All New American Girl Historical Dolls Cecile and Marie-Grace Have Been REVEALED!

12 May

Cecile and Marie-Grace, New Orleans, 1853

Cecile and Marie-Grace, New Orleans, 1853

 

News has been circling around about the new historical American Girls due to be released this year, 2011, and possibly next year, 2012. There is also rumor there will be another historical next year. These dolls took the American Girl fan base completely by surprise. There are many things different about this line of dolls than ever before. The characters focus on being from different worlds but becoming friends (a bit like the Samantha and Nellie story). The main historical focal point is the break out ofΒ  Yellow Fever in 1853.

The first significant factor is they FINALLY have another girl of color. Many fans say they have been asking for an African American girl in New Orleans or for Civil Rights. And many fans are actually looking forward to her more than the other one! I guess Mattel was probably wrong to wait so many years to release another African American, assuming she wouldn’t sell. From my understanding, the African American girl’s name is Cecile Rey, and the other girl’s name is Marie-Grace Gardner.

Another significant difference in this line is TWO girls are the focus instead of one. They are not “Best Friend” dolls. Best Friend dolls are considered an “accessory”, as one fan put it, to the MAIN dolls. These dolls are a part of the main story, and each have three books dedicated to her to complete the six book series. They both come from different worlds and backgrounds but they happen to become friends. They also will probably have a huge fashion line considering they have to come out with outfits together for promotional reasons. That will cost some money for Mattel, eh? I wager they will have a movie soon, yes?

The normal “title” changes have already been made with the introduction of Kaya, but now there are even more changes to the outline of the books. Now it seems these books are following the pattern of the Girl of the Year Dolls. The popularity of the Girl of the year dolls have influenced the American Girl historical dolls to only focus on one event and direct it from one era to one year.

The changes to the books and story don’t stop there. Instead of the year focusing on the traditional “4” pattern, they’ve set it back to “3”, breaking the pattern and tradition. These dolls have broken all of the traditions of American Girl, and have adopted the Girl of the Year patterns. The year is around Kirsten’s. This is very confusing. It’s public knowledge that the Kirsten doll has been archived, but I was told the books were still being sold. I wonder how they can promote them differently? With the new books being around the exact same time as Kirsten’s, it seems to me that these stories will not focus on American history as a whole but New Orleans history as a state.

That is another difference. The former American Girls focused on eras that affected the nation as whole, such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. This series seems to focus on one event that happened in only one year, and mostly affected one state. It is also not a very distinct moment in history, as some of the other American Girls have been. It would have focused more on a broader history if the story took place in the west, as everyone thought it would, but everyone was in for a surprise. Maybe next year it will be western themed.

Personal Opinions

Pros:

1) I LOVE the idea of two different girls, different social classes, having their own sides of the story! It really shocked me in a good way! I was hoping they would be twins, but I am still happy that they are two girls who learn to settle their differences. It will be interesting to see half of the series told one way, and the other half told another.

2) I’m so happy Mattel decided to create an African American Girl. This was another shocking thing they did. I NEVER thought they would even consider it, considering most of their best-selling lines have been Caucasian dolls. It really surprised me, almost as much as Julie did, but for different reasons…Anyway, it’s also good she is not stereotyped and most people will learn that not ALL African Americans were slaves. Some were very well-to-do.

3) The doll dresses are lovely and so are the characters. It gives me hope that they will be lovely dolls. I’m really excited to see how the dolls look in person.

4) New Orleans is an interesting setting. The pictures are sure to capture my eye. It’s also good that American Girl is trying to focus more on Southern American Girls. Most of the American Girls have been from the North. It’s great that they’re giving a little Southern history as well.

Cons:

1) I am not too fond of the historical focal point. As lovely and well planned as the dolls might have been, the historical value seems mushed together, just for the sake of selling the dolls. I feel that American Girl company is trying to pull away from it’s historical value. This is all due to the success of their Girl of the Year dolls, who are not as realistic neither do they educate people on the day-to-day lives of American Girls, mostly because it’s only one book, so they can’t work with it much.

Yellow Fever was not an era in history. It was an event, it took place mostly in New Orleans. The year also overlaps Kirsten’s year so badly it just seems like they didn’t care at all. I understand she is archived, but her books are still being sold, and people recognize Kirsten as coming from that time. This stomps any chances for Kirsten EVER coming back. It’s important that each girl has their own year so that no one will be confused as to each doll’s era, which is the main promotion of the doll (such as Addy is the Civil War era doll, Samantha is the Victorian Era doll, Rebecca is the pre-WWI doll, etc). These dolls are the…Yellow Fever Epidemic dolls? Not going to cut it for me. Next they should make the Cholera epidemic dolls too…And the era doesn’t even relate to the story. Like Felicity was trying to find her own independence and loyalty at a time of the Revolutionary War, where independence and loyalty was being questioned for the first time. So what is this story? Two girls find their differences among the social classes, and oh, there’s an epidemic. Huh? How does their relationship teach us about the epidemic? I can’t say I can judge the story totally, as I haven’t read it yet, but so far it seems like Mattel completely forgot about researching enough history. The story has morals like all children’s stories. But what is making American Girl unique anymore? What makes them different from Magic Attic Club and Global Friends dolls? American Girl is neglecting their historical fans because the majority fan base is dense when it comes to history and keep asking for short periods in time like the Roaring Twenties. Only ADULTS were affected by the Roaring Twenties. But how much you want to bet Mattel will find some ridiculous theme to put behind it?

