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THE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL POLL

[Poll #1940188]

Apparently there are more dolls/books now? But Kit was BRAND NEW when I was 9 and I thought it was super cool that she had freckles like me.

Please rant about how great your favorite character is below.

Date: 2013-10-24 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saucydiva.livejournal.com
I used to get the catalogue and just read it slowly, savouring the pictures and obsessing over the stuff I wanted. When I was eight, I saved up $88 so I could buy myself a Samantha, because she was so pretty. I worked hard, doing all sorts of chores and stuff. But then when I had the money, my mother told me I had to put it in a savings account, not use it to buy a doll I wouldn't even play with soon, a move which explains a lot about me, I think.

To this day, I occasionally contemplate running out and getting a doll anyway.

I was also entirely enamoured of Felicity's blue dress. You know the one.

Date: 2013-10-24 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
I DO THAT WAS THE FIRST AMERICAN GIRL BOOK I READ. IT WAS A GORGEOUS DRESS THOUGH I WASN'T SOLD ON HER HEAD DOILY

You want me to pick you up one on my way home from work one day? I go past the store LITERALLY every day.

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizinstereo.livejournal.com
You should totally run to AG Place and get a doll. Samantha's retired but Molly is near retirement. In a few years, you could sell Molly on eBay and make some cash.

Date: 2013-10-24 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] courtknees1.livejournal.com
I am perfectly ok with being very literally unamerican in this instance.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saucydiva.livejournal.com
You are THE WORST like we came and TOOK YOU IN and TOLD YOUR OPPRESSORS TO TAX THEIR OWN DAMN TEA and we let you WATCH OUR TELEVISION SHOWS without even watching your shows in return, because they're boring/awful.

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
i mean it's okay to be australian but how much of this is you being jealous as there's no such thing as australian girl dolls?

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizinstereo.livejournal.com
I bet Leslie Knope has an AG Doll. Not because she grew up with them - she just likes the history.

I bet she owns a Felicity (the American Revolution doll).

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Date: 2013-10-24 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
I voted for Samantha, although I couldn't tell you why. I'm not sure if I ever read a book or if I mainly just got to know her by staring at the catalog pictures.

Incidentally, the American Girl publishing house is about 10 minutes from me. I applied as an editor, but they didn't want me (probably because I have no fiction editing experience). Boo.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
SHH LET'S JUST BLAME IT ON MATTEL AND THEIR CORPORATION-EVIL-NESS-THING.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saucydiva.livejournal.com
You edit fic all the time.

Or does fan fic not count?

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Her red bow is something I envy to this day

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizinstereo.livejournal.com
Samantha was my first doll. I saw her in the catalog and I just fell in love. Neither of my parents had qualms about buying me an expensive white doll (I'm black) because a) I loved her and my parents remembered what it was like to love a toy and b) honest to God, it doesn't matter what color the doll is. It's a doll.

That being said, I was thrilled when I learned about Addy. I remember seeing the catalog and seeing a doll that looked like me. Not a black Barbie with glossy hair, but a doll with natural-esque hair and a history. A history that meant something to me and my family. That doll meant the world to me and my parents ended up buying me the entire collection (it was overkill, but my mom wanted me to have it and they bought my sister a ton of unnecessary shit too). I still have Addy and all of her stuff (in a box at my parents house); if I ever have a kid, I hope that s/he likes dolls.

My sister had Molly and a girl of today (with natural-esque hair and I don't think they make those anymore - the hell? Most black children do not have glossy hair naturally). And then she wanted a Josefina and my parents bought me one too, even though I was getting close to outgrowing the dolls.

I gave away Samantha and Josefina a few years ago to my parents' neighbors' daughters. Their eyes just lit up. It was a great experience.

I read all of the books up until Kit came out. And I relax (aka treat) my hair now. But only crazy people relax little kids hair.

