|When you go on a trip, you don't blog.|
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.
...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!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.
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--
Those Same twenty people in the comments again: bRiNg BaCk ThE qUaLiTy!!!!!11!!!!eleventy! WE HATE YOU FIX THE QUALITY BRING BACK THE QUALITY QUALITY WE HAVE SIGNED A PETITION TO ADDRESS OUR GRIEVANCES EMAIL THIS TO THE CEO HERSELF
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.
Out With the Old, In With the Old: A Smattering of Historicality
|They're back! In cubed form.|
But Felicity, Addy, and Sam--the Cubicle Crew--are now in all the stores including dinky ones like mine. So you don't have to pay those shipping costs! Unless you want anything other a dressed doll and her accessories. Then get back to one of the bigger stores, maggot.
|Eat your goddamn five a day.|
I have this, because at the end of June Bae was out of town and I had to order my own pizza, so he got this for me to pay me back as is our rule when I order my own takeout. I like it, even if the pants are a little tight on the ass. I think my Kit is an early Kit. She sometimes has a butt.
Kit's Gardening Accessories: Where's Kit wearing these overalls? In the backyard where food plants are growing. Look pride is for people who aren't trying to get through an economic depression, thanks, so we're tearing up the garden because you can't eat mother's prize roses in a garden salad. It's all plastic, and if you hate that then don't get it. I have this on a maybe because I might be able to find something just as nice for less. I mostly like the jars and apron.
Kit's Garden Stand: And just outside and down the road, we're selling our produce for money. Pride don't pay the light bills on Christmas Day. We have strawberries, blueberries, apple berries, carrots, beans, a scale, even have a little money. Paper money. Look at that fancy funding! I like it but do I like it enough to put money on it? Choices.
|Back to the movies.|
|The first person to ask me about the damn roast pig again is getting Spam thrown in the eye.|
Nanea's Luau Set: And what a feast! All kinds of food, meats, a lei, and even a little bowl of poi. Yep. Will have to hook myself up with this on the sooner side. I'm a sucker for doll food, after all.
....make more stuff for Melody AG
More Space Today: Luciana's A Shooting Star
|Even Space needs a Dress, I guess.|
Luciana's Starry Night Accessories: Yes, this doesn't have Mars. This is because Saturn is the easiest planet to make a fancy silhouette for. I'm not sure I want to pay that much for a purse, jewelry, hair decs, and another passport. Get me a discount.
Luciana Out of This World: Lucci's last book is out! Neth hasn't read the first two because she's been bad for reading! And that's all I gotta say. I've heard it veers off into the slightly fantastical ideas, but I'll probably get it. After all, I have almost all of Tenney's whack ass books.
Truly Me Shenanigans: Browner Than Expected And That's Swell
Did you like #21, #31, and #51 but didn't get them yet? Sucks to be you, they're on the chopping block and when stock dies, it dies. AG's not enlarging the cases for you. I guess Kira will just have to be the only #21 I have. Unless I see her at MCM next year.9 Accept your new girls!
|I'll be here when Tenney's gone to the MCM Sale.|
Fun fact! When she first released online, images had her with the Tenney squish grip hand. She never had it. Someone messed up their Photoshop at work~!
|Save $85 bucks by switching to Truly Me!|
And now I can make my custom without dying a doll or paying for a CYO. See, I'm a nerd who crosses the fandoms. I've designed a Pokemon based AG Historical doll. But she was going to require me getting a tan Jess mold, and I was pretty much resigning myself to the fate of having to get one from the Create Your Own collection. AG just saved me $85 minimally. Now I can start looking into fantasy eyes and hair to make the 1740s Native Northern Isles Sinnohan I've wanted for a time now.
