crafting with and around LEGO minidolls

The most pointless video ever

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And people still love it.

Well, not everyone likes it, but that wasn't the goal. I wanted to experiment. I already know there's an audience for dollifying stuff, but is there an audience for mermifying stuff?

Apparently, there is. And that makes me happy :)

A few firsts I did in the making of this video:

  • paint a fish
  • talk into the microphone without a script and sound somewhat coherent
  • tried to talk more about the mermify process and tell a little story about every character

So now finally, I can declare the Year of the Mermaids has officially begun on the BrickoMotion channel! YouTube Gods, please let it be a successful one!

Btw The last SW video got monetized after the manual review. Hurray! That makes the manual review correct in 2 out of 3 cases. At least for me. Yay!

Chaosville the board game

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I can't link directly to LEGO Ideas from YouTube, so I figured I'll link to this site first. And then to the project:

To be exact, I can link to it from the comments and the descriptions, it's just the cards and the end screen that have the issues. I think it's because LEGO Ideas isn't exactly a crowdfunding site. Oh well. Maybe this will work as well.

Since I submitted Chaosville to the LEGO Ideas platform, I have been in a constant fight or flight state. I don't like it. I can't sleep, I can't relax, it's constantly on my mind. I'm hoping that when I publish the video, the feeling will soften up. It has to. I can't live like this forever.

I have a feeling this is not going to be the only Chaosville post on this site :)

Chaosville made me do all of this for the first time:

  • design a LEGO board game
  • upload a project to LEGO Ideas
  • present a board game
  • apply custom stickers to LEGO pieces (for the dice)
  • design the stickers

SW: A New Dollify

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It happened again.

I'm exhausted. Again I make a fairly popular dollify video and several hours after it's uploaded YouTube puts it on the naughty list.

I don't like that. I don't like that one bit.

Maybe this time the manual review comes back saying it is advertiser friendly, maybe it doesn't. Who knows?

Either way, I'm left with a feeling of "I can't count on AdSense revenue". And that's my only revenue.

I guess I have to speed up the LEGO Ideas and the Patreon project.

This advertiser unfriendliness has got me on a rant I didn't want to have. Let's get back to the planned content of this post.

Things I did for the first time for or in this video:

  • lengthen a minidoll torso with green stuff
  • modify a minidoll head piece with green stuff
  • paint fur
  • paint 3 more or less identical legs and torso pieces
  • tease a related video (mermaids) and then decide if I should do it via the poll in the community tab

That is a lot of firsts. And all of that work so it can get demonetized.

I'm too cranky and sad to write this post now. Maybe I revisit it when I cool off.

December Favourites & Fails

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I lost the spark to create videos.

Luckily, it was only temporary. Sort of.

I wasn't in a big hurry to finish the SW video and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my kids. I missed them a bit. That is how I decided it's time for another Monthly Favourites video.

But it wouldn't be the complete picture if I didn't talk about my fails as well.

You see, I'm a human that has feelings and makes mistakes. And December was just a big bowl of "nothing went according to plan and I have no idea what I am doing and how do I get out of this mess". Nothing life-threatening, but very very emotionally draining. Add that to the 2 ongoing years of chaos we had and you get an emotionally overwhelmed Mrs. Brickomotion.

I hope to "recharge" during these holidays and attack the next year head on ;D

Adpocalypse 2.0

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The first Adpocalypse didn't affect me that much. I was still mad that it had happened, because of it just being silly, but the BrickoMotion channel revenue didn't really suffer from it.

Enter Adpocalypse 2.0. YouTube has tightened the definition of what counts as advertiser friendly for their algorithm so much that it produces false positives all the time. This has affected my channel very much. You can see the status of your videos on the Video Manager page. The "good" videos are marked with a green $ sign and the "bad" videos with a yellow one. As of now, the Locomotive Advent video has been flagged as advertiser unfriendly, so has the second Advent video, the second Taylor Swift video, and the My Little Pony Holiday video.

So what did I do? Here's what you can do: on the "Advertiser unfriendly" video's page in YouTube Analytics there's a "Request a manual review" button. And you can click it. And that's where the nice things I have to say end.

