American Girl is an American line of dolls released in 1986 by Pleasant Company 18 inches (46 cm). The dolls represent girls between eight and eleven years old, from a variety of ethnic groups. They are sold with the books counted from the point of view of the girls they accompany. The stories originally focused on various periods of American history, but were expanded in 1995 to include characters and stories from contemporary life. Aside from the original American Girl dolls, the buyer also has the option of buying dolls that look like themselves. Options for the Truly Me doll line include eye color, eye shape, skin color, hair texture, and hair length. A variety of clothing and related accessories are also available. A service for ordering a custom doll with owner-specified features and clothing, called A Su , has also been introduced in 2017.
Pleasant Company was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland, and its products were originally available by mail only. In 1998, Pleasant Company became a subsidiary of Mattel. The company has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award eight times.
The historic 18-inch doll line, which is derived from the 18-inch dolls made by Götz in West Germany (known as Germany since October 1990) during the 1980s to the 1990s, was initially the main focus of the Pleasant Company, founded by Pleasant Rowland in 1986. This product line aims to teach aspects of American history through a series of six books from the perspective of a girl living in that time period. Although the books are written for girls who are at least eight years old, they strive to cover important topics such as child labor, child abuse, poverty, racism, slavery, animal abuse, and war in ways appropriate to the understanding and sensitivity of their young audience.
In 1995 Pleasant Company launched a line of contemporary dolls called American Girl Today. In 2006 the product line was renamed just like you; it was changed back in 2010, to My American Girl, and in 2015 to Really Me. This line has included seventy-seven different dolls over the years. Each doll has a different combination of face shape, skin tone, eye color and hair color, length, texture and/or style. American Girl states that this variety allows customers to choose dolls that “represent the individuality and diversity of today’s American girls. A wide variety of contemporary clothing, accessories and furniture is also available, and there are regular releases and recalls to update this line. Each year, a girl doll of the year is released who has her own special talent; for example, Mia St. Clair, the girl of the year for 2008, did the ice skating, and Marisol Luna, the girl of the year for 2005, was a dancer.
Unwrapped Baby is a line of 15″ dolls aimed at children three years and older. They are cheaper than the 18″ dolls, and currently retail at $60 each.
The Bitty Twins line debuted in 2003 to represent slightly older children and/or preschoolers. The Bitty twins were the same size as the baby dolls disbanded. They were discontinued in June 2016.
Rayuela Hill School was launched by American Girl in 2003. The dolls were 16 inches tall, came with articulated limbs and painted eyes, and had a slimmer overall body shape. They, along with the stories that came with the dolls written by Valerie Tripp, were targeted to elementary girls ages four to six, and were sold until 2006.
A restart of the line of historical characters named BeForever was launched in August 2014, complete with newly designed equipment, a two-volume compilation of books published to date, and a “Journey Book” for each character, with players taking the role of a present girl – she found her way back to the past and met with one of the historical girls. The line also coincided with the relaunch of Samantha Parkington , whose collection was previously discontinued in 2008.
In June 2016 American Girl unveiled Wellie Wishers , a separate doll line similar to Rayuela Hill School aimed at younger children and with a focus on the outdoors, positioning it between baby and BeForever/Girl of the Year/truly me dolls. As the name implies, dolls from the line wear water boots , and have a different body design from the classic, American Girl dolls derived from Götz. The line was launched on June 23, 2016. The names of the Wishers Wellie are: Willa, Camille, Kendall, Emerson and Ashlyn.
In February 2017, American Girl launched a new line of 18″ dolls called contemporary characters. The first doll in the line was Tenney Grant, an aspiring country singer and songwriter. Other contemporary dolls in the line include Logan, Tenney’s bandmate and first-time American Girl boy doll, and Z Yang, who is interested in photography and making stop motion videos.
