Adieu. Auf wiedersehen. Gesundheit. Farewell.

I’ve decided to get out of the doll review game. There are so many people nowadays doing it better, and with better pictures. And when you add in that I am very, very busy with work these days, I just don’t have the time to set up to take a lot of review pictures.

That said, I’m not getting out of the bloggy game altogether! I’ve decided to shift my focus to solely American Girl blogging, and thusly I have made myself a new blog at that if you are interested in commentary, short reviews and my usual colorful opinions and thoughts on the company and the fandom.

So, this is me bidding this blog – and all my readers! – a very fond farewell! You’ve all been wonderful, and I hope to see you at my new home.

– AJ

AGC Does a Thing… Remains Awesome While Doing So.

Or, How I Learned that Never Say Never is True.

As I’ve mentioned here before – and Neth has said often on her own blog – I’m the co-owner of a wonderful message board called American Girl Collectors (henceforth referred to as AGC.) The incredible people who have joined us there  – we’re 235 strong! Not bad for a forum that’s only been open since February! – haven’t just become fellow collectors, a great many of them have become people I consider friends. We’re definitely more… progressive than some of the other American Girl message boards out there and we’ve become a safe place for many people to share their dolly love when they didn’t feel safe or welcome at other boards. I’m proud of that.

And a few weeks ago, someone on the board who has become a dear friend, linked to an eBay auction that turned into the most incredible, amazing display of community love and support that I have ever seen.

Go under the jump for the whole tale.

Fifteen girls in a lot.

Fifteen girls in a lot.

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In which another girl will be joining us…

Over on American Girl Collectors (which henceforth will be called AGC), we have an expansive discussion area for off-brand dolls of the American Girl variety. For the most part, discussion is along the lines of ‘OMG so cute!’ One of our posters hit the dolly goldmine in a recent sale on the My Twinn 23″ Adopt-A-Friends and ended up with two extremely gorgeous girls. There’s been talk of Maplelea, Karito Kids, Hearts For Hearts, A Girl for All Time, and the cheaper side of the spectrum, like Our Generation, Springfield, and Positively Perfect Divah. Really, just about everything you can think of.

My Twinn comes up an awful lot, both in their 23″ form and their 18″ form, namely because Emily’s review of her Annie showed some of the likenesses to American Girl. And someone made a new post yesterday saying that the 18″ Adopt-A-Friend dolls were on sale for $49.00, or two for $88.00.

I started poking around. All the meanwhile, repeating a mantra. “I don’t need a My Twinn doll, I am saving for a Kanani.”

And pretty soon my poor Google Chrome window was gasping for breath under the sheer weight of the number of tabs I had open, comparing different dolls I thought were cute.

Neth signed onto AIM and the following happened.

Me: My Twinn 18″ Adopt-A-Friend’s are on sale for $49.00. Also hi.
Neth: Ooo, really?

We shared links of ones we liked, the ones that would be “the one” if we got one, and then got the idea of going halfsies on an order so we could save a little more money. Neth was heading out with her husband, so I sat at home and kept looking around while she was gone. She gets home, we talk a bit more.

Neth: ….looking at the Adopt-A-Friends again.
Me: ….never stopped looking. I changed my mind on which one I want.
Neth: Me too.

We shared links again. There was the usual squealing and telling each other we’d picked good – supportive friends, we are!

Neth: I think we should do it. 
Me: Me too.

I sent her the link to my girl again, and Neth placed the order, and my girl will be making a stop off in Robot Hell before coming home.

Who did I order?

My MyTwinn Adopt-a-Friend

My My Twinn Adopt-a-Friend. Name and bio coming after she gets home and I figure her out!

When I hovered over her picture to make it bigger, I was just drawn in by her sweet expression, that made her look so engaged with the world, and her sweet serene smile and slightly up-turned nose. I think she’s going to make a wonderful addition to my gang, which now stands at five and that is absolutely positively the cap.

