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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Busy as a Bee - With Fifi

It's Pride Month, and Neth is very busy.
Hi, everyone.

Yes, I've missed two releases. I was dealing with my brain, and as soon as my brain fixed a lot started going on everywhere in my existence. Everywhere.

So consider this a pause--but not a termination. Around August to September, once my life is sorted? I'll catch up. Promise.

Heart you all. Pay attention to my IG to keep up with me.

Enjoy "I have two moms and live on a sheep farm" Blaire Wilson Fiona Martin-Russell and her lamb Chrysanthemum.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: 'Twas The Week Before Giftmas for Moddies and Wellies

Not a Wellie was stirring. Except she was. Because cookie dough.
I was ready to blog for my birthday, after getting decent shots of the new stuff that'd come out on October 1st.

I...did not do that.

Long story short, some stupid shit went down two days beforehand that ate the entire second half of October right up until Nano. Then I spent all November working on Nano, and making up for the fact that I lost my entire planning period dealing with fuckshit.1 As me and my friend BWI put it, when both the Libra and the Scorpio want out of the birth month, then you know it's been fucky.

If I've told you what happened, then you know. If I haven't told you but you know I would, then you know how to get to me to be told. And if I don't want you to know? Then you ain't gonna know. I'm damn near forty, I gave up fucks for Lent years ago. Silflay hraka and die mad about it.

So yeah, it sucks that 2018 also was a low blogger's year. Which is weird because Twenty-Gay-Teen has gone on for what feels like 200 years already.2 Sucks that I am getting out the October release *looks at her phone clock* two weeks before the Girl of the Year Twenty-Fine Bi-Teen launches.3

But then I wouldn't have this cool heading. So, uh, silver lining.

To the stuff that came out months ago and you already heard other people opine about. Or maybe not, because maybe I'm the only doll blog you read. And in case you're wondering, yes, I did get #80 for my birthday, her name is Giselle and she's pretty.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Casual Fridays: Big Hair Don't Care--#Hairdorables, Sk8r Noah and the Hairdorables Crew, and Crafting Creatively To Break Down the Box

Big Hair, Don't Care. Especially on a Friday.
Why yes, I haven't done a Casual Friday here since we were in the Year of the Horse. Now we're in the Year of the Dog. Well, that and the continued Year of Blind Boxing All the Toys. I've been sitting on several non-AG items for some time, wanting to Casual Friday them, but have had enough trouble just keeping up with AG releases and my own brain.

Let's make a step in the blog direction. Let's bring back Casual Fridays in a big way. A big hair way.

Since it's also Flashback Friday, let's take it way back first. Remember being a kid in the 80s and begging your parents for quarters to put into the vending machines at the front of stores, outside banks, and inside the now-dead Toys R Us? You got lured in by the shiny stuff on the front or the fact that machine said it had Spider-man, popped in your change--anywhere from a single quarter to four of them lined up back to back--turned the crank, and got a little plastic capsule with some kind of Cracker-Jack level toy.1 You got just a sticker or a temporary tattoo, if you had bad luck. You may have lucked into a bouncy ball, or got the one you wanted if the machine specialized in those. Sometimes you got a plastic ring or necklace for kiddie swag, or a little plastic figurine. Some had the same amount of quarters you'd spent back, which was like a second chance to spend your funds. You probably never got what they showed on the front of the machine that lured you in the first place, but you still had something tiny and plastic to amuse you for a few minutes and your parents could finish paying for the groceries. It was baby's first slot machine, only you actually got something at the end. I'm sure I put way too much loose change in those as a kid and every little bitty thing I got is either trashed or hiding in a bin somewhere in my mom's stuff. My fave were the little plastic charms that were all the hype in the 80s. I had so many tiny plastic mirrors with jingle bells on them, fam. If you've ever played anything with a Japanese influence or are just a bloody nerd like me, then you've also had the same feel if you've gone after gachapon, which are capsule toys but of nicer quality.

So this blind box shit's not new in the slightest. It's just taking off at higher price points than the loose change in your mom's purse.

