About American Girl Dolls

About American Girl Dolls

1764 Kaya (pronounced KY-yah) is a Native American girl of the Nez Perce tribe. Kaya's full name is Kaya'aton'my', or "she who arranges rocks." Her story takes place in America's Northwest in 1764, before white settlers disturbed the Native American way of life in the west. She is the oldest doll chronologically, but is the most recently introduced historical doll. Kaya was introduced in 2002, the same time that Felicity (temporarily) left the catalog. American Girl worked closely with the Nez Perce Native Americans to create Kaya. She is the only doll that does not smile with her mouth open, as baring one's teeth is considered offensive in Nez Perce people; no other doll shares her face mold. Her collection and books do not follow the trends set down by previous dolls, more accurately reflecting the history of life in the tribe. There are many Nez Perce words and phrases in her books, and a glossary in the back to define the words used. These words are spelled phonetically in the story to ease in pronunciation.

 1774 Felicity Merriman was the first doll added to the American Girls Collection following the initial introduction of Kirsten, Samantha and Molly in 1986. Felicity is a colonial girl living in Williamsburg, Virginia who is stuck between Patriot and Loyalist viewpoints at the beginning of the American Revolution. In 2002, American Girl started to take steps that pointed to the removal of Felicity from the American Girl catalogs. Felicity was taken out of new print catalogs. The last catalog to feature h er included the note: "Attention Felicity fans! This is the last time you'll see Felicity in our catalog--from now on, she'll be featured exclusively at americangirl.com." In addition, about half of her existing product line was discontinued, including many accessories and outfits. However, Felicity was re-launched in October 2005 with the release of her movie; many discontinued items were reintroduced, while other items were replaced with redesigned accessories. One such change is her so-called 'Meet dress.' Originally a rose print, it has been replaced with her former 'Traveling Gown'. The original Meet dress is now available separately while the Traveling Gown is now only available with the doll. Felicity's hair was originally a carrot-red, but has been changed to a more auburn shade. In connection to these changes, Felicity's books have been reillustrated. Felicity: An American Girl Adventure was the second TV movie and aired on the WB on November 29, 2005.

Elizabeth Cole 1775 Elizabeth is Felicity's best friend, the daughter of a Loyalist family during the American Revolution. Her doll was introduced in Summer 2005. Her character is featured in the Felicity film. Elizabeth had brown hair and brown eyes in the original illustrations. However, due to concerns that the dolls would resemble each other too much (also that the young actresses in the movie would look too much alike), she was created with blonde hair and blue eyes. The books have been reillustrated for the change. She uses Josefina's face mold and is the only doll to have removable earrings. She has her own line of clothing and accessories that complement Felicity's line. Elizabeth has only one book called "Very Funny, Elizabeth" set in 1775; her Looking Back Section is about marriage. In contrast to Felicity, she is very shy.

 1824 Josefina Montoya lives in the New Mexico area during Spanish control. She and her sisters must face a new way of life after the death of their mother, which happens before the events in the stories. Josefina's family speaks Spanish, and so there are many Spanish words and phrases in her books and a glossary in the back to define the words used in the story; the beginning of each of her books tells the reader how to pronounce her name. Her books have also been translated into Spanish. Josefina was the last doll introduced before the Mattel takeover. Josefina was the second of three dolls to have a cultural panel to assist her creation, the first being Addy and the third being Kaya. The Josefina doll was the first to use her face mold; Nellie, Elizabeth, and Marisol have shared her face mold.

1850's    Cécile Rey comes from a well-to-do and highly regarded family within the New Orleans community. Cécile wishes to become a stage actress, and shows a talent for storytelling, recitation, and poetry when she volunteers her time at the Holy Trinity Orphanage. Unlike Marie-Grace, Cécile is homeschooled.  Cecile is characterized as being confident and loving the limelight. Americangirlpublishing.com describes her as bold. While Cécile can occasionally be outspoken at times, she is also shown to be sensitive and caring, such as teaching Marie-Grace French, spending time with elderly people of color at La Maison, and keeping Armand's desire to become an artist rather than a stonecutter a secret from Papa. Cecile has also shown interest in distant lands, traveling, and adventurous as she loves to hear the exciting adventurous tales her Grandpa tells her and is in awe with Marie-Grace's experiences. Her nickname, Cécé. 

1850's   Marie-Grace Gardner  as born in New Orleans, but left after her mother and younger brother's deaths. She was brave as a young child, as told in backstory. However, years of moving and not having a stable home has changed her. She is now quite shy. She feels out of place after many moves on the East coast, as her father couldn't find the right place for them in the Northeast. She takes music lessons with Cecile and enjoys singing. Marie-Grace is not as good at French as she once was, but shopping for the household alone have made her excellent in mathematics.  Marie-Grace is characterized as shy but caring, and is very good with babies and children. Marie-Grace often helps her father who is a docter, and has shown herself to be very good at healing others.  Her nickname is Ti-Marie.

