Received a price drop alert email from Target.com yesterday morning that stated, "Something you had your eye on has a new low price. Still thinking about this? ...Get it." It was the Our Generation Gabe Doll, a surfer 18" Boy Doll that I'd been researching (looking for local stock, etc.) ---and he was currently "reduced" by $5.00, on sale for just $19.99.
As I've been monitoring various 18" Doll prices for a "minute," I recognized that a 20% savings is about the largest discount I'd seen on an OG Doll at Target outside of clearance pricing. So I bit. I checked nearby Target stores for stock, generated a web order (which was $21.59 total with tax) and sent Gabe ---using the free store pickup option--- to a locale that my doll collecting older sister happened to be going by that afternoon.
So he's mine! Technically, at least. My sister still has OG Gabe currently. An avid collector, she has quite a few 18" Dolls at this point. All Girl Dolls. But I only had one 18" Doll, period: a Tolly Tots 18" Doll that I purchased circa 2006. They weren't even considering 18" Boy Dolls at this point so obviously, it's a girl.
SOME BACKSTORY HERE: Though I wasn't actively collecting 18" Dolls stuff at the time, I still paid attention to the 18" Dolls marketplace in a cursory manner simply because I had desperately wanted an American Girl® Doll as a teen when the brand was first released in 1986 by Pleasant Company, but of course a $100 Doll was well outside of my childhood price range. As a result of this unrequited desire, I would occasionally catch wind of special items or sales in 18" Doll World and browse in nostalgia. But I'd never actually bought anything, even after reaching young adulthood and slightly better finances.
Some years later, around April 2006 I believe based upon my notes, I caught mention on an online deals forum of a once in a lifetime deal at americangirl.com which combined a clearance sale + an active coupon code + a free shipping promo to make a slew of AG accessories (mainly little pairs of shoes) entirely FREE. This was too good to pass up. In a moment of unbridled glee, l basically ordered 1 of every item that you could get as a freebie and I ended up with a bunch of shoes, some doll clothes hangers, an AG Logo Doll Tee, doll hair brushes and a few other random items.
Out of the blue, I suddenly had a budding AG collection, but no doll lol. Though an adult by this point, I still wasn't about to pay $100+ for a doll, especially because at the time I considered it all a lark. It was the childhood me actually getting an object of desire. I hadn't yet considered becoming an adult collector. I had all these little accessories and I wanted to see the items in action on a doll. So I searched online for a cheaper 18" Doll "American Girl® knockoff" and stumbled upon a blond Tolly Tots 18" Doll for ~$20 at target.com. I happened to have Target Gift Card money and so was able to get the doll for close to free. I think I paid the tax OOP.
So there I was with an 18" Doll and a bunch of accessories in 2006, all of which I'd scored for proverbial pennies. I kept everything in boxes in a closet for years just pleased knowing it was there. When my niece became hyper fascinated with all things American Girl® a few years back, I was able to pull everything out and play with her when she came to stay for the Summer. It was like coming full circle and realizing doll stuff was still fun. Thus, I became a budding adult collector of 18" Dolls.
I came back to the hobby slowly, filling in the gaps of all that had occurred in the market in the interim years since I'd been a teen. I still only had the one doll. I would sometimes borrow a doll from my doll collecting big sister to stage scenes, etc.. I'd mainly focused on doll furniture and accessories in my adult return to doll collecting. Yesterday, however I scored my first new doll. It's a boy! (As my sister has a bunch of dolls in her collection, I thought I'd start with a boy to be different and make her jealous lol, since she doesn't have a boy doll yet.)
Over the last year or so, I'd researched all the 18" Boy Dolls currently available and decided Our Generation Gabe was my top choice. IMO surfer boy Gabe is the best of the current crop based upon design, looks, price point, etc.. The American Girl® Boy Doll Logan, the brand's first boy doll, came in second place for me, mainly because of the price difference. For the money, Gabe beats Logan hands down. (Regular OG Dolls are generally about $24.99 at Target whereas American Girl® Dolls run about $115.) Oh, I'd still love to score a Logan Doll, perhaps second hand since he's been "retired" now because I still balk at $100+ dolls even as an adult. BTW I think OG Tyler is third best (he's nearly identical to Gabe except for darker skin, brown eyes and a weird "poofy" hairstyle that dropped him to third) so I'll eventually get him, also.
Thus, I put OG Gabe on my Buy List at the beginning of the year and starting planning to score the best deal. As my 18" Dolls hobby is pure indulgence for me, I seldom have a strict time table for acquisitions and such. I just look out for things that interest me, save up any applicable rewards monies and then look for good sales. (I am a bargain hunter, first and foremost and believe in getting the most bang for my buck regardless of the purchase.) Initially, I was leaning towards buying an OG Gabe for my birthday back in June. Around this time however, my crazy doll collecting sister told me that Target usually puts all the OG stuff on sale around the holidays, so I thought I could wait and score a Gabe Doll at a better price then. I'd already been saving up Target gift cards earned from rewards programs and surveys to that end and figured the extra time might also allow me to earn enough to score some OG accessories also. But due to this price drop alert, I was able to order one a few months early at what amounts to holiday pricing! I got my OG Gabe! Haha!
Here Gabe is (see picture below) at my sister's house. My sister sent me a text message yesterday evening with a "proof of life" pic and a ransom note lol. Said that her Kendall Dolls are holding Gabe hostage and would release him for $250,000 in small unmarked bills, expect contact tomorrow with a drop location ha!
BACKSTORY: My doll collecting older sister has two American Girl® WellieWishers Kendall Dolls. (Don't ask.) She says that the second one she acquired is a clone of the first one and they function as a collective like the Borg on Star Trek, thus they are "the Kendall" ---and these little girls are very naughty, always getting into shenanigans. So of course, they immediately kidnapped Gabe after my sister picked him up for me from Target, and texted me a ransom demand lol.
I told the Kendall via reply text that there would be no negotiating with terrorists and I would await a Seal Team to take the fight to them and spring Gabe free.
What can I say? One of the main toys which I grew up collecting is "G.I. Joe men" and I really wanted to be both a Navy Seal AND a Navy Fighter Pilot as a little girl long before either aim enjoyed the cache of our modern era 'cause I'm bad like that lol. BTW my ASVAB score was phenomenal. I mean, the "Pentagon contacted me as a high school student in order to schedule an interview to gauge my actual military interest" level of phenomenal. I considered going the military route ---Navy or alternatively Air Force Academy --- as my family is filled with military vets (we ARE Southerners dude) until I assessed how slim a chance that I'd get to be BOTH a Seal and a Fighter Pilot was, especially as women weren't really being given the opportunity to even try for those positions back in the late 1980's. Not to mention the fact that I don't bow to authority well. (I'm stubborn as a mule. Born this way.)
We're a funny family like that. My older sister (the one right next to me in birth order who also collects 18" Dolls now as an adult) and I loved Sci-Fi, science and tech as little girls and played with as many "boy" toys as "girl" ones. In a small, old school, patriarchal, Southern town where both minorities and women were often systematically sidelined, we were VERY odd ducks and proud of it. Still are. Booyah!