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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: June 2014 Big Summer Blowout

And I don't even like Frozen.1
The Summer Releases for AG are out--100% Moderns and Wonderbread Stuff. And I'd be remiss in my snark if I didn't get on this and start bitching. And honey do I have a lot of bitching to give.

On the retirement front, Cécile and Ruthie are gone and the other stuff is going fast. Good thing I have what I want.

Who likes short openings followed by a cut? You do!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

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

Addy meets the world! And runs this joint.
Did you miss me? I'm sure you did. I'm pretty awesome. I got back home about a week ago, but circumstances got in the way of my posting. I'm sure you still love me, and I'll try to get back on a regular weekly schedule. Anyways, enough chatter from me, and more posting. I'm here to both review and educate, and I plan on doing both.

If you didn't know--and how could you not?--now you know: BeForever is coming down the pipeline. This is a revamping of the Historical Characters Line that will be resulting in a lot of changes to appeal to a new generation of children and the return of the doll Everyone Loves to Kiss the Ass of, Samantha Parkington. Some changes I've seen the leaks of include new Meet Outfits, redone Central Series books1 that will be bundled into two-book volumes, and new outfits and accessories. This has also resulted in the official retirement of the Best Friends Line (with Ruthie Smithens the first doll to drop out of the race and end up out of stock). While not every Historical will be getting redone clothing--Caroline, for one, will be keeping her current look--several are getting a whole new Meet. Including my favorite girl, Addy Walker.2 So I'm likely going to go over her and several other Historical Character's meet sets in some reviews.

Before we talk about her meet outfit, let's have some history education, Today is actually a very historically significant day in Black American History: Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks the last day that slaves in the US learned that they were free. Everyone knows about the Emancipation Proclamation, which announced the end of slavery. But that was just in the Confederate States--and only in places not already under Union control. Plus it didn't apply to the border states--states with slavery that didn't secede. Hell, Delaware and Kentucky still had slavery legal until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. The Emancipation Proclamation was less a "Lincoln freed the slaves" moment of equality and more "Lincoln wanted to cut off a major part of the South's production and fuck them up" war maneuver. But given the circumstances, black people took what they could get.

Anyways, freedom for slaves! In theory. The Confederacy--Texas included--didn't give a single fuck what those Yankee bastards had to say, and ignored the shit out of the news. And unlike nowadays, news didn't move very fast, and if you didn't tell someone news, they just didn't know. So as the Union Army worked its way south and west and took shit down, they would tell the slaves "oh by the way, you've been free since January first, 1863, get on that." Also, travel was slow as shit, not helped by the fact that there was, you know, a fucking war on. This all led up to the fact that Texas kept its slaves for practically the entire war and a few months afterwards.

It wasn't until June 18th 1865--over a month after the official end of the war on May 10th (and three days before the final shot was fired on June 22nd by the CSS Shenandoah) that a Union General, Gordon Granger, and federal troops showed up on Galveston Island. They took Texas back for the Union and enforced emancipation. On June 19th, General Granger got up on the balcony of the Ashton Villa and let the black folk of Texas know that they were free people and that this was the way shit was. Celebrations started immediately and were formally done the next year in 1866--and have, in some way, been happening ever since. This makes Juneteenth one of the oldest Black History celebrations in the US. In Texas it was made a Texas state holiday in 1980--the same year I was born--and in the 80s and 90s when my black ass was growing up in Texas the celebration was in major revival and spread across the nation. So yes, Addy would have likely participated in Juneteenth celebrations at some point.

Back to her meet outfit. Addy Walker's debut in 1993 added the first doll of color to the AG lineup and the first girl with earrings--permanent as they are. She came with her first three books illustrated by Melodye Rosales and a lot of neat shit that I absolutely coveted and now pretty much have all of--including the desk. Addy's meet outfit--until the relaunch--consists of a pink and white dress, white drawers, black stockings, black boots, and a blue hair ribbon. Her accessories--for $20 originally and bumped up to $24 as prices rose--are a straw bonnet, half-dime, kerchief, water gourd, and a cowrie shell necklace. You've got til August 28th before the revamp to get her in original form; after that, you're looking at eBay prices which range from "that's not so bad" to "you're getting ripped off, honey." But you'd probably still be able to find them for respectable costs since she's been around for over twenty years. Addy was a Giftmas Gift to me in 2005 and my first AG ever, so I paid "ohmigawd I love you in-laws you are the best" for it. Unlike several meet outfit and accessory sets, Addy's entire outfit is given major significance in her books: the outfit (and hat) is the first outfit she is given by Miss Caroline on her way running to freedom in the north, and the accessories are all mentioned in her first book.

Oh, and the background isn't my usual fully backed green for the most part; it's the wall of my mom's place on top of one of her display tables, and the images are a little yellow in places because of the lighting at the time. I meant to make this post while in Texas, but so much came up that it didn't get posted. And with my scanner in WA State, I couldn't give you all the beautiful data I like to give with my historical reviews so it all works out.

On with the show!