the laptop set going originally for $32. The set not only came with a laptop styled organizer, but a shoulder bag, two faux CDs, diary, and pencil. The laptop design was later reused (with different colors) for the Backpack and Laptop in 2002, thus starting the trend of LE stuff being released in a new form. I have the backpack and one CD from that, which will get a look over in a Bits and Bobbles review.
While I will never pay the costs for a Lindsey (can't say I like her all that much personally) I had been peeking about for her laptop, or at least a doll sized one. Last month I managed to luck out on a set for only $29 with shipping, and was delightfully surprised to find that it was new in box and had never been used. eBay costs vary; anywhere from retail cost to triple that or more, and it doesn't show up very often. Since I don't have Lindsey, Kanani will be our adorable presenter as needed.
|Kanani will be your tech girl for this dab into the past.|