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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: BeForever: Dropping It Like It's Hot

Bring in the new noise, bring in the funk!1
It's been a wild ride for the AG fandom in 2014 regarding the Historical line. We've heard since February that Samantha Parkington, the Pretty Princess of American Girl, was on her way out of the AG Vault like a Disney animated flick. We've heard of the end of the Best Friends Line and the way it screwed Marie-Grace, Cécile, and Ivy over. (Oh and Ruthie. But eh, whatever.) We've seen people whine about the historical accuracy of items and cite the 1940s and black and white pictures to say that color wasn't invented before 1970 like they're Calvin's daddy--you know who you are--and the terribleness of them without actually seeing the stuff out and mewl that Addy's skin is lighter--hat tip it's not any lighter than it was on August 27th. (ETA: Proof from someone who got Addy and BF Addy a day apart can be seen here at Lissie and Lilly: BeForever Addy vs Original Addy Comparison ) We've had happy squeal, new book covers and book rebundling, mini spoilers, eBay leaks, and videos on the official AG Youtube leaking images to us and revving us up for the new looks. We've seen the hype and smelled the haterade. And now, we have the official Launch of BeForever. *trumpets and confetti* Whoo, BeForever!

What's BeForever? Have you been under a damn rock for the past several months? Oh, no, you're new to AG fandom somehow. All right, I'll play nice for a sec. Basically, BeForever is a rebranding of the Historical line to make the characters of the past appeal to the hip youth of today--what with their touch tablets and Internets and cell phones and iPods and hip hop and Wonderbread Girls of the Year. Out go best friends--Cécile and Marie Grace included, alas we hardly knew ye--and in place returns Samantha as the backbone of support for this new launch, since AG has relied on her for the launch of new things. The Historical characters all got new meet outfits except two: Kaya--who really can't get much of a change in wardrobe since her era is pretty stuck in the past; and Caroline, but she's only been out for two years so we're letting it slide. There's outfits inspired by the meet outfits--both loosely and pretty close--and new items, and the books have adapted into a new form. And many things changed--but many stayed the same. Sort of like the line is advertising again.

Yesterday, the whole thing dropped. After seeing things online at 10 pm my time--two hour diff from AG's headquarters--and losing half my shit at AGC, a buddy of mine and I went to AG Seattle and squealed the hell out and I lost the other half of my shit. I snapped a bunch of pictures and then got several things to bring home. I wondered in June if my body was ready and OH NO IT WAS NOT. There's so many new things and if I were a rich girl with a house large enough for everything I would have gotten the world of stuff. As it is, I came home with a decent amount, and will be doing reviews on the newness later.

This post is about all the shiny good-good and new hotness--including the All New and Semi-Improved Samantha. Pics are all my own pictures taken at the store--some of mine are off center, I was too busy jumping around in excite. I'm already excite about something else in AG fandom (if you're part of AGC you'll know what) and so the last week and change has been an utter crazy whirlwind of ups and downs and swings and swirls. I tend to have a lot more feels on historical things than moddy stuff, so this is a long ass post. I had to start the post, go to sleep, wake up, finish it, and then back time it. There will also be handfuls of animated gifs so if those bother you, take that into account. I know photo sensitivity since I have it, and warnings are appreciated.

Before I start into this all new Historical minty freshness and the new hotness in the streets for the young jeezies, a mini rant. We already have a stupid split between PC stuff and Mattel stuff hovering around and stinking up the place like spoiled Similac formula. It's irritating and annoying and people should slip into the sea for it. We don't need another split. The first split is terrible and I really can't stop it except to hiss at people. But we can prevent prefixes on titles right now.  Don't do it. Don't do it. I swear to the gods, fandom, if you make "pre-BeForever" a thing like "pre-Mattel" I'll find ways to make you hurt like I rammed glass and Legos in the soles of your feet. I will curse you to never find the last item you need in your Molly collection in a sensible price range and for your first edition Kirsten to develop silver eye and you to never find a person to do an eye swap to keep her soft lashes and for your favorite girl to get a mysterious stain on her cheek that won't come off without a full head replacement. Consider this my preemptive strike against your stupid smelly failure. Also the old stuff isn't coming back, BeForever is the way things are from now on. You can't have the old looks, the NOLA girls are gone, Pleasant Rowland wasn't the Lord Goddess of Historical accuracy by a long shot, and there's not going to be any return to the past of how you want AG to be or plaid dresses for Samantha no matter how many likes your ill punctuated mewling little wet pants baby rants on the AG Facebook page and Instagram filtered Samantha selfies get. Stop being an irritating little buttboil on Facebook and move on. I have worked customer service and the people having to reply to these things are both sighing in irritation and laughing at you. You're now in the file of "stupid jackass customer." Ahem.

We're starting with Addy, of course. She's my first girl--and the best.

Addy: Winning All of BeForever With Only Two New Outfits

WORK IT GUUUURL.
Addy was not the full focus of the new releases. That was of course, Pretty Princess 'Mantha who hasn't had anything out since 2008 and so gets to start fully fresh. Still, the overall consensus around my fellow collectors I hang with is that she's the winner of this round and gets to judge the next set of Historical Characters. PROOOOOOOOOOOOOOMPT.2 As soon as I saw her new stuff, I couldn't stop squealing, and my husband turned from his comp and was like "...so you like the new Addy things." Then I came home with the new Addy set, and he liked it enough to comment on it, and that should make your head turn because 80% of the time my husband's take on AG is "it keeps my wife content so I let her talk to me about it at any time like I babble about my PC gaming." Addy is the girl of the hour--she's my girl--and she blew everyone out of the water like a particularly vicious game of Battleship. Lemme break it down to the mother fucking ground.

