|Now with skinned polar bears and --oh hey someone's new.|
It's been a challenging month, especially on my birthday weekend. Dear Oya of the Winds, my birthday weekend. I had birthday plans. My age is a square now,1 and I was going to AG Seattle and enjoying dinner with two of my fellow AG collectors. And then the PNW Windstorm had the mall close hours early. I was able to duck up there just to get my birthday presents and then came home, cranky and the opposite of pleased with the events of the day. Still, better safe that crushed by a tree.2 I really should have listened to my Astrological Forecast for October, it said right there that the 14th (my father's birthday) and 15th (mine) would be challenging. Le cry, le sigh, le unhappy bi.
But I do have new stuff to review, and I was able to take pictures soon after getting my goodies. At the start of the month, the Bae and I went to Costco to stock up on apple juice and toilet paper, like yah do, and I came across AG Costco Holiday Goodies. Ever since I first moved up here and could get the old school story collections at Costco, I've been getting AG stuff from there, and once they started doing things like exclusive book bundles and pet sets, I've been rather on it. It's how I got my BeForever Addy book set, my Pomeranian before they came out widespread, and both Lea's and Grace's book sets with extra stuff.3
This, however, is a major first: a Costco Exclusive outfit bundle. Leaks were seen before the Holiday Moddie release of a blue PJ top and shorts with blue slippers, but they didn't come with that. A few weeks later, out came the Costco Sleepover Set and that's where the aforementioned PJs were, along with a lot of accessories to make the pack worth the $39.99 it cost. Along with the blue pajamas and slippers, the set comes with a white fur pillow and sleeping bag, two drink glasses, a bowl of popcorn, a book and AG magazine, and a miniature version of Junior Apples to Apples. So basically it's a new outfit and sleeping bag with a tweaked version of the Sleepover Accessories from 2011.
|All Boxed up.|
|Jamiya "Miya/Mimi" Bissett, y'all.|
And she's making her debut in pajamas. Cause that's how we roll.
Time for pajama knowledge! Cause why not. The word pajama was incorporated into the English language from the Bengali/Indian "payjāmā," which itself was from from the Persian word "pāy-jāmeh"--literally translating to "stuff worn on our legs"4 because at first the word just was used for loose pants. It got into English the same way most things from India did: "thanks" to Colonial British Empire bullshit. English people, finding any excuse in the world to not have to wear the restrictive clothing (that they themselves created) in hot ass locations, started wearing the pants as a casual thing and slowly shifted to it being a word for what they wore to bed. Which, historically, was either generic tunics, undershifts that they never changed out of like Felicity's, long night shirts to the knees, chemises, or fuck all. Modern "clothes just to sleep in, not just our undies" came about in about the mid 19th century as a "top and bottom" style, but men didn't start shifting away from nightshirts and union suit all in one sleepers dominantly until about the World War I era.
Of course, the top being a light blue is a plus. I'm just a sucker for blue shit.
|Insert my Standard Pokemon Reference about Comfy Shorts here.|
The print is the fox from the shirt, ribbons, snowflakes, some hearts, and white pine trees, Why are most of the foxes upside down? Because orientation is whatever. And as seen above, it's not like you can actually dig through the boxes to inspect and pick the set you want. Well you could but they'd probably throw you out the Costco. And for all I know they're just all sewn upside down because AG felt like fucking with us. Or so your gang member can look down at their own legs and see the foxes face the right way.
|Bow and Waist.|
|These damn slippers.|
I hate these motherfucking slippers.
|Look. Look at them and HATE THEM.|
Bastard ass shoes.
|Fuzzy hell beasts.|
D+. The only plus is for the blue and fuzzy. The fact that Miya could barely stand in them ruins like, 90% of the point of slippers, and if they were any other color I'd fail them.
|The ensemble together.|
|This is white. Oh dear..|
While sleeping in bundled cloth things has been around since humans took the skin off of wooly and hairy beasts and slit open a tauntaun as a second option,6 the first modern sleeping bags were patented in 1876 by mail order from a man named Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones,7 and called Euklisia (Faux-Greek for "good sleeping place") rugs. Now they go as far as space, because in space no one wants to float into their fellow astronaut.
This one does not have any major padding to keep the user warm, so it is clearly for indoor use. Also because it's white fur. So maybe I should call it a slumber bag?
|Flat and unopen.|
|Laying upright some.|
|Rep your brand.|
|If I fits, I sits. Lays? Nah. Sits rhymes.|
It's fluffy, plush, and rectangular. I don't have much else to say on the pillow aspect. You know how pillows work and I already talked about the fur. B.
Popcorn is derived from corn, which was cultivated by Native people in America thousands of years ago; archaeologists have discovered found remnants of popcorn that dates to around 3600 BC in what is now Mexico. Yeah, it's been around for years. The science of why popcorn pops is pretty cool--essentially, the small amount of moisture inside the dried flint corn kernel when heated makes steam, which builds up enough pressure that it forces the kernel to flip inside out, yielding its white starchy goodness. I know how to stove pop popcorn--and I don't mean like Jiffy Pop, I mean like with oil and a Dutch oven and shaking that fucker with potholders on my hands til I have munchies to crunch. I also used one of the in-home poppers as a kid that a little oil had to be put in the bottom and then it shot the popcorn out the front into the bowl. Microwave is passable, but if I really want tasties I need a stove top.