In 2004, American Girl partnered with Julia Roberts’ production company Red Om’s to create the first American Girl – director-to-video movie, Samantha: An American Girl Holiday. The film resulted in a franchise that was followed by Felicity: An American Girl Adventure (2005), Molly: An American Girl on the Front (2006), along with the 2008 movie Kit Kittredge: An American Girl released in theaters. In 2009, HBO released An American Girl: Chrissa stands firm. In July 2012 American Girl released a live video of the film, McKenna Shoots for the Stars . A seventh film based on the stories of Saige Copeland entitled Saige Paints the Sky was released in July 2013, and a television film entitled Isabelle Dances to the Spotlight, based on the 2014 girl Isabelle Palmer, was released in 2014. A ninth film based on 2015 Girl of the Year Grace Thomas was released under the title An American Girl: Grace Raises the Bar, with Olivia Rodrigo playing the lead role.
A special live-action website based on Melody Ellison’s stories entitled An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Must Win was released by Amazon , starring Marsai Martin as the main character. Love Must Win was followed by An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Christmas Extraordinary , starring Alyvia Alyn Lind as Maryellen Larkin and released by Amazon on November 25, 2016.
The American Girl store sells American Girl dolls, clothing and accessories. The first store, American Girl Place, debuted in Chicago in 1998, followed by stores in New York City and Los Angeles. A number of boutiques followed that are smaller than the main stores; they also have rotation and some have informal restaurants. There are smaller stores in additional cities, including North Point Mall in Atlanta; Galleria Dallas Mall in Dallas; Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts; the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota; Park Meadows Mall near Denver, Colorado; and Oak Park Mall near Kansas City, Kansas.
In May 2014, Mattel American Girl opens new stores in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in partnership with Indigo Books & Music. The company has also expressed interest in other companies abroad, as they are seeing orders from Europe and Latin America. In 2015, the company announced that it was expanding operations in Mexico with two stores at El Palacio de Hierro’s Perisur and Interlomas in Mexico City, and a third at Polanco.
The first store opened temporarily in Honolulu, Hawaii at Ala Moana Center, running from October 4, 2014 to April 2015.
American Girl opened several temporary locations during the vacation season in 2016 in an attempt to reach more customers. In August 2016 a temporary location was created in Novi, Michigan a suburb of Detroit at Twelve Oaks Mall, which closed on January 28, 2017. In July 2017 a temporary location opened in Raleigh, North Carolina at Crabtree Valley Mall; to be open until January 28, 2018.
The American Girl magazine was run by the American Girl company. It was started by the company nice in Middleton, Wisconsin in 1992, with the first issue dated January 1993. Aimed at girls 8-14 years of age, the bi-monthly magazine includes articles, recipes, advice columns, fiction, arts and crafts, and activity ideas. American Girl announced in late 2018 that the January/February 2019 issue would be the last one of the magazine.
Online marketing and philanthropy
American Girl launched Innerstar University, an online virtual world with the American Girl My Contemporary line of dolls, on July 13, 2010. Access to the online world is through a Campus Guide, which is included with the purchase of an American Girl My Doll, which contains a code access for creating a doll avatar that then navigates through the various games, stores, and challenges of the Innerstar U. virtual campus in 2015, when my American Girl Dolls were switched to real me dolls, this website was closed. The launch was simultaneous with Shine on Now, a fundraising effort of children in distress, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and related institutions, National Wildlife Federation, and Save the Children charities. The company has also donated “nearly $500,000” over several years to the non-profit HomeAid national homeless housing group. These contributions are primarily through its Project Playhouse program.
The company has been criticized for spending on the dolls, which cost $115 without accessories as of December 2014. Shoppers can easily spend more than $600 for a doll, costumes, accessories and lunch at the company’s New York store. Some aspects of the characters and the doll’s story have also sparked controversy. Some observers wondered why Addy, American Girl’s first African American historical character, was first portrayed as a slave (in later stories Addy and her family gain their freedom after the Civil War), while Cecile Rey, American Girl’s second black historical character, was portrayed as a well-to-do black girl doing in New Orleans. American Girl was later ignited with the release of her first African American girl of the year, Gabriela McBride, who is portrayed as a dancer, artist and poet. In 2005, residents of Pilsen (a Chicago, Illinois neighborhood) criticized a passage in the book associated with the Latin American doll Marisol, claiming that it misrepresented their dangerous neighborhood. A senior public relations associate of American Girl responded to the criticism by saying, “We believe that this brief passage has been taken out of context in the book.” The 2009 limited edition release of Gwen, a homeless character in American Girl, was also controversial.