Blue baby gorgeous girl, rocking the entire 1860s.
Addy's New Meet Outfit: I saw spoilers for Addy's new look with eBay leaks and her new book covers, so I saw this coming and have been bouncing about it since I saw it. Addy has set her simple double pink long sleeved dress aside for a new look: a rich blue short sleeved day dress with black trim and ribbons on the shoulders, black canvas heeled boots, white stockings, and white drawers with two blue hair ribbons (that you only get when you buy an all new Addy). Her drawers have changed to have a plain waistband without the dip in the front, and while they look a lot like Cecile's drawers they're not quite the same. Am I going to have to do another underwear post? Maybe. And if you say Addy has to have poor people clothes cause she's a former slave, I'm going to throw you in the Gulf of Fucking Mexico. If Kirsten can have all the clothes she did on the Minnesota prairie getting chased by bears and setting cabins on fire with raccoons, then Addy can have a nice day dress, bitches. This one's made of cotton calico style. It's the fabrics and trims that make the cost, not the cut. But more when I review this sooner rather than later. A quick glimpse, though:

Nails and dresses.
I might have done my nails blue and had them exact match the outfit. Cause I'm boss. I am dead in love with this dress so hard. I was dedicated to buying a brand new Addy3 just to get my hands on her new outfit, and that was before I saw her sleek new shoes. It was fate, I tells yah, fate, that when I got to the AG store there was only one doll-less set left on the shelf waiting for me. (All the new meets are available independently; while this will likely later get retired, for now it's $36 for each new meet set. Sans ribbons and most hair decs.)

I love nice rich blues, and the color just pops against her skin. White stockings might be a little bit fussy, but I'll allow it for Addy. And her new boots are just gorgeous. About my only complaint is that they have a heel, and I have feels about AG heels.  This is actually a dress that has precedent, though not directly from AG before now:

Harriet is shocked, I tells yah.
It was on Harriet's character in the play Addy: An American Girl Story during the spelling bee/Giftmas scene. I saw the play originally in 2007 when it debuted in Seattle--saw it three times in total, actually!--and when I was looking for pictures for Addy's Tartan Plaid Dress, I posted the full shot of this picture. In December. Before any BeForever shenanigans. So you can source this crop to me and the full shot to SCT and not other people who swiped data and then tried to claim she didn't. Gurl bye, I ain't no Slowpoke and even if I was I'd Psychic your ass. Ahem. Moving on.

Addy's New Meet Accessories: Meet outfit change, meet accessories change. Felicity set this back in 2005. Addy's new meet set keeps her cowrie shell necklace--thinner cord but same sliding adjustment--her old style bonnet with new black trim and a black gingham ribbon to tie around her chin, and--since the new theme for meet stuff is headgear/purse/extra accessory thing--a new totebag. I'm down for that. Girl's been hauling a kerchief around for twenty-one years, that's a lot of work. It's a little like her school set tote. Nice throwback, AG. I can tuck her old half dime in there and work it, girl.

Modern Clothes, past inspiration.
Ribbon Trim Sundress: Rather than cosplay it up with AG's Historicals, meet stuff is getting redesigned with a modern feel that draws on the designs of the meet sets4 and Addy's is done as as a sundress with bows on the shoulders. Very nice, very kicky. I actually like it, though I feel like the skirt could be longer; it looks all right for the most part but on the site it comes above knee. Granted, I'm not wearing it but if it would fit me, I'd do it. I am sketching ideas for turning some of this into AG doll sized clothes for moddies. Be prepared. Next time I'm at the store I'm getting copious pics for idea refs.

HNNNNNNGGH NNNNHH SCHOOL DRESS.
Addy's School Dress: This was me when I refreshed the site and saw this outfit for the first time:

Hail Mary, Death drop.
Straight up, dropped to the floor like a black queer man in the club and it couldn't handle a second of me, and Boom was subjected to my typerventilating but she's used to that. One of the things I missed so much was Addy's collection not having anything school themed, because she was so big on getting her learn on. So a return to school stuff for Addy matters, and this outfit just sets the stage. The skirt! The top. The double sleeves. The hair combs. The powder blue perfection of it all! Hnnnngh ngggh haaaah---*fans self church lady style*

Yes I got it don't ask stupid questions. I got it first because I didn't see the outfit until second.

Addy's Lunch Pail: It's back, baby! The major changes are the pail is now brightly colored, the napkin is blue fabric, and the LOVE cookies are fused together so that AG doesn't have to send you a new set when you lose the E. Also I am pretty sure the grapes have been genetically modified into hugeness. Addy's new theme is blue, and I can get down with that. Blue on everything, Addy, like your middle name is Ivy and your last name is Carter.

Flawless.
The old and the new. And window glare.
Crinoline and Chemise: Marie-Grace and Cécile's underwear live on in Addy's collection. No need to buy a second set. I only half use the first.

Old Stuff: Sticking around are Addy's Sunday Best (it's on the cover of volume two) and Addy's Tartan Dress, cause holidays. Addy's Winter Coat, Plaid Summer Set, Blue Dress (that's had three changes), and shoes and socks set, were not in the store. The old stuff is still available until supplies die online. But I have it all so *shrug* Addy's Hairstyling set still exists, but the trims on the snood and cameo are now blue. I didn't snap a picture; maybe next time I'm at the store. The site still shows the pink set.