So, you got a dolls lesson and an ethnic hair lesson.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizinstereo.livejournal.com
I forgot to mention that the little girls I gave the dolls to call them their "angels." I kid you not.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saucydiva.livejournal.com
That's really interesting, that they have switched the black dolls's hair. Is Addy still made with the more natural hair?

I remember reading Addy's books, and have clear memories of reading a short story in the AG magazine about her getting medicine for her mom and having to take a streetcar, I think. Good times.

I wonder if people write AG fic. Don't let me look this up.

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
I think it's really interesting we're all talking about the catalog--I LIVED for that thing, and obviously other people did too.

SO YOU WERE LIKE MY FRIEND LEAH. Leah had all the American Girl Things and I was SOOOO jealous. She had a travel trunk! And a DOLL HORSE!

I always really liked the juxtaposition between Addy and Kirsten. Their stories are only 10 years apart but their lives were...SO different. I hope potential Liz! kids can appreciate it in the way you did. My mom has Kit and Molly in her closet--when their friends' daughters come over, they play with them.

They make a couple with vaguely natural hair, I think? I could be totes wrong on that one, but I think there was at least one that did (the last time I went to AG place, at least).

I LOVE IT WHEN DOLLS LESSONS COME WITH BONUS ETHNIC HAIR LESSONS THANKS LIZ!!!!!!!!!!!!! (i think other lessons have come with bonus ethnic hair lessons, too. but with my straight, super fine, white girl hair, I appreciate them.)

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beetsbearsbsg.livejournal.com
Are American Dolls a rich kid thing ? I mean, the only real "doll" I had was a cabbage patch kid. And that was given to me when I was around 8-9 years old when my parents knew I wouldn't destroy it. Call me crazy but spending $100 on a doll is dumb. I'm not unamerican, I just grew up poor and played outside a lot.

And looking at this as a minority, Josefina Montoya??! WTF, is she supposed to represent me ? No thanks on these dolls. They just look creepy.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saucydiva.livejournal.com
Did you not grow up on a rancho with a pet goat?


I kid. I only know that doll from wandering in to the store- she was past my time- so I have no idea what her story is.

As for the rich verses poor thing. I have no idea, I was a lower middle class kid. I have no idea if any of my friends had the dolls, as I don't remember ever playing with them. I just got fascinated because I ended up on the mailing list and those catalogues were beautiful.

I did have a crap ton of Barbies, though.

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Date: 2013-10-24 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
In the little town I grew up in, we had a Reading is Fundamental program, and that's where it started for me. RIF days were better than book fair days.

I liked the story more than the doll. But then I also read fanfic and was obsessed with historical fiction, so who knows? I think that's part of the reason we're so bent out of shape on this thread, because they're shying away from the historical dolls and focusing on dolls that are JUST LIKE YOU but then also ridonk expensive.

I will agree with Courtney that when they're all lined up, they are terrifying.

But I respect your viewpoint.

Date: 2013-10-24 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizinstereo.livejournal.com
I understand what you're saying. I don't think the dolls represent anyone unless a person, as an individual, chooses identify with them. Plus, the stories are sanitized because this shit is for children. AG is definitely the stuff of historical fantasy, which is why they are moving into the plan old fantasy market (with the Just Like Me dolls).

The little teeth are creepy. I noticed that a few years ago. I still love my doll, but I wish she didn't have two front teeth.

And if we are doing a demographic survey, I grew up middle class (in suburbia).

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Date: 2013-10-24 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yumytaffy.livejournal.com
I picked "other" because I am American and, at least in this case, not terrible. I just wasn't into the American Girl dolls for various reasons. For one, price. (Seriously, guys, they are so expensive.) Also, as a minority, I just always felt it was a little off for them to be called "American Girls" when I didn't see myself in them. Now, I wasn't hurt about it, and I don't begrudge anyone for liking them. Everyone has their reasons, is what I'm saying.

I know this is a much larger discussion for another time and way too deep for what I know is a lighthearted discussion about dolls growing up. It's just my two cents. (Hey, guys, I had other toys growing up! I was a child who played with things! I even had a Build-A-Bear phase!)

