American Girl Beforever Maryellen Larkin from the 1950s and Melody Ellison from the 1960s!

4 Jan

Rumors always spread like wildfire in the American Girl fan community. This is partially because American Girl fans often do their homework and find new leaks that start rumors. We have a lot of excited and eager fans. American Girl keeps us all on our toes. We can’t help it. We love this 18″ doll franchise with the historical dolls and contemporary lines that actually reflect real girlhood (rather than Monster High and Barbie dolls). Since the Digital Revolution, fans have been finding information about future dolls easily. Nowadays, the “surprise” American Girls are not really so surprising to most fans anymore.

Either the fans are excellent sleuths, or American Girl, LLC sucks at keeping their product ideas under their hats. If they had competition, they would really be in trouble because it is so easy to find out what they are releasing. But since they don’t have competition, I guess it really doesn’t matter. They have the strongest hold on the 18″ doll market.

It somewhat benefits fans when they know all of the information beforehand. For starters, American Girl is so expensive. When fans learn about new dolls, they know to save their money. By the time the new doll is released, fans will be able to get her as soon as she comes out rather than having to wait until she’s released to try and save up. If we had to wait to hear about new dolls, it would be hard on the pockets. By the time most of us would have saved up for one doll, another one would be on the way. The American Girl “sleuths” have actually been of serious use to the American Girl fanbase. I think American Girl feels the same way. When they release a doll, the doll sells faster the day of release when fans know about the doll ahead of time. I think this is why American Girl isn’t as tight with their information. They seem like they kind of want fans to know some of their secrets.

The only sad part about knowing all of the information beforehand is how it influences the kids. When I was watching “Good Morning America” for the Girl of the Year 2015 release, it was both funny and sad that the girls already knew what the doll was like. The American Girl, LLC president asked, “Do you girls know why you are wearing aprons?” And they all responded, “Because she bakes.” I don’t know why that was so sad for me, but it was almost like a child already knowing their Christmas presents before they even open them. It was like taking a child to Disney World and they tell their parents they know the real name of the man behind the Mickey Mouse costume. The magic, no, the childhood, is gone. It is so hard to surprise children today, thanks to the internet.

On the other hand, at least kids know their options. When the kids know a new girl is on the way, they will think carefully about the doll they want. They will also be able to tell their parents in advance the doll they want before she is released, which helps parents save carefully. Again, this benefits parents and adult fans mostly, who have to pay for the dolls. Well, this may also benefit those girls who save up their birthday and allowance money for dolls, too.

All of that being said, recently a new slew of American Girl rumors have resurfaced.

There are rumors about not one new Beforever character, but TWO new Beforever characters. No one is certain whether the two girls are the same, whether they will be part of the same collection (though American Girl has stated they are not doing the “Best Friend” thing again), or whether one of them is being discarded for the other. We do know that both girls sound interesting and that at least one new doll will be added to the new Beforever line within the next two years.

The 1950’s Strawberry Blonde Character, Maryellen Larkin

American Girl is all set to release Maryellen!

American Girl has stated, “She’ll inspire your girl to follow her heart instead of the crowd”, so she seems like the type of character that marches to the beat of her own drum.

American Girl Publishing, American Girl’s business website, goes into detail about her personality:

“Maryellen Larkin is an enthusiastic, imaginative girl growing up
in the 1950s—the era of poodle skirts, sock hops, and exciting
new steps in space travel! She longs to stand out but often feels
lost in the shuffle of her big, busy family. Her favorite TV shows
are Davy Crockett and the Lone Ranger, and she dreams up
episodes where she gets to be the hero. She finds fun ways
to help others, and even uses her birthday celebration for a
special cause—which ultimately puts her in the spotlight and
makes her stand out from the crowd!”

So, she’s another attention-seeking character like Rebecca and Cecile. XD That seems to be what they’re trying to sell to kids today.