Samantha: The Double Diamond Re-Release Edition5

She's back, babies!
You know her from the old Pleasant company logos. You know her from leaks. You know her from catalog covers. You know her as the girl of the line, and you knew she was coming back. If you know AG, you know Samantha--and she's back for BeForever, all ruffles and bows and dots and sparkles and tree climbing, Eddie beating, orphan rescuing glory. Don't Mess Yourself, please, that's not ladylike. Samantha has been in the vault since 2008 when she and Nellie shuffled off to Buffalo. And since she's been gone so long, it's all new for the All New Samantha with new improved ruffles. She's here and she's pinker than ever, for a whole new generation of girls who missed the last six years and who got all the hype from their parents and the fandom and the past to fawn over and have as the Doll Every Doll Should Know. She's still not going to be a member of the AGGiB--so there, even if her clothes get bought to put on Marisol's X-marked butt. And since all her stuff is brand new, it's a long part of the post.

Meet the pink.
Samantha's New Meet Outfit: Samantha's new meet dress, is as they say in some circles, paaaank. She now will be climbing trees in a pink and dotted swiss dress with a burgundy waistband, white lace trim, and matching hairbow with a Bertha style lace collar. I like this more than the old plaid, because it is unabashedly girly and twee, just like Grandmary wanted it. It's perfect for the Pretty Princess of AG, and I'm sure it will go over gloriously. Also back are her poofy bloomers, she has white stockings and praise the gods she's got better meet shoes. I'll be getting this soon enough for my gang. Marisol is going to just die to wear it. The hairbow, though is on a scrunchie. Gonna have to fix that, yo.

Samantha's New Meet Accessories: Samantha now has a stretch lace headband like the one with her velvet dress. I'm not sure about that headband, but it's not 100% terrible. The purse is cute and much like her old one. The locket--as I found out--don't open. Failure.

Dots~
Pink Polka-Dot Dress: The modern girl's dress is a semi-casual dress with a sheer upper bodice and separate burgundy belt. This I adore. I'd wear the hell out of this too--but again, with longer skirts. I just like my skirts below the knee. Going to have to do detailed pictures of this one too.

Uh....
Rosy Headband: This, I don't. These look terrible on newborn babies being subjected to the gender divide before they can even hold their head up. They're still terrible on girls. Don't.

That doesn't look warmish.
Samantha's New Nightgown: Sam's new night things are very, uh...sleeveless. And pale pink. And short. It's not the kind of thing I think fits for Sam, to be honest--I'm not one for nostalgia goggles most of the time, but I am one for aesthetics and I don't like this. This won't keep her warm on those cold New York nights. Good thing I can just make older ones or, if needed, buy one for Marisol.  The slippers are at least cute, but I'm not buying that nightgown for the slippers.

Nightclothes for girls.
Ribbons and Bows Pajamas and Pom-Pom Slippers: The nightclothes, unlike the others, is updated to be more of a modern cut and are two-piece. Now if these had been Samantha's doll sized ones, they'd have been cute. Skimpy, but cuter than what she's got going on. Missed opportunity, AG. The slippers are darling, though. Minus the pom poms. I hate those on my toes.

Nighty night, sleep tight.
Samantha's Bed and Bedding:  I like the canopy style. Very reminiscent of the NOLA bed. I didn't pat touch one, but it is appropriate and fancy. And I don't have to polish it! A plus. You want to polish bed knobs, get the older bed on eBay and quit your whining.

Samantha's Bedtime Accessories: It's the return of the teddy bear and the Wizard of Oz to Sam's collection. Tiny Doll books are one of my major weaknesses. The scrapbook is kinda meh, but that's because I'm not a fan of the fine art of gluing shit in books--never really have been. The music box, however, is precious and a lot like the one that she got for Giftmas, and plays Wiegenlied (Mozart's Lullaby). So it would probably sound a lot like this. I wonder if I can figure out how to take the music box apart and put different song in it. My favorite music box tune has always been "Theme to Love Story," ever since I was a little girl and found a record turning music box for 50 cents at a garage sale. I used to come home and wind it up and listen to it for hours in a trance when I was depressed--until the day it got broken (a screw got jammed into the part that played and I couldn't open it to fix it) and I cried for days. I now have another music box that plays it, so it's back. And yes it would be ahistorical, but I can live with that. A lot of people can't, not if the drooling word-puke online shows any sort of theme.

Ice Cream Parlor of DOOM. And Frilly fluff.
Samantha's Frilly Frock: I was ready to 100% hate this. I really truly was. Online, it looked terrible, all shiny and ruffle vomit. But then I saw it at the store and it's not a complete hot mess. The boots are really badass and accurate to the era, even if they likely wouldn't go up that high and would often be dark. I'll give it a chance. I only 60% hate it.

Samantha's Ice Cream Parlor: $300 playsets of doom are the new hotness in AG stuff. Samantha gets this in the form of an ice cream parlor--and it has a lot for the cost. It has counters. It has a mirrored back drop. It has a register. It has a working lamp. It has cones and bowls and a scoop and little bits and bobs that make it feel real. I kinda like it. Only, you know, I'd have to get rid of the chocolate by turning it to vanilla. I don't allow any forms of chocolate in my house, not even doll chocolate. Maybe waaaay down the road.

Biking in bloomers.
Samantha's Bicycling Outfit: Samantha, who struggled to wear a skirt and bike at the same time because her skirts got caught in the chain, got Grandmary to change her mind and let her wear bloomers to bike so she could get lots of fresh air. So Sam comes back out with a new bike set, and damn is it cute. I might get it to break into casual components. That top is precious. I'm loving her garters as well. Garters are adorable things. I'm not really feeling the hat, but it can be replaced.

Samantha's Bicycle: This is a million times better than that terrible hideous tricycle thing we were subjected to for so long. Samantha's not five and her story specifies a two-wheeler. So it's not blue? That can be fixed with enamel paint. I didn't know if Sam was of the era where the bar was already dropped for a girl's bike,6 so I looked it up and bikes as far back as the 1880s had dropped bars and chain guards too! So it's accurate. I want to get this.