Nowadays, blind box, mystery open, or blind bag toys are everywhere. Some have codes that'll hint at what's inside. Most times they come in boxes that are sealed, and you have no idea what was in the box till you open it. No refunds if you get doubles, kids. Hope you've got someone to trade with. I've been known to chase down things like this. In the 80s it was C.U.T.I.E.s, the distaff counterpart to M.U.S.C.L.Es. Recently it's been Funko Mystery Mini Disney Princesses, Mini Barbies, Steven Universe figures, Tokidoki brands, and blind bag/blind box My Little Ponies back when ponies didn't piss me off. My local comic book store2 has a few variations once in a while, often has a trade box if you get one and want to trade brand for brand, and I'll grab one when picking up my nerd books with the caveat that I have to like over 75% of what I'll get before I pick one out and drop funds, and I generally don't gotta try to catch em all. I also try to stop once I've reached the point where there's only a few I want to find and the chance of finds are low, then decide to hunt down those I want on eBay. eBay, where people will try to make you pay through the nose for the one that only comes one in every thirty-six boxes.

The two major lines that have been in the toy aisles at Fred Meyer and Target3 in the past couple of years taking up good space are Shopkins and L.O.L Surprise. I haven't gone for either. Shopkins don't thrill me as Things, But With Eyes, plus Bae hates anthropomorphized food. The dolls have weird expressions as well--plus by the time they came along, I had already written off the line. LOLs have been popular among my feed buddies, but the dolls have plastic clothes and hair and for me, that's a big nooooooope. LOL has expanded greatly with little sisters, pets, and other such bits. Still a noooope.

So when I heard about the Hairdorables, my interest was piqued. Hairdorables, if you either don't know or enjoy being a bridge troll and living under a rock, are chibi-style mystery package dolls released by Just Play that are made for today's go-go YouTube vlogging and camera unboxing toy kidfluencer. Basically, all those unboxing videos on the 'Tube? Just Play's trying to tap into people who do that and people who enjoy watching people open boxes on camera for your amusement. The price point of Hairdorables is noticeably higher than other brands at thirteen bucks, but the hair isn't plastic--in fact, their hair is their big selling point--and they're focused on specific characters instead of like, forty different ones on a spread sheet. Except there's a spreadsheet.

Okay, let me back up again and give you a summary of their whole shtick. The backstory goes that the Hairdorables started when main character Noah, while doing a vlog about her putting in a side braid, accidentally smushed the words "hair" and "adorable" into the word Hairdorable. The hashtag and the video went viral, she launched her own channel with her buddies, and now they get on the internet and share all their quirky traits. The Youtube channel just launched today--perfect timing--and the official Instagram is adorable. They also have a Twitter and a Facebook but really, this is an IG kind of line. 

The line launched at the start of August and the first wave, or Series One, is introducing us to the twelve characters. Right now Hairdorables are only at Target, WalDeMart, and Amazon. I saw them on the shelf during one of my 35th Anniversary MLP Runs4 and decided hey, if I hate them after the first one I open then I'll sell it off and consider it not my thing. This is literally how I got into Harry Potter. I should have known.

Guys. Gals. Enby pals. Hairdorables are my thing. Well, it's a thing that I like and that makes it mine.

Also on Monday, when I was not asleep but should have been, my brain went "hey, I wonder if there's a Hairdorables wiki?" One Google search later and. Um. There were two, in the sense two had parked on Wikia/Fandom, the same place that's been hosting the AG Wiki for the past ten years. But they were not up to even minimal snuff. One hadn't done anything but URL park--they literally only had the main page. And the other? There were fourteen pages, and one was a fan character. A fan character. Noooooooooooooope. Do not allow or do this when you are trying to inform, especially if you haven't even gotten good data pages up. 

So, having run a successful wiki for ten years, I decided that if you want the thing done right you gotta be the one to do it yourself. One creation, four hours of sleep, and several hours later, the Absolute Hairdorables Wiki was born. Just like the AG wiki, I run a neat ship and will not buck nonsense. I've already turned off the "add a pic to the gallery" button site wide, all the comments under articles because no one needs that, and anon editing. And when I wasn't putting my braids back in the past two days, I coded. All the characters and each of their doll pages made nearly fifty pages. And that's before I started defining things and noting anatomy and all that. You want a good wiki, you make a good wiki and you treat it right.

