American Girl

Unable to find dolls for her nieces, Pleasant Rowland started the American Girl doll company in 1986. She noticed there was a significant void in the toy market for younger-aged dolls and saw an opportunity to provide an alternative to baby and adult dolls.

The Historical Characters line of 18-inch dolls, aimed to teach aspects of American history through a six-book series from the perspective of a girl living in that time period. Although the books are written for girls who are at least eight years old, they endeavour to cover significant topics such as child labour, child abuse, poverty, racism, slavery, animal abuse and war  in appropriate manners for the understanding and sensibilities of their young audiences.

Rowland built American Girl into a $300 million business and sold it to Mattel in 1998 for $700 million.

In 2021, American Girl Dolls were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Since 2004 the brand has developed books, a clothing line, TV spinoffs and a live action web special with a live action film currently in production. 

American Girl
on loan from Meila Slight

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