They changed Strawberry Shortcake…

Last week* I was listening to NPR, as I do during my long commute, and there was a little fluff piece on the new look Hasbro’s given Strawberry Shortcake.

Because my daughter Riley has several books about Strawberry Shortcake and her sickeningly sweet cohorts, I was interested and mentioned it at dinner.  We discussed how they might have changed her (the radio piece just called it a “trendy new look”) — my wife guessed she’d be a pre-teen now, instead of a 5-7 year old.  I guessed she would have a smaller head and longer limbs, more like an anime/manga character.  My daughter guessed that they changed her hat.  Happily, my daughter had the closest guess (see the new look here).

Anyway, my daughter was a little bummed that they changed Strawberry Shortcake’s look, and wondered if she would still do the same things that she does in the books we have (go to the beach, go to school, play soccer, etc.).  A teachable moment!

I told her that she doesn’t have to get any of the new books. (We buy a lot of used books & toys anyway.)  She could just keep the ones with the old Strawberry Shortcake.**  I told her, “They changed D&D too.  But me & my friends just play the old way anyway.  You don’t have to buy the new one if you like the old one.”  Riley understood that instantly.  Why does everyone at the FLGS act like you’re crazy if you don’t play the newest D&D?

*Actually about two weeks ago by the time this gets posted.

**Which apparently is actually the product of several makeovers anyway.  The NPR link above has a gallery with some older images of SS in the 1980s, 90s, and onward.

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 10:00 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. Why does everyone at the FLGS act like you’re crazy if you don’t play the newest D&D?

    Not sure about FLGS, but around here, it’s being able to afford to play RPGs. 4th ed D&D is about the cheapest thing on my neighborhood gaming store’s shelves. I feel like I can afford to be choosy–and I mean that literally. $80 for system sourcebooks, another $50 for outside source material, another $50 for lead…not much if you play tabletop but a hefty chunk for RPGs. Then WotC comes out with a perfect hook like crack: the games at the store are free, but the rest is gonna cost you. It’s what, $25-$30 for the only D&D 4th book you need?

    I didn’t like 4th–too many rules and not enough roleplaying–but I can certainly understand the draw, at least from a financial standpoint.

    • I play C&C right now, and I think there is a Player’s Handbook and a Monster & Treasure book, with rumors that the DM book will be published for the last 5 or six years! But we already have the AD&D monster books and DMG and so on. So for us C&C was a very cheap buy-in.

      Of course there are tons of free RPGs (and not just retroclones, but those too) and free RPG material if you look online, and I’m not even talking about pirated stuff, I mean born free rules like Mazes & Minotaurs and Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC and on and on.

      But yeah, go into the FLGs and they have maybe WotC stuff and Fantasy Flight stuff and a few other systems with a million add-ons which does make even the bloated mess that is 4e look affordable.

      So I guess there is cost (but to me 4e is too expensive even if I liked the system. Three players handbooks? Four? And multiple DMGs? And a 400 page “compendium” of just the rules on the way?!? No thanks! But apart from cost there is accessibility and you can’t easily buy what isn’t on the shelves. The old rules are fairly cheaply available at used books stores like “Half Price Books” and of course online, but again, just not there at the FLGS.

      • It may also be a popularity thing too. I’m familiar with various rules systems, but most of the people I know (in person) who play RPGs tend to play well-known ones like D&D, World of Darkness, etc.

        I’ve also taught many non-roleplayers how to play RPGs, and D&D is the perfect gateway drug: be in character, but if there’s something you can’t act out very well but you character can do that thing very well, roll for it, and extra points for effort.

        I’m attempting to convert a bunch of my original universe stuff to the HERO system. According to the rulebook (and the sales pitch made by my friends at the game store), it’s a solid d6 system where character creation is the hardest part. I glom on new rules whenever possible and I like sharing my addiction with others. (I visited a used bookstore over Labor Day weekend with an entire bay of old RPG books! Not too many finds at Dragon*Con though. 😦 In years past, you couldn’t swing a dead kobold without hitting a vendor stall with deeply-discounted RPG books.)

  2. I was at the FLGS yesterday and my thesis is:

    Because the FLGS, business-wise, has fuck-all to do with the old editions. They sell new shit in their store. When and if they get old stuff they ebay it and make almost nothing from ebaying it.

    People who play RPGs can’t support a business. People who collect every piece of random merch like it was sent down from Olympus can.

    Even the retro-clones–which are “new” products–don’t enocourage constant repeat consumption the way that tournament-ready Warhammer40kers and supplement-of-the-month teens can.

    • Yes, I agree about the business model. I totally understand why a FLGS, especially a small one, doesn’t carry Labyrinth Lord or LotFP:WF. I’m not really a good customer for them either. I buy minis but that’s pretty much it, and I usually wait until they are put on clearance. I don’t buy rules or modules or settings. I’m mainly a player, and if I run something I ( & it’s been a really long time) I just make stuff up.

      But — the dudes at the FLGS who think I’m nuts are customers. And not just the fanboys. Could be because they are younger and think Pathfinder is ttly retro.

  3. I’m not going to go along with the Strawberry Shortcake as metaphor for D&D completely, because I had this same experience with my niece 7 years ago when I ended up buying a new SS talking book for her for her birthday (as well as some better stuff; she was all into Strawberry Shortcake, so I indulged her, to my dismay). I may be wrong, but that is when this new longer-limbed, pre-teen/tween incarnation arrived.
    It may be that you and your daughter have different versions of Old School Shortcake? Compared to 2003, it looks like they just have given her a hip cardigan; perhaps your daughter doesn’t like hand-knitted fabrics.

    I don’t really cherish the sanctity of Old School Shortcake, but I believe there is no evil baker or any of the potentially more disturbing folktale-ish elements left in the brand (e.g., where everyone was previously a personification of something to be greedily and wantonly devoured). What I gathered from the talking book was it’s all about friendship and having fun. No imminent threat of evil. Bogus.

    • I didn’t know about the earlier SSs. Interesting. But main point being, you don’t need to move on to new version if you liked the old one.

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