2) What happened to the American Girl that used to focus on the unique part of the girl as relation to the history rather than the girls being “pretty”? Their last couple of lines have been a bunch of “pretty girls”. Whatever happened to dolls like Molly and Kit, dolls who relate to REAL girls. These dolls just seem to fit more and more into mainstream America, which promotes wealth, fame, and superficiality. In fact, the last three dolls have all had long curly hair. Talk about a lack of variety, ya?

3) Now that there is an African American doll, I’m most CERTAIN Addy will be archived next. I thought she would be safe because of her ethnicity, but now we know that no doll is safe, and she might be the next to go because she’s not as “pretty”. I dislike the “pretty” emphasis, but kids today are taught to be superficial. The weird part is the most important times in history, such as American Independence, are being archived, for a time in history as inadequate as this? The birth of America vs the Yellow Fever Epidemic of only New Orleans? Mattel is really twisted for this one.

Well, that’s my spin on the new dolls. What do you guys think? Post your comments and let me know!

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78 Responses to “All New American Girl Historical Dolls Cecile and Marie-Grace Have Been REVEALED!”

  1. Grace 2011/05/13 at 20:41 #

    True. I love these new dolls but AG is messing up a little. I hope Cecile has the Sonali Mold, and if Marie-Grace has the Josefina mold I’ll scream. She’ll look EXACTLY like Elizabeth except for hair. And even her dress is pink Like Elizabeth’s.
    I am totally getting the accessories just for the hat though.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/15 at 00:23 #

      Your name is Grace! Just like Marie-Grace! πŸ™‚

      How much you want to bet Marie-Grace will look like Elizabeth?

      I’m not too sure about Cecile. That will be very interesting. I absolutely love that hat as well! I might buy two, one for Addy’s blue dress and of course, Cecile’s.

      Like

      • Grace 2011/05/18 at 01:17 #

        Well, if she has the classic mold she won’t look too much like her..but the Josefina mold? All my savings–$9.09.
        πŸ˜„
        PS I love Kingdom Hearts. ICE CREAM!!!!!! πŸ˜„

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      • generationnext 2011/05/19 at 01:32 #

        Oh boy! I love Kingdom Hearts fans! πŸ™‚ Sea Salt Ice Cream!

        I just have a feeling it’s a Josefina mold. Hopefully, you get money for birthday…or Christmas? πŸ˜„ I’m saving my pennies too. but first I want to read the books. for some reason that helps me fall in love with the dolls.

        Like

    • Grace 2011/05/21 at 03:20 #

      For some reason I cant reply 2 your last comment. But here’s my reply anyway–
      IKR?! You ought to meet my brother. He loves it sooo much. And like i said, I do too. I even named my doll Kairi.
      I just really hope not, I have Elizabeth and they’ll be exactly the same except for hair.
      I am saving for Kanani right now–that’s it. But MG is sure to come soon!! πŸ˜„

      Like

  2. selena lem 2011/05/14 at 16:09 #

    MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT ADDY BEING ARCHIVED. I CANT WAITE FOR THE DOLLS TO COME OUT IM GOIN TO GET CECILA THE AFRICAN GIRL. HOPE THEY DONT ARCHIVE ADDY THOUGH SHE WAS MY 3RD DOLL.

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    • generationnext 2011/05/15 at 00:36 #

      I hope not either. I do like that American Girl is becoming more diverse. But I don’t like that all of dolls have curly hair and that the unique dolls are going to the archives.

      Like

  3. Tiara 2011/05/15 at 13:37 #

    Hi, Addy is going to retire next. I hope Cecile has the Sonali mold or the Addy Mold. I hope Marie- Grace has the Josefina mold too!

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/16 at 04:35 #

      It’s not confirmed that Addy is going into the archives, but there is speculation she might. Which is really sad as the Civil War is such an important addition to American history. It’s as if Mattel doesn’t even care about the historic value anymore.

      Like

      • Tiara 2011/05/17 at 22:02 #

        But, AG retired Felicity and she was from the American Revolution, also very important in USA. Also, Cecile is A.A and Addy’s A.A. Most likely she’ll retire next. Don’t ya think?

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      • generationnext 2011/05/20 at 01:50 #

        yes Felicity was important. That’s why it’s sad. Addy and Felicity were the most important times in history.

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  4. naomi 2011/05/16 at 07:51 #

    yeah that is sad im getting kanani soon maybe and maybe a my american girl, and i’ll miss addy if she is archived.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/16 at 18:03 #

      I love Kanani, but I’m a bit tired of the curly haired dolls. I miss when each doll had a unique look about them. But sadly “unique” dolls don’t sell.

      Like

  5. AgBittyBaby 2011/05/17 at 09:57 #

    some of the past GOTY doll stories were so whiney and poorly composed I had to just chuck the book and sell the dang doll. Nicki was by far the worst of the whiners. The old historical doll stories varied on quality as well but not nearly as bad as the GOTY. I’m hoping though it’s merely 3 books each that something decent comes from the pages. I used to read Kaya to all 3 of my kids at bed time and my son would sit up rivited at the excitement and quality of the well written story. The Addy story , just as good, slightly slower paced was a favorite as well.