Two out of three new moddies are perfect. Not bad.
|Cheerleading remains endless.|
Nfinity Cheer Set: What the shit is Nfinity? *one Google Search later* "Nfinity markets cheerleading, basketball, and volleyball shoes and apparel particularly for female athletes." Ah. AG paid licensing fees to another company to make an authentic cheer backpack. Duly noted. No need.
|The picture is blurry because the sport is fast. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.|
Star Gymnast Set: I only get gymnastics leotards when they're on sale, old, and appropriately '80s or '90s enough to double as a substitute for a t-shirt like we did back then. Meh.
|Kickflip! Ollie! And such as.|
Also a well known person in the doll IG circles complimented me on a shirt just like this one except it's a "Love is Love" shirt to go with all my other queer pride shirts. It was later on--probably when I posted about my gay scarf and queer pride--that she realized I was not straight and blocked me for rampant pagan queerness in public. Her loss. I was open from the start, she shoulda read the fine print on my bio.
Skate Park Set: Skate is life! Grind or Die! It's time to take out the thrash! Okay, my skating knowledge is one Simpsons Tony Hawk ep and occasionally seeing them in public. And having a few skater outfits for dolls. It's a cool sport, though, and I like that AG is bringing back the sports that don't involve makeup and sparkles and leotards. Double good on AG Seattle for not showing the skating gear on boys only.
|The games require even numbers, thanks.|
Camo Cool Outfit: Now that we have boys we have more neutral clothes. This is one of them. The top is not my favorite, so on sale if it does that. Otherwise, we won't be touching it.
Game Night Set: You have two choices: Checkers or Pictionary. I don't want to play either; checkers annoys me and Pictionary broke up the Van Houtens. I want some dolly chess or backgammon. Dolly sized chess? That would rock.
|Black is a plus. The sparkles are a minus.|
|I too, enjoy table tennis before bed.10|
Building Dreams PJs: AG, realizing that not every pajama set has to be femme (and that their dudes didn't have bedclothes) have released some pretty cool PJs. I'll try my best to get these. They're nice and non-femme. Not that I don't like femme stuff. I just hate peplums.
Three-in-One Game Night Table: Your choices are table tennis, Foosball, and air hockey. Damn people with basements that can have Foosball tables. In this economy I'm lucky to have string to tie up my tomatoes.
Wheaten Terrier Puppy: The fuck is a wheaten terrier? *one google search later* The soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a pure breed terrier originating from Ireland. Ah. It's another terrier. My mom has a Kishu/terrier mix. I have no pets. I like it. Sale dog.
Donut Pet Bed: Silly AG. Dogs don't sleep in donut beds with whipped cream pillows! They sleep at your feet while you crash on the couch under the new super cute spooky-harvest-goth fall quilt your grandma gave you. Duh. I'm not paying for dog beds IRL, I'm not buying them for toy dogs.
|Dogs in coats.|
|Sports for all genders!|
....bring back the fly fishing outfit!
|Learning about volcanoes, because fire is good.|
Volcano Lab Set: AG, eager to ride this STEM train to the end, is now offering more science! It's a volcano. You know, that natural phenomenon that doesn't really happen much you unless you live in specific locations--but every kid knows about by fourth grade because baking soda, vinegar, and some food dye make for a great lava simulation. Now with safety glasses. No blinding me with science.
|Who's ready to be called a slur over Call of Duty tonight?|
This set? This is what the news outlets got geeked about. Not someone on IG pressing on underseam neck vinyl hard enough to crack it and then screaming that AG was trying to rip them off. I swear some of y'all are the angry Abe Simpson in a toy store, doing the absolute most to tear things up and then claiming they're cheap.
|Boys and girls, sharing sleeping spaces, total chaos.|
|I was told there would be punch and pie.|
|Fully matching earrings is so not dibble.|
Also mismatched earrings just make me think of Claudia Kishi who got two holes in one ear and one in the other, which was so weird to me as a kid because it seemed unbalanced but now I'd be down for it. Along with the fact there was even a plot to convince your parents that at thirteen you were old enough for the first holes. At just before thirteen I was off getting the second set, and the whole story of convincing anyone was me turning to my mom and saying "yeah, sure, I'll keep them in all summer and clean them every day, now get me punched."