1854 Kirsten Larson is a Swedish immigrant who lives in the Minnesota Territory and faces the hardships of adjusting to life as a pioneer in a new and unfamiliar country. Kirsten is one of the first three dolls produced by American Girl. Unlike many of the dolls, Kirsten's books have maintained their original illustrations (with the exception of the covers).

 1864 Addy Walker is a fugitive slave who escapes with her mother from North Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the American Civil War, after her master split up her family by selling her older brother and father to another plantation owner. Currently the historical line's only African-American, Addy was the fifth doll to be added to the collection. She was the first non-white doll to be added to the historical line and was the first doll to have earrings. A new mold was created for this doll to give Addy more ethnically appropriate features, but a few Addy dolls have the original mold and tend to fetch high prices on the secondary market. The Addy Walker books were written by Connie Porter and originally illustrated by Melodye Rosales and Bradford Brown, but were redrawn by Dahl Taylor.

 1904 Samantha Parkington is a wealthy orphan being raised by her grandmother in 1904 Mount Bedford, New York. Samantha learns the realities of her Edwardian world - from her life of luxury to the prejudices and difficulties faced by women and the lower classes. One of the original three dolls, Samantha is one of the more popular dolls. Her books were written by three different authors, most notably Valerie Tripp, and were the first of the books to be published. The first American Girl TV movie was produced about Samantha. It was called Samantha: An American Girl Holiday and it debuted November 23, 2004 on the WB.

Nellie is Samantha's best friend, and also a poor Irish-American girl who has worked in factories and as a servant. After losing her parents to a flu epidemic, Nellie and her two sisters Bridget and Jenny are adopted by Samantha's aunt and uncle. Although this is a spoiler for the books and was originally treated as such, the release of her doll had the catalog proudly proclaim that she and Samantha become sisters. Nellie's character was introduced in Samantha's original books, and was the first of the 'Best Friends' dolls to be introduced. Nellie starred in "Samantha: An American Girl Holiday" on Thanksgiving 2004 by Kelsey Lewis. Nellie has her own line of clothing and accessories. Like the other Best Friends dolls, Nellie has only one book. Entitled "Nellie's Promise," it is set in 1906; her looking back section is about adoption.

 1914 Rebecca Rubin is a nine-year-old living in New York in 1914 where she was born after her parents and grandparents, Russian Jews, immigrated to America. One of five children, she feels like the odd one out - her fourteen-year-old twin sisters think she is too young to go anywhere with them, and she has little in common with her two brothers. Rebecca longs to be more grown up - to be able help light the candles on the Sabbath, and see movies with her sisters. Rebecca becomes interested in acting after meeting her mother's cousin, Max, who is an actor. Her parents and grandparents, however, think acting is improper for a young lady, and think Rebecca should be a teacher when she grows up. When she learns that her relatives in Russia need to immigrate to America to escape the war, and that in particular her cousin Ana, who is her age, is hungry and sick and needs to get to America as soon as possible, she must make a grown-up decision about how to spend the money she earned selling her needlework. Should she buy candlesticks so she can light candles on the Sabbath like a grown-up girl, or give the money to her parents to help buy tickets to America for Ana and her family? Rebecca will be added to the collection of American Girls in May 2009. Rebecca is the fifteenth historical doll, and she was the most recent historical doll from a new era since Julie was introduced in 2007.

1934 Kit Kittredge (fully named Margaret Kittredge) is growing up in the early years of the Great Depression in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her family struggles to adjust to the realities of the economy after Kit's father loses his job. Although referred to as 'Kit' in almost all books and promotional material, Kit's full name is Margaret Mildred Kittredge. It should be noted that although the year 1934 appears on the cover of the book, 'Meet Kit' is actually set in 1932. Kit was the first doll to have short hair and freckles. She debuted in 2000 as the seventh American Girl historical doll. Her favorite Baseball team are the Cincinnati Reds. She will be in an up coming Movie in 2008 in theaters. Kit will be played by Abigail Breslin. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2007/05/video_amercian_girls_dream.html Yesterday, thousands of preadolescent girls (and their mothers) lined up at the American Girl Store on 49th Street and Fifth Avenue for the chance to co-star with Abigail Breslin in the upcoming American Girl movie, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery. The line stretched completely around the block and then some. Vulture stopped by to ask these budding young stars why they're perfect for the roles, what they know about the movie's Depression-era setting, and how they picked out their clothes � and we asked them to perform their audition scene for us, too. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/19/AR2006121901375.html

1934 Ruthie Smithensis Kit's best friend and she is loyal, understanding and generous. Like Kit, Ruthie is growing up in Cincinnati in 1934. Ruthie loves fairy tales and happy endings. She'd also love to help Kit, whose family is struggling through the Great Depression. When Ruthie learns the Kittredges are having trouble paying the mortgage on their house, she decides to find a way to reach Kit's Aunt Millie in hopes of creating a real-life happy ending. Ruthie will be added to the collection of American Girls in 2008. Even though Ruthie will be the fourteenth historical girl added after the collection was launched in 1986, she is really a part of Kit's collection. She will be the fourth friend doll released along with an American Girl movie.