    The lastest GOTY Kanani is the worst complained about ever! Her story is weak and unrealistic. She looks nothing close to a real native Hawaiian!!! Real Hawaiians don’t walk around wearing luau get ups all year.
    I can only hope the next dolls are worthy of me buying them for my 10 year old daughter

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/19 at 01:29 #

      SO True. The GOTY aren’t really as realistic because there is only one book, so they have to make that book as exciting as possible, thus all of the unrealistic excitement. I found Chrissa’s book to be the most realistic. But the GOTY fall short of the realism the main collection has.

      All of the recent dolls were made to sell. Kanani is one of them, hence her look isn’t realistic. Even though in her story she wears normal clothes, the dolls are made with the unrealistic accessories to appeal to little girls. But I do miss when there was quality in the items. The items were so realistic, and at a better price too.

      Like

  6. saturday. 2011/05/17 at 14:39 #

    Where did you get your information about the last names and writing style?

    I know there’s going to be a book fair of sorts coming up, but I’m curious.

    I agree, bye bye, Addy! 😦

    Like

  7. Cheyenne 2011/05/19 at 19:10 #

    I been to Hawaii and Kanani accessories are very much realistic.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/20 at 01:28 #

      Yea, but you were a visitor, a tourist. Kanani’s accessories are from a “tourist’s” eye, not from how they really live. I would’ve preferred a girl not from a “tourist’s” eye. And the girl wasn’t made like an average little girl. All of the dolls are made to appeal, but not to be realistic.

      But thanks for commenting.

      Like

  8. Savannah 2011/05/19 at 19:50 #

    I can see a lot of people here are behind on the news.Right now this historic event is repeating it shelve.We having to make the choice of tearing down a bunch of cities or farm land due to hurricane Katrina.The yellow fever Epidemic was also caused by a hurricane which brought in the mosquitoes which brought the virus.It killed off most of New Orleans.At the time it was happening people had no clue what was causing the disease or any clue had to prevent it.Maybe they are trying to teach kids about whats going on right now

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    • generationnext 2011/05/20 at 01:09 #

      I guess I’m just used to American Girl relating to everyone. Addy, Kit, and Molly related to everyone including me though I’m from a different state and I’m of a different ethnicity. My family went through the Civil War, The Great Depression, and WWII. It relates to everyone in my state and my friends in the state over. But this event doesn’t relate to anyone in my home town. We don’t have mosquitoes all year, and the state over doesn’t even have mosquitoes. It was mostly a New Orleans event. I’m not used to the American Girls not connecting to me in any way. I suppose it makes it more real for me when they do.

      Oh well, I will have to read the books to really see. You are right that it is right in line with Hurricane Katrina. Thank you for your comment. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Grace 2011/08/06 at 04:40 #

        It’s also possible that AG is trying to show the difference in the southern states. This is RIGHT BEFORE the Civil War, and there is a wealthy African-American in the deep south. How is this not an important thing? Also, the mid 1800’s was when some of the jazz scene started popping up, and has had massive affect on Nola to this day.
        That’s just my belief. And besides, the book drawings never really look like the dolls, anyway. And the curly hair like that was the fashion.

        Like

      • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 21:18 #

        but there are differences in every era. So they should get rid of every American girl just to give another perspective? Not sure about that. I mean, they can get rid of Kit and show how a southern girl lived. or get rid of Molly, and show an Asian girl.

        It’s not that her role isn’t important. However, do you know how many things there are in history? There are the Race Riots, Harlem Renaissance, Panic of 1800s…but should all of them be American Girls dolls? Especially when in reality, they didn’t affect little girls completely? It wouldn’t be historically accurate. I do agree that while it is interesting to have an African American girl in the deep south, it is unnecessary if we already have Addy who lived in both the south and the North. Yes, Cecile lives differently, but Addy’s story already “taught’ it’s readers that there were wealthy girls of color. Again, Mattel to me is making the story surround the girl (because they know that this way they can make a pretty well-selling doll), but not the girl surround the story or history, like they used to. If they did, they would consider what they already covered in the other stories, and find an ERA (a major event that lasts for more than one year) and teach girls about it.

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  9. Rowan 2011/05/26 at 19:34 #

    I found that the reason they used 1853 instead of 1854 is because Kirsten was 1854 and they didn’t want to reuse that year. Plus, in the Fun for Girls section of the site, under Characters, all retired girls are still listed and they couldn’t have 2 for 1854.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/05/27 at 23:48 #

      I know they didn’t want to reuse that year, but 1853 is not really creative either. Why not 1814? That was an important time. The point is 1853 isn’t any better than 1854. In fact, Kirsten’s stories really expand to 1856. It just seems rushed to me to make some money.

      Like

  10. Rowan 2011/05/26 at 19:50 #

    P.S. I forgot to mention this in my last comment but I emailed American Girl, asking them about the new girls. They said it was true and to look for them late this summer and that it was true that their names are Marie-Grace and Cecile. They also asked that I keep it hush hush about them coming out, as not to ruin the surprise for the millions of other girls.

