Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Meet the Newest American Girl Dolls

According to the storyline, Cécile Rey, who is African American, and Marie-Grace Gardner, who is Causasian, are friends in New Orleans in 1853 when a yellow fever epidemic hits the city.

The newest American Girl dolls are plucky and resourceful, but they both get yellow fever and die. They cost $100 and come with little fans and replica mausoleums. Just kidding, they "live."

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I'm going to need dolls for every major historical epidemic.
Dolls in the time of Cholera!


That was Kirsten.


@Dancersize Oh dear, am I remembering correctly - didn't Kirsten have some sort of tragic death in her books? A cousin or little sister?


Her best friend Marta! She died of cholera on the ship from Sweden!

Sorry For Partying

@Cherryblossomgirl I was about to say something about the need for a Black Plague American Girl Doll, and then I realized the key word I was overlooking.


@Cherryblossomgirl Samantha had the book where they grappled with Child Labor laws during the Industrial Revolution! So that's kind of a disease...


I wonder if there is any sort of charitable connection to New Orleans relief, or if this is another American Girl PR snafu akin to the "homeless" doll of a few years back. Just wonderin...


@LornaLoo Homeless doll??? Link please!


@melis Le Sigh... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/29/american-girls-homeless-d_n_302981.html

a brilliant PR move spoiled.


@LornaLoo That is so weird.


This year's release of the dolls, each of which has her story told in three books, comes with an original song, "A Lot Like Me," whose proceeds will go to the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. Available on iTunes for $1.29 per download, the song was written by musician and actor Harry Connick Jr., a New Orleans native, and sung by his 13-year-old daughter, Kate.

Oh man I would have died of happiness in elementary school if Felicity had a THEME SONG I could sing along to...


Maybe a vagabond doll would have gone over better. Comes with a filthy backpack and sleeping bad, a ukulele, a dog and boyfriend covered in sores.


@zidaane And a train to hop!


@theharpoon This is still my favorite thing ever.


@zidaane A bunch of those photographs were just in Oxford American!

Lorna Juett@facebook

@emilylouise Good move, American Girl Dolls! Catchy theme songs for charity sung by Harry Connick Jr.'s daughter WHO IS (would have been) SO MY AGE! DAAAAAAADDYYYYY! why aren't you FAayyymmoussss????


I'm sorry, what is this 1853 nonsense? What happened to all of the American Girls' dates ending in a 4?!

Chiara Atik@facebook

@Dancersize WHOA. Never knew/noticed that!


@Chiara Atik@facebook
Felicity - 1774
Josephina - 1824
Kirsten - 1854
Addy - 1864
Samantha - 1904
Molly - 1944

Yeah, I just rattled all of that off from memory. What now.


@Dancersize I challenge that statement! No way did you not look that up, Linda.


@Dancersize More importantly how amazing is the dress on the left.


Oh but I didn't. Those numbers have been glued into my brain since I was 6.


@Dancersize This is why you should have watched more television as a girl!


@Dancersize You are tribe and always have an open invitation to tea at my house. THIS is the important stuff to remember.




@Dancersize I SHALL TAKE NO TEA!!! #SpiritOf76

...j/k earl grey w/ cream no sugar pls.


@Dancersize And Kit is 1934, and Rebecca is 1914, and Julie & Ivy are 1974, and Kaya is 1764. (I have eight- and ten-year old nieces). Seriously, though, what's wrong with using 1854 again if they must? Kirsten is retired now anyway, isn't she? Actually...hang on. The only one of the original dolls still available is Molly. Even Felicity isn't around anymore, and she was NEW when I was 9. Merciful god, I am so old now.

Also, um...wouldn't a little African-American girl in New Orleans in 1853 probably have been a slave? I mean...Addy is 1864, and her story is about escaping slavery. I'm not saying there weren't any free African-American little girls in Louisiana in the 1850s, but...I am doubtful.


@Scarlettb Putting on mah lady historian hat for one minute: actually, part of New Orleans' pretty unique history is that it did have one of the larger populations of free blacks -- and free women of color -- in the U.S. prior to the Civil War. But back to the dresses. Do they come with American Girl crinolines?!




