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

Monday, March 28, 2016

Historical Clothes Reviews and Historical Accessory Reviews: Samantha's BeForever Meet Outfit and Accessories

Nellie: Pretty in all that pink.
I continue to gush and gush about how much I like the BeForever revamp, in great contrast to a great many older AG collectors who grew up with the original looks. There's some bits I don't care for--there's not much that has my undying love without at least one thing to complain about1--but overall, it's been a good thing. And when AG went for the relaunch, they relied on their regular fall back for all-new historical product launches and first tries. Yep, that's right. They reached back into the Historical Character vault, pulled Samantha out, shook her off and gave her an all new look. Same brown hair and brown eyes, but nothing from her prior collection came with her, not even her meet outfit and accessories.

And for that I'm glad. I never liked her original meet outfit or accessories. Oh, the underwear and black stockings had their usefulness, but the dress was mediocre at best and blech at worse and helped highlight the idea of turn-of-the-century sepianess and dull colors. And don't get me started on those pitiful ass plastic ugly shoes2 or the high neckline that had to cover up that poor ugly white body the first three started out with. It wasn't even shown in the illustrations until the 1998 redraw. Away with it. Now Samantha comes to you in a much more pink set: a pink lace and dotted swiss dress, bloomers, white tights, black Mary Janes, and a velvet ribbon on a ponytail holder that that I don't have. Cause while all the new BeForever outfits come separately for about $36, they don't come with any of the hair decs. Either buy a new doll, clip your own ribbons, or see if you can obtain replacements for the hair clips. The accessories also transmogrified: a headband, velvet purse, and "locket" necklace for the standard accessory cost of $24. This was sold out the day of the BeForever launch--and also, I was getting all the Addy I could get--but later trips to AG got me a set to put on gang members such as Marisol and Nellie. So far there's no reason to touch eBay to get a set--even when it's not sold separately anymore, there's always the possibility of stripping a Samantha to get the hook up, though of course that's the more expensive option. There's also a matching sundress and headband. If you're like Zagat Editor Molly Moker you can fit in the set. I am plush and fat and can't do that.

With Nellie around, she can help share the Edwardian reviews with Marisol. She does an excellent job.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Why I'm An Outsider: Part Seven: The Rise of AG Playthings

And then there were six--at least, until that spring. 
The next chapter of my time in the mid-Aughties of the American Girl Fandom--circa 2006--follows the last chapter of my connections (for the most part) with any and all membership at AG Fans. They had pulled a Charles Lee/John Adams and shat the bed. A whole mess of people from AG > 18 had just been banned from their prohost boards in the wake of the moderating staff overreacting to the idea that there were people in the fandom--nay, in the world herself--that were not 100% Christian, straight, or monogamous, that they were doing their own thing and being happy about it, that we were looking at them or participating in their community, and/or and that some of them, someone, somewhere, might be talking about them behind their backs in an unflattering way. And then tried to feed us some lines about trolling.

In the wake of the Great Banning of Aught-Six, the new hub of American Girl fandom became AG Playthings. As people left AG Fans and their madness to wither like a neglected avocado plant in the harsh winters of Alaska, they went to the open doors of AG Playthings.1 And you know, for a good long while, AG Playthings was pretty okay to be at. With AG Fans locking down, AG Playthings was the place for news, sports, and weather Buy/Sell/Trade in the American Girl Fandom. It had its nasty aspects, and I plan to talk about them in depth in this and future posts. But they at least didn't start that way. They started as an open, accepting AG community that allowed dissident opinions, complaints, and even calling the mods out on their shit without the fear of being throw out on your ass to bounce down the road.2

Brief discussion of the Gang Situation. The AGGiR--for we were still living in Redmond--was now one member larger by that Giftmas, with the addition of Felicity Merriman, with all her pretty tribadism and her missing her Elizabeth--and not wanting the blonde one. She was best friends with Naomi, close to Addy as another Historical even though Addy had to school her on why her grandfather's plantation was an issue and Owning Slaves Was A Bad Idea, and had a crush on Marisol that Marisol didn't even get a whiff of. Yes, Lissie liked Brunettes, and a whole photostory was made about how she did and how the gang didn't judge her one bit for being queer. As Otters said outright: "I'm not going to give up my faith because of what other people think I should be. I'm a pagan, and I'm proud of it. Being a lesbian--a tribade--is part of who you are. Do your own thing and screw the haters." It was 69 pictures of dolls,3 full of the F word and blatant paganism, and out of respect for some of the members of AG Playthings, I did not post it there or even a link to it. But I did post it at AG > 18, and I did post Otters Teaches Paganism Part Four: Yule on AG Playthings with warm reception.

So what did I have to complain about? A lot. As 2006 became 2007 and Nicki replaced Jess, I continued to post on AG Playthings comfortably and be a content participant, work at Nintendo, and make good friends in the AG fandom. And things happened, for good and for ill. These are going to be in the order I took remembering notes in, because it was around six to seven months of AG Playthings participation mixed with AG > 18 participation.4 Also I have no access to anything AGPT anymore, obviously, so I can only go on my notes I've had.

None of these were big sweeping things like the Banning of Aught-Six or what would later be The Final And Complete Bannination of One, Nethilia from AGPT. But they were things that happened in, on, and around the fandom.

This one might be on the long side. Let's go. [/Alexander Hamilton]

Prologue: Not Such a Sweet Baby Face
Part One: Finding AG Fans, or How Periods are Bad For Children
Part Two: There's Fundies in My Fandom
Part Three: The Wicked Witch of Customizing and the Birth of AG > 18
Part Four: Halloween is for Jesus, or How Otters Offended a Nation
Part Five: The AG Fans Revamp: No Pagans Allowed 
Part Six: The Great Mass Banning of Aught-Six