#‎AGDoCGotY
American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Friday, July 6, 2018

AG Complaint Department: The Top Five and Bottom Five A*G Events in the Past Ten Years of the A*G Wiki


Ten Full Years!

Where the sweet hell did June go--oh right, A-Kon work, Pride, swapping doll eyeballs, raiding the corpse of Toys R Us, Memorial Day, and family business. Don't beat yourself up, Neth. Just, you know, go take review pictures. There's lots of stuffs you could be covering. Just set up your photo spot and take the damn pictures, woman.

*dusts off cookies*

There's new summer stuff out! Woo, releases! And I have several opinions on it, good and bad. I plan to post about it soon--I wasn't able to get complete pictures of the stuff until the end of the month, because that was the earliest I was able to get to the store. I'm aiming Sunday or Monday's post.1 Today though, is a super cool anniversary for me in the AG fandom.


Guys, gals, and non binary pals, today is the ten-year anniversary of what's been called the best database for American Girl Info since its 2008 conception, the American Girl Wiki.

Lemme set the scene for the launch. Picture it, Seattle Area, 2008. I'd been officially banned from AF Playthings that March, though I hadn't really visited in weeks at that point and was trying to get my stuff down from the site at the time of my banning.2 I was overseeing training at my then-job--which mostly consisted of shadowing over someone who'd done all the main education and was now doing live work with assistance. Since it was a niche section, those of us that normally did the work were not doing it so they could get as much practice as they possibly could. So since I'd been doing the work for two and a half years, I was being paid to sit by my trainee, listen to their calls out, walk them through steps, and answer simple questions quickly so they didn't have to ask the supervisors. I needed something to do between questions and call listen ins, so I was surfing the net trying to get some AG data on upcoming new stuff and characters.

Look it was that or bike back and forth on the long path through Solaceon Town hatching eggs in Pokemon Pearl. Smartphones were not as widespread as they are now and I'd already done some sketching. 

But I couldn't get any data on anything that wasn't locked behind forums or on slowly updated personal sites--and what data that existed was primarily about the items and buying them. While AG is a merch driven thing and so it made perfect sense to talk about the stuff, that was all that got talked about. the Stuff. Very little on any site at all was about the actual characters, there was sporadic history on the line itself, and most of that was heavily coated in the idea that everything that came out before 200 was perfect and flawless and everything that came out after was Mattel's Hot Garbage trying to turn the line into Barbie. Hell's chicken and fries, there was little to be found about the books. Many places had a list of book titles, but nothing about what happened in them. Not even character parent names.

And it occurred to me: why didn't the American Girl fandom have a wiki-style database? Other toys had them. Lego had one, the Brickipedia. There was an entire one about yo-yos. I'd just been using Bulbapedia to look up some Pokémon data, followed by getting lost on the Muppet Wiki. Hell, there was Wookiepedia--all Star Wars, All The Time.

Was it because someone had never done that themselves? Taken that step out to make an American Girl Wiki? Well, I would be that someone. TV Tropes had the right idea with the The Wiki Rule: There is no area of interest, no matter how narrowly defined, where a person cannot put up a wiki for it and attract at least a few editors with similar interests. So, even if I spent weeks alone coding in character and book pages, making notes on Addy's younger sister and Kirsten's father, I could do it.  Plus, it'd give me something else to do with my fandom knowledge. I did have like, all the books. All of them. I might hate the people who'd banned me and shunned me, but that didn't mean I couldn't do something for the AG fandom, even if I'd likely never be appreciated for it.

I submitted my proposal for the wiki to the Wikia staff--which, like onions on your belt, was the style at the time. I got approval and was sent the URL and given my admin and founder rights. I started to clean up the main page images, then started creating pages for each Historical Character and Girl of the Year. I created basic collection pages.  That was enough to start making more character pages and some item pages. I searched and scanned images from my books, making references and internal links here and there and coding. I couldn't post links on any forums, but I could promote on AG Over 18 and my own personal journal, and I did. By August  we'd been featured in the Wikia Spotlight. By September 2008 we had 300 pages. By the first anniversary, the Wiki had just over 850 articles.

Ten years later and with two other admins, we're at a touch over 4000 articles--and I often hear across the fandom how useful the AG Wiki is to pull up information and how nice it is that within days of new stuff coming out, there's at least something on it even just a stubble. And to think, I started the AG wiki with just about 100 or so pages, supervising training at Nintendo, and hoping I was able to do something for American Girl fans with my information, because I was getting damned sick of sites that only talked about the stuff and most of that was in forums people could be banned from.

