Dave McKean

The power of cute!

Oh my God, people!

You know those American Girls books, and they were cute and stuff and so you read them when you were, like, nine. and you sent away for the catalogue and spent hours poring over over Samantha's petit fours and Kirsten's Saint Lucia dress and and Felicity's pet lamb and you made up five hundred thousand wishlists and no one ever bought you so much as a hairbrush? I never even had a Barbie doll and I never even wanted a Barbie doll, because I had Legos, but by God I wanted all those little dresses and desks and books and dolls (because dolls have to have dolls!) and everything.

I dragged satyadasa to the American Girl Place in Manhattan when it opened and he was either strangely fascinated by the plethora of miniaturized paraphernalia (which exponentially increased with the creation of the modern American Girls to go with the historical ones, since they can do everything ever, like tapdance and climb mountains) or doing a really good job of humoring me. More recently, I got to help set up the American Girl doll display we have at our library, which is very popular with pretty much everybody, especially now that we have Kaya, who has five times as much loot as all the other dolls with her tipi and her horse and her wolf and and her fur rugs and her her campfire on top of her dresses and doll and food and the other usual stuff. Naturally, I reminded my mother of the angst and woe and deprivation I suffered during my childhood. Because, you know. That is what you do.

So this morning she comes home with
. Who are just so gosh-darned cute that I am powerless to resist brushing their hair and and hugging them and squeezing them and calling them George. (Notice approximately one-third of my BSC collection in the background there, to complete the whole actually-I-am-eight effect.)

Somebody send help! Airdrop tennis players if you have to!

EDIT:
  • Current Mood: enthralled enthralled
Dang, those catalogues. I never spent as much time lusting over the contents of a catalogue like I did with those American Girl ones. I wanted Samantha's watercress sandwich and Addy's ice cream maker and whatever else (course, there were only 5 girls back then). Yesterday, at the school library, they had a huge section of American Girl books but the librarian told me they haven't beem popular for about 4 or 5 years. What a shame.
The librarian told me they haven't beem popular for about 4 or 5 years. What a shame.

Yes, especially since the popular dolls these days are the hideous and slutty stylings of Bratz.
Ugh, yes. They have Bratz books now, which make me want to cry when I see them. But they put them in the YA section where basically no one will check them out, so I suppose it all works out, except that we spent good money on them.

A third grader named her Bratz doll after me once when I was working with them in New York. I was simultaneously charmed and appalled.
When I was a kid, my toy object of lust was a Pamela doll, by Worlds of Wonder (the company that made the Teddy Ruxpin). Pamela still sounds really advanced for her time--she was touch-and-context sensitive and could have extra content loaded into her through data cards (e.g "Let's go on a picnic!").

There are some Pamela dolls still around on eBay and the like, and I *almost* bought one the other day to fulfil that childhood fantasy. Then I realised that it was probably better to keep the fond memories rather than spend money on a doll I'd probably be bored with in five minutes now.

I used to have such awesome memories of Maniac Mansion, the Nintendo game, until I recently got a NES emulator and a ROM of the game. How disappointing! Without the childhood wonder, the game fell so flat for me.
You are very wise! Now that everyone's putting old TV shows on DVD, I keep discovering that, for example, DuckTales is not actually an unmitigated work of comic genius.
The ones we have at MCPL get checked out pretty steadily, although not as much as they did back in their real heyday. (Although we have considerably more copies of them now than we did. This probably distorts my perception.) And everyone loves the dolls. Mothers try to drag their little boys away sometimes and they run back and gawk some more. It's so cute.
You know, even JENNA read the American Girl books, and she never read anything. Ever.