1944 Molly's story is set during World War II. Her father is off caring for wounded soldiers in England. Molly is left with her mother and three siblings in Jefferson, Illinois, where she helps her family and loved ones to stay cheery during the war. Molly was one of the original three dolls offered. While the company sells eyeglasses separately that fit any 18" American Girl doll, Molly is the only doll to be sold with them. Molly's hair is dark brown and comes in two braids, and her eyes are gray. Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front is the third TV movie in the series, the first to air on the Disney Channel on November 26, 2006. Throughout most of the books, Molly has two equal best friends, named Linda and Susan, but she gains a third in her birthday story, Emily.

Emily Bennett 1944 Emily Bennett is an English girl who is sent America and unexpectely sent to to stay with the McIntires for two weeks in the story "Happy Birthday, Molly!". She is sent off with the promise to be a brave soldier for England. At first Molly thinks of Emily as snobby and prim, but slowly their bond begins to strengthen as they share their love for the English princesses and other girlish pursuits. Technically, she is not a "best friend" (Molly's best friends are Susan and Linda) and is advertised by American Girl as Molly's English friend instead. She is the third doll in the "Best Friends" collection and was released September 5, 2006 along with her collection. Emily and Molly are the stars of the third movie, which premiered Fall 2006. Her book, Brave Emily, is set during Molly's series in 1944. The "Looking Back" section covers children of the war, who were sent outside of Europe.

1974 Julie Albright is free-spirited, talented and loving nine-year-old girl living in San Francisco in 1974. Julie doesn't want to move away from her San Francisco neighborhood near Chinatown, even if her new home is just a few miles away. Moving means leaving her best friend, Ivy Ling, and her pet rabbit, Nutmeg. Worst of all, it means leaving Dad, now that her parents are divorced. It's the mid-1970s and lots of things are changing: Julie's teacher wants to be called "Ms." Mom works full-time now, running her own store. America is trying to switch to the metric system, and school sports teams sometimes include a new kind of player - girls! While change can be hard to accept, Julie realizes that when it's important -- when a friend is in trouble, an animal is endangered, or a rule needs to be rewritten -- it's time to make the change happen yourself. Julie wasbe introduced on September 10, 2007 and she was the first historical doll from a new era since Kaya was introduced in 2002. Her collection includes a friend doll, Ivy Ling.

1974 Ivy Ling, the middle child in a busy Chinese American household, feels invisible. Her mother has gone back to school to become a lawyer, and her father has two jobs to keep the family afloat. And if that's not enough, Ivy's best friend, Julie Albright, has moved to another part of San Francisco. The only place Ivy feels at home is at gymnastics. But this year the big gymnastics tournament is scheduled for the same day as the annual Ling family reunion. Ivy wrestles with a difficult choice. With her brother's help, Ivy realizes that she can take charge of her own life - and make her own luck. Ivy was introduced in 2007 as the friend doll for Julie Albright. Ivy is the first historical doll with Asian features. Inexplicably, Ivy is also the only historical doll without a mini doll and without her own trading card set.


1995 Bitty Baby is a line of five different baby dolls who have either light, medium, or dark skin tones. The target market for this line is children aged three and older.

2003 Bitty Twins represents slightly older toddlers and or preschoolers. While Bitty Twins dolls were originally offered in light tones with blonde and brunette hair colorings, several other options reflecting racial diversity were added later in 2008. Both lines have had extensive clothing, accessory and furniture collections over the years.Babies

GOTY - Girl of the Year 

Beginning in 2001, American Girl introduced Limited Edition Girl of Today dolls, which feature smaller, specific collections and individual storybooks, similar to the historical doll's "Meet" book. Although each collection is specific to the doll's character, each features accessories based on the book's plotline. Each of these dolls were only available for a year after being released.

2001 Lindsey Bergman, Lindsey was the first of the "Girls of the Year" series. She used the "original" face mold. Described as a girl "who is eager to help," her accompanying book details the difficulties her impulsive attempts at "helping" can cause. Lindsey is Jewish, and her book touches on her brother's Bar Mitzvah experience and party plans. The doll had light skin, short, curly auburn hair, blue eyes, and freckles. A small collection consisting of a scooter set and laptop accompanied her release.