Plaid and Tea.
Samantha's Holiday Set: For the cost of the other Limited Edition sets, Samantha gets a fancy plaid dress, nice hair bow, stockings, boots, and a tea setting with a cup, saucer, teapot, and petits-fours. That dress is hella gorgeous--I'm a sucker for well done plaid, and that's some well done rich plaid. The shoes are the weak link, but they can be replaced with her meet shoes because they're better now. As for the tea set? It's made with porcelain and has a good, solid weight to it, I checked in store. Yep, on my wish list, it's worth it.

Dog don't shave and neither do I.
Samantha's Dog, Jip: First of all Jip belongs to Cornelia. Secondly, the dog seems to have gone completely fluffy. He looks like a dust mop. Let's put a stick on the back of his head and clean the floor. Not terrible, just really, really fluffy.

Hats.
Samantha's Hairstyling Set: Hate the hat that came with the bike or want one for the meet set? Here you go. It comes with a bonus brush and hairbow. Also AG stop putting hairbows on scrunchies, I have to pop them off and mount them to proper clips, damn it.

Oh hey, you can kinda see Addy's to the side. See the blue? Ta da.

So let's prepare these dogs! (Kill two for matching clogs!)7
Samantha's Fancy Coat Dog: Okay, who let Sam take fashion tips from Cruella deVil and introduced her to the Dalmatian puppy from June? I know it's supposed to be ermine but it looks like dalmatian. I don't really care for it at all--probably because it's all white and furry. Pass. Marisol already has a fuzzy pimp set.

New shit for an old fashioned girl.
Lacy Parasol: Again, something NOLA finds a new collection. This I have and like, so yep, going to have it all at use. I might get a second of it, so that Marisol can have one without always swiping Cécile's. But not for a bit.

Old Stuff: None for Samantha, she's driving this van full of BeForever. Enjoy the newness! The old stuff has been gone for some time, and you get hints of it in her stuff now. And if you just can't stand her new stuff and you somehow liked that plaid meet set and her bridesmaid dress and terrible plastic shoes, she was out for over twenty years. Hie your ass to the 'Bay. You wanted her back, now she's back. She wasn't going to come back the same and you knew it. Cry me a river, build a bridge, and then get over yourselves.

Julie: Looking for Fun and Feelin' Groovy8

Everything's coming up Julie!
Julie is all hair swinging hippy fancy girl. She's not the youngest of the BeForever Girls in release--that honor goes to Caroline--but she is the closest chronologically until AG does an 80s girl. Still, she's lost a lot in her short run, including her bestie Ivy and her basketball stuff. I love swiping Julie stuff for Otters, so really around here you can consider this the New Stuff for Otters. And shit, but I want it so much. Julie, baby boo boo, you just swing that hair and bounce that ball and gimme what you got for some Jiffy Pop.

Get in the funky groove!
Julie's New Meet Outfit: Gone is the double top, one sided two toned pants, and woven belt. Now our long haired blond historical is in a sleeveless white peace sign shirt, yellow crochet vest, jeans with inset side panels, and purple platform sandals, ready to take you on. Also her underwear is just plain purple now. No more butterfly panties. This is gonna look so good on Otters and you know it. Once I get it. Thursday's run was (with the exception of one piece) the All Addy Show. Also it was out of stock.

Julie's New Accessories: Could they be cuter? I doubt it. Those beautiful big eye glasses! That tote! The woven flower headband! Yes please, gimme! Can't wait to bring this home.

Color explosions!
Peace Petals Tee, Tie-dye Belted Skirt, Flower Power Leggings, Crocheted Flower Hat, and Tie Dye Tote: WHY ISN'T THAT SHIRT IN MY SIZE LIFE IS UNFAIR. Fine I'll just make one, you butts, I know how to dip dye a white shirt. The skirt looks fine enough--the belt is a nice touch. The leggings--ehhhh. They're busy. I can't do it. The only reason the tote bag is not in my house right now is because I did put a limit, but that's probably going to be my next new tote. The hat is okay enough, and I might get one both to wear and to figure out how to make myself. But dat tote bag damn yo. 

Primary Goodness!
Julie's Tunic Outfit: That top. The pants. The belt. The shoes. Damn I love the 70s, give it to me Julie. I'm especially in love with the top. If the belt doesn't come off, I'll live with it. The embroidery, though, is gorgeous!

That is how you pimp.
Julie's Winter Coat and Hat: *plays Freddy's Dead* That is how you get pimp. Sam, take notes. I don't like it being worn over the tunic set, but I know Otters is going to wear it over the jeans I have for her and strut it.

Holidays in paisley.
Julie's Holiday Outfit: I spent the last few weeks debating about getting the prior outfit, and I'm glad I didn't get it because this one is twice as beautiful and with a lot less velvet and gold tights. Julie looks less like an extra Partridge Family member. And those double buckle shoes. Yes. On the docket. 

Rotary phones and monkey hugs.
Julie's Snack Set: Well, snack and stuff set. We have Jiffy Pop, a kickass rotary phone, snack foods, hugging plush monkeys, and flower plates. So feeling it.

EGG CHAIR EGG CHAIR EGG CHAIR
Julie's Egg Chair: egg chair egg chair egg chair egg chair EGG CHAIR it can play music it can mount my iPoddi it has a huge ass ottoman I can have my girls listen to 70s tunes in it I can put subversive and radical stickers all over it my BJD can relax in it Otters can relax in it I don't care that it's orange I don't care that it's huge I care that it's an egg chair egg chair egg chair EGG CHAIR--breathe Neth breathe--

I was too excited to get a display shot. Have her bike.
Old Shit: No more older Christmas tea dress, Casual Outfit, Floral Jumpsuit, Calico Dress, or swim set--which had already lost half its stuff anyways before. I saw her Birthday Goodies in the case, but they also might not be long for this world. Her hairstyle set only had the image on the front change. I sorta am glad I jumped anyways. The VW bug is still around. Beep beep!