Since this is doll food, what we have is molded popcorn fused in a bowl. Let's imaging it's the best kind of popcorn--kettle corn--and not that gross, flavorless air popped corn that doesn't even have the dignity to be coated in melted butter to make it taste good.
|Darkness! No refraction!9|
|I read AG for the articles.|
|Egghead likes his booky-wook!|
|Whoo awesome card games!|
Do you play, know, and/or enjoy Cards Against Humanity? Well, Apples to Apples set the tone for that game and came out first in 1999. Originally published by Out of the Box Publishing11 before the game was sold to Mattel, Apples to Apples is designed to be quickly learned and then played semi-fast. I actually have the non-junior version with the expansions. AG's shrunk the box down and made it in the Junior edition for kids for your dolls.
|Well well well.|
|Sealed for Freshness.|
|How to play.|
The rules are easy--even a little easier than CAH. Red cards are shuffled and passed out to each player. The judge picks a Green card that has an adjective on it--in this case, Odd, which also has some words that are homonyms. Then, facing down, each player other than the judge puts down the card they think will fit the Judge's definition of their descriptive word. Here we've got Teachers, Pillow Fights, My Friends, The Chicken Dance, and Hippopotamus. That's the part that trips people up a lot both in CAH and A2A: You have to go for the judge, not yourself. You might think peanut butter is "tasty" but if the judge is allergic to nuts, they're not going to pick your card. Whoever gets their card picked gets a point, everyone draws a new red card to replace the one that was just played, and then play goes around to the next judge.
Some people play to points, but often when you're playing as an endless party game--like one does Cards Against Humanity--you just keep going until it's time to sleep, eat, or you're too drunk to hold the cards properly, and people can be dealt in and out as needed.
I don't know if the real kids' version has the cards duplicate each other, but this one does. That's about the only thing I don't like about it.
Overall Feel: I like this set a lot more than the Lackadaisical Leopard Set--but I'd like anything better than that set. I like it as much as the Polar Bear Pajamas, which are one of my favorite sets of pajamas ever released. The lovely blue pajamas, the fuzzy sleeping bag and pillows. The accessories add to the whole set, and make for the feel of this set for being an overnight slumber party. The best damn part is the Apples to Apples game and the pajamas--minus, of course, the shitty-ass shoes.
Cost Value: $40 for a pajama outfit, sleeping bag set, and a (rereleased) accessory set is pretty damn good, not counting your standard Costco membership. On eBay it'll probably spike to $60 if not more, but don't pay that much. If you can get a buddy to get you a set from Costco, get on that while they're available. And if you just want a few components, maybe they'll be available separately.
Timeliness: It's a very faddish look--especially that odd ruffled bottom--but pajamas don't have to be timely for the most part. They have to be comfortable to wear while you lay in your bed and hallucinate for six to eight hours. The magazine and the book are recent, but popcorn and drinks don't go out of style.
Mix and Match Levels: Pajamas don't mix and match. The shirt, if you took the ruffle off, could be a casual shirt, but the rest is for a set. The accessories aren't tied to the outfit.
Final Grade: B. Everything works together for a cute night set. Except the shoes. Fuck them shoes.
1 You can, unless you are dyscalculic, suss it out.
2 A distinct possibility when a tree fell outside my apartments.
3 Speaking of which. If you follow me on IG--and I haven't blocked your ass--you can see what set me off reading through Explore with Lea. Basically? They have a "craft" activity offered of participating in a "Queen of the Sea" Festival, and suggests dressing a mini doll as a "mythical mermaid", displayed with a Mini Julie and dressing dolls in white lace dresses and headwraps. Which is a ceremony to Mama Yemaya. Yemaya is worshiped dominantly by African Diaspora people like myself, had to be syncretized into Catholic beliefs by African people who would have had Her taken from them as pagan and "wicked", and her worship continues today by many people, myself included. She is the Mother of the Scattered and the Ocean. She's not some blonde white "mythical mermaid" to play with anymore than Jesus is some mythical Aryan carpenter to play with. She is a sacred goddess. This activity is the equivalent of having your dolls dress in pretend Catholic robes and serve plastic juice and crackers as play communion with a Mini Doll crucifix and faux confession, and then act like it's just some woo woo bullshit.. This is encouraging children and collectors to play act at another person's RELIGION. And the fact AG had someone write this up, post this up as a set up, and put it in a book is extremely offensive to a person who has integrated African Traditional Religion into my faith. If you get or have this book? Don't fucking do this. Don't even touch it. If your kid asks why they shouldn't? EXPLAIN. They're able to understand why people shouldn't go around slapping people with oar paddles, they can understand why not to do this activity. Just, don't. DON'T. I don't play at Catholic ceremonies or Jewish ceremonies that are not mine to touch. Don't use another faith for play activity. I was informed that Lea's movie was racist garbage mess, but WHAT THE FUCK.
4 Same thing with the Japanese word "kimono", which basically translates from the verb kiru (to wear, specifically any garment that hangs from the shoulders)" and mono, "thing." My personal, not at all actually serious in any way belief for all these words that translate like that and are used in English were because White Europeans were stupid as wet wood, and PoC worldwide were incredulous at their stupid asking about clothing and so decided to fuck with them. "What's that?" "....Jackass, it's the thing I'm wearing. Literally, that's all it is." 'Kee-moh-no', you say? Ooo, what an exotic word." *facepalm*
5 The Foxes of First Dark, also known as Hunter's Moon in the UK. If you've ever read Watership Down, it's like that but with foxes.
6 Star Wars ref. Look, they said it happened long long ago, I'm sticking them to that.
7 Who was clearly born to the most uncreative parents in the world. "We just had this baby, what should we name it?" "Our last name is Pryce. Let's just name the baby that."
8 I'm not autistic. I just like to do repetitive things like that.
9 Continued Darkness! The opposite of light!
10 I should really get back into my Magazine Monthlies.
11 Fun fact: One of the founders and artistic director of Out of the Box, John Kovalic, is also the illustrator for Munchkin and Dork Tower.