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    • generationnext 2011/05/27 at 23:45 #

      Lol thanks for telling me, though they said to keep it hush hush. πŸ™‚ I believe the dolls will be announced by the time the 25th Anniversary Cruise happens.

      Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚

      Like

  11. Lindasuzanne 2011/06/08 at 01:35 #

    Do any of you realize how many thousands and thousands of people immigrated into the USA even before it was the USA ? These people were of distinct backgrounds and from many different countries. Since there wasn’t any mass media like TV at the time, their experiences, views of the world, religions, etc. were ALL DIFFERENT ! To think that one doll could possibly represent any one time period is a bit uninformed. It will be delightful to meet two new girls from the same time period as Kirsten. She was distinct and adorable. But she doesn’t begin to “represent” all the wonderful immigrant young ladies of the time period….The more the better. I would love to see additional dolls – especially another girl from Addy’s civil war period – perhaps a New England girl helping with the underground railroad. Also – what about a Korean/American girl representing the post Korean War period…..Lots of wonderful ideas !!!

    Like

    • Stash 2011/06/17 at 15:47 #

      “Perhaps a New England girl helping with the underground railroad” Since I am a huge American Girl fan from Canada, I’d LOVE to have the doll who was helped to Canada by the underground railroad (as there is a very important link to Canada in the underground railroad). I would love to have BOTH the New England doll and the girl she helped get to Canada! I think American Girl would be incredibly smart to open up their market in some way to Canada (we love history too) and many of us who know of American Girl Doll love the product and do purchase it.

      Like

      • Stash 2011/06/17 at 15:51 #

        Does anyone know where Marie-Grace is from?

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      • generationnext 2011/06/24 at 00:02 #

        I would love a Scottish girl who moves from Canada. there was a history mystery girl who moved to Canada during the Revolutionary war, but I would like a girl moving FROM Canada. that would be interesting.

        But remember everyone, we have to remember the story has to be enough for a six-book series. I’m not sure how that could stretch.

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      • generationnext 2011/06/24 at 00:04 #

        Marie-Grace is originally from New Orleans, but she moves BACK. i don’t know where she moved to. I believe someone mentioned it was north. But don’t get me lying. πŸ˜›

        Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/24 at 00:01 #

      There was however, American history is representative of specific eras and times that truly affect ALL people, not just a group. This only affects New Orleans mostly. it is not American history it is New Orleans history. Many different girls from different states can’t relate to this. It isn’t an era. It is an event, which to me is stepping away from American Girl’s roots.

      American Girl already told me they aren’t doing an Asian because there’s not enough history for them to do one. They don’t have as much influence on American history. but hey, i think it’s just an excuse.

      but hey you are right about one thing. The more the merrier. Who knows what we will learn. As I said, it is exciting to have a girl from New Orleans from two different social classes.

      Like

  12. third time mom 2011/06/24 at 05:06 #

    American Girl magazine is geared to girls aged 7-13. Much younger than that and many girls aren’t reading at the appropriate level yet. Much older and they may be ready to move on. But honestly I’m surprised to read so many reviews by 10 or 11 year old girls who feel they’re too old for this magazine. I don’t believe girls that age NEED magazines based solely on makeup tricks, flirting with boys, etc. AG has articles such as dealing with relationships with friends. Like when you and your best friend start to grow apart. Or when she moves away. Articles like one about a girl whose family travels around the world on their sailboat for two years. Crafts that you can actually be proud to give at the age of 10.

    Several reviewer have complained that the magazine is short and expensive. It is. But here’s why: there is NO advertising (short of anything American Girl related). In many magazines, advertising accounts for easily half the pages. And advertising enables publishers to sell magazines for a low cost. AG has no advertising and so has to charge a fair price to produce it. I’m more than willing to pay for that kind of publication.

    Parents ordering for your daughters, you know your girl. If you’ve got a 10 year old going on 16, this may not be for your child. If you have a precocious 6 year old, she might like it as well. AG is the kind of magazine I’m glad my daughters enjoy.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/28 at 01:28 #

      The problem is parents aren’t willing to spend money on wholesome and educational toys for their children. They buy what THEY want and give it to their children. I saw a mother today buy a magazine for herself then gave it to her 10 year old daughter to look at. That’s the reason these kids are growing up to fast, and exposure to the internet.

      The shame is that wholesome and educational toys today cost a pretty penny. All toys SHOULD be wholesome and promote morals, but sadly the most popular dolls only promote rebellion.

      Great post! In fact, I think I want to do another blog post about this! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/28 at 01:30 #

      Further, American Girl magazine wasn’t always short. Back in the 90s, it was much longer. But because people use the internet more than anything, many people don’t see the necessity in buying magazines, so the magazine companies lose business and have to make the magazines shorter.

      Like

  13. Mimi 2011/06/25 at 23:01 #

    I’m disappointed that there isn’t another Hispanic girl. I was hoping for maybe a Puerto Rican girl in the early 20th century (since Puerto Rico is part of the United States after all). Considering how large and growing a group Latinos are in the US (and how they tend to have lots of children!) I’m surprised that AG hasn’t focused a bit more on this customer segment.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/26 at 23:17 #

      Oh definitely. But at least they have one. Where is the REAL Asian American historical? There are many missing.

      Like

      • Grace 2011/08/06 at 04:46 #

        I’m waiting for this decade to be history. That way you can have an American (maybe a New Yorker) and a Middle Eastern. Now THERE’S controversial for ya.