Kit: Teal and Yellow and Bobbing the Good News

Extra, extra! Bright Colors existed in the 1930s!9 
Kit has gotten a new look, and with it comes she's got bright pretty clothes. Kit is a tomboy, but she's a tomboy in an era where girls wore dresses even if they generally didn't want to, so Kit wears dresses. Bright colored dresses, because the 30s were a bright era. Dying clothes has always been a thing, and looking at the past in black and white doesn't let you know the accurate shade. Remember, bright colors will show up as greys on black and white film. Like the set of the Addams Family TV show; that's how it showed up on camera as variants of grey.10 Just because people like to believe that, somehow, bright colors are a fairly recent invention, the past existed in color. Kit but she also did well, making an HM in this week along with Julie.

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile smile smile~
Kit's New Meet Outfit: Kit's new meet outfit is a sleeveless teal dress with a bright floral hemline and bright vermillion accents, with the cutest peter pan collar. She has bright red shoes and a sweet little oval hair barrette to clip her hair back. Yep, my Kit will have this on soon enough. Again, it was out of stock, but gimme time.

Kit's New Meet Accessories: Praise gods, that terrible crochet hat is gone--I have a review coming, you'll see how much I hate it--and a new cleaner felt hat is there. I love the red bow and the overall shape--it feels and looks a lot more authentic. The purse is generally the same shape, but now has a loop at the back. And the bracelet is just cute. Yes.

Cute stuff for kids, not in my size.
Ruby Pom-Pom Top, Garden Blooms Skirt: Fuck is this the cutest set. FUCK. I'm so going to make this for a moddie. Even if I can't get the exact skirt print, I can get close. Well I could but it 'd involve getting a new meet set for the sole purpose of cutting it apart. Don't tempt me.

Hat with red ribbons.
Red Ribbon Hat: I have no need for a hat. I have no need for a hat. I almost never wear hats. I better not turn hats into a notebook problem. But oh damn is it cute! I really like the tulle touch.

Polka dots reporting in.
Kit's Reporter Dress: Yep, no old one anymore. Now Kit chases her stories in red polka dots and white shoes. My main issue is that the skirt and top are attached, so I can't have just the top. Ah well, I can figure out how to separate it, even if it involves bias tape. I also am not feeling the bow, but again, the things I can do with a seam ripper are ungodly. The vest is eh, but this is me, I generally do not like vests.11 I love the color, though.

Bright and bold, just like Kit!
Kit's Photographer Outfit:  I love this set, especially the skirt print--it's the sharp, angled bold print that was characteristic of the 30s. I adore the cardigan as well. I'm not quite feeling the bows, but again, I have ways of working around them. Since I have all but a few of Kit's outfits, I'll get this one later on.

Kit of the Daily Kittridge Paper.
Old Stuff:  The prior reporter's dress and the old birthday dress drop down. But the rest is still there, including the reporter set I thought I'd be losing. And her typewriter's back too! Yes, for a lot--$50. But it's practically the old set, so you can all quit your crying. First you want stuff back then you cry when it's there, you're all a bunch of toddlers. You don't have the holly and the ribbon around the typewriter, but that's it. Oh and the box is different. How will you endure? How. Suck it up, buttercups. I wish they'd bring back her overalls but I already own em so whatcha gonna do.

Rebecca: Purple Spotlight Sparkles

Acting allows you to be everyone and anyone, beautiful girl.
I didn't get her new splash image in my photography? Fuck me running. Have her silhouette. (ETA 9/30/14: Got a shot of her splash, changed to it. I can do that.) Rebecca, who came out after Sam went in the first time, is everyone's favorite Jewish aspiring actress, in an era when acting was still considered pretty low class and not a good career to seek.  Well, you won't succeed on Broadway if you don't have any Jews. [/Spam-a-Lot] She only got a few things, but one of those new things is her meet outfit, so let's get in on that.

Rebecca might be the actress but Kit's doing the photobomb.
Rebecca's New Meet Outfit: Rebecca has dumped her maroon tweed dress and Sam's old summer shoes--completely not her style--for her own pretty purple look: a plum purple tweed wrap top with fancy buttons, velvet bow waist accent and white cuffs and collar. She also has a purple pleat skirt (attached to an undershirt) and velvety soft Mary Jane shoes. She keeps the barrette, though, and on the covers of her books she's ditched the huge side bow. Looking adorable, and finally a girl all her own instead of a Sam spinoff. Let's rouge her cheeks.

Rebecca's New Meet Accessories: No more shawl and broach; now she has a sweet little necklace and clasp purse instead.  Her new hat is a purple velvet slouchy style with an awesome flower on the side, flip front, and sheer ribbon and it's also stiffened inside. I definitely am going to get this new set for my gang.

Dressing up.
Pretty Plum Dress: Rebecca's meet interpretation is done as a whole dress, with the same plum color.  Nnngh peter pan collars they're too cute~! Again, above the knee. I guess we're doing skirts there now. I either do mid thigh or below the knee or super long, when I wear them. I wore enough just above the knee stuff in high school uniforms.

Holiday dress and sabbath set ups. And another photobomb get out my shot.
Rebecca's Holiday Outfit: Alas, Hanukkah Dress, we hardly knew ye. Now Rebecca's just got a holiday outfit. The prototype--more of a pale pink and blue than this--got bawled over in other places but it wasn't the final at all, so y'all had premature sniffle sobs.  The actual dress is a short sleeved nice periwinkle sheer shade with a dotted design and trimmed bodice. I'm not sure about the waist broach, but the rest is very cute. I wonder how the stories will do this in, since the original was specifically short in the sleeves. And she's kicked away the heels for the cutest double strap Mary Janes. I'm a sucker for Mary Janes.