The first half of this post is me opening my first one, way back when on that far flung day of August 12th. At the time I hadn't figured out my aspects on my phone, so the pics are long and wide at a 16:9 Ratio. Live with it, I wasn't cropping. Then there's some blog shots of my collection so far. Finally, I'll have a craft for all those people who want to keep the backgrounds but don't want or can't deal with huge boxes in their living space.

Jump under the cut and start living your best Hairdorable Life. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Crafting Creatively: Things I've Made: Kendalls's Wafrican-Loli Dress and Underdress

The grace of Japan, the beauty of Africa, and the cuteness of lolita all in one outfit.
So there I was on the IG like ya do. Checking my feed full of friends, yarn, dolls, more yarn, more dolls, random stuffs, cosplay, nerd shit, and the lifestyles of the cool and Hamilton.1 As I was scrolling and waiting for my morning meds to kick in, I saw that Requiem Art Designs had released a new pattern. That wasn't unusual--she releases patterns practically weekly, on a schedule that I could only hope to wish to maintain even if I could get my brain together. I started following her on Etsy and Instagram because I wanted to start looking into buying patterns for my BJD. I've personally yet to make the leap to sewing for anything slimmer than my Iplehouse Benny Nikki, and even then I've been nervous, but hey, support your local art faves and crafty peeps. Most of what she's released has been for Barbie, Monster High/Ever After High--what she's labeled the Petite Slimline--and various sizes of BJD. I kinda want to get into making some customs of the dolls now that they're plentiful at second hand shops and I have several drawers of the teens.2

That week was an alternate week--something off her usual release schedule. And she had released---wait for it--a WellieWishers pattern. Okay, the top image gave it away, but that day I got flappy hands.  And one that wasn't historical based, frilly frou-frou aprons and ruffles and bows like a doily and a ruffle foot had gone off the rails and both eaten the doll halfway and met in the middle, generidress (but now with bow!), or something that a person whose aesthetics for a seven year old's dressing fashion had stopped somewhere around 1958 had made? Sign me, as they say, the fuck up.

Her first Wellies-sized pattern, the Wa-Loli Dress For 14 inch Kid Dolls, came out in August. She's calling the size 14" Kid Dolls, so this covers Wellies, Heart4Hearts Girls like Rahel, Mosi, and Shola3 and those Glitter Girls I saw at Target for a blip before they went to get retooled and haven't shown back up yet near me. That covers quite a few dolls of the style.

But it got better. She wanted to promote the new size she was trying--because she didn't want the size to fail and her to commit designing for a a size people weren't interested in. So she offered a new promotion. If you buy the first pattern, make a version of it, and message her on Etsy with an image of the completed test of the pattern, then she would add you to a list to get her next 14" Kid pattern absolutely free! And if you make the second one before the third's release, then you got the third free. And so on and so on and as it goes. If you get the pattern, can make it in a month, and then keep it up, then you would stay on the list to keep getting free patterns as long as she made patterns.

Conditions apply, read the fine print. You have to buy the first pattern--the one she had just released, the Wa-Loli Dress. No getting in on pattern #2. And you have to make it and show her you made it before the next one comes out--in about a month. And the moment you don't make the next month's, you're off the list and you don't get back on. Well, it was a month at the release, now it's less than a week. So if you can buy this and make it by the 21st of September and show Requiem, she'll send you the next one free. Yeah, I should have blogged about this sooner. You should have been following me on IG because I told everyone there on day one. Bllpth. Also if the size didn't sell at least 15 in a year, the pattern would be considered a failure size and she'd stop making patterns. Well, it sold more than that in the first week. I'd like to hope I added to the buying with some IG and posting on AGC.

I did as I was offered, bought the pattern, and went out to get some fabric to make a doll dress the next weekend. I had initially decided that, since Ashlyn and Zeblyn are my two half-Japanese Wellie twins, I was going to make a dress for each of them--or at least one for Ashlyn. But in Joann Fabrics, I came across kente cloth and the plans instantly changed to making a set for Kendall. The gods are capricious, knew I was being too ambitious, and wanted to remind me that Kendall was first one to arrive and like Addy, deserves the best. The pattern includes pieces and steps for a dress, underdress, and faux obi-style sash with optional center and bow.