        Like

      • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 21:10 #

        i would love a Middle Eastern doll. But I kind of hope they don’t chose an doll between the years 1985-to now…because that’s when American girl was invented. it would be too weird. maybe because I would feel old.

        Like

  14. Mimi 2011/06/25 at 23:02 #

    This is petty, but I’m also a little annoyed that they are breaking the “xxx4” pattern that has been part of AG since the very beginning.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/26 at 23:24 #

      That really gets me too. It makes it seem rushed like they couldn’t find a better time to try to sell a bunch of pretty dolls. The smallest petty thing can have so much of an impact on doll line.

      Thanks for your comments. πŸ™‚

      Like

  15. ipad 2 review 2011/06/26 at 18:01 #

    Nice review! This is truly the type of blog post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not ranking this post higher!

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/06/28 at 01:25 #

      Thank you. And thank you for commenting. Hey, sometimes the best posts won’t be ranked higher. lol

      Like

  16. Bee 2011/07/02 at 15:49 #

    I wish that Mattel would stop “killing off” dolls. At least the Pleasant Company did not retire/archive as much as Mattel did. I feel bad for Addy, too. They will probably archive her next. I wish Mattel would leave the original (and all) of the American Girl Dolls alone. (Why would a girl want to buy the book if she never saw what the doll looked like because not very many people these days like to read and that is sad.) Plus, Mattel is focusing on external beauty too much! And, why would you get rid of a major era like the Revolutionary War?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? I am disliking Mattel more and more…

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/07/03 at 17:35 #

      Mattel’s method of making money is replacing old dolls with new more mainstream and popular dolls. It’s not all Mattel’s fault, because you have to consider what consumers ask. Many kept asking for curly haired dolls with hazel eyes, and now that’s how the whole collection of dolls are starting to look! No variety. When Pleasant Company was running things, they didn’t get their ideas from fans. They got their ideas from people they knew, REAL GIRLS. They had REAL inspiration. Mattel’s inspiration is Barbie, the pretty blonde chick. They are used to only selling ONE doll, and a fake plastic one at that. But selling many dolls is harder for them. They’re trying to follow the “diversity” trend that’s going on nowadays, but it’s hard for them considering they’re not used to it. Also, the head of Pleasant Company were history experts, TEACHERS. Mattel isn’t. They don’t know crap of history. So pretty dolls is they’re way of promoting history, rather than history promoting the dolls.

      Another reason is American Girl doesn’t always gain supporters. They’re expensive dolls. So Mattel is stuck with pleasing the fans it already has first. Most fans already have the old dolls. So they have to make new dolls. But considering the Recession, and their lawsuit with MGA, they don’t have the money to make fourteen dolls and accessories. Think of the cost:
      Hair
      Eyes
      Molding
      Outfit-normally more than one
      Accessories-for more than one outfit normally
      Playsets-normally more than one
      Paying the author and artist
      Publishing the book and paying for that
      Paying for the research of the book-includes peek into the past pictures they have to get rights to and pay for.
      Trademark cost, copyright cost, paying Pleasant Company dues for their dolls (not as much since three of the old dolls are archived)
      Promotion, Magazine cost, displays for American Girl Place, etc, and ALL OF their EMPLOYEES
      Anything else: extra damages, lawsuits, maintenance, etc etc

      Very expensive for fourteen dolls, including Best Friend dolls and Girl of the Year. So they have to get rid of dolls that are old and put dolls that appeal to this generation. This generation isn’t as historical, and prefer the modern girls. I blame not only the modern doll, but mostly the Best Friend dolls. The Best Friend dolls should’ve been Limited Editions like they planned because they are taking away from the main collection. To me, there was no need for Nellie when we can read all about her in Samantha’s story. But these fans kept asking for an Irish girl for what purpose-I don’t know. Because they don’t understand that Mattel has to stretch an Irish girl in a six-book series that would completely overlap Samantha’s story. If we had a story for every character in Samantha’s series, what is the point of Samantha’s series? Eventually, Samantha would’ve been replaced with Nellie. So they just gave Nellie one book. Eventually, because everyone kept asking for Jewish, and since they had too many dolls, they had to get rid of dolls. If they’d just gotten rid of the Best Friends in the first place, we wouldn’t have this problem, neither would we have a poor excuse for an Asian historical or an Indian girl of the year for that matter.

      Another other problem was fans kept pressuring Mattel to focus on the historical dolls, in fear that Mattel was going to get rid of the historical dolls and replace them with the GOTY. But really, American Girl already focused on all the major points of history, so why focus on them? The history that affects everyone was already done, besides Civil Rights Movement. This “Yellow Fever Epidemic”, though it is interesting, isn’t an event that affected EVERYONE in the United States. No one can relate to this unless you lived in New Orleans. It was a rushed project to please fans who keep asking for another African America historical, and a way for them to get rid of Addy and replace Kirsten at the same time because the time is similar to them, and so the fashions would be too. It’s all about the fashion here, not even about the history.

      In my opinion.