And now I'm going to respectfully back out of this post because I'm afraid of what fresh hell will be rained down upon me.

Date: 2013-10-24 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Thanks for your input! But can you tell me about your build-a-bear phase?

The mall in amarillo has a knock-off build-a-bear place and it is...amazing. But I've never built a bear.

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Date: 2013-10-24 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emilyla.livejournal.com
I always loved Felicity but somehow I ended up with a Kirsten doll--when I was like 12, so I wasn't interested in it for very long. Kirsten was probably my second favorite, but I always enjoyed Felicity's hair and her love of horses. And her clothes.

I will join with [livejournal.com profile] courtknees and say that, from an adult perspective, these dolls are kind of creepy as hell. But I guess better an American Girl doll than Rick Perry's HPV vaccinating doll (never mind [livejournal.com profile] saucydiva it's from a show that exists).
Edited Date: 2013-10-24 02:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-24 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] throwingpens.livejournal.com
Rick Perry's HPV Vaccinating doll would make things really easy though.

FELICITY HAD A HORSE SO SHE WINS

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Date: 2013-10-24 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fairytiger.livejournal.com
Samantha! Okay to be fair, I'm pretty sure she was my favorite because she looked like me. But I liked the clothing and her Aunt Cordelia (I thought that was the prettiest name in the world at the time) and idk man, Samantha ftw.

Date: 2013-10-24 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ballroom_pink.livejournal.com
86 comments already.
I liked Molly. I liked homefront stuff like that as a kid. I read Samantha and a little bit of Felicity and a friend of mine was named Kirsten and had all those books.
I grew out of it before the dolls came into play. And my grandma does not have any of them either. Not really her style.
Did you ever read the magazine? I would read it at the library and every month or every other month it would come out with a paper doll for another time or it was based on a reader.
I also always wanted a hippie American Girl and I think they finally got one named Julie a few years ago.

Date: 2013-10-24 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whimsical-irony.livejournal.com
Other, because HOLY SHIT you guys, are these dolls seriously $100+ each? (They are meant for kids, right? Not like collectors' items?) Growing up I got $25ish for Christmas every year, so these were way way way out of my price range. No chance in hell my Asian parents were buying me a $100 doll.

Side note: not super bothered that there isn't an Asian one. I don't have super high expectations of toy companies when it comes to proper representation tbh. Growing up, I don't think I owned a single non-white Barbie/doll.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
Yes, they are way expensive. There was a bit of a fantasy element to looking at the catalogs, so I guess that's where my nostalgia comes from, but I never knew anyone who actually had one.

Date: 2013-10-24 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stars-inthe-sky.livejournal.com
Whoa, apparently I missed a whole big thing last night...

I owned Samantha (and her me-sized nightgown) at one point, I think because she looked the most like me, with brown hair and green eyes.

But Felicity was ALWAYS my favorite--she was spunky and independent and idealistic, and she wore breeches and RODE HORSES (this was right when I was also super-into the Saddle Club books and was taking riding lessons). She was also from Virginia, and I grew up going to Colonial Williamsburg on field trips, soo...yeah, definitely Felicity. (I think I can picture the blue dress, but I was all about her flower one!)

As for the other discussion points: my family was comfortably upper-middle class, I loved the books far more and way longer than the dolls, and Josefina was newest Girl before I moved onto other things. I was always disappointed there wasn't a Jewish one (at the time; apparently this has since been remedied) but read plenty of other YA historical fiction, so it wasn't really a big gap.

It was definitely disappointing to learn that they're phasing out all the historical dolls lately--I get that you need to keep your inventory fresh or whatever, but there's SO MUCH MORE history and so many experiences left to be covered that aren't, like, whether Sage is good at yoga or whatever. What happened to the girls who asked questions and snuck around trying to do the right thing?

My sisters and I spent a lot of time looking at the catalog, but we never really got anything from it--it was always way too expensive to justify, and we had much more fun playing with our Littlest Pet Shop animals than with dolls anyway.
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