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

Monday, May 2, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: Late April Mini-Mod and TropiKenna Burst of Sunshine

Hanging out at the AG Store with my girl.
First of May, First of May! Outdoor humping starts today!1 Okay it's the Second. Look, it's close enough.

April I had ambition, man. And then my body said "fuck you in particular heaux" and my mind jumped in to join the beatdown. Chronic illness! It fucking blows. Also one of my damn favorite artists, Prince, died2 and Drama happened and the build up of things all coalesced into a storm that rained me out and I ran out of everything. To the point of tremors. It took me two days to restock the shelves with new Can. But I'm trying every day. I'm working on one major project for my Etsy which is actually fun to do, sorting out another to start later on, trying to clean more, and lining things up hopefully. Saving up for DeeDee is going successfully, I would like to take good pics of the MegaBloks sets I purchased and put them together nicely, and Lemonade is freshly squeezed and good. (And I don't mean the drink I mean the Beyoncé album.) Also my garden is growing well, I went to the Tulip Festival up north, and I'm working on a quilt. So y'know, the good and the bad.

Also New Gang Member Alert! Up there is Li-Yue "Lorelei" Soo. She sometimes goes by Lori, is Chinese-American, originally from California, and loves musicals, crafts, and the 1950s aesthetic so she and Ellie have become the closest of friends. Her idol is Phillipa Soo (no relation) who rocks the role of Eliza Schuyler in the Hamilton musical and she will soon be reviewing the outfit she's wearing, the Jumper and Boots Set, and displaying some awesomely designed outfits.

That being said, let's talk about new things; this Thursday was a small release for AG. No BeForever goodies, two Bitty Things, and mostly small others. Notably, there's nothing for the Bitty Twins for the fourth time. They haven't got anything at all since last June; that's almost a year without anything at all. I suspect--but don't hold me to it--that they are on their way out to make room for a new AG line named Wellie Wishers, a set of all vinyl dolls with wellies (rain boots) that are more of the 5-8 range that AG is sorely lacking in covering since the retirement of Hopscotch Hill. Will I bother to get one of the Twins? Likely nah. They're not my thing. The black Wellie Wisher, though, has a chance. Let's see the price point.

To the new things.

TropiKenna: Now In Mini and Fancy Dress Form

White Fancy Dresses. That have African Origins.
Lea's Celebration Outfit: TropiKenna has finished off her collection--it appears, unless she gets another release later on in the year--with a celebration outfit: a white dress with fancy embroidery, an attached belt, and three tiers, a beaded headband, and gold butterfly sandals. I got it because I like the way it looks, but I have a big issue with the description included.

AG describes it as such: that it reminds Lea "of the traditional white dresses that some Brazilian women wear." Which is just a little short of accuracy in the backstory there. The people who wear these  kind of white dresses are Afro-Brazilian women called Baianas--residents of the state of Bahia which a large African Diaspora population. They are most frequently seen on women who practice Candomblé, a religion that was synchronized in Brazil with a mix of several African Traditional Religions, and often wear all white. And hey, guess what! I follow at least two Yoruban goddesses and a third has been speaking to me.3 So with the dress being "inspired by~" and not exactly like Candomblé styled outfits, I'm not "NETH SMASH" about a barely Brazilian girl wearing an African Diaspora-designed outfit. But I am miffed that AG got wishy washy and watered the actual data on the dress down to some Brazilian women as if it's just randomly nebulous and anyone can wear it because lol dresses for all, and didn't have the huevos4 to say it was, y'know, African descended Brazilians. 

In children's forms.
If you want the same dress for small people, it costs $58 bucks. Belt comes separate for big people. I could make me one like it, but the embroidery would hand me my ass.

Picnic Lunches.
Lea's Beach Picnic Set: Like Kanani and Saige before her, TropiKenna decides her final outfit should come with food.5 Along with the sitting mat, plate, and a basket, we've got a pineapple to bash people with, a coconut to put the lime in,6 empanadas which are delicious, and brigadeiros which look delicious but appear to only come in Deth and SuperDeth. Oh and a journal if you want to have her write down her food or notes or something. On the consideration block. I need to worry about DeeDee first.