From the boxed set, we learn that she is from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Maryellen2

Maryellen

Mary-Ellen-mini-doll-700x810

Such a beauty! It looks like they changed her starter outfit. I like the original dress better (and I liked the fact that her hair had more of a “red-ish” color in the prototype too), but she’s really cute and I want her!

Valerie Tripp is the author of the three books set for Maryellen. I love the way Valerie Tripp writes. She was the author of Felicity, Josefina, Kit, Molly, and three books for Samantha.

So far there are three books for “Maryellen” up for order:

The One The Only

maryellen book 1

Maryellen Larkin is nine years old and longs to stand out, but in a family with five brothers and sisters it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle! A painting mishap gains her some attention, but not the kind she’s been longing for. Being invited to stay in at recess and practice her handwriting earns Maryellen a new friend, but what does that mean for her old friendships? Then, Maryellen is wishing for a white Christmas like the ones in the movies (not very likely in Florida!). Will she find a way to make her dream come true?

Taking Off

maryellen book 2

Turning ten is a big deal, and Maryellen Larkin wants to celebrate it in a very special way. Will she choose a western theme or decide on a superstar celebration, or will the event turn out to be something even Maryellen doesn’t expect? And which party participant surprises her the most? Then, Dad comes home with a silver surprise and big plans for a family vacation. On the trip, what will Maryellen discover about Joan and her wedding plans? What will Maryellen decide about her own plans and “flying high?”
maryellen 3
 What if you suddenly found yourself in Maryellen’s world during the 1950s? How would your life be changed, what would you do to fit in—and, more importantly, what would you do to stand out? Join Maryellen on an adventure where the two of you can put on poodle skirts and head to a school dance (they were called sock hops back then!), enter a contest, or take a trip in a streamlined silver camper that looks like a rocket ship! Your journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns you choose, as you select from a variety of exciting options in this multiple-ending story.

Someone has done an entire review of Maryellen’s COMPLETE COLLECTION! Check out some of the items that will be sold!

Several things concern me:

  1. How expensive the playsets are! The TV console is $90! Uh-uh.
  2. The quality. What happened to the days when tables would actually be made of wood, and lunch pails actually felt like tin lunch pails? Velvet would be velvet and buttons would actually button?
  3. Maryellen’s play shirt doesn’t button like Kit’s Meet sweater used to. I really wish it did. Or at least put the Velcro in the back of the shirt. I just don’t personally like it in the front. :/
  4. I’m also disappointed that the TV console set is plastic. The encyclopedias are stuck to the tv console and so don’t seem like literal books. 😦 That’s no fun if you want to put them somewhere else, like on a desk or something…
  5. I also hate that the scarf is sewn together. That’s no fun. I would like scarves I could tie in funky bows and loops.
  6. All of the buttons on the jukebox don’t work. That kind of bothers me a bit because it doesn’t make playtime easy. First, you have to figure out which combos work first. I hate playing around with things and kind of want to make the most of the whole item. That completely turns me off from the jukebox.
  7. Most of them seem focused on the living room. Not much attention was given to a birthday set or the school set. I also would’ve liked some “character” items. Maryellen likes drawing cartoons from what I know and she likes rocket science. She also likes Davy Crockett and the Lone Ranger. I was perhaps hoping she’d have some character-story-ready items that introduced her to people and not just standard 1950’s items people could grab from the secondary market or make themselves. Kit had a baseball outfit and a camera for reporting. Addy had her doll Ida Bean. Maryellen only has a TV…It doesn’t seem like she will come with anything that pertains to her personality which is disappointing for me.
  8. Where is her bedroom set? No bedding? I was hoping that would come soon…

But other than the things I mentioned, I’m loving the ’50s theme. And I’m so glad they didn’t grab for cliches too much, like over-emphasizing poodle skirts by making each outfit have a poodle on it. This feels more authentic.

I’m so happy to see another ponytail red-head in the American Girl’s Beforever line.