|Bringing back the BFF charms!|
Glittering Star Watch: k but do kids even analog a lot nowadays, maybe they do? I don't wear a watch I should but I have a phone. Maybe I should get one of those fitty bittys.
|Heart Best Friend Forever American Star Girl Laugh Out Loud Star.|
|Traveling in style.|
Two-Doll Tote II: No pics, but it's the same style of doll tote as before. Claims to hold two, might hold one if you're balanced, not really useful in the long run. I prefer to throw my dolls into a large rainbow tote bag upside down with a hairbrush. Or, in some cases, into a drawstring backpack at a company picnic.
|Your Lyft Driver Today is Nadia. She's only in sixth grade.|
And it's still not as expensive as that goddamn fucking bakery from three years back. Seriously AG, I'm going to ride your ass about that for years.
There's a Party in the Garden and the WellieWishers are Invited
|Step right up with the WellieWishers!|
Carnival Games Set: Throw bean bags and win fabulous prizes! Fabulous puppet prizes. Interesting, but I'd have no use for it. I can see how a five year old would be all over that, though, and it's got a lot of games to flay for the cost. And as a person who used to work in a games department at a now-gone theme park, the behind the scenes of game work was actually kind of neat. The most tiresome part was explaining that the games were not rigged, and that it was actually considered theft to throw the ball at the hoop so we couldn't demo for you. Seriously. I couldn't even bounce the balls some days. That could get me written up if a supervisor saw me.
|Snackables and ponies.|
Carnival Snack Tray: Step right up and give kids money for snacks! We've got lollipops, juice, and for those parents who think that sugar is cocaine, we've got carrots. My weakness for dolly food continues. But I could probably make it.
Shetland Pony: Aw. it's a pony! It's a too small pony! A Shetland pony is anywhere from 28 inches (a little over two feet) to an official maximum height of 42 inches (about three and a half feet) at the withers. The average height of a six year old is 42 inches tall. A Shetland that only reaches to the knees of a six year old wouldn't even be a foot tall at the withers. So cute in idea, but way underscaled. I'm gonna need a pony that can at least bump her head against Willa's chest without straining. Mmkay?
Popcorn and Cotton Candy Cart: I only sorta got a shot of this. But I love the idea. Mostly because I love cotton candy in sinful, ugly ways. I'll pay five bucks a hit for deluxe stuff. I bought maple sugar cotton candy at the Wisconsin State Fair and it was delicious in ways you can only imagine cotton candy to be unless you've had it. That being said, it only comes with one cotton candy and I need more than that to be a happy Neth.
The Clippity-Cloppity Carnival, Emerson and Princess Peep, and Willa's Wilderness Campout: Three more books, all very well written. The Wellie books are hella killing it, with realistic kid problems and working out useful solutions and not showing everyone always in good moods getting along with everyone. Also the book is called Willa's Wilderness Campout but the real star of the show is Ashlyn.
Guess what I have this week after weeks without?
That's right: plans to write a goddamn review of something. And a casual Friday. And a micro rant on blind box toys. And also talk about AG Chicago. Again.
Now to just, y'know, do it.
1 Nowhere near any wildfires, but they do blow their smoke into the area where I live. My asthmatic ass is staying the fuck indoors.
2 You see what I did there.
3 Or the ass.
4 I got four TRU girls, but they all appear to be before the eye changes.
5 And probably Facebook, but I don't fux with AG's Facebook.
6 PS: That whole "Make American Girl Great Again" tag some of you are using? Stop that fucking shit. That is not cute.
7 Yes, once.
8 Who am I kidding, when.
9 I didn't go this year but from what I hear, they had way too many Tenney. And also way too many Melody. Hmm.
10 *whispers in the footnotes* No I don't.
11 I see what AG did there.
12 "Itadakimasu", or basically "time to eat" in Japanese. I can still read and speak Japanese.