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Subscriber Account active since. To some, those might just be a random assortment of girls' names — but to past and present owners of American Girl dolls, Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly are household names in their own right.
Today, some American Girl dolls have stories set in centuries past, while other characters are rooted in modern-day society — representing various walks of life, all through the lens of girlhood. Insider spoke with the brand's president, Jamie Cygielman, to find out how American Girl is continuing to capture the attention of kids in a changing and increasingly digital and socially conscious world.
Keep reading to see where the doll empire started in the s and how it's changed through the years. Rowland found inspiration to create educational dolls with historic backstories after a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, llc how to set up to the Chicago Tribune. The Pleasant Company in Middleton, Wisconsinmanufactured American Girl dolls starting inand inthe company was purchased by Mattel Inc.
American Girl's website says its historical dolls "teach girls ages 8 and up important lessons about our country's history and the role of women and girls in shaping our country. Original versions of Kirsten and Molly dolls can be worth hundreds of dollars on eBay.
Melody is the brand's second black doll to be included in its historical collection, with Addy Walker being the first. Rebecca was added to the historical collection in It was also Rowland who thought of the idea to open a dedicated American Girl store that lets girls and families spend time together with their dolls.
Dolls get the ultimate beauty treatment with aprons, miniature hair tools and accessories, and perfectly sized salon chairs. The musical theater component of the American Girl stores was shut down what was the first american girl doll everaccording to the Chicago Tribune. American Girl Place in Chicago was one of the first of its kind to combine retail with other experiences, like a cafe, featuring miniature cups and toy food for the dolls.
At the wellness centers, dolls are dressed in hospital gowns and wristbandsand toy owners can view x-rays, eye charts, and other miniature medical equipment that add to the doll hospital experience. Every American Girl retail store has a doll hospital where customers can bring their dolls for repairs, but the wellness center is an exclusive feature that was added to the American Girl Place flagships in October She described the brand's "Smart Girls Guide" book series as being filled with "tween-girl life hacks.
The brand also released a book dedicated to tackling anxiety, which Cygielman said is wildly popular. The "Girl of the Year" collection includes an exclusive character that's launched once a year, and it's a big part of the brand's shift to tell contemporary stories that modern girls connect with, Cygielman said.
For example, inthe "Girl of the Year" was Gabriela McBride, who's described as a girl who used dance and poetry to overcome a speech disorder. Gabriela's story included how she saved her local community arts center from destruction by embracing her passions for poetry and dance.
The "Girl of the Year" is an example of how American Girl is continuing to make its dolls reflect a variety of abilities. Joss Kendrick was born deaf in one earand the doll comes with a hearing aid device. In a similar vein, American Girl also sells accessories that cater to a variety of abilities and needs — including doll wheelchairs and diabetes care kits.
Since American Girl considers anything that takes up kids' leisure time as competition, crafting an engaging digital presence has been an important part of the brand's sustainability. That's why the doll company introduced characters like Suzie "Z" Yang, an aspiring filmmaker who hosted her own videos on the brand's YouTube channel.
American Girl hosts a slew of other series what is cache on your phone including cooking tutorials and DIY, or "do it yourself," videos where viewers can learn how to make crafts and costumes for their dolls. Courtney Moore is described by American Girl as "a total '80s girl whose big, bright, and bold ideas inspire today's girls to find their inner hero to accomplish great things," according to a press release obtained by Insider.
The historical doll's story also represents a full-circle moment for the brand, as Courtney grows up inthe year American Girl how to install smtp service in windows 7 its first dolls. The doll not only has '80s style — like neon outfits and scrunchies — but her story reflects the events of the decade, including "major historical moments surrounding women in government and space exploration, as well as larger cultural shifts around blended families and emerging technology," according to the brand's press release.
American Girl also teamed up with the band The Go-Go's to produce a music video for Courtney — a nod to the groundbreaking music videos that were first aired on MTV in The "Truly Me" boy dolls are the same price. American Girl's "WellieWishers" have stories and outfits centered around animals and princesses and are geared toward 5- through 7-year-olds.
Here, the character Camille is described as a girl who "adores the ocean" and is as "mellow as a mermaid. Shoppers who go for the customizable option can hand-pick their doll's outfits, accessories, facial features, hair, and even "personality" which includes their name and favorite places, hobbies, and pet. These rites of passages, she explained, are things that girls find important: friendships, family relationships, overcoming obstacles, and making a difference in the world. Insider logo The word "Insider".
Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
Redeem your free audiobook. Darcy Schild. Twitter icon A stylized bird with an open mouth, tweeting. Twitter Snapchat icon A ghost. Snapchat Fliboard icon A stylized letter F. Flipboard Pinterest icon The letter "P" styled to look like a thumbtack pin. Pinterest Link icon An image of a chain link. It symobilizes a website link url. Copy Link. American Girl was founded in by Pleasant Rowland, a retired teacher and writer.
The doll company went from a catalog-only brand to an empire that includes retail stores with cafes and doll hospitals, a magazine, books, and a social media presence. In recent years, the brand has focused on dolls with contemporary stories, such as the character Joss Kendrick, who comes with a hearing aid; as well as its latest historical character, whose story is set in the s.
Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know. The story of American Girl started in with Pleasant Rowland, a writer and retired teacher from Chicago with a brilliant idea.
The brand first launched Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly, which were part of its flagship historical line of dolls that came with books telling each girl's story. American Girl expanded its collection of historical dolls over time, adding characters from different eras and walks of life. Melody Ellison, whose story takes place in Detroit inwas introduced to the collection in In the early s, American Girl expanded its line of products to cater to a younger audience with its Bitty Baby dolls.
Inthe brand launched its "Today" collection, which let girls find a doll that had their same hair, eyes, and skin tone. Originally, the only way to purchase American Girl dolls was through the catalog, which included a mail-in order form. That changed in when the first American Girl Place opened in Chicago. At the American Girl Place — the brand's flagship stores located in Chicago and New York City — doll owners can have their beloved toy's hair styled At the end of a long shopping day, families and dolls can enjoy a meal together at the American Girl Cafe, which has miniature chairs and utensils.
Dolls can also be repaired and "treated" at wellness centers located at the American Girl Place flagships in New York City and Chicago. In addition to its unique retail experiences, American Girl is also known for its nonfiction books, many of which tackle coming-of-age topics. American Girl started placing an emphasis on contemporary, diverse stories with how to start a counter argument sentence "Girl of the Year" campaign, which launched in The "Girl of the Year" dolls serve as either "mirrors" or "windows" for modern girls, Cygielman explained — meaning girls can see themselves in the contemporary dolls, or they can understand another's culture or perspective.
Most recently, American Girl launched its "Girl of the Year," Joss Kendrick, a surfer, cheerleader, and environmental activist who wears a hearing aid. American Girl has also developed a strong online presence, creating live-action "vlogs" on YouTube. Inthe brand launched its first historical character in three years: Courtney Moore, whose story is set in Fans of the dolls can also customize their own "Truly Me" doll to look like them.
One glance at the "Truly Me" accessories — a tiny card-holder, play cash, and a miniature cell phone with interchangeable screen-savers — shows how the decades-old doll brand has changed with the times. American Girl also has a line geared toward younger users, "WellieWishers," which includes five dolls that are smaller in height than the traditional American Girl dolls.
The president of American Girl said she believes that what is a good diet for a teenage athlete long as the brand continues to follow girls' "rites of passages" and tell compelling stories, it will succeed — even in the digital era. Kids Brands Girls.
Online Dictionaries: Translation Dictionary English Dictionary French English English French Spanish English English Spanish: Portuguese English English Portuguese German English English German Dutch English English Dutch. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow mesmmdaten.com more. Sep 21, · Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly were the first American Girl dolls in Here's how the brand is staying relevant with new, contemporary mesmmdaten.com: Darcy Schild.
American Girl is an American line of inch 46 cm dolls released originally in by Pleasant Company now Mattel. The dolls portray eight- to eleven-year-old girls of a variety of ethnicities. They are sold with accompanying books told from the viewpoint of the girls. Originally the stories focused on various periods of American history, but were expanded in to include contemporary characters and stories, the latest addition being WellieWishers, a line of This product line aims to teach aspects of American history through a six book series from the perspective of a nine-year-old girl living in that time period.
Although the books are written for the eight-to-thirteen-year-old target market, they endeavor to cover topics such as child labor , child abuse , poverty , racism , slavery , alcoholism , animal abuse , and war in manners appropriate for the understanding and sensibilities of the company's target market. The first dolls were created with white muslin bodies, but these cloth bodies were changed in from a white muslin to a matching flesh tone.