      Like

      • Grace 2011/08/06 at 04:56 #

        Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up, cynicism. While I totally get your point (and agree with you a lot) I’m glad Nellie came into the picture. Hello? Redhead? Love it! They need a redhead, and a character who has more in mind than herself (she had to take care of her sisters). During Samantha’s period, Irish immigrants were coming to the USofA in floods because of the horrid famine or whatever that killed the potatoes. And she’s very unique. A redhead!! πŸ™‚
        And either Molly or Addy will be the next to go. They’re starting to get rid of the original ones to keep up with the costs, and also so they can be updated a bit. I personally am happy with the two new additions. πŸ™‚

        Like

      • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 21:09 #

        and you are welcome to be happy about the new dolls. i am a bit cynical sometimes. I admit. And I hate change. πŸ™‚

        i like red heads too, but I just feel instead of making best friend dolls, they should have made a new collection with a red head. if all the American girls don’t have best friend dolls, I can’t love any of the best friend doll ideas. i’m just funny like that. I like to see all dolls equally, and when favoritism is shown like that, I can’t support it. i can’t fall in love with the idea. I’m Sorry about that if I offended you.
        But I also can’t deny that when the best friend dolls came, it made a larger number of dolls, and they began to take the space of the regular dolls. If there was just going to be a Nellie story, then there is no point in having her in Samantha’s story in my opinion. You might as well make an Agnes and agatha doll, and Eddie doll, a Jessie doll, etc. Particularly for Molly, where was an Alison doll, Linda, or Susan doll? Where does it end in the collection?
        Again, I hate change. mostly, i enjoy when I read an American Girl book and it not only feels like i’m going back in time, but that I’m spending two to three years of their life with them. Marie-Grace and Cecile only last one year in the series, so I’m going to miss that connection. Also, I like doing research about how my family connected to era of long ago. Because this is purely a New Orleans event, and not an era, i can enjoy it, but I can’t connect to it like the other girls, whose lives touched my own family’s lives. I also miss the traditional “4” which made them stand out. Again, though as in the article, there are pros and cons. i love hearing two sides of the story. And I’ve been aching for more southern history. πŸ˜‰

        I’m mostly a fan of the books than the dolls. i’m also a history teacher so I’m picky about my choices in historical fiction especially for children. I can be a harsh critic.

        Like

      • Melissa 2011/08/10 at 22:35 #

        Whoo! Hold on a minute. I’ve been begging AG to make a Chinese-American girl from the Gold Rush days for 20 plus years! No, they have certainly not hit all the major historical time periods of the U.S. The Gold Rush was major. It built the West, but then I live in California, so its near and dear. The railroad was built to accommodate this as well! They could have done so much with this. All the Asian accessories and neat costuming. Her father could have run a Chinese pharmacy in Nevada City! The stories could have been endless from this time period, and this is just one they never focused on. Where are the Asian-Americans who love AG?

        Also let us not forget the importance of The Louisiana Purchase and the commerce made along the Mississippi River.

        Like

      • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 20:54 #

        LOL There are many things for them to focus on, i agree. But consider this:

        The Gold rush isn’t a major event for LITTLE GIRLS and it’s certainly not enough to fill a six book series. Also, the Gold Rush began in 1848-1855…ironically, isn’t that Kirsten’s time? The Era would appropriately be called Pioneer America. Even Cecile and Marie-Grace are in the era of Pioneer America. Their books are not focusing on an era, but an event, because it only lasted a year. An Era normally lasts more than one year. Which is why I think Cecile and Marie-Grace’s books are rushed to sell a pretty doll and put a cute theme behind it. It could be called the Era of Western Expansion, if that’s what you mean, but that is actually what Josefina’s story is about, just from the opposite end. That means Josefina might be the one to go next, considering most of the West was owned by Mexico, and Josefina lived a very western life during that time and era. Which if you’re fine with that, it’s cool too.

        As far as Asians, email them. This is what they told me, and yes it does sound ridiculous, “There is not enough Asian influence with their own historical events, and among little girls, in history in order to develop a six book series”. I guess they don’t associate the Gold Rush as being an “Asian” event, especially not for little girls. Also, there were two gold rushes: one of the west and the other of Alaska. I got this straight from them. Ask them why they didn’t choose a Chinese girl during Western Expansion yourself. If you’ve been keeping up with my other entries, you know I’ve already touched base with that. πŸ˜‰ I’m a big Asian fan. But that’s what I’ve been told. It would have to be possible for many Asians to affect the event.
        The Louisiana Purchase was nothing more than just that: a purchase. It didn’t affect New Orleans aside from the fact that it became a state. But the citizens went on as normal. 1853 is when people’s lives began to change, and that was because we were getting close the Civil War when people were arguing about which state should be a slave state and which one should be a free state, aside from the Yellow Fever Event. commerce…would that really matter to a nine year old girl? Would it affect her life in a major way?

        Now what I don’t understand is why didn’t they choose western expansion or civil rights over this? Anything would’ve been better than this.

        Like

    • Tiara 2011/07/07 at 17:41 #

      I know! That’s why I am not that really into AG anymore. I was obssesed when I was 8 but when AG retired Samantha, I got so upset with AG. I
      dislike Rebecca because she is not made of much good quality! It is just the hair that is bad quality. So you are really right Bee!

      Like

      • generationnext 2011/07/31 at 23:43 #

        The last couple of dolls have had bad hair quality.

