A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some (with lots of swears)

Archive for the ‘Doll Booklets’ Category

Campus Cool: Jessica’s Story

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Girl you know it’s true, oooh oooh oooh, you look like doo doo

I’m back with the second of the two Campus Cool booklets, released with the Sweet Valley High dolls sometime in 1993! This booklet came with Jessica’s doll (duh), and the ugly outfit on this cover is the same as what the doll wore. I’m just not feeling it. This cover is the same as that found on Elizabeth’s Story, only with the twins’ faces reversed, and it’s purple (like Jessica’s bedroom) rather than bright blue. Their outfits are still fugly as fuck. Something in me almost wants to like the purple and neon green of Jessica’s top, but something in me just can’t. I think it’s the color blocking.

This story starts in the summer, with Jessica and Liz shopping at Valley Mall. Liz is stunned when Jessica says she can’t wait for school to start soon. (They are still juniors.) Jessica spies a new outfit in the window of Lisette’s and flips out. It’s the same outfit on this cover. Liz is just like, “I like the hat.” I feel like that’s Liz’s way of saying, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that fool getup.” Not that Liz’s fashion sense is any better, as shown by this cover and every other cover she’s been on. Jessica tries on the outfit and falls in love. It’s the top and hat shown on the cover, plus a green mini skirt. Jess plans to wear it with a black vest she bought at a flea market, so that explains that part. Jessica is sure she’ll be hit of the school with this outfit. Yeah, maybe in 1989 you would have been. I swear to God this feels way too late for something like this to be a hit.

Anyway, Jessica sees the price tag on the outfit and realizes she can’t possibly afford it. She has three days to earn the money. She rushes home from the mall and sets the table super fancy-like to impress her parents, using their best china and crystal, complete with fanned napkins and fresh lemon slices in the water glasses. Alice sees it and thinks it must be Liz who set the table. The book notes that this is a “natural” reaction. Steven says Jessica must want something, which is another perfectly natural reaction but gets him scolded by his mother.

At dinner, Jessica wastes no time asking her parents for money. Ned actually gives a flat-out “no” and Jessica is sad because I guess she usually just gets whatever she wants. Then Liz asks Jess if she will help her wash sand out of the Jeep. Jessica immediately refuses for obvious reasons (nothing in it for her; she’s messy and doesn’t care about a bunch of beach sand). But the question gives her the bright idea to create a car wash business. She makes up business cards advertising the car wash at the Wakefield house and goes out to distribute them. She plans to charge $5 a wash, and to run the car wash just over the next two days. On day 3, which is the Sunday before the school year starts, she’ll stop and go to the mall. I sure hope she made this schedule clear on the cards. I don’t think we can trust her to have thought about it.

Jessica waits for her customers the next day while Liz takes off with Todd. They tell her she should probably change out of her outfit before washing cars, but Jess doesn’t see the problem. After the first car, she’s exhausted, dirty and messy and has wax and soap all over her clothes. Then Bruce Patman pulls up in his Porsche, saying he has a date with “a beautiful girl” that night and he wants his car to look extra nice. He mocks Jessica’s looks, throws his money on the hood and yells at Jessica that she better not scratch 1BRUCE1 or he’ll demand his money back. He rides off with his cousin Roger while Jess angrily does a half-assed job at washing the car. Bruce is her last customer of that day and she vows she’ll get back at him when she shows up at school in her hot outfit. She’s sure he’ll take one look at her and want to bang her, and she’ll just ignore him and laugh.

The next day, Jessica gets way more customers. She accidentally leaves the windows down in one car and gets water all in the inside; that customer yells at her and demands double his money back, so Jess loses $10. She eventually washes just enough cars to make all the money she needs for the outfit. Liz congratulates her and offers to take Jessica out to Casey’s Place for an ice cream sundae, but Jessica says she’s too exhausted, prompting Liz to pout she doesn’t get to see Jessica much lately. Calm down girl, you just went shopping with her two days ago!