Oh and the moddie line has gone through about three names--but since category changes are hard, we still call the category by a name several years out of date. Edits, whatcha gonna do.
 
We're fairly quick with the updates--and if you're curious about, say, that one-off character in Felicity's mystery? You can probably get some data or add it in yourself--as long as you follow the rules, are over thirteen, don't edit in garbage, pay attention to the rules about descriptions because a single line edit is not a description unless they're just plain white socks, and don't spam the wiki with petitions to bring back flash games from your childhood because AG is not going to bring back flash games from your childhood. Flash is a terrible thing anyways.

I'm very proud of what the AG Wiki is and has become, and what it will be in the future. 

That being said, I have more to say. Since it has been ten years, I decided that I'm gonna babble on about the Top Five and Bottom Five Things AG has done in the past decade since I started wiking. All opinions are, of course, my own. Of course they are, this is my fucking blog. There will also be some honorable--and dishonorable--mentions in there too.

Hop under the cut and getcha read on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Crafting Creatively: Things I've Made: Nanea’s Purple Chevron Dress

Because not everything for the Hawaii Girl has to be super tropical.
Hey, this post didn't take four months! Moving up in the world, Neth. Good job, keep it up.

In This Year of Our Trash Fire 2018, AGC has once again had a successful Secret Snarker gift swap. This makes Year Four and again, no one was shorted or sent unpleasant items. All the packages--even the ones to Sweden and Australia--got to their giftees. That's several years in a row, gang, it's now tradition. Don't disappoint me in the future. I'm counting on you in a way I never count on white men.

This year I got to gift tsunamisue, who is not only one of the best people in the fandom but has a Nanea in Hawaii, because she is cool and good. I just have Nanea in the PNW. And like normal, I will veer hard towards making historical two-of-a-kind outfits.

AG, I love you and hate you and put up with your shit. Nanea has, from you, no casual dresses with casual shoes. She kind of has something a little day-to-day in her school dress. But that has espadrilles and a floral print, and otherwise she either has no shoes or has sandals. Always sandals. Always. Hawaii does have a lot of the beachy feel, and the Hawaii residents enjoy their culture. But people also have and had outfits not surrounded by flowers, pineapples, exotics, and the constant screams of "LOOK HAWAII" on them.

If you won't do it, I'll do it myself.
Nanea’s Purple Chevron Dress

Nanea’s spending a day in town with her best friends Lily and Donna in a fine chevron-striped dress Mama picked out for her. The scalloped front bodice is accented with six smart decorative buttons down the front, and a neat peter pan white collar; there’s also short puffy sleeves and a sash in the back. She puts on her white ankle socks and black Mary Janes shoes, and Mary Lou offers to tie a matching grosgrain ribbon in her hair. What a way to feel a touch more mature!
The usual make two sets, keep the worst set applies. Also if you notice that the shoes are different in the header pic than the rest of the pics, that's because I started this post and then found out I had somehow not gotten a solo picture of the outfit several months later. One quick set up outdoors and a  face plant later,1 I had one. The shoes in this and one other shot are some generic basics from Joann Fabrics; in the rest I swiped Ellie's black Mary Janes.  The socks on my girl I'm pretty sure are from a Molly set. I think. I try to keep my socks sorted best I can. but do you know how many plain white ankle socks there are in the AG world? For tsunamisue I added in her own set of basic black shoes and white ankle socks, along with some mini stationery and a Tamagochi because she likes those. I think she liked it.

Cut for the usual craft details.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Rambled Opinions, General Snarkiness, and Crafting Creatively: Two Kids of Mid 20th Century Release, A Smackering of Books, and the 1952 Walk-Away Dress for 18" Dolls

A fancy striped dress was not one of the things released. It's one of the things I made.
Me, Jan 2018: 2018 will get me back up on the proverbial AG horse! I'm gonna get back on that blogging wagon! Luciana exists, I will get to do cool things, I will be seeing HAMIL--

Depression: siddown bitch, be humble *kicks me in the solar plexus of my brain*

Me: yes brai--*does not finish sentence because she just puked, curls up, can't move*

And that's where I went for four months, because the brain weasels are shitgibbons and resolve to ruin my world like so many mansplainers going "well actually--" and the very existence of election manipulation because white people were primed to vote stupid or throw shit away because they fell for racist, self-centered bullshit.1

Have I done stuff since then? Well, yeah. I just haven't been blogging. Which I feel bad about. Let's start over again and don't hold my problems against me. As the song by Rag 'N Bone Man goes, "I'm only human, after all." It's okay to be a sad Neth.

What's happened in four months?  Um, well, a quick gloss. 

