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Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.
I recently wrote a post about my trip to the American Girl Place in Tysons Corner, Virginia a few weeks ago. I wanted to check out this new 2014 American Girl Doll of the Year, Isabelle Palmer, mainly because her backstory is set in Washington, DC and I live outside of DC. When I saw her pictures online I felt that she resembled too much the one American Girl doll I actually own (Julie Albright, a historical 1970’s era doll) and seeing the Isabelle doll in person confirmed that to me. I decided to pass on getting the doll although I’ll probably go to the library and check out her book series at some point just so I can see how many DC landmarks are mentioned.
I’ve read the reviews of this doll online and I’m not the only one who sees Isabelle Palmer as a retread of other dolls that American Girl has already released. I’ve read posts on American Girl fan forums (like this one) that has complained about how American Girl has, once again, picked a white doll with platinum blonde hair to highlight as Girl of the Year. I’ve also read these blog posts that has complained about how not only is the Girl of the Year is yet another platinum blonde (like Julie Albright, previous Girl of the Year dolls, as well as certain dolls in the My American Girl line) but she is also a ballet dancer just like the previous 2005 Girl of the Year, Marisol Luna.
Okay some people may say that American Girl don’t make dolls for adults, they make them for girls between the ages of 7-12. Well, that’s fair enough. It would be more accurate to see the response to Isabelle among American Girl’s target audience. I had a chance to see such a response in person. Many Barnes & Noble stores across the U.S. were doing a promotional campaign in conjunction with the American Girl of the Year 2014 doll. Here is what the ad copy said on Barnes & Noble’s site:
Girls ages 8 to 12 — Join us March 15 for a special American Girl Event. Truly Talented You features fun activities, puzzles and crafts inspired by the newest Girl of the Year. Bring your doll and your imagination.
Since I live in the Washington, DC area and Isabelle’s backstory takes place in Georgetown section of DC, I thought it would be interesting to gauge the reaction to this doll by going to the Barnes & Noble that’s located in Bowie Town Center in Bowie, Maryland. Besides, I needed to go to A.C. Moore store that’s also in the same shopping center because I needed to pick up a few items for a craft project that I’m currently working on. (I’ll more about that in a future blog post.)
Today I drove down to Bowie just in time for the start of the event at Barnes & Noble. I walked over to the children’s books area in the back of the store where I was greeted with this special display.
This particular store is currently in the process of holding a special drawing where the lucky winner can win the Isabelle Palmer doll.
For people who are dying to get ahold of the doll but don’t want to wait until they are lucky enough to win a contest (or trek down to the American Girl Place in Tysons Corner), the store had a few of the six-inch miniature doll version of Isabelle on sale for $25 each.
I walked to the American Girl craft table where I saw this.
Only two kids (a boy and a girl) and a store employee who oversaw the craft table. That’s it. This is in a store located in Bowie, Maryland, a town that’s just 19 miles (according to Google) from downtown DC, the setting for Isabelle’s backstory.
Granted I only visited one Barnes & Noble where I made my observation and there are several other Barnes & Noble stores located throughout the entire Washington, DC metropolitan area. I don’t have the time or gas to visit the other stores to gauge the other reaction to the celebration surrounding Isabelle Palmer and I can’t afford to hire people to visit the other stores so they could report back to me. (Since I began this blog four years ago, I haven’t made a single penny off of it.) It’s possible that other stores had better turnout than the Bowie store did.
But, then again, it’s possible that the other stores had the same dismal response as the Bowie store.
Heck, I found the fact that I noticed a new charging station for electric cars in the parking lot outside Barnes & Noble to be more interesting than the American Girl event inside the store.
At least I found the things that I needed in A.C. Moore so my trip to Bowie Town Center wasn’t a total waste of time.