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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pajama Jammy Jams: Sleepover Set (Costco Holiday 2016 Exclusive)

Now with skinned polar bears and --oh hey someone's new.
Blog more than once a goddamn month, Neth, the people and my brains say. Say it to my Seasonal Affective Disorder and chronic depression Brain Weasels, I snap back, before sitting down and opening up le Blogger.

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.
The set comes in a box bundle, with all the bits visible and encased in various plastic. I did not keep the box. I have enough boxes around here without keeping AG boxes for no damn reason. How long will this be in Costco? I have no idea. Costco flips stock on the regular, and it'll probably cost more on eBay once it's not there anymore.

After I got it, I got out one of my gang members and got her all dressed up in it for both Wiki-shots and this review, as seen above. But Neth, that's not a new girl, that's just Addy without her earrings. Nope! First of all, Addy here can barely be talked into a yukata; she'd try to throttle me if I put her in something this modern. Secondly, Addy's earrings don't come out.

Jamiya "Miya/Mimi" Bissett, y'all.
So who is she? This is Jamiya Bissett, who goes by Miya (or sometimes Mimi). She's an #1--aka the doll that I tell everyone to get when they ask which doll to get and I honestly can't be assed to care. One of the first Moddies to come out in 1995--textured dark hair, darker brown eyes, no bangs, and dark skin--she was around until 2009, when she was retired. I found her for a good cost on eBay with some rough hair, and after some braid spray and scrub down, she is a cutie pie. Miya is from inner city Houston, hood as they come and don't give a fuck, speaks fluent AAVE, and likes her baby hair with baby hair and afros. Between her and Mellie, I have a mini-me.

And she's making her debut in pajamas. Cause that's how we roll.

Top: The pajama top is a light blue jersey knit raglan top, in the style of the not-at-all stylish "Lovely" Leopard PJ's. In fact, the top, shorts, and slippers are kind of the same cut as those, only not, you know, fucking hideous. I wouldn't be shocked at all if the AG Factory over in China used the same patterns for this as they did for that set. Costco sets don't have to be fancy. We're just trying to sleep. The raglan style shirt--which is often seen as the "baseball" kind of shirt--I explained the history and style of before in my Swim Shirt and Shorts and Sailboard Set, so I won't repeat myself.

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.

The collar is a simple extra strip of fabric. 

On the front is one of my favorite animals, the fox. This one is a screen printed white Arctic fox with some grey and dark blue accents, pink cheeks, a pink and white marbled heart behind it, and "american girl" in pink script under it (no caps, so that's not a typo). A little cutesy, but I'll let it slide for the fact that I'm way into foxes. Not as much as ducks, mind, but considering I hunted down and eventually got a copy of a book about foxes that I'd read as a child,5 I think I like them a ton.

Raglan sleeves.
The raglan sleeves come down to the three quarters length, with a standard t-shirt hem with two rows of stitching.

At the bottom hem is a top jersey knit ruffle with an overlocked edge, and a tulle under ruffle. Which baffles me. Why anyone would want tulle at their waist while trying to sleep is beyond me. I have enough trouble with non-legging style pants because the way I shift around they end up bunched up my thighs. I'm too old for waist ruffles, but they appeal to the youth, so I'll let it go.

And like most AG things, they velcro up the back. A- for blue and foxy, with points docked for ruffle.

Insert my Standard Pokemon Reference about Comfy Shorts here.
Shorts: The pull on sleeping shorts are blue print, thigh length, with no leg trims and match the top quite well. Unlike the Lousy Leopard shorts, these are just more t-shirt jersey knit. Thank gods, I don't think I could have handled anyone wearing fuzzy white shorts to bed.

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.
The waistband is elastic all around, and at the front is a blue ribbon bow well tacked on. That way you know which way faces front, instead of being a moron and putting the doll's clothes on backwards and then claiming that's historically accurate cause you haven't the sense God gave green beans to grow up, bless your heart.
Add caption
The back has no bow. A. Butt successfully covered for bed.

These damn slippers.
Slippers: The last of the wearable parts in the set are a pair of blue fuzzy slippers.

I hate these motherfucking slippers. 