2003 Kailey Hopkins, Kailey Hopkins lives near tide pools in California and is an avid swimmer and surfer. When development threatens to destroy the tide pools, she engineers a protest to make a difference. The Kailey doll has blond, sun-streaked hair with two mini braids, brown eyes, and the "classic" face mold. Kailey's collection included various beach outfits and toys.

2005 Marisol Luna, Marisol is a dancer from Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood who moves to a new neighborhood and struggles to find a dance school. Marisol uses Josefina's face mold, has wavy brown hair, brown eyes, and is Hispanic. Introduced during the Christmas season of 2004, Marisol's extensive collection of dance outfits and accessories sold out in early December, 2005.

2006 Jess McConnell, Jess Akiko McConnell accompanies her archeologist parents on a several months-long expedition to Belieze where she learns new lessons about responsibility and preservation of history. To illustrate her mixed Japanese-American and Irish heritage, the Jess doll debuted with a unique face mold (which was later slightly modified for Ivy.)

2007 Nicki Fleming, Nicki Fleming is an animal lover who volunteers to train a service dog when her mother cannot because she is pregnant. Nicki also faces friendship difficulties which test her loyalty. Nicki was the first Girl of the Year to have two books: "Nicki" and "Thanks to Nicki", both by Ann Howard Creel. The Nicki doll featured the original or 'classic' face mold and had long, curly caramel hair, blue eyes, and freckles. Her extensive clothing and accessory collection sold out early in December 2007. On January 15, 2007 Rachael Ray gave Nicki dolls to each of the audience members.

2008 Mia St. Clair, A preview of the 2008 Limited Edition doll, Mia, was unveiled on the November 21, 2007episode of Oprah. She was released on January 1, 2008with numerous outfits, accessories, an ice rink, and furniture. Following the precedent set by Nicki, Mia has two books:(Mia and Bravo Mia both written by Laurence Yep. Her stories chronicle her passion for competitive figure skating, which is at odds with her hockey-playing family. The Mia doll has the classic AG facemold, red layered hair with a 'half-braid', hazel eyes, and freckles. Mia was originally prototyped with a new dark-skinned (not the same as the Addy mold) face mold. Like Julie, Mia has a game, called "Mia Goes For Great!" Mia sold out on the American Girl website on December 17, 2008.


Chrissa Maxwell, A Variety Magazine citation broke the news in September 2008 that the 2009 Girl of the Year doll was named Chrissa Maxwell. Her collection was released on January 1, 2009 and an accompanying direct-to-DVD film entitled " Chrissa Stands Strong" based on her story premiered January 5 and became available for purchase the next day. The theme of Chrissa's books and DVD focuses on peer bullying issues. Both books are written by Mary Casanova (author of previous Girl of the Year Jess' adventure and a book for the now-defunct AG Girl of Many Lands line). The Chrissa doll has dark brown straight shoulder-length hair with highlights, light blue eyes, and the Josefina face mold. In a break from tradition, Chrissa's collection includes two best friend dolls named Gwen and Sonali. Gwen has long banged blond hair, brown eyes, freckles and the original/classic facemold. Sonali has dark eyes, dark skin, dark loosely-curled hair and a brand new facemold to represent her Asian Indian heritage.

Girl of the Year dolls 2010 Lanie Holland is a ten-year-old girl from Boston, Massachusetts. Lanie is a nature lover who wants to go on great adventures saving wildlife; however, she discovers she can make a difference in her own backyard. Her novels, Lanie and Lanie's Real Adventures are written by Jane Kurtz. American Girl teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation to support that organization's Be Out There (www.beoutthere.org) Campaign.

Girl of the year 2011 Kanani Akina is a ten-year-old girl living on Kaua'i, the geologically oldest island of Hawai'i. She helps her family run a popular shave ice shop and is passionate about helping people by sharing the Aloha spirit and protecting Hawaiian wildlife, such as the Hawaiian monk seal. She has a rooster named Jinx, a dog named Barksee, and a goat named Mochi. Kanani has a cousin named Rachel who lives in New York; at the start of the story Kanani has not seen Rachel since they were six and eight years old, at a family reunion. So, Rachel feels home sick. Kanani helps her cousin Rachel feel like she is at home. She is the 9th girl of the year realeased by American Girl.

Girl of the year 2012  McKenna Brooks s a ten-year-old girl in 4th grade who lives in Seattle, Washington. She is skilled in gymnastics but struggles with her schoolwork, specifically reading comprehension. Her parents hire a tutor, Josie, to help McKenna with her reading skills and ensure she does not fall behind in her schoolwork.

McKenna is the oldest of three children, with twin younger sisters named Maisey and Mara.


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