Sunday morning arrives and Jessica rushes straight to the mall to buy the uglyass DayGlo nightmare outfit of her dreams. What do you know, the last one has been sold. Jessica rushes home upset and scoffs at her parents’ attempts to talk about what she learned washing all those cars. She quite literally CRIES herself to sleep. When she wakes up a little bit later, the outfit is lying next to her. It turns out Liz just went ahead and bought it for her the other day. Awwww, that Liz! This is Jessica’s reward for refusing to help wash the Jeep. Hehe, Jessica is such a spoiled little brat, and Liz is such an enabler, awwww, it’s sooooo cute. I wonder why she thought she could get away with spiking her sister’s drink and killing her boyfriend! Hmmmm. Jessica agrees to go get that sundae with her poor deprived sister after she tries on her new eye-burner of an outfit.

The booklet ends much like the other booklet, by saying “YOU DECIDE” whether or not Jessica was a hit with her outfit and got back at Bruce Patman. I decide Jessica looks hideous and is booed out of the school within seconds of entering. Liz too, with that ugly set of rags she’s wearing. Bye girl! Bruce is too busy carrying out Regina’s last wish of death to Amy Sutton (and then himself) and doesn’t even notice.

Yeah, this story was way more boring than Liz’s.

Coming up next: Jessica and Lila are headed on a fabulous vacation now that everyone can forget about Margo and Sam and James and death and mayhem, you know, all that pesky shit that doesn’t really matter!

Campus Cool: Elizabeth’s Story

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Bust out some Milli Vanilli songs in this bitch

What the hell is this?! Let me explain: Sometime around the time of A Night to Remember, Bandai toy company released a series of Sweet Valley High dolls, including “Campus Cool” versions of Elizabeth and Jessica (each sold separately!). Each doll was similar to Barbie, with interchangeable fashions you could purchase. Each doll also came with a special Sweet Valley High booklet featuring her own little story, in the style of the full-length novels. This is my review of the Elizabeth doll booklet; I also have the Jessica doll booklet.

Although the doll boxes are copyright 1992, the booklets are copyright 1993 (the same year as the infamous Jungle Prom “change” in the series). Each booklet is basically the same size as a “real” SVH book, but only 14 pages long with no chapters and (very slightly) toned down for younger kids. The booklets also kept the original classic SVH circle cover design, which SVH mostly retired (in the U.S., anyway) back in 1991.

(There was also a separate Prom Perfect gift set released with both dolls in full A Night to Remember prom night regalia – seems kinda fucked up! – and another booklet called Moonlight and Roses that came in that set. I sadly do not have that booklet in any form at this time.)

So let’s talk about this booklet’s cover, shall we? Look at those fucking outfits! I know that these are the same outfits that are on the dolls themselves, so I guess they’re wilder than usual to sell toys to Barbie fashion plate lovin’ kids, but seriously? Did these girls just leave the rejection line at the In Living Color Fly Girl auditions? And I wanna play some Candy Crush or Bejeweled or some shit on that hat Jessica’s wearing. And Liz? Honey, no. She looks fucking doofy and we all know she would never expose her midriff normally. I guess she raided her mom’s outfits from the last four decades and just threw some old bullshit together and Jess let her parade out of the house looking like that because we all know she secretly hates her anyway.

This story begins with Liz tiptoeing back into the house at midnight, wanting to dance and sing with joy, following a “special date” with Todd. She heads right to Jessica’s room because she has “something wonderful to show her.” Uh, to me this comes off like Liz and Todd finally did it and I don’t even want to say what I thought Liz was going to “show” her sister. What the fuck is wrong with me?! Back to this innocent story. It turns out Liz is talking about Todd’s letter jacket. Oh. Jessica proclaims it’s no big deal and then tries to talk Liz out of dating just one boy seriously (for the millionth time). Liz realizes Jessica is just jealous. She puts her Oracle pin on the jacket proudly while Jessica watches.

The next day after school, Jessica comes home from the Dairi Burger in a huff and stomps around bitching about how all anyone could talk about all day was Todd giving Liz his letter jacket. Well Jess, it sure beats everyone talking about how you killed your own boyfriend by spiking your sister’s drink, Miss Thing! OHHHHHHHHH no I did not!