The video will not be taken into a review queue until it has 1000 views. Seems reasonable at first glance, but the consequences of that are not. If your video has been deemed advertiser unfriendly right on the upload, you must first publish it, get the views and then it can be reviewed. Still doesn't seem that harsh? What if I told you it takes at least 24 h to review a video? And the first 24 h are the most lucrative hours of most videos. This happened to me with the first and the second Advent video. Granted, these videos were never going to be a smash hit, but combine the ad-unfriendliness with the dip in views the first one has caused to Taylor and you can start to see the problem. I requested a manual review for both but then decided that I'm not even gonna bother with the second one and I just deleted it. 2 days later the manual review decided the video was, in fact, advertiser friendly. What a shock.

The algorithm also constantly changes. While I was preparing the second Taylor Swift video, the green $ turned into a yellow one. My heart sank. Had I worked long and hard on that video just to have it falsely classified? I decided to add all of the end screen elements and cards to the video first and than deal with the unfriendliness. As I was done with the cards I came back to the monetisation page and the video was green again. I had no idea what had happened but I felt a bit better. For now.

2 weeks have passed without any additional problems. The Star Wars video upload went smoothly and there was no sudden unfriendliness. 'Cause, the thing is, as the algorithm changes, it will also go and reevaluate older videos. So now we get to the part that hurts me the most. Approximately 9 hours after the MLP Holliday video was published it turned yellow. I requested the review right away, but I knew that even in the best case scenario I was going to lose money. It's a holiday video published right before the holidays - I don't think it has that long of a shelf life. And it seems to be a hit (for my standards). When it was put on the naughty list it had around 20 000 views. This morning (29 hours after the request) the video had around 60 000 views and I received an e-mail informing me the video was NOT suitable for all advertisers.

And that's it. I can't repeal it, I could take it down, but it's not like that would help me, so I'll leave it on the channel. It's really hard for me to believe a human has watched that video and deemed it advertiser unfriendly. I mean, if there ever was a great video for selling MLP merch during the holiday season - this is it.

I do not like this development at all. It makes me question everything. Did I make the worst mistake of my life by becoming a YouTube creator? Should I just stop making videos? At least until this Adpocalypse thing is over. It will be over at some point, right?

I don't know.

Happy Heartswarming!

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I just came back from the cinema. We watched The Last Jedi.

What does that have to do with My Little Pony? It happened on the same day I published the Heartswarming video. So there. And also, I loved the movie, and people seem to love the video. That's all the connections you'll ever need.

A holiday-themed video was on my mind for a very long time and I have finally found a way to make it happen :)

Back to the movie. I am now really inspired to dollify Episode 8, but in order to do so, I need to dollify Episode 7 first. And I already have January and February filled with videos. And that's if I manage to publish a video every weekend.

Urgh, I have problems. I better get back to modeling and painting everything for the Episode 4 part two video. It is proving to be a lot harder than expected. I'm not happy with that development.

Happy Heartswarming everyone!


My 50th video

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And almost a 20,000 subs special ^^

I truly want to do a special at some point, but not now. Maybe at 50,000 subs? We'll see. I'll definitely do one at 100,000 subs, but I figure I still have some time till we get there ;)

For now, I celebrated with some cake :D

This is the second video in the Minidolls vs. Minifigures series and I tried to do it a bit differently from the first one. Many months have passed since I worked on this topic, and both my writing and filming have evolved since then. But I wanted the videos to still feel like they are a part of the same series, which was a bit of a challenge. And time will tell if I succeeded at that.

And I simply had to change the title and the thumbnail from the Size Matters video. Because consistency.

Nightmare Night

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What a fright!

I had something sweet to bite after I published the video :D

I love designing new outfits for minidolls. I just do. I like making videos, but what gets me excited the most is figuring out how to pull something off. And this video was full of such challenges.

I originally wanted to do a Disney Princess Halloween video, but then lightning stroke me: it should be a My Little Pony Nightmare Night video. And that was it - I had to make it. And to make it, the My Little Pony Equestria Girls video had to be done too. So I got to work and the last two videos are the result (I'm not counting Sunset Shimmers video 'cause it's still not done).

I'm pleased with what I've done and it really gave the channel a big boost. Like an all-time-high-and-then-some boost. If it weren't for the head lice I would be extremely happy right now. 

I already know what the next video is going to be - Minidolls vs. Minifigures: Head On. I just need to plan it and do it. Easy peasy. I know it won't be a big hit, but it needs to be done and who better to make it than me?