Additional face molds were later developed for other dolls, and the line to date includes ten characters covering the period to The "Best Friends" line was introduced in ; supplemental characters from the core book series were created in doll form and marketed as "best friends" for some of the Historical Characters. These Best Friend dolls share the collections of the main characters, but each has her own book, and additional products were marketed under their names.
A reboot of the Historical Characters line dubbed as BeForever was launched in August , complete with redesigned outfits, a two-volume compilation of previously-released books, and a " Journey Book " for each character, with players taking the role of a present-day girl who found her way to the past and met up with one of the Historical girls.
The line also coincided with the relaunch of Samantha Parkington , whose collection was previously discontinued in Kaya is a young girl from the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce tribe living in the pre-contact Northwest. Themes in her core series focus on leadership, compassion, courage, and attachment.
Chronologically, Kaya's adventures are the earliest of the historical characters. Kaya is depicted as brave and outgoing, but careless and thoughtless, and wants to be a leader of her people. Her role model is a female warrior named Swan Circling. Created in collaboration with a consultation team that included representatives from the Nez Perce tribe,  Kaya is the only Native American doll made by American Girl to date.
Kaya is the only doll in the series not to show teeth, per tribal custom. Kaya is also the first doll in the series to not follow the book naming customs established by previously-released characters — the second book in the series is titled Kaya's Escape instead of Kaya Learns a Lesson.
Felicity Merriman is an auburn haired, horse-loving girl living in s Williamsburg, Virginia , who is caught between Patriot and Loyalist family and friends at the onset of the American Revolution.
Themes in her core books include loyalty and staying true to one's ideals. Felicity is depicted as spunky, brave, and free-spirited, and is often fed up with the customs that young women are expected to observe at the time, much to her mother's disappointment.
She can be a little brash, impatient and foolish sometimes, and sets her heart on things often. She is also quite outspoken, but will stand up to bullies, as she did with Jiggy Nye.
Felicity also is not afraid to tease Annabelle, Elizabeth's older sister, coming up with the name "Bananabelle". She eventually learns to be more ladylike throughout the series; however, she is still quite active. Many items from Felicity's collection were retired in the early s, but when Felicity's core books were dramatized for Felicity: An American Girl Adventure on November 29, , new products were introduced in her collection. On August 27, , American Girl announced on its website that the Felicity and Elizabeth collection would be archived.
On March 28, , Felicity, Elizabeth and their respective collections were officially archived. In February Felicity was re-introduced as part of BeForever but then archived again in December Elizabeth Cole is Felicity's best friend, despite her Loyalist family leanings during the American Revolution. In spite of being quiet and shy, she is known to poke fun at her older sister Annabelle with Felicity — this stems from being teased at by Annabelle, who gave her younger sister the nickname "Bitsy".
Elizabeth is also shown to be somewhat wealthier, as evidenced by having a larger home, a larger garden, and fancier clothing. The Elizabeth doll was introduced in August as the second Best Friend doll with a book written by author Valerie Tripp , and the character was prominently featured in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure. In the original Felicity book illustrations, Elizabeth had brown hair and eyes but the character's appearance was revised to have blue eyes and blonde hair with the release of the Felicity DVD and Elizabeth doll.
Later editions of the Felicity books were re-illustrated to reflect these changes and edit Elizabeth's physical description. One day, when her father is captured, Caroline embarks on a journey to save him and unite her family. Themes include bravery, family, and making wise decisions. Caroline was archived along with her collection in Her Mini Doll and books are still available for purchase.
American Girl has already created her BeForever version books. Josefina Montoya is a young Mexican girl living in New Mexico with her extended family. Josefina dreams of becoming a healer like her grandmother and is taught in this by her aunt, Magdalena, her father's sister. Josefina has a pet goat named Sombrita. Themes include adjustment to loss, day-to-day life of the Mexican people, and the cultural and societal changes and influences that occurred once Mexico opened trade routes with the US.
Josefina's family speaks Spanish and there are Spanish words and phrases in her books which are defined in the glossary. Marie-Grace Gardner is a girl from s New Orleans. Similar to Josefina, her mother died before the events of the series.