Yes, I know I have been all over Emily’s various My Twinn posts loudly voicing my displeasure and dislike of My Twinn. I feel really fortunate that she hasn’t slapped me! I didn’t like the tall ones because… tall. Didn’t fit in with my gang so didn’t give them a second look, though I did think my friend at AGC had two of the most gorgeous ones I’ve ever seen. The 18″ ones were a little more appealing, but to me it was pretty clear that My Twinn was trying to get in on the 18″ doll market and had directly copied American Girl in a lot of ways (that highlights set they had for sale, the hands and feet being identical, the bodies being identical, etc.) and I still wasn’t quite sure that I actually wanted one. Plus, the lack of quality in the 18″ doll clothes from My Twinn really turned me off.

Plus, there was the fact that all these years of wanting an American Girl doll had turned me into something of a brand loyalist. Sure, I’ll gladly steal clothes from other, cheaper brands, and accessories and such, but a direct-competitor doll? No, I didn’t think so.

So what changed? And what had me go from “I’m saving for a Kanani!” to buying a My Twinn?

For one thing, that was a damn good sale. $44.00, plus tax and shipping equaled out to me sending Neth $52.00 over Paypal for that pretty girl. Compared to the $110, plus tax and shipping (not including her dress and the hangers I bought) I paid for Gracie, made it all pretty hard to pass up. Plus, with these being the 18″ Adopt-a-Friend dolls, we all already know of their ability to share clothes with American Girl, which is a wonderful thing because she has a ready made-wardrobe. Then, she’s just plain cute! That sweet little face just slayed me. And then, add in my genuine curiosity about the doll – unless I’m wrong, and someone can correct me if I am, we haven’t seen any of the blogs have a picture of a black MyTwinn in this size.

But what about that Kanani? Why am I not saving for her anymore?

Because she typically goes for $250-$300 on Ebay, and any low starting auctions are jacked sky-high before I know what to do with myself. It’s honestly ridiculous and way out of my league. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I won’t be getting her and you know what? I am actually okay with that. She is an undoubtedly beautiful doll, but that price is just way too much. I think the girl I’ve chosen, judging by her pictures, is incredibly beautiful and unique and will make a lovely addition to my gang when she gets here.

And when she does, oh there will be pictures and photosets and naming and figuring out who she is for all to see! Promise!

We’ve expanded!

Alright y’all. Posts around here are going to remain fairly sporadic at best. I do apologize for that, but between work issues, personal issues (love me, love my issues), various modly duties here and there around the internets, and trying to have some sort of life (which I’m failing miserably at, given the aforementioned issues), I just don’t have much time. So, if you hang with me, I’ll still be around and hopefully I can start posting again with some kind of regularity.

The big news around here is that we have expanded again! I say again with a caveat.

See, I bought that Adora Wicked Witch of the West doll and I love her! I think she’s gorgeous! I just… can’t make her fit into my gang. She’s so hard to buy clothes for given her difference in size to an AG doll (she’s considerably skinnier and shorter), and because her coloring means that there are a whole hell of a lot of things that just do not look good on her. I still love her, and she is still considered part of my gang, but the story is that she is off at school. You’ll still see her sometimes, but there’s other things to see for right now.

Right around the beginning of March, it became pretty clear to anyone with two eyes and a brain that the end was nigh for Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner in the American Girl Historical line. A good chunk of their collection had gone up in the sale section, and in the last catalog I had gotten, they weren’t listed. More and more things, leaks from Taobao, certain blogs trying to tout “insider knowledge,” were all pointing to the fact that the NOLA girls were going away.

While I was shopping for The Doll Who Would Become Eden, I briefly entertained the idea of getting a Marie-Grace doll because I so very much love that facemold,  but didn’t, because her price was jacked up so much on Amazon that it was ridiculous. So I ended up getting Eden.