Rebecca's Teatime Traditions: Teatime and Sabbath traditions, yes. From the Sabbath Set that was retired come her candles, tea, glasses, challah bread with cloth and an updated teapot; we also add a fruit tart. Basically it's what we had with the prior set, minus the samovar and tray. I can do that.

Lights, Camera, Awesome!
Rebecca's Director Set: Rebecca is in this to get all her Hollywood feels. Now she has a set worth of her acting aspirations too--a director's chair, megaphone, focus board with wipe, script, magazine, Title cards--what we had in the silent film era--and old movie tickets. And the niftiest part for me--a mini replica of a real 1914 movie poster from The Perils of Pauline serials. I love authentic details like this.

We are the movie makers, we are the dreamer of dreams, we desperately got hit by the flash.
Old Stuff: Addy's the schoolgirl, Rebecca. No more school stuff for you. Also out are her robe and slippers. old winter coat, and summer souvenirs. While I still saw the settee, it's probably done soon too. Whatever I can get for the same cost of it EGG CHAIR EGG CHAIR EGG CHAIR--ahem. I want that egg chair. One last thing before we head on:

Now in Purple.
Rebecca's Hairstyling set is now with a purple bow. Take notes!

Kaya: Fringe Benefits 

Ain't much changed for the first American Girl.
Kaya's meet set didn't change one whit. This is because there was no real way to change something very cultural to the time; it's not like Kaya would transition into a different day dress. So she remains in braids, beads, and buckskins. She lost no outfits and she gained none, but things did get moved about in her items and she got one new thing.

It's too much.
Steps High Tank, Knit Blanket Sweater, Fun Fringe Skirt: The tank is okay--racer back, with Kaya's horse on the front in a watercolor style--and the sweater is actually pretty nice. But I hate fringe skirts like that; the fringe falls from the waist. And with it all lumped together, it looks very, very much like something that can lead to nasty appropriation. This set is going to need something serious in my designs to not make my gang look like they're five steps away from sticking feathers in their head and wearing headbands before posting terribad appropriative pictures on Instagram with racist hashtags. I could put it on Kaya, but she'd rather have jeans.

For all your powwow needs.
Pow-Wow Hair Set of Today: To go with the new Pow Wow Dress of Today--the way Kaya gets new clothes--we have a headband, two yellow ribbons, and two hair plaques to tie to the tops or bottoms of her braids. Not bad for the new set--which I still need to get.

Looking ready. 

Here the set is on her head, with the dress it's intended to go with. I'll get it next go round.

Two become one.
Kaya's Tepee and Bedroll: Take the tepee and fire from Kaya's Tepee and the bedroll (one hide, thinner), mat, and pillow from Kaya's Bedroll and Shield. Ta-da! That's pretty much it. I don't have the tepee for multiple reasons, and I received the old bed set from a close friend to feel good enough with what I have.

Old Stuff: All still there, except the aforementioned smushed set. Kaya tends to hang onto what she has since it's not much.

Josefina: Biding Until Spring

She's a patient girl. She'll wait.
Josefina mostly got glossed over with the BeForever Launch. She, unlike the others, doesn't have a my Journey book--which I'm getting to. It's due in the spring, though she did get her books rebundled like everyone else. Her major changes are her meet outfit and the loss of some things.

New Meet meets old accessories.

Josefina's New Meet Outfit: The design of the set is mostly the same; however, the colors are much brighter. The camisa has slightly different trim, and her shoes are also the same from a recent change away from the leather of before. But now she has a blue belt and her skirt is bright red with blue flowers and a lovely hem design instead of a muted red and black. I gotta say, I like both versions and now have her new one. Her meet accessories didn't change--leaving her the only girl with a coin right now--but they are likely to in the future to remove her coin and hankie so if you want those get on it.


Dress of power.
Desert Flower Dress: Based entirely on the new skirt, the girl's dress is a tunic style dress with long blouson sleeves and a semi-high waist. Goddamn, I would wear the shit of this over leggings in my size. This will have to be done in that bright style for my gang. Even if I can't match the fabrics I can match the style well enough.

Your time is coming.
Old Stuff:  Josefina lost a lot without getting much of anything: No more school outfit, fiesta dress, socks and shoes, skirt and vest, or table and chairs. And her riding boots are also gone. Out with a lot of the old, and waiting on the new. I hope she gets a hairstyle set. She's the only one without now. Just give her some flowers, ribbons, and a nice hair comb.

Caroline: Not Much Change on the Sea

Steer us....uh, somewhere.
Caroline, dear, gets this release's losertar. She, like Josefina, is due more in the spring, but right now honey you're flailing. Not because of her meet stuff; Caroline's meet set didn't change. First let's talk about the new clothes set based on it.

Anchors aweigh!

Silver Sparkle Jacket: The wide collar is wonderful, and I'm loving the simple pea coat feel--very nautical. Especially because those buttons have anchors. Aw, yiss.

Top me off.
Lacy Ribbon Top: Ooo, empire waist white lace tops with nice ribbon. I know I can do this in doll sizes. Easy peasy sea shanty breezy.

ugh, jeggings, what.
Cuffed Jeggings: I hate jeggings so much. Jeans or leggings, but don't squish them together. These would be so much better as just pink jeans. I will correct this in my set.

Caroline, we need to talk.
Caroline's Party Gown: *heavy sigh* Caroline lost her birthday dress for this? She did. You poor dear, now you have to wear a shiny satin blue gown with sheer sleeves, gloves, slippers, and a hairband. I don't normally hate on shiny fabric, but when I do, oh how I do. It's just too--slippery looking. It gives me a vibe of Baby's First Cosplay--when someone thinks that cosplay will work better and hide crafting mistakes if it's all done in the cheap satin from fabric stores. I don't think Caroline would do much of this stuff with a war on.