At this library, Berenstain Bear books seemed to be pretty popular, but they are also considered ACCELERATED READING. My ass.
ACCELERATED READING? For whom? Kindergardeners??? Not even those lame-ass Berenstein Bears chapter books are qualified to be accelerated reading.
I don't really understand who sets the tables for Accelerated Reading here, but Berenstain Bear books are in the 3.2-3.6 range, meaning that first and second graders aren't technically allowed to read them until they've read easier books. I mean, I think they can check them out, but they don't count towards their reading progress. They were categorized as Fiction and not Everybody books. So there was like "Are you there God, it's me Margaret" and next to it was "Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream."
It was totally confusing. I'm so glad I didn't have to shelve anything, because other than the nonfiction, I'd have been totally lost.
Dude! Oh, I remember the lust... and I am such an elderly creature that when I was lusting there were but THREE - Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. Samantha was the object of my attention. OMGschooldesk! OMGhairribbons! OMGberibboned nightgown!
OMG I just found the box with the official American Girl hairbrush in it and the original owner also included Samantha's dress from Meet Samantha! So my dolls can, like, play dress-up and pretend to be Victorian young ladies!

*dead from cute*
American Girl Place is to a miniature museum as Barnes and Noble is to a library. Intricate little themed things for sale. Fascinating :)
:D

That reminds me, I wonder if the Toy and Miniatures Museum is still. I'd like to go back there.
The contemporary dolls never really did it for me. AG introduced them just as I was growing out of my doll-love -- I got Addy and Samantha around ages 10 and 12 -- and I remember being seriously uninterested in the moderns. I think part of the charm of the dolls, for me, was the strange, ornate perfection of their clothes and accessories. How old-fashioned and beautiful everything was, so different from MY stuff!

I still have Sam and Addy. My little sisters are almost old enough to get them, I think. They're 5 and 3 -- few more years, you think?
I remember when the modern dolls first came out I was kind of excited because I was old enough that I was sure that I could write my own formualic American Girl books. I'm pretty sure I came up with some kind of plot for all six books about my hypothetical doll (whose name may or may not have been Kelly; I forget). But of course this, like all my other dolllust, came to naught.

A couple more years should do it, I should think. Ooooh, what accessories do you have for them?
Oh my god, yes. I remember I convinced my sister to ask for one on the theory that my parents would be more likely to give her one than me (in retrospect, I'm not sure why I thought this, probably because I was a suspicious, distrustful child, and also because she asked for stuff a lot less frequently than me). They said no, it was too expensive and we had lots of dolls (true). I think we had a bunch of the books, though, but maybe we read them from the library. I can't even remember which one was my favorite, I liked them all. Out of curiosity, did they ever introduce a Jewish girl?

But I always, always, even in the height of my desperate desire, thought the story on the back of the catalogue was the most melodramatic cheesy thing I'd ever seen.
But I always, always, even in the height of my desperate desire, thought the story on the back of the catalogue was the most melodramatic cheesy thing I'd ever seen.

This is so very, very true. It was that bad.

As far as I know, there are still no Jewish American Girls.
(Anonymous)
Yes, there is ONE Jewish American Girl Doll. Her name was Lindsey and she was limited edition. Unfortunately, she was only available for a year! She even had a menorah and star of david necklace and everything! You can still buy the menorah set on the American girl site.
Oh, cool! Sucks that it was only for a year, though. I had no idea that there even were such things as limited edition American Girl dolls, which just goes to show how with it I am.
The dolls are cute, but ZOMG entire shelf of Ngaio marsh books!! :D I am rather desperately waiting for the library here to come up with the next ocuple of DVD's in the set, as I've seen the first two and can't find the second two anywhere. :P

Anyway. yay Ngaio Marsh! :)
Whee, don't you love being a bookshelf voyeur?

I didn't even know there were DVDs! My best friend got me hooked on the books when we were in junior high! Do tell!
They are very good. :D Alleyn is played by Patrick Malahide (who is amazingly hot), and I forget who plays Troy but she was well-cast (although I didn't like the hair). The acting is great, the costumes are *fantastic*, and they remained reasonably true to the stories. Quite worth tracking down - afaik they have only done one set, but they're really good!
*hugs Ngaios protectively*

Some of them may just be American titles, though. They changed a bunch of them, goodness only knows why.