        Like

  17. Tiara 2011/07/07 at 17:38 #

    Hi! So, I still think Addy might retire next. Or Molly. I would be surprised if it was Josefina being retired. She is my sister’s favorite! Also, need help. I am getting a new doll in Sept. so which should I get? Kanani, The New MY AG with Blond hair, brown eyes, and josefina mold, Marie Grace, or Cecile? I think they are all pretty dolls!

    Like

    • Tiara 2011/07/07 at 17:43 #

      Well, Cecile and Marie Grace (I hope) are going to be pretty!

      Like

      • generationnext 2011/07/31 at 23:42 #

        I’m most certain they will be. but in order for me to purchase, the history has to be good and so do their character personalities. That just helps me buy them for some reason.

        Like

    • Fierce 2011/07/27 at 14:53 #

      Kanani wont be there after Dec. 31 so, I would go with Kanani

      Like

  18. Penny 2011/07/14 at 03:06 #

    I like the idea of girls from New Orleans. I honestly thought that if American Girl came out with another African-American, her story would take place in 1954 (if I’m not mistaken, that was the year of Brown vs. Board of Education.) Regardless, American Girl should create a 1950’s doll. The decade’s flared skirts were so pretty, and I’d be interested in the accessories as well. I collect for myself, but still feel that any decade has educational value for young girls who like AG dolls.

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/07/31 at 23:36 #

      See, as much as I know everyone is interested in the fashion, i’m saddened that most people ignore the history. To me, it’s what makes this doll line unique from all the other historical doll lines. If it loses it’s historical point, it loses it’s value altogether. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a ’50s girl because it can fit a six book series. However, the era’s clothing for young girls would be no different from Molly’s wardrobe, and so they would get rid of Molly.

      i’m not the type of person who just like when companies “stuff” in mediocre educational values, with no thought to it’s historical element and history’s sensitive nature. To me, that’s what all historical dolls do, so why is American Girl still around? It became big like this because it was the only doll line in the ’90s that actually created authentic dolls that accurately told the history of America and focused on major American events. American Girl is diminishing in this unique quality, and so is losing it’s value. How can people want to spend money on a doll line that isn’t worth it’s price? American Girl is going to become that kind of line if it doesn’t watch its step carefully. IMO.

      Like

      • Bridgge 2011/08/01 at 00:37 #

        EXACTLY! I have read most of the AG Historical books and now am more interested in the history. I liked that AG had the historical value. The thing that I like about the historical AG’s clothes was that they pertained to the story and looked right for the era. I did not like that AG took away most of the character’s school clothes and accessories though. Hopefully they bring Samantha, Nellie, Kirsten, Felicity, and Elizabeth back! 😦 Those 5 at least had historical value…

        Like

  19. Mia 2011/07/26 at 22:16 #

    This is so kewl I agree tho i dont like the time period thing! where did you get the picture if its in a magazine I find it weird i didnt get it in if it is ill prolly get it soon this is rly exciting hope i can get them!

    Like

  20. Fierce 2011/07/27 at 14:51 #

    I think that American Girl should switch it up a little bit. Yes, Kanani is a pretty doll but where is her story? Gwen from Chrissa was homeless but found a way to get through it. Chrissa over came bullies and Sonali had a change of heart. Yes, I do want to buy Cecile but if Addy goes, I am not. I have a Pre-mattel Addy from 1999 and she means a lot to me. Honestly, Addy was a dead on for most A.A. girls. I look up to this character and I know a lot of people looked up to Felicity and Samantha, and Kirsten. If American Girl wants to make money, they should open up a archive in EVERY store and sell a limited amount of Archive dolls. I would drive all the way to New York City just to see archived dolls in a glass case. Cecile is a definate buy 4 me. And until American Girl makes a bold, brave, smart, and reasonable Girl of the Year, I wont be buying any. (except Chrissa because her story is a miracle)

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/07/31 at 23:27 #

      With the Girl of the year dolls, they are promoted differently than their books even come out. I absolutely loved Jess’ book, and Lindsey was my favorite. However, many of them just LOOK like they’re designed to make some money rather than sell a decent story. I mean, every story doesn’t have to be sad to be good, but every doll doesn’t have to be “gorgeous” to be an exceptional doll. Velma also seems to have an interesting story, the newest addition for next year, but I’m still not convinced because she’ll probably look the last couple of dolls: curly hair and light eyes.

      Addy was the last of our original dolls. I won’t buy Cecile unless I’m convinced the story is good. even though I’m African American, I’m not the type to just buy the dolls just because they are. I buy dolls of all colors if the doll represents something that I feel is substantial and educational. Me being a history teacher, it is just a pet peeve of mine when so many companies fail to educate reality of history through a child’s eyes. I don’t want American Girl to be that way, but it seems to be going in that direction.

      Thanks for your comment. πŸ™‚

      Like

  21. maevecamille 2011/08/06 at 03:51 #

    Wow! So it’s official? Glad to know. I will wait before purchasing a doll to see if I like either of these. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 21:18 #

      Check them out on American Girl.com they are now up for pre-order.