Look. Look at them and HATE THEM.
There I was, prepping my shots. So I put them on Miya, like folk do for reviews, and then stood her up, like folk do for reviews. And then Miya fell over. Repeatedly. Because someone didn't actually test the slippers before they were put in the set. They're stuffed inside and have no solid inside, sole, or bottom. And so they have to be squished, repeatedly, to prevent them from puffing up and sending your doll into a tumble over from the feet-pillows these things are. Oh, they're fine if you're not trying to get your doll to stand for long periods of time, but when folk like me are trying to take shots? These slippers can go straight to the Nightmare. I actually took these feet shots first, then stripped the slippers off her feet so that every time I moved Miya to take top and shorts pics, she didn't go falling on her ass or face. I managed to get two good shots with the shoes on, and then I gave up and peeled them off so I could get something done without cursing.

Bastard ass shoes.

Fuzzy hell beasts.
The slippers are made of blue fuzzy minky fabric, which super depresses me because I love blue and minky, but these shoes. They have a center elastic toe cord that should in theory simulate the center thong between the toes, but I didn't try to shift it over the toes. Also over the toe strip is an attached white felt heart, just like their pink counterparts. So yes, these are the LOL-Nope Leopard slippers redone. Which means those fuckers probably make your doll fall over too.

Back strap.
There is a blue elastic strap to keep the shoe on and thus make sure, when your doll faceplants into the ground from trying to stand on shoepoufs, that they hold onto the feet.

The soles are a bias cut striped light corduroy-style fabric. They won't be visible if your doll stand in them long enough, which she surely will not.

Ego Tag.
And of course, one shoe has an ego tag, because if you're going to piss Neth off, why not just torch the ground in the process?  Fuck these shoes.

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.
Intermission: This is the only decent shot I got of the whole set. And then Miya tumbled a second later. Damned shoes.

This is white. Oh dear..
Sleeping Bag: For sleeping warm, we have a white furred sleeping bag. Which clearly marks this for dolls. If this was a real sleeping bag being used at a real sleepover by real children, their parents would probably toss them out of a window for wanting a white fur sleeping bag that would lay on the floor and get dirty all over. Good thing this is for dolls, hmm?

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.
The outside of the bag is, as I keep repeating, white faux fur. I love furry and fuzzy things and use them to stim8 and fidget all the time. Soft things on my skin soothe me when I'm feeling at my worst, which is why my Squishable Jumping Rainbow Spider is good for bed. So I like petting the doll sleeping bag. I also like to smooth all the fur the right way, like petting cats.

Laying upright some.
There are three rows of top stitching to visibly separate the bag into four sections, and keep the inner lining between layers from bunching and shifting; there's slight padding between layers.

In theory?
Inside, the bag is lined with a slippery blue synthetic fabric, because real sleeping bags don't want to be covered in body oils and sweat. Being a mere sack, the whole thing can be turned inside out to show the full blue lining and the required ego tags. And in theory can be used this way, to have a fuzzy "lining" and blue "outside." As long as you're not bothered by visible seams.

Rep your brand.
Near the bottom front is a small AG patch in blue.

If I fits, I sits. Lays? Nah. Sits rhymes.
And yep, it's long enough for your doll to fit inside, which is the point. B. It doesn't do anything wrong, it's big enough, and it keeps dolls warm, even if it is white fur and thus might be a hellbeast to clean later on.

Fuzzy pillows.
Pillow: To match the fuzzy bag, we've got a fuzzy white fur pillow. I don't know that a white pillow is anyone's best bet for sleeping, especially because I currently am sporting purple and black ombre braid hair that sometimes leaves spotted rub offs on the pillow if I forget my bandana. But I guess if you're trying to be cute, then you want your pillow to match your sleeping bag. Just remember that, if you get a real one, you'll have to cutely wipe the whole thing down if you drool in your sleep or get a nosebleed.

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 Bowl: Yep, that's what we're having, popcorn! Dinner was earlier, so why not have a healthy snack? Or, you know, smear that fucker in butter, sprinkle brown sugar, or eat kettle corn, and be fat and happy.

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. 

The white popcorn is spotted here and there with yellow spots for realism and in a round pink snack bowl. While it might look slightly glossy here, that's from my flash; it's very matte colored. It also can't come out, so don't try.

The foot--the rim at the bottom--is a molded circle, with the AG name and the fact it's made in China. B is for bowl and that's its grade.

