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Thursday, December 31, 2015

On dolls and floods

As y'all may or may not know by now, the 2016 Girl of the Year was unveiled today.  Her name is Lea Clark.  She appears to be Caucasian (again) with light brown hair and a Josefina head.  She is the third, repeat, THIRD doll to have a bit of an ecological twist in her story, the other two being Kailey and Lanie.  Granted, she does like photography, which sets her apart from surfer chick Kailey and do-nothing Lanie.  But more than ever it seems like American Girl is scrabbling for ideas for their Girls of the Year.  Talolili and I discussed that a bit on Facebook earlier; we both agree that Lea is cute, and I personally am looking forward to seeing what her wardrobe will contain, but for the most part Lea feels like yet another rehash.

Grace, meanwhile, is sold out.  Some of her items are still up on American Girl's website, but Grace herself is gone.  Gone away, into the archives and into American Girl History.  May the folks who got her thoroughly enjoy her.

Regarding My Twinn, the speculation wheels are still spinning, particularly in the Facebook group that I'm a member of.  One person heard that the company is folding completely, another heard that they'll be back up by January sixth, and a third heard that they may take an extended holiday and then come back.  For reasons that I've discussed in the past, I'm inclined to think the first reason is the correct one, but I may be completely wrong.  Another bone of discussion concerned a picture that I took.
Twenty-three inches is a lot more than eighteen!  Rael is a full head taller than Xenia, and that size difference triggered the discussion.  One woman remembered a slogan that My Twinn had long ago, one that showed a Twinn next to an American Girl doll.  The text accompanying the picture proclaimed "We're heads above the competition!"  Another woman commented, "What a shame it didn't stay that way!"  I'd been sensing an air of unhappiness around the group for a day or so, so I sniffed around for the root of it...and discovered that the root was one particular woman, a lady whom I'll call Miss L, and her dolls.  Miss L bought...oh, I think she bought twenty-one of the 18-inch models in the short time they'd been available, and in that short time eighteen of the twenty-one had eyes that clouded over and/or changed color.  Brown eyes turned a funky pinkish-lavender, blue eyes turned cloudy, and it was just a mess.  It was really sad, because Miss L bought dolls with beautiful faces. 

Miss L isn't the only one, of course.  Two of Miss Emily's four dolls (Frances and Ramona) have eyes that either faded or changed completely.  Frances's eyes changed in less than a year.  BahamianAGDollLovers has a similar story to tell; she uploaded a video about her MT doll Dera on February 15th.  On December 4th she reported that Dera's eyes had turned purple.  Again, the time frame is less than a year.  My Xenia is fine so far, but quite frankly, I'm just waiting to see what happens with her eyes.  I figure it's just a matter of time before hers turn too.  I knew that it wasn't unheard of for the eyes of 23-inch models to turn, but as Rael shows it's not as widespread as it is with the 18-inch dolls.  This suggests to me that the larger dolls were of higher quality all around than the smaller ones; I know this is true of Rael.  I don't mean to put Xenia down because I like her, but Rael is superior in almost every way.  Her eyes are bright, her eyebrows are well-drawn, her body is soft, her hair is shorter and less coarse, and she poses rings around Xenia.  She poses rings around all my dolls, in fact!  Anywho, I'll keep my eyes on the My Twinn website and see what goes down, and I'll be watching Xenia as well.

As a last little dolly tidbit, I've determined that unless something very serious comes along, 2016 will be the year that I get my first ball-jointed doll...or at least, my first resin ball-jointed doll.  Ju-hwang is a ball-jointed doll, but she's made out of plastic and isn't allowed on Den of Angels.  Anywho, my doll will be the grail doll that I spoke of in a prior post, an Angel of Dream boy named Tao Huandao.  I have a story cobbled together for him (most ball-jointed doll owners have backstories for their dolls), but I'm not going to reveal it now.  LOL, gotta keep you waiting!

In non-doll news, the rainstorm that hit during Christmas dumped a crap-load of rain on the central part of the country.  Every body of water in the area, from the drainage ditches to the Mighty Mississippi, is out of its banks.  This is what it's like in Cape Girardeau, a place that I called home for part of my early adulthood.

Cape Girardeau is located right on the Mississippi River, so close that it requires a flood wall to keep the water out when the river gets high.  The wall is five hundred feet long and twenty feet high, and the side that faces the city is painted with images of famous Missourians.  Experts estimate that it would take a flood stage of 55 feet to top the wall, twelve feet above the highest flood crest recorded in Cape.  Now...that being said, notice that in the picture above the water already is at flood stage.  Cape city officials ordered the flood gate closed long ago, so as far as I know the downtown area is okay.  But if we have a bad winter with a lot of snowfall, even up north, things could get ugly.  Malden is twenty-five miles from the Mississippi River, but after the flood we had in 2011 I know anything is possible!  I need to ask Mama if we've got flood insurance...y'know, just in case.  It may never happen to us, but better safe than sorry.

I know it's already the new year for some of y'all, but I'm still watching the clock.  We've got two hours to go here in Malden.  See y'all soon, and thanks for helping make it a great year here at Confessions of a Dolly Lover.  Your comments, opinions, and input have been greatly valued.

Happy New Year,


  1. It is sad. I do hope they take a break and come back better, but that will take a lot of cash and employees. I don't know if they have either considering I still haven't received my order from 12/20 :(

    1. Lordy, that's been another bone of contention on the Facebook group. A lot of the members ordered something for Christmas (either for their kids or for themselves) and it still hasn't come in. Some of them haven't even received their confirmations. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your order!

  2. I hope Xenia holds up well for you. It is a shame when a doll's quality gets compromised. From the cheapest to the most expensive, I think there is a basic standard to expect. Of course one should expect more quality as the price goes up.

    As far as AG Girls of the Year go, I think there are only so many activities that girls of that age can be involved in. Music is one area that they haven't explored, I think. Science is another... although if they had a girl who was working on a big school science project, for example, I would like it if they would make it a positive focus. Make it about her talents and what she can do with them instead of making her an Oppressed Victim of the Patriarchy. (My own daughter is in AP Physics and Honors Pre-Calculus this year, so I do have some experience of girls in science.)

    I hope you stay dry where you are!

    1. You mentioning the sciences gave me a whole slew of ideas that could be worked with. It really is a shame that we haven't had a girl that's into space or weather or something like that; being a tornado buff I'd personally like to see a little kid that wants to chase severe weather! When I was ten that was my dream.

      Regarding Miss Xenia and the My Twinn debacle, I hope she'll keep her eye color too, but I'm not betting on it. Her eyes already look like they've lightened. I'm not going to worry too much about it since I've got an AG doll with silver eye anyway. It just makes me wonder why these higher-end dolls have so many problems with eyes, while the Our Generation dolls that one can get for twenty bucks DON'T have problems. I hope that if My Twinn gets back on its feet the folks there will rectify the eye problem.

      Thanks for commenting! I always enjoy reading what you have to say about our posts.

    2. I was thinking about it, and there might be an issue with your storm chaser idea, because tornadoes have killed people. Not to mention, just experiencing a tornado was probably terrifying for most girls.

      I enjoy reading your posts!

    3. Doesn't have to be a tornado; could be some other natural disaster like a hurricane or a flood or a blizzard, something that knocks out communication and causes displacement. It might give an opportunity to teach survival skills or somesuch like that. And sometimes it helps to have a friend that went through an event similar to what the child did, even if that friend is imaginary or inanimate. It might encourage the child to open up a bit and talk more about what happened, so she can get it out of her system and start the healing process.