Note that if you're a person who needs a pattern to give a total walkthrough from layout to closure, full color step by step images of every seam and how to sew it, and everything on every pattern marked so you get your hands held, then you're going to need to work around that for Requiem's patterns. Requiem's patterns have the patterns to proper scale, some basic data on the pattern pieces so you know what goes on the folds and all that, and then all the steps in text of how many pieces to cut out (and if you need long rectangles, their dimensions) and how they go together. No pics walking you through every seam, press, and step. They get to the heart of a pattern and expect you to know what you're doing. This to me is kind of refreshing. The pattern tells me what to do, gives me some details, and then expects me to know what I'm up to and how a thing goes together. I like that, especially with how long I've been sewing now. I don't need to be told how to gather, press, run a straight seam--just tell me how the thing runs together and let me do it. The guidance is slim and if you can't tell a seam ripper from a zipper foot, you might be in trouble. Time to jump that hurdle!

Go under the cut for deets on Wafrica, Lolita dress, wa-loli, and how I made one damn cute outfit for Kendall. Also guess who found the aspect ratios on her phone? Yeah, buddy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: New Tones, Veggie Stands, and No Driving with Cell Phones: The Summer 2018 AG Release Two Months Late

When you go on a trip, you don't blog.
AG's most recent new stuff came out in mid-June. And new stuff is probably going to come out in a few weeks to cover the holiday spreads. Why am I just now getting to the new clutter? Well let's see.

A week or so after my last blog post, I set my online life down and prepped to head out of town for about three weeks in the Lake Michigan area. I spent those three weeks with family, including a full fledged family reunion--and while I do take my laptop with me for long trips and mess with my social media, I don't really blog there because I'm generally either busy enjoying festivals and fairs or just enjoying spending time with family. Look, I have one living grandparent and one living parent, I get all the time with them I can and I actually half unplug from the internet. I got back mid-August, had to handle some other stuff, then after this weekend of getting my brains rebrained I moved the pics I'd taken off my phone and onto the computer to start this opinionation about AG stuffs. And here we are. August is hot, I can't go outside because the air is hazy1 and so it's a good day to blog.

Before I do, all the AG News that's worth my time and maybe yours: now with opinions from Yours Truly, Me!2

1) That new Molly coming out? She might be a Costco only exclusive; in which case I might end up with a not!Molly just to get that sweet new meet. We'll see. The glasses are apparently plastic. Welcome to the new age.

Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.
2) The news has gone out about modern collection retirements. At the end of 2018, Tenney-Sue is retiring and taking Nogan with her! Good riddance, you two, I'll get what little I need before year's out.

...and also, Gabriela and Z are retiring. Well. Gabriela I knew would eventually: she got two whole years, she's not been in stores much since Luciana came out, and she was due to leave eventually. Z, on the other hand....Z got boned. Outright screwed over by AG. And I have my personal theories why.

Z is a victim of Tenney's Shadow.

AG was planning for Tenney to be the girl of the year in 2017, quietly extending the line of white and white IDing Girls of the Year out even further than they had (with Lea as a little speedbump of ambiguous brownness). They hyped Melody early in 2016 as the new historical after MaryEllen, getting ready to make a big deal about all the good research they'd done for her time period and all the black people they'd consulted. But then there was public media call out in 2016 on CBS which pointed out both the retirements of Cécile and Ivy and how there had never been a black GotY--in fact, that out of the twenty-odd character dolls created only three had ever been black and none of them had been modern. And the company backpedaled. AG snatched #46 out of the moddie line, made her their new GotY and had her first book written in a few months, and tossed together something quickly to get that Black GotY out.

But there they were with a whole collection's worth of a modern white girl, complete with fancy earrings and a big stage to perform on. The stuff was already being made and had been. They weren't going to just let millions of dollars worth of product catch dust for a year, would they? Hell no. They had stories about songwriting girls from Tennessee to get out while people might still remember that Taylor Swift once sang country. They were not going to take that L on Tenney Grant.