However, changes are in the air. Soon, Marie-Grace's singing teacher is found sick with yellow fever. Her father, who is a doctor, saves not only the teacher, but others with his help. Marie-Grace also rescues a baby and forms a close bond with other children. Themes include the loss of family and caring for others in need. She loves listening to her grandfather's tales about the sea. She meets Marie-Grace during one of her singing lessons. At first, she is not fond of her because she is white, but eventually warms up to her and becomes her best friend.
When yellow fever strikes her brother, she decides to use her gifts to help him and others. Themes include the loss of family and caring for others in need, and volunteering. Cecile speaks French and her French words are described in the glossary in the back of her book. Cecile was also the second African American character made by American Girl, the first being Addy and the third being Melody. Kirsten Larson is a Swedish immigrant who settles in the Minnesota Territory with her extended family in She faces the hardships, challenges, and adaptations necessary to adjust to life in America such as learning to speak English.
Kirsten begins to attend a single-room schoolhouse near her home and her and her family do their best to preserve their traditions from Sweden while adapting to American life. More changes include making a new friend outside of her own "world" and the arrival of a new baby.
Kirsten was one of the first three dolls produced by American Girl in Unlike many of the dolls, Kirsten's books have maintained their original illustrations with the exception of the covers.
Kirsten was officially archived on the American Girl website on January 1, Addy Walker was the fifth doll added to the Historical line. Her character is a fugitive slave who escapes with her mother from a plantation in North Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in , during the American Civil War. Addy's stories explore themes of freedom, familial love, prejudice and racism.
The six-book series was written by Connie Porter and originally illustrated by Melodye Rosales and Bradford Brown, but were later redrawn by Dahl Taylor. A stage adaptation of Porter's Addy book series was commissioned and produced by the Seattle Children's Theater in Addy was the first African American character made by American Girl, the second being Cecile and the third being Melody. Samantha is an only child growing up during the Edwardian period although American Girl designated her as Victorian.
The themes of Samantha's books include women's suffrage , child labor , and classism. American Girl introduced the concept of "archiving" in October when it announced plans to cease production of Samantha and her collection including Nellie. Samantha was then officially archived on May 31, , but was later re-introduced in August as part of the BeForever reboot.
Nellie O'Malley, Samantha's best friend, is an Irish immigrant who works for Samantha's neighbors and is befriended by Samantha. She personifies the working-class immigrant experience of the time and teaches Samantha about the conditions faced by children who are part of the work force. Nellie and her sisters, Bridget and Jenny, are orphaned and later adopted by Samantha's relatives, Gardner and Cornelia Edwards.
Nellie was marketed with a small collection of clothing and a book written by Valerie Tripp , Nellie's Promise , which chronicles the character's growth and adjustment to her recent adoption. As Nellie was part of Samantha's collection, she was archived at the same time as Samantha. It is unlikely that Nellie will be re-released. Rebecca Rubin, American Girl's tenth historical character, debuted on May 31, Rebecca is fascinated by both various new American customs and the then-budding film industry , and aspires to become an actress despite her family's disapproval, though she still treasures and celebrates her family's Jewish traditions.
Her six book series was written by Jacqueline Dembar Greene and focuses on issues related to assimilation of immigrants while maintaining familial, religious, and cultural traditions. Kit Kittredge faces the hard times of the early-to-mid years of the Great Depression in Cincinnati , Ohio , as her family struggles to adjust to the realities of the economy after her father's job loss. Kit was named after her mother and her Aunt Millie.
Kit hates change, and dislikes being dependent on charities, instead preferring to learn how to catch the big fish herself, which spurs her fascination with Amelia Earhart. She dreams of becoming a reporter one day. The books also depict her as being stubborn and somewhat fussy, as she finds chores around the house to be rather boring and tedious, but eventually regrets it after realizing her family's misfortunes, and learns to be more supportive and helpful.
Kit's core series of books was written by Valerie Tripp and illustrated by Walter Rane. Many new items were added to Kit's collection as product tie-ins to the movie. Ruthie Smithens is Kit Kittredge's best friend. The only daughter of a banker, Ruthie and her family is not financially affected by the Depression. Although they did at times offer help to the Kittredges, it was mostly in ways that would not hurt their pride. She is depicted to have an affinity for princesses and fairy tales, most especially Andrew Lang's Fairy Books and Grimms' Fairy Tales , in contrast to Kit's more tomboyish personality.
Despite their major differences, Ruthie is a loyal and courageous friend who will go to great lengths to help Kit.