Gabbi's still hanging in there, even unto May, even if her bed is gone. Tenney-Sue still stinks. Logan is a No-gan. There was a short leak of the nu!Molly which was then instantly yanked down, but not so quick that I didn't put it on the Wiki. Luciana became part of my gang,2 known colloquially as Space Girl Lucci, and enjoys things such as knit sweaters, Houston Town Pride (mine moved, I know more about Houston than Virginia), and Sailor Moon. The end of January had a purple moon--when a blue moon gets eclipsed.

There's the books listed for the GotY for 2019. Toys R Us is shutting down--and it's not dying from WalMart or Amazon or millennials not having enough babies, but because people like Mitt Romney murdered it and are looting the corpse to fund the rich-poor divide.3 And it's ruining the world of toys--AG sales dropped badly last quarter, but I try not to freak out about AG dying. MCM is coming up this year but I have family stuff to attend to at that weekend so I shan't be going. HAMILTON.4

I continue to spin yarn. I actually used some and now I'm not scared to use my own yarn. I saw Black Panther, added to the destruction of Titanic in high rankings, and now Wakanda Forever. (Infinity War what now? Nah.) My local AG store no longer has a cafe, because the economy is crap and AG picked the Seattle and Scottsdale stores to get kicked from having a cafe. We had a successful Secret Snarker, but I didn't post about my outfit because of brain weasels so I'll get on that soon. I went to Emerald City Comic Con and I loved it and I want to get a full pass for next year, like three days if I can dig it. I now have four of the AG Craft sets from the 90s. Janelle Monae came out as queer and I am a Dirty Computer but I do not consent to be cleaned.5

And such and such. 

Oh, and the part that's in this post: I released a pattern and there was a short AG release that consisted of a handful of Historical stuff and the Bitty stuff I tend to ignore. I did get to get pics in February. February. Ugh, my stupid brain. So this is a short post, since there's not much to yammer about. And at the end of this post, I'm going to be a little more proactive about my Etsy shop. If I can't pimp me, who can?

But on the real, I'm sorry that I made y'all worry about me. I try to let people know I'm alive--if struggling--on Instagram by posting fairly regularly. But these past four months, every time I went to go work on any blog post, my brain screamed "shut up, no one wants to read your garbage words about toys aimed at little girls,6 you're an adult, this is stupid, you're stupid, you care too hard, no one cares this hard when they're normal. You're weird and ugly and boring and garbage for being damn near forty and being so ass to the wall about girls' toys. You should be an adult and into things such as homeowner's fees, shot glasses, babies, long form stories about soup on recipe blogs, eating at Applebees and the stock market--you know, things that might matter to people. Or nothing, because caring about things isn't cool, South Park and Family Guy said it so it must be true." And as the span got longer since my last post, I kept feeling more and more like I should just like, give it up and pack it in and stick to silence because no one really cared.

But you know what? No. No, I can talk about what I want on this space of the internet I've chunked out for myself. And what I want to talk about in this chunk is American Girl Dolls and race and gender and sexuality and intersection as a person who lives the intersectional life by the nature of who I am--black, queer, female, and into dolls. At least one person cares, I know they do.

And if there are in fact people who don't like me doing this and wait for every post online I make to go spend their time reading all that I blog and 'gram and tweet, and hover around my e-presence in order to see me say something they think is dumb and run over to their own e-space to go "ah ha ha what a freak" and talk shit about me?

Okay. Fine. Let them. If these people really do enjoy spending their precious free time looking at me or anyone else doing shit openly and complaining that people are living, when they themselves could be using that time to do literally anything else in this span of life they have to themselves? I hope it's fulfilling to them. I'm too old for that shit. I been too old for that shit since the days of Cloak Girl and Barefoot Jimmy. Dolls and race and being queer and shipping characters and social justice are fulfilling to me, and I'm gonna do what I can to be a happy person.

Are you hate reading me? Did you stumble across my space, sneer, and decide this is fucking stupid? Okay. "Enjoy" this post and all the posts I've made and will make after it. You could spent that time watching Netflix, reading a book, editing TV Tropes, playing D&D, carving swords, spending time with people in your life that love you, or doing anything in the world to add to your skillset as a human, but instead you're spending it with me in my room in the internet for some reason I don't understand and frankly don't want to. You do you, boo-boo. It's your life to do with as you will. I'm going to keep blogging.

