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.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Top Dolls of 2013 (plus one)

I’ve bought more dolls this year than I think I’ve bought in the whole of my life. And they’ve pretty much – with the exception of a few – stuck to a few specific brands. I guess I’m more of a brand loyalist than I thought I was. On the whole, my fashion doll purchases seem to have stuck to Monster High, Ever After High and Equestria Girls. Are we surprised here, people? We shouldn’t be. I’ve ventured out a bit into other brands – Bratzillaz, La Dee Da – but mostly, I’ve stuck to my familiar ones. So, since I won’t be having any new reviews until after Giftmas, probably, I thought maybe I’d do a rundown of my favorites from this year. This basically counts for any doll that I personally bought from January 2013 til this week of December 2013. Bear in mind, some of them may have come out earlier than that and actually came out in late 2012, but if you’re going to quibble semantics, the door is to your left.

Continue reading

Mumbled Snark: On Mattel and the Glut of Dolls.

As much as we as collectors of My Little Pony, Monster High, Ever After High – oh, just pick your poison here people, any one will do – think that we’re an influence on the companies who are creating the toys that we so love, we really shouldn’t want to be. Oh no. No we shouldn’t, y’all.

This all started yesterday, when a picture was posted on Tumblr from someone who had found the Blondie Lockes doll at a Toys R Us in Canada. There was much squeeage about how cute she was, about how much cuter than her prototype picture she was, and basically much flailing of hands about her.

(I can’t disagree with them, she is precious! Definitely coming here!)

But then there started to be a lot of comments about the sheer glut of dolls we’re getting lately. Scaremester dolls are being found. Most all of the Frights Camera Action dolls can be found somewhere, between Justice stores and Amazon. And now Blondie Lockes, with, I’m sure, Cerise Hood and C.A. Cupid soon to follow, has been found in the wild. There are new My Little Pony sets and Equestria Girls dolls and again, just pick your poison. “Do we really need all these dolls?” was asked, several times. “No, we don’t,” was a much repeated answer. There was quite a lot of kvetching about how Mattel isn’t “giving our wallets anytime to recover.”

The very definition of a First World Problem

The very definition of a First World Problem

Continue reading

My Favorite Things: Handmades!

Time for a new series here at the Snarker! My Favorite Things will just be me going around and finding 5-10 of my favorite things from any given thing I have a collection of, taking pictures of them and talking a little bit about why I like them so much.

This was born out of the idea that I have a lot of stuff, but yet I don’t really have a place to gather it all up into one cohesive mess and take a picture of it, so how about I just pick and choose? Some ideas I’ve scribbled down for this are:

– Favorite dolls that aren’t Monster High
– Favorite Monster High dolls that aren’t Abbey
– Favorite Abbey Bominable dolls
– Favorite ponies (by generation)
– Favorite official American Girl Outfits
– Favorite off-brand 18″ doll outfits
– And on and on.

And today’s thrilling episode?

Handmade American Girl Clothes!

I have a lot of handmade clothes. My aunt got surprisingly giddy and excited when I was given Mari, and went Etsy shopping. In addition to that, my having American Girl dolls seems to have awaken the seamstress within my mother and she’s made several things for my girls. And I’m an Etsy shopper as well, so I have a lot here to choose from! So, I chose six, three for each of my dolls. Pictures under the jump are in no particular order.

Continue reading

Pajama Party with the AGDiK!

… and then some other random gets.

So, it became abundantly clear to me that the American Girl Duo in Kingsport needed some PJs. It’s quickly getting very, very cold here in the mountains, I’ve officially had to put my vellux blanket under my comforter to keep warm in my house with no insulation at night – along with the canine heating pad that comes in the form of my very large furry dog – and last night the 30 mph winds dropped a carpet of leaves on my front lawn.

So I bit down last week and bought some jimjams for the girls. And some other stuff for them. And for me. Over the last few weeks. *cough* Not a review, yet, but if anyone is interested in a review of anything pictured in this post, by all means leave a comment and if you can stand a review without a total deboxening, I will provide!

We begin...

We begin…

Continue reading

Photosets for All and Sundry: Mari Ventures Outside

So, while I have them, I’ve not really made many posts about my American Girls. I don’t know why! But it’s time to change that.

In one of my first posts on this blog, I talked about my first American Girl, Mari Campbell, gifted to me by Nethilia for my 36th birthday. She has pretty much been my pride and joy ever since. I’ve since gotten a second one – and looked at getting a third, though I shot that idea down hard when I realized I don’t have the space for a third – but Mari remains the First Arrival, and the most spoiled of the two. Outfits I buy are nearly always bought with the thought of “will this look good on Mari?” unless it is specifically intended for Elyse.

It’s a cloudy, somewhat icky day in Northeast Tennessee. It rained earlier and I’m told it’s supposed to rain again this afternoon, which put a kibosh on my plans to go outside and mow up the leaves so my dogs don’t get fleas. But, I realized that I had a perfect “go outside and play in the leaves” outfit, that had been bought for me by my mother specifically for Mari, and so I put it on her, took her glasses off – didn’t want to lose them in the leaves – and tromped outside to our leaf-filled backyard.

marioutside001She remains the most beautiful doll I own. Here she is by one of our fence posts.

Continue reading