I am shocked, aren’t you? I know many serious American Girl fans are heart-broken. For many, this is the last straw. Well, the old time fans. Many of the new fans, the children, like the newer dolls, unfortunately. And unfortunately, that is the focus of Mattel. American Girl began in 1985 founded by Pleasant Rowland who was tired of dolls that didn’t set a good example to young girls. She wanted to create dolls that not only educated girls but made something like history fun. American history is such an important thing for people to know. It’s important to know the history of any nation you live in. But it’s hard for kids to learn without it being taught in a way that can be fun, entertaining, and relatable. American Girl offered that. At the Williamsburg Museum, a woman asked the audience “How many people know about the Magazine incident that happened in 1776?” Majority of the hands that went in the air were young girls between the ages of 7-10. American Girl had succeeded; it was effective.
But something happened. Bratz? Maybe. Hannah Montana? Probably. Basically, blame internet and the spread of “grown-up” ideas. These children today are spoiled and only want clothes, and any other expensive but worthless item that doesn’t educate them or is useful in any way. They don’t even want dolls, especially dolls that don’t promote rebellion. American Girl was too “moralistic” for these children with the idea that the world owes them every expensive item that comes out.
When American Girl was bought by Mattel, the whole doll line changed, and many fans noticed. For some reason, Mattel doesn’t care. If you don’t know who Mattel is, they are the creators of the Barbie doll. Well, they ignore the older fans. And yes, who can blame them? The first big change was the quality in the clothing. I guess it made the dolls cheaper to make plastic items that were once glass, real wood, and tin. The clothing styles changed and because less realistic towards the time. The exclusivity declined, which actually was a good thing. Promotion is always good.
But lately, the biggest change is Mattel seems to be moving away from the historical dolls and trying to promote the more modern girls. Of course, after the American Girl movies, the main collection had a hard time selling because this generation doesn’t value tradition. They are completely into things that don’t matter…at all. This generation want “fashion dolls” with skimpy clothing and big heads. Ironically, however, Mattel is getting rid of the dolls that began with Rowland. They are getting rid of favorites that have been loved by the older generation of fans for years. What is really hurting not only fans but parents and grandparents is that they really seem to be trying to remove the collection completely and focusing on making modern dolls. This will be a loss and make this doll series lose it’s quality but the very thing that made it unique. I don’t think this is helping American Girl at all. I think it is hurting American Girl. When Samantha was removed, many American Girl fans were shocked and hurt. Kirsten was even worse because she didn’t even have a movie to complete her collection. But Felicity? The dolls that represents the birth of the American nation? I mean, Progress in America and Pioneer America would not have happened were it not for the American Revolution! What is Mattel’s problem?
Like every greedy businessman, they don’t care. They care about the kids because they care about the money they will make appealing to them. They don’t care about the goal of Rowland. I sent an email to them, but I think a letter would really get the point across:
I’m so angry with Mattel. When Pleasant Co. had American Girl, they brought new dolls all the time without removing beloved American Girls. I don’t understand why this company continues to remove American Girl favorites, especially dolls as important as Felicity Merriman, the beginning of America. Does this company even know the spirit of America? The importance of this country? American Independence is an important time in history, not just a selling tool. Perhaps the focus needs to be re-directed from “Girls of Today” and back on the quality and importance of the American Girls: the American Girl Collection. There couldn’t be a more important American Girl. This company has done nothing but disappoint it’s fanbase over and over by removing these dolls. I don’t understand why this company is out to destroy the glory of the American Girls and is out to disappoint it’s fanbase once again. Felicity is the final and biggest straw. To lose such an important point in history is a loss in itself, not to consider the children who could learn about it is another, but what’s worse is it was a classic and beloved character.
So, my final word on this matter is that I would rather American Girl completely fold than to see it lose it’s value this way. Maybe it’s because I’m a history major college student that I have this bitterness. I really feel America takes it’s history for granted. But if people learned the importance of history, we really wouldn’t make the same mistakes we did in the past. The American Girls collection taught morals to little girls, helped them solve day-to-day issues, and brought parents, grandparents, and their children closer. It brought understanding a maturity. But maybe this generation has lost all of it’s sense of maturity. So who is to blame in this matter? The one who will not encourage and influence their kids to enjoy entertainment that is wholeseome and educational.