Are you reading me for joy? Did you stumble across my space, smile, and decide you want more? Are you one of the people who, for whatever reason, like and enjoy reading what I have to say or think or anything about dolls made for 8-12 year old girls? Do you understand that just because a toy is aimed at preteen girls, the company has been around thirty-plus years and like anything it has people who have grown up with them, found love or peace in them, and who have made bonds with others over doll collecting? Do you like seeing people find affection for things instead of only derision? Am I kinda cool? Did you miss me? Then hey. I'm back, and I'll do what I can to get back to the rhythm.

Go under the cut and read on.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness Part 2: Ew, Boys, Moddie Mishaps and Wellies On Stage

This was an all girls' school before you showed up.
*scampers in, keeping to her vow of getting stuff blogged on time*

And now for Part Two of the New Stuff: Moddies and Wellies.

Look, I could have done this in a single part, or I could have finished dinner. And dinner was good. See I took the bone of a ham, and some veggies, and made soup. And I'm having that again today. Because it's damn good soup.

Then I had to fix Wiki mistakes. We so roll blocks for misdone pictures. Read the fucking manual.

And now it's time for the bloggings.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness Part 1: Blast Off With Luciana Vega (and More From That One White Kid)


Space. The Final Dolly Frontier. These are the voyages of Luciana Vega.
Man, did I get in under the wire with all them reviews last month. I was able to, somehow, cover every release including Nanea. But I didn't do any personal reviews, and very few extras. I don't like that. I like doll blogging. I want to get back into the groove and get my blog on. Let's leave the sporatic posting and bullshit back in 2017. I started my year off right with Beyoncé1 and I'm gonna do my best to carry that energy through 2018. This year, AG is going all ass to the wall with the release of Luciana Vega for the Girl of the Year 2018.

Woot! Another DoC! Luciana keeps up the trajectory, but I plan to keep up the #AGDoCGotY talk. That's two for two, AG. Well, actually one and a half. Let's be real. Gabby got shanked, and it's clear that Tenney-Sue was supposed to be the GotY but some word got out that folk were watching, and AG swerved at the last minute. Was it the CBS interview, just before Melody came out, when the interviewer straight up asked why there'd only been three named black characters in the line and the person she was interviewing blinked and stumbled over herself? I'm inclined to think it was a factor, because that was semi-national. Gabby is my love but she was done wrong. Tenney coming out not even six weeks later. No large items--yes, a bed, but that wasn't super unique like a damn stage or a hut or a bakery. No movie, no major tie ins, no nuffin. AG didn't even let her have her own earrings. Those were clearly for Tenney--they have birds on them. Gabby's symbol is hearts. Everything was clearly set up for Tenney to be the girl of the year, and then AG got called out, and Gabby got pulled in at the last minute.

I see you AG. You best give me another black girl, and one not done at the last minute. I am not appeased. (And don't gimme no shit about never being happy. I can be happy for Gabby's existence and annoyed that she was clearly slopped together compared to those before her and after her. It's called nuance and critique, people should have more of it.) More DoC. All the DoC. Won't stop til every culture in the US has been covered--and I don't mean five shades of white--and there's just as many DoC as there have been white girls. But I will update my image around IG to include her in the spread of continuing to ask for Dolls of Color. Gabby will stay around for a few months, if you got her for Giftmas and want chunks of her collection for yourself. I dunno when she'll go away, but she will eventually, so love her while the lovin's good.

Before I get into the stuff, a quick talk about why AGC's forums are all gone from sight if you don't have an account. You can read about it here. The TL;DR is that, since we discovered some carbon blobs with no home training acting out on the tubes towards the forums, the mods got together and talked about what to do to protect the teens on our board and other sensitive people. We decided that we were going to lock down the main part of our boards for the time being. So no drive by reading for now. Some people are just ugly all over, got MegaBlox and RoseArt in their stockings, and they were never taught how to be a disappointment to the world silently. If you can contact any of the mods and show sincere desire to be part of our weird and socially conscious doll board, then we'll look at your application and figure out letting you in. And talking in my comments is not a contact.

I don't think I missed taking a picture of anything, but it was harder than normal so the pics might be strange. There were lots of people around, and they kept putting their hands in my shots. It did help, though, that when I went just before year's end, all the new moddie stuff was out and I got shots of it then, so I didn't have to fight everyone everywhere to look at everything. 

World stop.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Stumbling Over the Truly Me Holidaze and AG Gifts Gifts

Girls like ponies. My MLP collection is proof.
Friday was delayed by severe joint pain because of arthritis. Giftmas was delayed by the fact it snowed on Giftmas, which made me happy and I tromped around in the white floofy stuff for several minutes in childlike glee.