I couldn’t get Marie-Grace out of my head though. And I used every reason I could think of to not get her. “I don’t have room for a historical” was the chief reason. And yeah, gonna admit it, there was a little wibbling that I’ve been a major proponent of Dolly Diversity in AG Collections (and I walk the walk as well as I talk the talk with my Chicana girl, my Native girl and hell, my Green girl [who was black before she was green]), and here I was, wanting to buy a white girl. What do? And then, while I was searching Ebay for things, I found a Marie-Grace with her hair straightened.

GAME. CHANGED. After having my fears assuaged by Neth that I wasn’t a huge farking hypocrite, I decided that come hell or high, Marie-Grace would come here and be turned moddie.

On Easter Sunday, we had a family dinner where all us kids (me, my sister and my brother-in-law) got “Easter Baskets.” Some candy, and something else we would like, stuff like that. Mine was some Jelly Bellies (yum!), a chocolate bunny and a little glass box shaped like a bunny that inside had $20 in. This was for the “Marie-Grace fund,” I was told. Excitedly, I put away some money from each of my next two paychecks until I had enough to get her and a dress just for her. I was excited!

I ordered her on Friday, May 9th, and she arrived exactly a week later. Amusingly, all of my American Girls have arrived on Fridays. Clearly, fate wants me to have weekends filled with dolly love. Hee!

All will be revealed, friends...

All will be revealed, friends…

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Mumbled Snark: If You Want to Sell Stuff, Why Can’t I Tell What it Is?

An outfit I recently bought, though not on my doll.

An outfit I recently bought, though not on my doll.

Lately, I’ve been cruising Etsy for outfits. Because Eden is somewhat awkwardly sized compared to an American Girl – she’s a bit skinnier and a bit shorter than your average American Girl doll and so I try to find clothes that will fit and look good given her unique coloring. And sometimes I just buy things for Mari and Elyse because they deserve them too. And besides seeing a whole lot of GeneriDresses and pillowcase dresses and a bunch of horrible Native woo woo shit, I’m seeing a whole lot of really, really bad pictures. And there’s a few reasons that these pictures are bad and why these are things that just should not be done.

Lets talk about them, shall we?

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So sorry!

My work life has gotten strangely busy and unfun so I’ve not had a lot of time – or want, frankly – to post about dolls!

ooh, but honey there’s been some additions around here! I’m gonna try to break this all up into a few posts over the next few days, so just bear with me and I’ll be back!

REVIEW: Papasan and Swingasan Cell Phone Holders from Pier 1 as Doll Furniture

I can already hear you all going “WHAT? Where’s the dolls! Why are you reviewing cell phone holders? AJ, DID YOU SELL OUT ON US!”

Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to lay your sleepy head. Of course I didn’t! Just let me explain before we get this show on the road.

So, I was perusing Tumblr, as you do – I am very rarely not on Tumblr when I am home – and  a friend of mine reblogged a post where someone had gotten this nifty swinging what-looked-like wicker chair and that it made great seating for dolls! Seeing that it was available at Pier 1, and after checking that yes, Virginia, we do have a Pier 1 here in my town, I decided to go pick one up.

Lets just remember that I am not so much with the ~decorating~ and shit, so just imagine the look on my face when I walked in there, completely and totally baffled as to what I was looking for and where it would be. Thankfully, I was able to explain to the nice woman who saw the confused girl walk in and look lost, and she helped me find what I wanted.

Turned out, they had two styles, the swingy chair (Swingasan), and then a cushy chair (Papasan). I went for the swingy chair first, since that was what I first saw, but then I decided to go back this past Saturday and get the other, because while the chair is lovely, there were some issues with some dolls and I thought having the other one would be a good thing. So lets get this show on the road, shall we?

A couple of notes before we get going! This is a seriously image intensive post. I apologize but there was a lot to cover. Also, you’ll notice some pictures were clearly taken in another area, that was before I got the Papasan, and rather than retake a bunch of pictures, I’ve just worked them into the post. I am lazy.

The Papasan and Swingasan Phone Holders from Pier 1

The Papasan and Swingasan Phone Holders from Pier 1

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