Culture Consumption: June 2016

Happy July! The year is officially half over! June brought the first month of Calico in Conversation, which was SEKRIT PROJECT #1 and seems to be going well so far. And this time next month, you’ll be introduced to SEKRIT PROJECT #2, so please, stay tuned to the blog for any announcements.

In addition to working on said SEKRIT PROJECTS, June brought a lot of great entertainment, so let’s break it down, shall we?

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Culture Consumption: August 2015

September is here. I’m in denial. Not just because the year is passing faster than my poor little human brain can comprehend, but because the end of August brought the end of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, and I’m so full of FEELS that I can’t focus on much anything else. My brain is happily writing blog posts in honor of the show, to talk about it, the ending, what it means, what the show compares to, and SO MANY THINGS. Whether those posts find life outside of my brain is another story, so in the meantime, here is the Culture Consumption for August.

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The Dolls I Never Had, and Those I Did

So yesterday’s post about all the dolls I found online that I wanted to add to my collection got me thinking. Most people would assume that due to my interest and due to my being a girl, that I grew up playing with dolls.

They would be wrong.

I was never into dolls as a child. Never cared for babydolls, nor Cabbage Patch dolls, and unless you count my She-Ra action figures as dolls, they weren’t really my go-to toy. I was a My Little Pony kind of girl, and that’s what my childhood centered around.

However, I remember wanting one, very specific Barbie.

I saw a commercial for it on television. I was in pre-school. I just Googled the specific Barbie, and bam, there she is: Magic Moves Barbie. She was a total glamor girl, and she had a beautiful blue dress, and she MOVED. So that year, for my birthday, I told my family I wanted THAT Barbie.

I got a Barbie all right. But not that one. I got this one instead.

I hated her.

I also decided Barbie was NOT for me and stuck with my Ponies until the day in second grade when my best friend introduced me to Jem and the Holograms. I was hooked. My first doll was Aja, and then my first actual Jem doll was Flash’n Sizzle Jem (her earring lit up!!!) and then later I got Rock’n Curl Jem. I loved those dolls, and those dolls gradually got me into more, and I ended up with a Cheerleader Maxie Doll (does anyone remember that franchise?) and a few Barbies in the end (school girl Skipper and a tennis-playing Midge, who was one of Barbie’s friends and had the most unfortunate name ever).

It’s weird, because I really didn’t get into the stuff until I’d reached the age it was kind of too late to be playing with them, but I’d made friends who had fun collections, and we had a grand old time.

So I guess I did play with dolls as a girl. Just not when I was super-young. And I always felt (and maybe all kids feel like this, even when getting what they want), that I never had exactly the dolls I wanted. There was always a Jem doll that I’d covet at the store but couldn’t get. A particular Barbie. Or, of course, an Ariel doll from The Little Mermaid (who, looking back on it, was particular atrocious, but at the time, I would’ve adored her!). I’m not sure what this says about me, but I think it goes a long way to explaining why it’s dolls I gravitate towards now for collecting, not My Little Ponies. I had all of those I could want and more (and some I didn’t, but I learned to be choosy), so I don’t feel the need to revisit that, you know?

Anyway, going back and finding pictures of these various dolls has been something of a mind trip. Anybody got any favorites to share from when they were growing up?

Doll Hunting on the Internet

It started innocently enough. I was browsing through Entertainment Weekly’s site and came upon an article about the new dolls for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It caught my interest because I pretty well liked the doll Mattel came up with for Katniss for The Hunger Games (a doll I wish I’d picked up), and I wanted to see what they did for the second movie (an aside: I love that Mattel has, thus far, resisted putting Katniss in her Capitol Dresses and focused instead on what she actually wears for realz, you know?), and I wanted to see how the Catching Fire doll would compare.

Which led me directly to Mattel’s site, which got me browsing through their collectable dolls catalog. I’ve always been somewhat in awe of their actual collector dolls. You know, the stuff that’s not actually meant to be taken out of the box, but if you do, you better damn well display it somewhere? So I was, of course, in awe, by the various dolls for sale and came upon one that knocked my socks off. It’s called The Queen of Constellations and it’s Amidala-Awesome.

While reading the description, I learned this doll was the third and final in a series of three “futuristic space goddess series,” so of course, I had to Google the other two dolls. Those were cool too, but no where near as fabulous as “The Queen of Constellations.”

All of this drooling reminded me of one of my first doll-collecting sprees, that of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. See, I was about eight when the movie originally premiered in theaters, and I. Fracking. Loved. That. Movie. I wanted everything Little Mermaid I could get my hands on, but one thing I never got was an actual Ariel doll. Some of my friends had them, and I was wildly jealous. But I never had my own. Until college, when I discovered that Disney still made Disney Princess dolls and sometimes, they’d release an awesome Ariel doll that was meant for me, the COLLECTOR, and not for little girls to take out and play with.

I don’t remember how many dolls I ended up with. A handful, maybe, and now that my memory’s all shoddy I need to go to my grandmother’s and do some digging. But I remembered seeing, last year, a Disney Holiday Princess Cinderella, and after doing research last year, I learned that they released one Disney Princess per year in this collection. So I filed that knowledge away so I could look for Ariel one day. I Googled it, and wouldn’t you know, 2013’s edition just so happens to be Ariel!

It’s a little disappointing to me. She looks too bright-eyed and girly, and that’s saying something, because bright-eyed and girly is what Ariel does you know?

You know where this is leading, right? I started Googling for other collectable Ariel dolls, stuff I’ve missed since college.

I found this beauty, and given the fact it was just re-released earlier this month means I might actually be able to find the beauty. I see a trip to the Disney store in my future!).

I found this designer rendition, which came out in 2011 and is part of the designer princess collection and pre-dates the fascinating designer villains collection last year, which included this unfortunately (see what I did there?) skinny Ursula Doll, which looks fabulous in person and I really wish I’d gotten it last year when I saw it in the store, but alas… money.

This set comes out later this month, and I have to admit, I’m really curious to see it in person: It’s Eric and Ariel both!

And lastly, on The Little Mermaid front, these are two dolls that I think I may have gotten ONE of while I was in college, but I’m not sure. I really need to sort through my stuff at my grandmother’s. Aqua Fantasy Ariel and Summer Seas Ariel.

By time I got through these, and poked around the online Disney Store for other goodies (Ariel coffee mugs!), I decided to take one more peek at the truly outrageous new Jem and the Holograms dolls: Original gallery here at The Mary and even MORE dolls featured at The Mary Sue.

In conclusion, I need more money. And some epic display cases/devoted rooms to the fandoms of my childhood.