There's less than a week til the new shit for Luciana, not including the new shit that came out today,1 so let's make this quick. And yes, I've seen them and I hate them. You'll get your proper cursing about that on the second. 

Also, since they half count, I'll talk about the AG Rewards outfits and some online only / PWP sets if I have shots of them. Part of the delays on this was that, no shit, AG Seattle didn't get all of this upfront. Very irritating. It took three trips to finally get all of it, and I am sure I still missed a pic or three.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Wellies in Winter, Gabbies in Celebration, and Z in the Rain (and a White Girl Book)

Books on Location.There's three in this post, all modern.
Today's rambled thoughts are shortish since I'm only covering a few categories, and have a strange mix of pictures. I blame the fact that AG Seattle has a bad habit of never having everything out all at once, and also using my phone instead of my camera for some of the Wellie shots. I'm going to have to actually check if, for Friday's babblings, I have a shot of everything. I have a checklist and a huge chunk was Bitty Baby Shit, and you know how I feel 'bout that.

Onward.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Nanea and The Historicals, or Four Months Late Ain't Shit When History Is Far Away

Aloha, Nanea!
*Gets up* 
*Gets back on horse* 
*Horse is dusty* 
*Gets off horse* 
*Gives horse a dusting* 
*Gets back on horse*

Okay. This is what I'm going to try to do, my loves and adorables, to get things back into a steady pace. I haven't done any rambled opinions on the old shit, we've got like two weeks before a whole slew of new shit comes out, and I really should get the old shit yammered about in some form before that.

Today, we do Nanea and The Historicals. Wednesday, we do the Contemporaries and the Wellies. Friday, we do the Moddie Shit. Giftmas, I'll just do a big damn post of All the Shit That's Fit To Blog About covering everything cool and good that has happened in My Dolly World since then. Then next Wednesday, we can talk about news and things that I've missed, in prep for the new shit.

S'all right? S'all right.

To Nanea and the Historicals. I've made you wait too long.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sleeping, Not Lost, Just Gotta Get My Shit Resorted

Why yes, Amanda is a brown-eyed beaut, thanks for asking.
Hey.

Hey, Neth.

You have been dealing with a lot of shit. It's mostly in your head and is brain weasels. It sucks. You don't want to go into it. You feel like every day you aren't on your blog is a day that loses you more people caring about your AG opinions.

This hiatus shouldn't have been til November, and you feel terrible that it has been. So whatcha gonna do, Neth?

...

What you will do is get up off thine ass and pick yourself up, girl, that's what you'll do, and you will get back to reviews and complaints and chatter, and if you end up going back til August and Nanea's release to talk about shit, then you will, and no one will fault you, because even if your stupid brain likes to say you're a fuckshit lazy stay at home lump who hasn't done anything worthy in thirty-seven years and that amounts to nothing, it's a goddamn lie.

Girl you traced your family line back to 1810. You can trace your matrilineal line all the way back for six generations because you found lost family. And considering you are the descendant of multiple enslaved people, honey you are doing all right for yourself. You're a walking AG magazine paper doll. You went to your grandma's 85th birthday party and you did your first eye swap and you found two different new gang members in Milwaukee and you had an action-packed October, and are out here living your best life even if you don't always feel it.

Also you are actual factual going to see the Hamilton Tour. 

Now dust you off, kiss your Bae, and hit your 50k in nano for the 13th year in a row, because you're a good person, even if you don't always feel it. 

....

Yeah. You are.

Sincerely,
You. 

*~*~*

Sorry for the shit, people. I'll get back on my damn horse in a few weeks.

If you want to keep an eye on me til I get off my effing ass, feel free to check the instagrammas, @libra.nethilia. I also have one for my etsy shop, which is at @hodgery.podgery

Be back post NaNoWriMo. I'm 30k into a rewrite and it's going excellent.

--Neth

Friday, August 18, 2017

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: The Truly Me 2017 Summer: Attack Of The New Shit

When life and the world snatches you bald, go on anyways.
Me, at the end of my last post: I'm gonna cover the new stuff on my blog sooner rather than later. I promise not to take fifteen weeks to get to it. Or even more than a few days. I have a lot to say.

The Powers Combined of Brain Weasels, Vacation, Disabilities, Activities, and Fucked Up News Shit: hi, why don't we just make you out to be a big ass liar and ruin your day

Me: why u do dis ;____;

Fuck it. I'm doing the post now, before it gets overlapped by the release of Nanea.1 And other things I gotta say such as This Year at MCM, AG Chicago, 7 Mile, AG at TRU, Create Your Own, any other news--can just be in my next post.

Cut to the stuff: Less chatter more splatter.