For Christmas, I got another American Girl doll. This time it was Isabelle. She’s the 2014 Doll of the Year. American Girl Dolls are a line of 18-inch dolls that were first released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. 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 1995 to include characters and stories from contemporary life. A variety of related clothing and accessories is also available for each doll.
This is me with Marie Grace, Cécile, Molly, and the My American Girl Doll, that’s supposed to look like me.
For Christmas 2011, I got a French-American doll named Cécile. Cécile lives in New Orleans with her best friend Marie-Grace. For Christmas 2012, I got Marie-Grace. I like her because she is a pretty doll and I wanted Cécile to have a friend. Each of the American Girl Dolls has a series of books written about them. I got Marie-Grace as a companion to Cécile so that I would have both dolls when I read about all of her and Cécile’s adventures. In February 2013, I got a My American Girl Doll, customized to look like me. They allow you to choose skin color, eye color, hair color, and hair texture. My mom bought the ballet outfit for her and gave her to me after my first solo dance competition.
The Historical Characters line of 18-inch dolls were initially the main focus of the American Girl Doll line. Their purpose is to teach aspects of American history through a six-book series from the perspective of a 9- to 11-year-old girl living in that time period. Although the books are written for an eight to twelve year-old target audience, they still include serious topics like child labor, child abuse, poverty, racism, slavery, animal abuse, and war in a way that a kid my age can understand. In the summer of 2013, I got Molly McIntire. Molly McIntire was one of the first three Historical Characters of the American Girl Dolls, representing the World War II Era. Molly was released in 1986. In June 2013 American Girl announced that they would archive Molly’s entire collection. She, her friend, Emily Bennett, and their collections were later archived in December 2013.
In 1995 Pleasant Company released a line of contemporary dolls: American Girls of Today. In 2006 the product line was renamed Just Like You; it was changed again, in 2010, to My American Girl. Like I stated previously, each doll has a different combination of face mold; 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 retirements to update this line. Each year, a Girl of the Year doll is released who has her own special talent.
That brings us to the Girl of the Year. Each year a new doll is announced and she is retired at the end of the year. At the beginning of the year when Isabelle was announced as the Girl of the Year, I knew I had to have her. The reason……she’s a dancer, just like me. I’d gone all year without her, so I actually didn’t think I’d get her this year, but I was wrong. “Santa” brought her to me for Christmas. The doll comes with the first book in the series, and I also got a ballet outfit, her ballet barré and accessories, and a flute, which didn’t belong specifically to Isabelle, but I asked Santa for it anyway because I started playing in the band this year at school. I play the clarinet, but the American Girl catalog doesn’t make a clarinet, so I asked for a flute, the next best thing.
Take a look at Isabelle below.
American Girl Dolls are sold mostly through the catalog and online. There are stores around the country, but only a handful. I have been to the Dallas, TX store twice, but not any of the other stores around the country. The stores have a restaurant and a doll salon and a doll hospital. They are awesome!!! I know that I am getting a little old to be playing with dolls, I am twelve, you know? But, American Girl Dolls are different. They are timeless. Collector’s items – I’ll keep them for my own daughter.