In 2005, some pro-life and Catholic groups criticized the company for donating funds to Girls, Inc. which supports disadvantaged girls and promotes abortion rights and acceptance of homosexuality.
The American Girl Place store in New York City was the center of a labor dispute with the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). On August 3, 2006, 14 of the 18 actors in the store’s now-defunct adult theater went on strike. AEA reached a two-year contract starting April 1, 2008. All American Girl Place theaters were subsequently closed in September of that year.
In May 2014, the company was met with criticism on social networks about its decision to suspend four characters from the historical collection, two of them, African-American-Cécile Rey and Chinese-American Ivy Ling, representing ethnic minorities. However, they defended their decision as a business decision, as they decided to “move away from the strategy of friendly character within the line. A petition has already been filed by the company’s 18MillionRising.org activist group to provide a replacement for the ivy. The company has also been criticized for its recent emphasis on the contemporary line, specifically the girl character and her background story of Year, which was seen as lacking depth and more important issues compared to historical character/BeForever background stories. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magical creator of the series Lauren Faust also expressed her concern and criticism of the line in a Twitter post, stating that “it was once radically positive for girls before it was homogenized by money.
Controversial Permanent Underwear
American Girl attracted a lot of criticism in February 2017 when it was announced that the doll bodies would be changed to incorporate permanently sewn-in panties on contemporary dolls and some BeForever dolls, namely Maryellen, Melody and Julie. The public’s reaction to the underwear, the first major permanent change since the transition to flesh-colored bodies in 1991 following the release of the Felicity doll was overwhelmingly negative, as fans of the franchise complained that it stifles personalization and devalues a well-established and successful brand “from legacy quality that is passed down through generations to lower quality.
Then, the company changed its decision on a Facebook page after May 2017, stating that no existing or future dolls in the line will revert to the old body design, and customers who bought a doll with permanent underwear are eligible for a “one-time” trade-in of having the dolls reconditioned with conventional torsos. In addition, the company has switched back to the age old “iconic boutique box” packaging after complaints from collectors who consider the new boxes to be inferior and more susceptible to damage.
YouTube videos made with American Girl dolls are becoming increasingly popular. In 2015, the American Girl fan community, more specifically the practice of creating and uploading American Girl doll-based stop motion videos, (AGSM for short) was featured on a BBC news report ‘trend site’, along with interviews and videos of several prominent members of the doll community. In addition to stop-motion animations and music videos set to popular music, the report covers recurring themes in such clips, such as cyber bullying and other social issues among children and teens, along with doll customization, photo shoots and unboxing videos featuring new and discontinued clothing, accessories and dolls from the company.
In addition to YouTube, social media services such as Instagram and Facebook serve as platforms for fans of the toy line, generating a community called AGIG, or American Girl Instagram, who photograph their dolls and post their photos on the service. Although mostly made up of girls usually around the age of 12-18, a number of children and adults also participate and congregate at AGIG.
Teenage fans of American Girl, particularly those on AGTube and AGIG, will meet other fans at American Girl stores. At the release of Lea Clark and Gabriela McBride, certain prominent community members were included in the “track” videos released by American Girl. At the release of Z Yang, American Girl hosted stays at her main New York City store and at her Dallas location.
A fun toy that will teach them failure and success while charting their own course in life – challenging stereotypes!
The Disney barbies and princesses seem to be left behind. Now they are looking to have among their toys, representations of intelligence, audacity and independence that make them go far, breaking with the traditional models of the dolls that only shop or look pretty to reach success.
That is why an American company called ‘Pleasant Company’ has begun to break with the different stereotypes imposed by society, creating dolls (American Girl) that represent girls between eight and eleven years of age belonging to different ethnic groups and may have within their characteristics “conditions such as diabetes or use of wheelchairs.
Every year this company launches “The Doll of the Year”, with the aim of showing some special talent, which makes it unique and also transmits positive messages that empower girls and make them more aware of the real situations through which the gender, in different scenarios.
Luciana is the winner of this title in 2018. She is a doll, who is approximately 11 years old and dreams of becoming an astronaut, becoming the first woman to reach Mars. Julie Parks, spokesperson for the famous doll brand, told Refinerey 29 that “Luciana shows girls what it means to be a girl of strong character, where creative thinking, collaboration and literacy provide opportunities for significant growth and development. Luciana empowers girls to overcome boundaries, challenge stereotypes and take risks that will teach them failure and success as they chart their own course in life.