      Like

  22. Melissa 2011/08/10 at 22:24 #

    In today’s email I found Cecile and Marie-Grace offered, and just about flipped! I have so longed for another Samantha-type doll. One who takes me away from the real world. These beautiful dolls have this and their costuming, accessories and furniture are exquisite. Finally AG comes through with a doll I can get excited about. I just pre-order all of Cecile’s collection, the entire thing, plus the Mardi Gras costuming, Marie-Grace’s vanity, the gold boots, and the book set. Happy birthday to me!

    In general I think New Orleans is a cess pool today, but back in 1853 it was “oh so very French” and elegant. This is the collection of dreams! Now, if they’d just get their act together and make these dolls a fancy wardrobe trunk!

    Like

    • generationnext 2011/08/14 at 20:56 #

      They are beautiful dolls. πŸ˜‰ i guess i’m not looking for that though. I’m looking for “normal” girls. I also have to read the story first in order to truly fall in love with the dolls…is that weird? lol i need to read the books in order to fall in love with the doll. he he

      Like

  23. beth 2011/10/11 at 17:34 #

    I was shocked to hear they retired Felictiy!! I have Samantha but I also wanted Felicity. Wish they would bring her back. I think AG really needs to get back to the historics of it. That’s what I loved about American Girl.

    Like

  24. Bex 2011/12/30 at 22:49 #

    In terms of ethnicity, why not have a hispanic or asian doll whose story has to do with immigration into America? (IK they have Rebecca, but her story is different.) The Chinese exclusion act would be a great story, or a hispanic girl’s life after her family crosses the border… I wouldn’t say illegally, because AG would never have an illegal immigrant an a girl role-model. Just my opinion!

    -Bex

    Like

    • generationnext 2012/01/19 at 00:29 #

      That would be good, but how can it expand in a six book series? Each book has to focus on a different element of the time.

      Like

  25. kzaka 2012/03/21 at 05:19 #

    k, uh, Cecile and Mari grace are so cool. And most people hate back people o you call her too pretty? And Marie have’s too much of a pointy chin. All dolls have were flaws.

    And, I kinda have to agree withyou on the Molly and kit thing.
    and I am happy if addh retires next. Never liked her anyway. She is solo ugly.

    Like

    • generationnext 2012/04/02 at 17:05 #

      It is ashame that most people hate black people…considering i’m black. But I don’t think it’s right. I feel that the only way they felt a black girl would sell is if she looks like an unrealistic portrayal of a black girl. Addy was a realistic portrayal. The American Girls used to relate to real girls. nobody looks like Cecile. my point is that I miss when american girl used to create dolls that mirrored real girls, not “Barbie” girls, or girls that most girls “dream” of being but can’t relate to.

      Like

  26. Rina 2012/05/20 at 19:49 #

    This post is directed toward the people who ask for Asian-American dolls.

    First of all, do you think it’s really wise to make a Chinese doll in the late 1800s, or really, any era up until the mid-1960s? Keep in mind that the Chinese/Asians were used as coolies, ran laundries (typically a woman’s profession), and worked in the fields like slaves. There’s not going to be much opportunity for pretty clothing.

    Also, American textbooks spend very little time on Asian-American history because of the way Chinese were treated and the tendency to gloss history over. The Chinese were seen as slant-eyed, weird, and undesirable people, and people hated their looks and manners. Just look up a few political cartoons from that time. And don’t get me started on the little-known McCarthyism later, because the Chinese were also viewed as threats to American democracy and capitalism.

    If a textbook isn’t willing to look at the Chinese Exclusion Act or anything related to Chinese-American history, then do you think that a children’s book would jump for such a controversial issue that speaks badly upon American culture? A doll with pretty clothing from that horrible era when Chinese were mistreated and discriminated against would be an insult to all Chinese-Americans.

    In my opinion, the best book-and-doll set that American Girl ever made was the Girls of Many Lands doll, because the set talked about more international issues and different cultures, with authentic authors. For example, Lawrence Yep, who is a well-known Chinese-American author, wrote the Spring Pearl book. American Girl, I feel, made a mistake in discontinuing the line, even though I know that the company must profit, and most likely the Girls of Many Lands sets weren’t appealing enough to a wide enough audience.

    Like

    • generationnext 2012/05/23 at 22:12 #

      And you are absolutely right. And this is EXACTLY what American Girl told me when I emailed them about this doll idea. And it makes sense. Transcontinental was mostly about the MEN who came to the U.S.

      Girls of Many Lands were the BEST line ever invented to touch on Asian history in an interesting way. I was hoping they would eventually get a German girl from the World War II, but it wasn’t popular enough to continue. If you read Behind the Bedroom Wall, you’d understand why.

      Even though Asians were treated poorly, it wasn’t any different for African American, and we still have Addy. As far as Asians go, the history isn’t very broad in America.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. All New American Girl Historical Doll HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED ON FACEBOOK! Introducing CAROLINE ABBOTT! « Generation Next - 2012/08/04

    […] did I tell you before about American Girl and this “curly curly” phase (if you read my Marie-Grace and Cecile article)? The dolls are getting less and less original, and there is no variety. I might as well […]

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  2. American Girl’s Beforever | Generation Next - 2014/09/08

    […] Meet Cecile and Marie-Grace! […]

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  3. American Girl Introduces Five New Characters for 2017 + “Perma” Panties | Generation Next - 2017/02/16

    […] had the same problem with Cecile and Marie-Grace back in the day, but I warmed up to them. Maybe I will warm up to […]

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