Mini Doll!
Special Edition Mini Doll: First of all, this is going to likely be stores only, so no trying to hunt this down at Barnes and Noble or...well shit, that is the only major bookstore chain about now, ain't it? Fucking death of bookstores.7 This Mini Lea comes in her hiking outfit with a special stand shaped like tropical plants. The set costs $38 I think--which is high as shit for a mini. I have the Mini Lea that came with my books at Costco, she's all I'll really need. On sale? Possible. Full Price? Yeah, I'd rather use that money for outfits or the picnic set.

Lea Clark's Adventure Tee: It's a beautiful shirt. I wear a Men's XL. Sorry, Shirt. We can't be friends.

Necklaces and bracelets.
Lea Clark's Beaded Necklace: Would you like to pay $18 for a wrapped and beaded necklace with a compass charm based on a doll? You wouldn't? That makes two of us.

Wish Bracelets: Along with the corded necklace, there are four new bracelets with ribbons, a bead for adjusting, and a charm.. They come in, according to AG, blue with a butterfly for joy and peace, pink with a flower for friendship and love, orange with a turtle for strength and courage, and green with a leaf for nature and harmony.

First of all, they cost $8 each and I like to use $8 for candy--or for all four, to get that tote bag like hers. Second, all that complaining about stripping the culture away because heaven forfend someone buying AG learn about a culture that isn't French or Gymnastics applies again. These are half-story versions of Brazilian Wish Bracelets or Bahia Ribbons, which have a long actual history. The ribbons do have color meaning, and AG was fairly close on those, but that's only quarter credit. 

The ribbon is to be wrapped around the wrist or ankle and tied with three knots--a wish with each knot--then left on until it falls off. If you take it off before it falls, then the wishes won't come true. These ribbons are also tied often to the gates of the The Church of Nossor Senhor do Bonfim, one of the most famous Catholic churches in Bahia and has ties to religious syncretism between Catholicism and African religions in Bahia. In Candomblé Our Lord of Bonfim is heavily associated with Oxalá, father of the Orishas and creator of humankind. And what do people do for the feast day for him, the Festa do Bonfim? They dress in white during the feast to honour Oxalá. And there it is. Another case of only half telling the story of a Brazilian African-descended culture and its faiths.

Damn it, AG. You go into a heavily African influenced culture in a country and you come out with "celebration" dresses and "wish" bracelets.  Do it right or leave it alone.


Is this the last release of the TropiKenna/Lea Clark run? It likely is. Unless something pops up over the summer, but I suspect the summer is for DeeDee and Wellie Wishers.

Moddie Squad: Dogs and Pet Stuff and Sports

Two spandex for the price of two!
Stars and Stripes Set: The Summer Olympics are less than a hundred days away! So AG being AG came out with its usual sports sets in red, white, and blue, which they have done every four years since 2004.8 They've always included gymnastics--the only sport clearly open to small girls--and this year counts. Along with the gymnastic leotard, ponytail holder, and medal, there's a swimming side: swimsuit, swimcap, and goggles. Which...is not enough for me, especially at $34. They could have added some pants--the last two had pants. This feels like two half outfits that need more to be anywhere near a full outfit.

Rah, reh, sis boom meh.
Spirit Squad Outfit: Once again I remind you that my fucks given about cheerleading in my gang are none. It's a color I like but nothing else matters to me about the set. I don't care about doll cheering.

Bed with Canopy!
Canopy Bed and Bedding Set: This actually released in mid-March as part of a bundle with the Petals and Plaid PJ's and any moddie you wanted, but this is my first time seeing it in the store so we're putting it with the discussions now. It's actually super cute and more substantial than some past beds have been. If I was super big big on moddie beds I would have gotten this as part of the bundle perhaps, but I save bed space for historical beds.