@Clare I think we should stage a protest until they make a Nellie American Girl doll.


@QuiteAimable: http://www.amazon.com/American-Girl-Nellie-Doll-Paperback/dp/B001276H98


@Clare Samantha 4 lyfe muthafackaaaaah


@Clare I am still salty that Samantha was shoved aside for these bitches. She would have beaten them to death with a stylish hat and an essay about child labor laws.


If you think I didn't already register to win these dolls in a Barnes and Noble contest, then you are dead wrong.


"Since American Girl began 25 years ago, the company has released a historic character doll every year, but this is the first time there are two."

Wait, really? There have been twenty-five? (counting on fingers)


@wallsdonotfall Editor corrected!


Maybe these dolls will kindle a life-long fascination with hemorrhagic fevers for some little girl! I mean, the movie Outbreak did it for me.


And then their grandchildren grew up to star in a Disney movie together.


At what point did this company become more concerned with dolls than books? Or has it always been this way, and I just grew up in a poorer community than I remember?

Ten Thousand Buckets

@heb I never got an American Girl doll either. I didn't even get a knock-off doll. :(

Lila Fowler

@heb The original company got bought out by Mattel in 1998. And it's been all downhill to Barbie-land since.


AU Lottie and Tiana?


I'm so glad I'm not the only one who noticed this. They're even dressed in similar colors!


@Dancersize comment triplets?


@annepersand: Hairpin hivemind.


There is a house in New Orleans...

(I feel SO WRONG typing that about an American Girl doll).


@sam.i.am Hahaha! Ten bucks says they come out with a ("socially-relevant"/"very special") AG doll that's a victim of the child sex trade. Child-ho-doll and the ill-fated AG homeless doll can be buddies! (I'd almost want to see that for the PR fallout alone.)


Why do dolls need to come with storylines? Are kids that lazy now that they can't make shit up?


@KellySkittles The intent was to teach American history from a girl's perspective using the dolls and their stories (and to make ca$h money too, I'm sure) http://www.americangirl.com/corp/corporate.php?section=about&id=2 But don't worry, Samantha went on loads of non-New-York-in-1904 adventures at my house.


@KellySkittles Oh the disappointment when these kids find out what 1853 was really like in New Orleans.


I lost track of what was going on after the Josephina books came out. My poor Addy doll is living wistfully in the attic and I never got over the buyers remorse.

P.S. So, wait. They just put a different dress on Addy and Molly and can sell them with new names? wtf???

Eureka Rochelle

They each get 6 books, right? I was upset enough when they changed the names of the books, if these girls get less than 6 books, AND their year ends in -3, I will be highly agitated.


Argh... appealing. But I am still a Molly girl. (can I say I love how The Hairpin covers this sort of thing)

Colleen Ryan Bell@facebook

I have a Samantha and Felicity doll from way back. I remember when we moved to our new house and the catalog was already in the mailbox from the previous owners. My sister and I poured over that thing for hours. I coveted the tiny food accessories so so so badly. We ended up getting a bunch of their outfits by mail. My Mom still has the dolls in the top level of her entertainment center.

Julie Smith@twitter

Cool post..daughter will be excited! She loves Kaya and i am thinking she will love these two new ones, too!!


--Something unexpected surprise--

Hello. My friend


Dedi cated service, the new style, believing you will love it!!!



thank you!


@linlijun123 I wish we had a report spam button!


I'm Canadian so I don't have any of these dolls. I kind of wish we did though, although I'm pretty sure like 90% of them would have to be covered with mosquitos bites and sunburn to be accurate.


@Megan Patterson@facebook And beaver hats!


I would so love a little American Girl-sized mausoleum.

Kay Wilds@twitter

What's Causasian? I'm from South Dakota.

Cara Motts@twitter

They must've been thinking 'New Orleans, so hot right now, New Orleans'. What does one do when they can't fit any more American Girl Dolls on the shelf?

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