So they created the contemporary line as an excuse to get Tenney released anyways. They had Tenney and Nogan--who we were already getting leaks about as early as summer or so 2016--wait six weeks and then released them under their new line to make it like they had totes planned to just make a new line of modern dolls. They created Z from their online Stop-Motion blogs, and got her together a quickie collection they could release a few months after Tenney--see, we're totally just making a non-limited GotY line! They even kept Gabbi out longer, to make that whole Choose Your Character a big deal--and tossed in Felicity and Nanea as well, to make it very clear that they were going gung-ho with pushing out six characters in only eight months.

But now that Tenney's had her little spotlight and all her stuff and Nogan have been out long enough that they can pretend they weren't going to make her a one-year thing, they're pulling her like they planned. And Z? Well, not only was poor Z the named face3 of the permapanties fiasco, but she had done her job of helping push the illusion that Tenney wasn't just GotY 2017 but held back for six weeks. She's gotta go too, or we can't keep this lie up.

Alas poor Z. You were done so wrong.

3) AG opened a new outlet store! It's in Hershey, PA and thus the air smells like Deth Food. AG would put their outlet in the one city I would probably puke my guts out in. Then again, when will I ever be in PA? They sell some old stuff, some exclusives that may show up oneBay or online or something--I only like a shirt or two--and moddie dolls! For full price. Hah you thought outlet stores were cheap always? Nope.

4) There has been some noted changes in production in recent dolls. The most noticable, if you notice doll eyes a lot, is that the eyes have changed their design since Luciana's release. Instead of the large metal weights in the back and a slight hollow behind the eyes, and clear plastic as the base, the eyes are now a different weight style and made of solid white so the white pegs can be visible. The change in weight leads to some dolls having a downcast, off center eye look, more visible eye whites at the sides and when the eyes are closed, and trouble when eye swaps are done. I've only gotten one new doll since the change4--Luciana, who I had to really have the eye whites pointed out to me recently, and had to look in with a flashlight to see the white pegs. So I have no first hand knowledge of the new eyes. I have seen some images of a wig swap gone wrong with vinyl peeled up, with and cracked and "squished" vinyl accompanied with hands pushing so hard the white person's fingertips are white from pressure, so I'm leaning away from that.

Has the production design changed? Yeah. Could parts of it be improved? From sources I know well and trust enough not to throw a fit: sure could. Would I like this to be looked into? Sure.

Is blowing up every IG post with the same four words helping? Hell naw. Cause this is what AG's comments on the official IG account  have looked like for about a month:
AG Official IG account: This month our monthly book is one of Gabby's! Read along with us!
Twenty people in the comments: bring back the quality!!

AG: It's Friendship Day, Tag a friend you're happy to have! 
The same twenty people in the comments: my friend says bring back the quality!!

AG: It's Campfire Day with Maryell--
Hey, kids and kidlike adults? You're not helping. One bit. Take it from someone who used to work for a large corporation who got a lot of correspondence insisting their feedback go right to the CEO: The CEO is not looking at these comments on IG.5 You can scream "we will be HEARD" in the comments until you've basically tripped the spam filters, but Marketing isn't even reading those comments. You're spamming the mentions of a Customer Service rep who, after about the fifteenth comment she's read while trying to ask about National Brownie Day to make her 10 bucks an hour, is wondering if she really can't ask IG for a mute function like Twitter has.

Y'all will not get heavy weighted eyes back this way, even if they do come back. You're just being a ass.6 Customer service can take your feedback, and forward it on, and like the permapanties I suspect that enough complaints are likely to get things fixed on some form even if it's not back to what it was like before. But flooding the IG comments won't change things faster. Send your data once, be clear and polite and articulate your exact problems, then let it be. CS can't change the eyes themselves. They won't port your e-mails or comments to the CEO. They just can forward your feedback and hope that it gets up the chain so they can stop hearing about it and get back to the other parts of the job.

And yes, I know what the complaints about permapanties did to change the lines. I also know that those got a ton of noted media attention. The permapanty controversy made People's website. A change in eye weights and the vinyl being squishier haven't so far. Maybe you should try sounding less like a nine year old who just discovered they could copy paste comments on social media.

Onto the shiny things, with their wonky eyeballs and all. And enjoy long pics until I get a better digital camera. I'm not changing the aspect ratio on my phone for my general blather.

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 2000 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, almost 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.