American Girl Dolls History
American Girl dolls have their roots in history, and the company itself is an example of a successful American story. Realistic dolls point to every stage of a young woman’s life, from the preschool level to the preteen years. These come in different styles and characters, with hundreds of accessories available. They were created by a woman from Wisconsin who wanted to combine her love for the history of the United States with educational products.
The beginning of American Girl Dolls
In 1986, the educator and textbook writer Pleasant Rowland launched a line of dolls inspired by 9-year-old girls from different eras in American history. Each doll came back to life with books, clothes and accessories. The dolls were available by mail catalog only, but became an instant hit, with almost $ 2 million in sales in the first four months. The product line grew rapidly to include eight dolls, each of a specific historical period: Kaya (1764), Felicity (1774), Josefina (1824), Kirsten (1854), Addy (1864), Samantha (1904), Kit (1934) and Molly (1944).
Big growth of American Girl Dolls
The Pleasant Company launched “American Girl” magazine in 1992. It celebrated the achievements of girls and focused on increasing their self-esteem. In 1995, the company launched dolls for preschoolers and 18-inch (45 cm) Just Like Me dolls. Just Like Me dolls allowed girls to choose hair color, complexion and toy accessories. They were later renamed American Girl in 2010.
Birth of the boom (American Girl Doll)
The company launched its own online store in 1997, and its first retail store in 1998 in Chicago. The three-story building offered a cafe for mothers and daughters to share lunch, a theater with doll-based works, a hair salon and a doll hospital, and thousands of square meters of merchandise. The place became a must experience for every girl, with fans traveling from all over the country to visit it. That same year, Rowland sold her company to Mattel for $ 700 million, and she left the company a few years later.
American Girl Dolls Still on top
As of 2011, American Girl is a subsidiary of Mattel operated in Middleton, Wisconsin. In 2011, the 10 American Girl retail stores across the country had received 40 million visitors since 1998, and more than 20 million dolls had been sold. The company’s website receives almost 70 million visits per year and its magazine has a circulation of almost half a million.