Do you want to buy an American Girl Doll, but don’t know where to buy it or how to care for it? Then this article is for you. Remember that a doll is a big responsibility because they are expensive.
The American Girl brand has a wide variety of dolls, so you better get informed. The AG dolls have dolls that represent historical characters, MAG (my American girl or a doll that looks like you, depending on their slogan) and the girl of the year.
The Historical Characters dolls come with a collection of six main books that provide information that introduces the buyer to a time in history and what it was like to grow up in that time. These dolls are recommended because they are instructive and educational, they represent the stories of girls who lived in the past, and the girls can identify themselves in history.
MAG dolls try to look like their owners. You choose the one that looks most like you. It is for girls today who like to be creative and want to create their own stories. Girls can also wear the same clothes as the dolls. However, the doll doesn’t have to look like you if you don’t want to.
Doll Girl of the Year, AG presents a new collection of one doll each year that will only be available for one year. These dolls often have a collection of up to three books that show and predict what girls today have to face. For example, in the case of McKenna, (the now retired 2012 doll) she had to find a balance between gymnastics and good grades.
If you want to live the whole AG experience, it is better to buy a historical character as your first doll.
Decide what kind of doll you want and do a lot of research.
If you want a historical character, it is recommended that you read all the books of each character so that you know them before choosing one. Choose the one you like best according to the story and the doll’s appearance.
If it is the doll of the year, then it is recommended that you read its stories first and make sure you really like it because it will be available for a year. Then make a list of all the products from the collections you like the most and buy them before they are sold out.
If you choose a MAG doll, make sure it is the perfect doll for you and that is almost hypnotic. Check out the entire AG collection and decide which items you want most because they are unlimited. There are a variety of accessories and costumes that can be quite expensive.
Check to see if there is an American Girl doll store in your area. If so, search online for directions to the nearest store or get directions with a map of your city. It will give you a better idea of which doll you will choose if you see them in person.
Make sure you really want the doll before you buy it. The dolls cost $110 and are non-refundable. Decide which doll you want. Do you want an AG doll, a girl of the year doll or a historical character doll?
Don’t let anything bad happen to the doll. If something should happen to it, no problem. American Girl stores have a “doll hospital”. They will fix your AG doll if they have any animal bite marks or if any siblings colored it and things like that.
Do not buy all the accessories. Items, such as clothing, are very expensive and you probably won’t use them all (or maybe you’ll never use some).
If you are between 13 and 15 years old, reconsider buying an AG doll. All girls of these ages who used to love AG dolls and no longer want them. AG dolls are mainly for girls between 8 and 12 years old.
If you’re 13 or older, don’t listen to people who think you should give up dolls because “you’re too old” to have them. If you really want one, it’s better to hear tips on how to save for an AG doll.
Have fun with your doll, because it is very expensive and you will explore a whole new world.
If this is your first time combing or cleaning your doll, check out the American Girl website for videos and tutorials that can help.
If you buy the doll, it’s also a good tip to buy a doll hair kit as AG dolls have really special and delicate hair.
Keep all the bags, labels and boxes because this way their value won’t decrease much if you ever want to sell your doll. A nice company like this one from 20 years ago can cost you $100 or more, even if the doll is not in good condition.
Just because it’s your first time buying a doll doesn’t mean you can’t have a doll with delicate hair that has curls with pins, curls or braids. Practice makes perfect, so don’t let that discourage you.
American Girl dolls can be very expensive.
Not only must you like the doll, you must love it. If you only “like” it, try to find a doll that you do love.
American Girl dolls are recommended for girls ages 8 and up.
Christmas is the time when more toys are consumed in the world and there is no lack of new releases, which seek to sell like wildfire at this time.
A new option for girls is an American Girl Doll, valued at $5,000.
Mattel said that this year marks the first partnership between Swarovski and American Girl.
The doll is as lavish as the Christmas windows at its retail store, which Mattel owns. In a new partnership with the luxury jewelry store, stores in the three cities will have Swarovski-themed decorations, including crystal-inlayed garlands and 130 pounds of crystal star dust in New York. The windows will be unveiled on Friday, November 8 and will be on display until December 31.