The next morning, Jessica takes off for school in the Jeep for an early cheerleading meeting. Yeah fucking right! Jessica is the captain and she would never allow an “early” anything! Liz is too dumb to be suspicious, not even after she finds Todd’s jacket is missing. She rides to school with Enid who makes some smart ass remark about Liz not wearing the jacket Todd gave her. Liz tells her to shut up in a joking manner, and Enid salutes her and shuts up, and it kinda comes off like Peppermint Patty and Marcy from Peanuts.

Liz races into school two minutes before the final bell rings. Seriously, Jess getting up early and Liz running late? Liz runs into Julie Porter and Olivia Davidson, who say they just saw her 15 minutes ago. Liz is confused. Hurrrr, who could they have thought was her? Then when Liz gets to class in the nick of time, Mr. Collins says he thought she was going to be late because he just saw her run the other way past the classroom. Liz realizes Jessica took her jacket and is wearing it and everyone thinks Jess is her. Well, slap me silly and call me Chrome Dome Cooper! Never woulda thunk it.

Liz doesn’t see Jessica for the remainder of the day, and then Todd stands Liz up for their usual lunch date. Hmm, Jessica is impersonating Liz, and she and Todd have disappeared. If this story is supposed to take place after Jungle Prom, Liz should be flipping out!

After school, Liz sees Jess at home and demands she give back the jacket. Jessica first tries to say she doesn’t have it, then admits she borrowed it because she thought it would look cute with her new jeans. What the hell, she didn’t think that would make everyone think she was dating Todd? Or, you know, was Liz? This bitch doesn’t care about shit. Jessica goes on to admit that earlier, Todd walked up just as Aaron Dallas gave her a kiss. Todd freaked out and demanded the jacket back from “Liz” while Jessica tried to explain, in vain. As per usual, Todd is ready to believe the worst about his girl when there’s an obvious explanation to the contrary. Hypocrite from hell! Liz makes Jessica call Todd up and explain to him that it was Jessica wearing the jacket. Todd believes her over the phone, but not in person. What in the flying fuck? Todd then asks to speak to Liz, and he tells Liz that he’s sorry for the way he acted, but that Jessica didn’t even explain that morning – she just handed over the jacket without a word while Todd was in one of his Todd rages. Ohhh I see – I guess. Of course Liz hears this and thinks Jessica lied because she wanted Todd to be mad with Liz, but I’m honestly wondering if Todd might be the one who is lying. Whatever. After Liz hangs up, Jessica sweetly says she’s glad they got everything worked out and Liz can’t believe Jess is “acting so innocent.” Of course you can’t, you freakin’ dumbass. Liz decides she is going to come up with a way to get back at Jessica. Then the booklet pulls this on me:

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So, what do YOU DECIDE? I DECIDE that Elizabeth gets back at Jessica by giving her an extra stern glare, causing Jessica to burst into tears, at which point Elizabeth forgives her, apologizes, and makes it up to her by doing the dishes and making dinner for her for the next two weeks. Oh, and by offering to let Jessica borrow her flowery church hat, but Jessica is so nice she tells Liz that’s okay, she doesn’t have to take it THAT far. Yay! The End.

Actually, if I’m being honest the real ending is complete murder and mayhem with Liz pulling a reverse Jungle Prom and spiking Todd and Jessica’s drinks – with poison.

Also included with the Elizabeth Campus Cool doll was this little ad for SVH lavalier necklaces and a map poster:

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Yeah, those are not the SV lavalieres we know! I guess fake gold bar necklaces are a lot less exciting than a big gaudy SVH pendant, for the kids.

Anything else interesting? Yeah, the copyright page was obviously copied from the SVH books, because they had to partially cover up “Printed in the United States of America” with a little “Hong Kong” sticker. (The same is true of the Jessica booklet.)

Coming up next … It’s time for Jessica’s own little story, before we return to the main series.

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