Dog, Bed, and Leash set--all new for all you.
Pomeranian Puppy: I reviewed the Fancy Pomeranian Pet House Set back when it came out in Costco in 2014, and surmised that eventually the dog would come out solo. And hey, there it is! Good dog. Unlike the other pups, its bone toy is green instead of blue, but it's posing and magnetic just like before. I'd guessed by that fall but it took about two years, so I was off. I won't bother because I have the Costco one. I hope this bodes well for other pets released in the big-box style.

Galaxy Pet Bed: I love love love that cushion. But I don't buy pet beds. Can I just have the cushion? No? Aw, nuts. Go on sale so I can justify buying a whole pet bed for a single cushion.

Rainbow Collar and Leash: For the pansexual in your world that wants to demonstrate this in toy dog leash and collar form, this is the set for you! I skipped because I'm middling about my pet leashes. They have to go on super sale, then I'll snap them up.

What the hell.
Fur-rocious Pet Outfit: A pet hoodie, a flying disc,9 and leg warmers. For a pet. Someone misspelled "At-" as "Fur."10 I think if you tried to put this on a real dog they would try to roll it off and the cat would just leave dead things in your bed. PASS.

New Water Bottle. But not improved for me.
Water Bottle: Store only. It's a lot like the one I got last year, except the straw tucks now in a loop, so it's likely suitable for people who do the sports. I'll stick to the water bottle I've got. I just sport at my desk. 

Dolly polish!
Nail Polish: New at the salon--for five bucks added on you can get some dolly polish! Blue, pink, or purple. I'll have to get it next time I get a hair-styling done for Marisol and tell you what I think. 


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
Electric word, life. It means forever and that's a mighty long time. 

 But I'm here to tell you there's something else: The after world.
A world of never ending happiness. You can always see the sun, day or night.
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills--you know the one, Dr. "Everything'll Be Alright"?
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left? Ask him how much of your mind, baby.
'Cause in this life things are much harder than in the after world.
In this life, you're on your own.

--Prince Rogers Nelson: 1958 - 2016


1 So get your favorite lady or at least your favorite lay.
2 Hearing he died hit me as bad as Michael Jackson dying. So much of his music is my life--including 1999, my high school class song. So I am sad and covered in purple things.
3 Yemaya, Oshun, and I've been lately feeling a huge draw to Oya. 
4 That's Spanish. Not the language of Brazil. Try again. I already explained this.
5 WonderBread got some funky ballet set and jewelry box, McSeattle did gymnastics some more, and Grace got that weird ass hair thing and the shoes that should have come with her sightseeing outfit.
6 Lime not included.
7 Part of what killed bookstores? Amazon. As nice as it is to walk into a used book store and paw the bookies often, when I want a new book? I don't want to hear that the store doesn't have it in stock because it's not popular enough/so popular they sold all the copies ever and wanted me to make me order it special order that would add shipping and take 3-6 weeks. I'd rather just throw enough books in an order on Amazon to get some free shipping and get it in 5-8 business days. And this is from someone who liked going to Borders just to sit around and touch the bookies.
8 The one Olympics chunk this was skipped was McSeattle, and with her we got a whole year of gymnastics. So it counts.
9 Fun fact! Frisbee is a copyrighted name from Wham-O, makers of the hula hoop and Silly String.
10 For those having trouble, this would spell "Atrocious."


  1. Is the Fur-rocious outfit made of leftovers of Julie's Classic turtleneck? Never thought that'd see the light of day again.

  2. Hi Neth! I stumbled upon your refreshing blog whilst searching for more adult geared, less sappy blogs to read about American Girl and other 18 inch doll collectors. I agree there is not enough diversity in the doll lines and those that do have dolls of ethnicity are sadly lacking in story development and design. Have you heard of a doll company called Children of America? I would like your input on them, if you have.

  3. I laughed my ass off at your description of the rainbow leash, because that's me to a T. The Corgi joined my dolly herd a couple of months ago because I can't resist Corgis, I'll be getting the rainbow leash for her. Also, I have to admit to liking the At-rocious Pet Outfit, sans leg foofies because there is such a thing as TOO ridiculous. Apparently. I love the galaxy pet bed. Looks like my tiny, fake plastic Corgi (replacement for the real Corgi I wish I had) will be getting some loot!


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