Drinks: Gotta have something to drink with your eats, and we've got two glasses for that. To share with others, since originally they were part of a set for sleepovers. The "liquid" is pink, so I'm going to assume we're doing a pink lemonade thing in this. Both glasses are exactly the same, so after this shot, we'll only be looking at one.

The glasses are translucent ridged drinking tumblers with green plastic straws. The pink liquid is simulated by what appears to be an inner thin coat of what is probably resin.

Darkness! No refraction!9
You can tell this is a hollow glass because there is no light refraction that would be caused by a liquid in a glass and distort the way the straw looks inside. The straw doesn't come out, so don't bother. It also is less a straw-like tube and more a solid rod with no openings.

On top are three molded ice cubes that are lightly painted white. I generally don't like ice in my drinks, unless it's so hot I have to do that to get by. B. Visually appealing.

Magazine: Like the set before it, it comes with a miniature magazine; where the Sleepover Accessories came with the September/October 2010 American Girl Magazine, this one updates to the 2015 Holiday Special. I actually don't get hype over AG magazines in my accessory sets. It's too meta for me.10 So I just gave it a cursory look.

I read AG for the articles.
Inside are reproductions of what I can only assume are articles that were in the original magazine: Making cookies, taking quizzes, doing craftings. Because of the size, it's really too small to read clearly, which is a lot of points off. C. It's tiny and paper, and so not really so much for reading as posing and AG promoting.

Egghead likes his booky-wook!
Book: The original set had a miniature of  Snooze-A-Palooza!; now the book included is Slumber Wonders, a recently released book about activities to do at slumber parties. Unlike the magazine, the text in the book is mostly clear, if small.

The book, from what I skimmed, goes into slumber party etiquette, activities and crafts, and themes other than "sleep at someone else's house" such as the 1950s, animals, and sweets. It's got lovely illustrations and interesting themes and ideas. Having been piqued by the mini book, I might actually get the full book. B. My gang will use this more than the magazine.

Whoo awesome card games!
Apples to Apples Junior Card Game: We can't spend all night eating popcorn and laying on our butts. Let's play a party game! Tonight, we're doing Apples to Apples Junior Edition. 

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.

So tiny.
And when I say shrunk down, I mean it. It's got full instructions, 25 Green cards, and 80 Red Cards, just like the non-doll version.

Well well well.
There's a plastic tray with wells to store the cards; the green cards go in the center well because there's fewer of them and that section is more shallow. The tray also lifts out.

Sealed for Freshness.
The cards came with each set wrapped with little white paper, but I snapped that off for the review and general use.

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.

The box is steady and good to hold all the cards and instructions. A+. This is probably my absolute favorite part of the accessories.


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.

Night Night.

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.


  1. Welp, looks like the wheelchair user in your gang is gonna get a shiny new pair of slippers. XD

  2. Awesome review! You made me laugh in every paragraph, lol.

  3. Hi Neth, every time I see a new blog post, I stop what I was doing, get a snack, and settle in to be entertained and educated. Thank you for this. Loved the Star Wars reference and your new doll is beautiful! I also had the same though about Sir Pryce.

  4. Kimono as a clothing name came before any foreigners found Japan. Check here http://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/13916/is-%E7%9D%80%E7%89%A9-the-most-suitable-japanese-translation-for-the-english-word-kimono

    1. I know this. You've dissected the frog here.

  5. ah, what a through joy to read, exactly what I needed on this week of debate clusterf!ckery. goddamn, you have the best reviews! I love the historical background as well as the fandom bits (I did not realize these were a blue, much better version of the lousy leopard lunacy). I think the sleeping bag might be the weak link for me since I was used to sleeping bags at sleepovers having either a sh!tton of cartoon characters or being some boring utilitarian thing you borrowed from your parents or had to share with siblings (so less chance of cartoons because you kids don't agree).

    that mini apples to apples might be worth the cost of the set to me since it looks like it was zapped with a shrink ray.

    you have the best simpsons references. I legit had to google that because I knew I remembered it but couldn't remember where/which.

    your posts are always a delight!

  6. Daaaaaaaammmmnnnnnn do I want that mini A2A set. I don't currently have any AG dolls, and I couldn't care less about pyjamas, but TINY GAMES!!!

  7. Ren snagged 2/3rds of the PJs when that set arrived at my house (take a guess which bits are currently floating in the darkest depths of my AG shoe bin...) and squeeed over zee foxies. Me and the guy are squeeing over the mini Apples to Apples


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