American Girl stores, which host tea parties, have long been a prime example of experimental sales. But this year’s holiday events are on a whole new level: The company’s 17 stores will feature gingerbread house decorations and holiday doll salons, among other adventures.
Stores in Chicago and Los Angeles will also have stations to make your own hot chocolate and holiday cookie decorations.
They are very popular in the United States, where there is a lifestyle around them.
Unlike what their name suggests, American Girls don’t have beauty queen measurements, dress in sexy clothes, or have a boyfriend or lots of friends like Barbies or Bratz.
Although they are also successful dolls -like the ones mentioned above- they differ from them in that instead of raised breasts and prominent hips, they have round and pink faces, bright eyes, two teeth that stick out of one mouth
small, girlish features and a typical body for her age.
They are made of plastic, measure about 50 centimeters, are adorned with blond or brown hair, long, straight or curly, and wear dresses and shoes made especially for them. Around them, the Pleasant Company -which invented them in 1986- has built a lifestyle that transcends the limits of their country.
They cost an average of $95 (they come with a book that tells the doll’s story) and, despite their price, they occupy -along with the Barbies and Bratz- the preferences of girls in the United States and other parts of the world who each year take home about 500,000 of them and nearly 5 million books with their story.
They were created by a former school teacher named Pleasant T. Rowland who, when visiting the city of Colonial Williamsburg, in the state of Virginia, was inspired by the style of the place to create a line of period dolls that would motivate the students to learn history.
Thus were born Molly, a girl from 1944 typical of World War II; Samantha, a Victorian girl from 1904 and Josephine, daughter of Mexican immigrants from 1824.
After them came books (in 1992) and accessories, such as clothes, animals, brushes and other objects that began to complement them.
In 1995 -three years before it was bought by Mattel Company- the company launched what has been its greatest achievement and the one that has given it the greatest popularity: a doll collection called Just like you (something like you) that offers its small customers the opportunity to have a doll that physically looks like them.
To this end, she set up an impressive infrastructure in her stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Boston, where she installed warehouses of three or more floors, designed according to these dolls.
Thus, on the second floor there is a boutique where the girls can find not only the doll of their choice (or have one made with the color of their skin, hair and eyes that they choose), but also clothes for the doll and, best of all, an outfit for the girl (for about 100,000 pesos).
On the second floor, they will arrive at the hairdresser’s shop where -guess it- expert stylists do the hair and nails of girls and dolls alike. And since nothing is complete without eating, on the upper floor of the stores there is a salon where dolls and girls can sit at the table to enjoy a frugal brunch or a delicious tea. Of course, the dolls will be seated in special chairs and served with a set of dishes designed just for them.
A whole experience inspired by a doll that has been made into three television series and even a movie that premiered in 2008.
Daniela Benavides, from Bogota, and Mariana, from Medellin, are two of the Colombian girls who have stuck to the phenomenon of this doll from a distance.
Mariana, 10 years old, received it as a gift from Niño Dios two years ago. She found out about her existence through her friends and since then she follows her on the Internet. María del Carmen, her mother, accompanied her in the process of selecting her first doll (which she called Camila) and Mariana chose the color of her skin, hair and eyes to make it look like her. Later, she received another inherited doll and one more, as a gift from a relative.
Two years ago she went to New York and spent an afternoon with her mother at the American Girl store, where she attended a brunch, in the company of the doll. “We had to make a reservation very early, because the chance that one arrives and does not find space is very high,” said Maria del Carmen.
For her part, Daniela Benavides, 12, also received her Jess Doll as a Christmas present in 2007 and, thanks to her grandmother, parents and uncles, she also got clothes and other accessories.
“Her name is Jess and she looks a lot like me,” says Daniela proudly. Although she no longer plays with her doll so much, she does consider it her most special doll and therefore has it in a privileged place in her room. “Every night I do her hair so that she doesn’t damage her hair, which is very pretty,” she explains.
She has six pints for her doll, as well as five pairs of shoes, and two wallets. “Also a dress just like hers. Once I put it on and went out with my cousin, who was also dressed as her doll, and we were the sensation,” she finishes.