Caroline's Table and Treats: We also gave up her table and chairs for a banquet table with tablecloth, tiered tray, tureen with ladle, fruit bowl, pedestal, and serving bowls. And fused food. I really hate most fused food. And again this is way too fussy. I can't see Caroline doing this with the war on, even for her birthday or the holidays. Boo.

Still got the rest for now.
Old Stuff: Caroline only lost her birthday dress and table and chairs in the revamp. But oh how she lost them good. And while her skiff is still there, she might not have it forever. I mostly get Caroline's stuff for Beth Cady and play it semi-practical. I'm not getting that blue thing. Bad Caroline. Stop that. 

Books: Yes, Dolls Still Come with Paper Things, Try and Read the Words on Them

Our boxsets now have three books! And no gameboards.
The major things are that the central six book series has now been compressed into two multi-chapter volumes. Volume One covers what used to be books 1-3, and Volume Two covers books 4-6. Dolls are bundled with Volume One, so now it's three books coming with a girl where you used to get just one. Not bad, since the old books were about 7 bucks each. They kept the same authors, but they did tweak the text like they did when Elizabeth went blond in order for descriptions to match new outfits. They also reduced the looking back sections to a two page section called "Inside ____'s World" that glosses over the era. Want more? Look stuff up.12 The paper is about the same thickness as the mystery books, so no it's not of a "crappier" quality. If you've handled any mystery you can handle this. At some point I'll get my hands on Addy's full set and probably some others. I did get Addy's Journey Book and so far it's actually pretty interesting as a Choose Your Own Adventure style book. I will probably get all the others.

Hanging out with Rebecca's world.
The other big thing is that the illustrations are gone. There's the cover illustration, but no internal ones at all. I am half sad to see the illustrations go but--as I mentioned in a comment here--I can see why they're gone. The new style winds into multi chapters that feel less like a picture book and more like a sensible novel at about 200 pages. This should appeal to the target audience a lot better. A girl of eight to twelve often feels that picture books are juvenile and babyish, and with images so frequent like before I can see it feeling underaged. I was a fast reader in second grade and was already starting to read chapter novels13--they had some black and white illustrations but overall it was text and I was allowed to picture things in my head. Glossy paper and pictures can feel like a baby book. Furthermore, all text books work better for digital availability and e-readers, which have not gone away. Illustrations also make people lock down to ideas of what should be in a collection. As has been seen, many people bitched that outfits not shown in the books weren't "real" outfits. With no illustrations AG is free to design more things and branch out from the six book standard outfit selection. Bitch bitch bitch, but at the end of the day AG does what gets them money, and illustrations generally aren't going to anymore.  

The books are for Addy, not Esther.
But Neth, you whine, what about my five year old daughter? She likes pictures in her books and these are going to be boring for her! I don't care. She's not the target audience. She never was. AG's marketing audience for the historicals is not getting younger. Parents are skewing younger and society is compressing the doll age, but AG is still aiming for an 8+ audience both with books and characters outside of the Bitty shit. Just because parents are terrible people who can't say no and give children things they're too young for because they want to act like all toys are toys (*coughs up a lung*) doesn't mean that a child under eight is the target audience for BeForever anymore than the iPad is targeted towards children simply because there's child apps parents can download. AG isn't aiming BeForever to your four year old. Go buy them the Bitty Baby books. Not everything is for every age.

Mini Dolls:  Pocket-Sized Bits of Dolly

Wittle dolly tinies.
The mini dolls, just like the large ones, have a new look. They changed clothes, yes, but the big change is that they're all vinyl now, and so have flange joints. It was probably a lot to continue to make tiny strung doll bodies, and this is the way things are. Less poseability, but overall still very sweet. I did test, though, and if you're really tied to the old bodies the new clothes will fit the old ones and vice versa. Josefina's not redone just yet, but I'm sure she's on the way.

Conclusion: Being the Best Forever I Can Be 

Stop being cute, ice cream parlor!
So here we are, with BeForever the way of the Historicals: the ones we have, any others that might come back out the vault--if this succeeds and Felicity comes back, I'll be on that new set like a hunting Absol on a particularly slow Zigzagoon--and any coming up in the future like the one that leaked and I'm not posting about cause I'd rather not get shit from AG. Addy, as I said at the start, is the clear winner of this launch with her beautiful blue dress and school set and overall gorgeous.  Behind her are Kit (she has a new hat!) and Julie (egg chair egg chair egg chair). Rebecca didn't do so bad overall, even with only getting one new non-Meet outfit like Addy. I'm hit or miss with Samantha--when she hits, she hits and when she misses, she misses hard--but at least now with her back the old guard can whine about something about her other than her not being there.14 Caroline is going to need to step her game up, and Josefina needs a lot more love. Kaya is Kaya, there's only so much that she can have added.

Overall though? I'm very glad this reboot and revamp has happened. The new outfits based on the meet sets are brilliant--even when they miss me, I can see children loving the stuff. If AG wants to make money hand over fist they'll make BeForever style outfits in sizes and styles for the moddies, cause I'd for one be all over it. The books being less babyish means they can go digital easy and appeal to the older proper audience and it feels less like reading a kid's book. I'm hoping this brings a whole new generation into the Historical love instead of only staying with the moddies and the Girls of the Year. A new wind blowing through is just what they need to bounce from the lows they've been doing for some time. I eagerly await what's down the pipe for Josefina and any others, and can't wait to start my Addy reviews on the new stuff.

