I had the good fortune to visit the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota last weekend and visited one of my favorite stores; the American Girl Doll Store. The store included two levels of American Girl dolls, clothes, and accessories that even I could appreciate. The store also had a doll salon, as well as a bistro, where you could have lunch with your doll by your side.
Though the dolls and accessories can be a bit pricey, they can be cherished and handed down through the generations, as was the case with my daughter's doll, Samantha. She bought the doll with her own money when she was 11 years old. It wasn't long before her little brother found a pair of scissors and cut off Samantha's long hair. For years she sat in a box, and moved with my daughter until she found her way back to me. As a Christmas gift a couple of years ago, I sent the doll to the mall to have her spruced up and reset to her original look.
That year, my daughter, Lori, gave her doll to her 8 year-old daughter, who was thrilled to have an American Girl doll, especially since it was her mother's. And having a place like the Mall of America to browse through, it's easy to see why American Girl Dolls has been a favorite of little girls for decades.
American Girl is a line of dolls released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. According to Wikipedia, "the dolls portray girls of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. They are sold with accompanying books, which were told from the viewpoint of the girls. Originally the stories focused on various periods of American history, but they were expanded in 1995 to include characters and stories from contemporary life."
Aside from the original American Girl dolls, customers have options to create dolls with specific features, such as eyes, shape of the face, and hair. Accessories and clothing for the dolls is available online and a variety of stores throughout the world.
Wikipedia also stated that a reboot of the Historical Characters line, known as BeForever, was launched in August 2014, "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 2008."
American Girl released a new line of contemporary dolls in 2017. The first doll in the line was aspiring country single, Tenney Grant, along with the first-ever American Boy Doll, Logan (Tenney's band mate) and Z Yang, who is interested in photography and making videos.
Pleasant Company was purchased by Mattel, and has since created a variety of other dolls, including Bitty Babies and WellieWishers. For more information, visit the American Girl Doll website.
Mall of America American Girl Doll Store Slideshow