Now I have to prep for the Cousins coming to me to get whispered to and loved on. Who are the Cousins? Oh you'll see~

--Neth

1 This picture is a modification of the official splash image of the BeForever I scanned it off my flyer and also uploaded it to the AG Wiki (til it was replaced). So take that into account that's it's not mine but I did edit it.
2 It's a reference to ThunderDome, the writing challenge on SA I'm part of. If you don't know you ain't gonna know without dropping ten bux.
3 I'll probably still be getting a second Addy eventually, once I can guarantee she comes with the feathered brows, and then turning her into a moddie character.
4 Clothing draws on the past to inspire the present, not the other way around Miss "it looks like Gymboree and Target" you know who you are stop talking.
5 Alas, not on Blu-Ray.
6 Bars were initially dropped on women's and girl's bikes to accommodate their skirts when they mounted up.
7 See my vest, see my vest, oh please won't you see my vest~  Yes, I've been watching the Simpsons Every Episode Marathon since it started a week ago on FXX. I really like the Simpsons and have seen every ep.
8 The song came out in 1966, but it fits.
9 I'm never, ever going to drop that bullshit anymore than the Edwardian thing. Deal with it. [/Korra]
10 Not shitting you.
11 My prior note was song lyrics being quoted. I mostly hate vests. 
12 I'm thinking of PDFing my old copies for the data. Make me like fandom that much or you'll get nothing. 
13 I was also reading romance novels. Bring in the smut. 
14 Like Nellie not being there. Get over it. Even if mine got compliments all yesterday.

18 comments:

  1. one thing I want to clarify... they ve modified the hair on the dolls but the eyebrows are still lined? because addy definetely has a new hair style now but why are her eyebrows not feathered?
    Nia

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    1. They haven't modded the hair at all. The style but not the hair. Her eyebrows are feathered on new dolls. Right now though they are clearing the older ones with plainer brows out.

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  2. Thank you for the indepth post! I had been looking forward to your coverage and it did not disappoint. Intelligent, funny, honest and awesome.

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  3. Omigosh I feel the same way about Kaya's set for girls!! It's cute, and I bet it will look great on your dolls, but idk, it feels...just not quite right. Did the Nez Perce have patterns like the sweater is, or is AG just jumping on the "tribal" fad thats been going on? Maybe I'm just overreacting, but I bet it world look cuter with the skirt replaced by a pair of sturdy jeans, which I imagine a tomboy like Kaya would wear if she was modern. Her new hair styling set looks awesome though! Glad she's getting a hair styling set, but why must they leave Josefina out in the shinyfest? :(

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  4. Thanks for sharing your photos and opinions, Nethilia!

    I keep waffling on Samantha's new holiday set. I think I may need to see it in person before deciding how I feel about it either way. Overall, I am thrilled with the BeForever releases and I agree that Addy is certainly the winner of BF!

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  5. Wow, there's a lot more cool stuff here than I thought (I like AG but I don't care enough to follow every bit of info), I mostly surprised I love Julie's new stuff so much! Also, such a good idea for them to sell the new meet outfits separately, they're going to make bank on that.

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  6. I love your take on Beforever! I live in St. Louis and a few days before the launch I went in to check things out. Addy's display case was gone! :( I asked one of the associates what happened and they said the glass shattered. Thought that was strange. I really love all her blue. I'm going back tomorrow because I went to the launch on Thursday but one thing I see people talking about online is that the STL store is selling the old Addy's (lined eyebrows/textured hair) in the new meet outfit but it's not actually the new Addy. What do you think about that? They say the Beforever Addy will arrive in October. I'm just curious and I plan on going to the store to see in person if it's true. I know Kit has a new hair cut. Samantha is beautiful but I'm not a fan of that much pink. As a girl, I always wanted Samantha and Molly but I don't feel that way anymore. I do like Kaya a lot but wouldn't want to take her out of her meet outfit and modernize her. What dolls do you recommend? I also like Kanani a lot because of her eye and skin color, and super long hair. Her ebay prices are way too high for me.

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  7. Thanks for an excellent and detailed review of all the new. That egg chair, yep I have a mighty want for it.
    And thank you for posting the correct way for Kaya to wear her new hair set. I've seen several other AG blogs post pictures from the stores, of historical Kaya wearing the set. That and their crabbing about the items set my teeth on edge.

    I agree the girls inspired by outfit for Kaya could be a tad problematic.

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  8. Great post and photos, thank you! I have to say I was much more impressed with the launch than I thought I would be and I am so excited about the fact they brought back Kit's typewriter, whoo hoo!!! As for the whole "this color didn't exist" crap-that's what it is, crap. Think back to Cleopatra and what she is depicted as wearing--it's just a matter of some colors weren't as popular during certain eras due to certain factors, but doesn't mean they went the way of the spotted owl. I for one love Kit's new dress and will most definitely be purchasing it. There are other colors out there besides pink!

    My big gripe--the prices going up yet again and more mega-expensive sets.

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  9. Awesome post! I loved those pictures in the books, used them in my ESL class, kids loved it. Well, I can still buy used ones on betterworldbooks, so no big deal.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I told you not to comment on my posts anymore.

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    2. ...What even is that commenter? I tried to go to their blog to try to get insight one what they could have possibly commented, and my browser crashed four times while my computer as a whole came to an almost-standstill.

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  11. Thanks for good look at everything Neth! You had me cracking up with Lego business. It's so true, and also sad when the only people throwing fits are the parents. Kids seem perfectly happy with Beforever.

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  13. Your writing is so hilarious. I love your style. I've been an AG fan since childhood and it's great to find someone who has a healthy sense of humor about the whole thing but isn't jaded. Keep on writing, please! Your blog rules.

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  14. Why don't you allow doll chocolate?
    Are you saying that for comedic purposes?
    Are you allergic?
    Not trying to be sarcastic or be offensive, you might actually have an allergy, but I was just wondering.

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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.