Favorite things so far:

  1. TV console that actually plays a program. That’s just amazing. It’s cool that the music actually plays on the console, if I’m hearing correctly. My only question: Does this tv set play without an ipad or with different tablets like an ipad mini? If not, I may not like this playset as much…
  2. TV guide is so authentic and amazing.
  3. Maryellen’s mint green purse.
  4. I like the classroom set (though I would’ve loved a desk along with it).
  5. The let-out bed. I like that little detailing.
  6. Red hair! Strawberry blonde hair! Yay!
  7. Maryellen’s capri pants and school outfit. They are cute and authentic. Most of Maryellen’s clothes are appealing.
  8. Her hair set. Those curlers are really authentic, especially with the hair cap to keep the curlers in place.
  9. The lamp actually comes with batteries and lights up. Really cool.
  10. Haven’t seen the diner thoroughly, so I need to see it completely to really say I love it. But so far, I like what I hear. 😉 It has a lot of little details and accessories and that says fun to me.

The 1960’s African American Character, Melody Ellison

Melody has arrived! American Girl Publishing goes into detail about her personality:

“Melody® is a sweet, hopeful girl who loves to sing. She’s growing up in Detroit in 1964, a city filled with big dreams and big changes—from Motown to the civil rights movement. Melody is inspired by her family and by leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After experiencing discrimination for herself, she decides to add her voice to those who are speaking up about equality and making things better in her community.”

She has the Sonali face mold, shoulder-length hair, and brown eyes! Lovely!

Her collection has been posted at americangirl.com! She has many beautiful items!

Some of the things I love:

  1. Holiday dress and coat! It has been a while since I’ve seen an American Girl outfit with that quality. The gold is lovely and stands out to me. It is very sophisticated and very period-ready. And I’m so happy it isn’t pink or some fruity pastel color. That seems to be the trend in Beforever and it is annoying.
  2. The recording studio peaks my interest. The detail is very interesting and educational. I’m super impressed with it. I would like to add Melody’s piano with it. 😉
  3. I love the “picnic” playset. I’m glad they made a table and chairs for Melody, something missing with Maryellen. I love all the pieces that go along with the set.
  4. Melody’s pink floral dress is actually really cute! Though I’m not a fan of pink, the color is really flattering on Melody.
  5. Bo! I love that cute little doggy.

Things I’m disappointed about:

  1. I really was hoping for a 1960s salon and spa to go with Melody since it was so significant in her story. Instead, American Girl released a “Truly Me” salon. That’s fine, but it isn’t historical.
  2. Again, just like with Maryellen, very few character items. Melody has more character items than Maryellen, but I was hoping to see some items related to her love of gardening…
  3. The collection seems small, like it’s missing something. All of the Beforever characters’ collections have down-sized. In Melody’s collection, there aren’t any “school” items, which is really disappointing. I guess I could easily put Maryellen’s school items with Melody.

The collection is new, so there is plenty of room for it to grow. Time will tell.

I love the doll, though!

I’m surprised, though, that some of the responses from fans have been negative. A lot of people are disappointed. 😦 Which is bad. American Girl already thinks black dolls do not sell. In fact, most people think black dolls are ugly and don’t sell well in general.

I was really hoping this doll would be really appealing to many people. But so far, some fans have stated several disappointments:

She doesn’t have dimples. I don’t know why anyone ever expected her to have dimples. I know the girl on the cover has dimples, but so did Caroline’s cover girl. At one time, Kaya’s illustrations showed us a dimpled girl. But neither of the dolls turned up with dimples and instead went with a more “American Girl” look. Felicity’s covers always showed a girl with freckles, but the actual doll never had them. So why did people expect her to be any different?

Maybe that’s just it. To most people, she doesn’t look unique and so she isn’t appealing to most consumers. I’ve honestly felt that way about the dolls American Girl has been releasing lately. But I mostly collect the dolls with stories to tell, so I found Melody to look very unique. For those who are interested in the Truly Me line, she may remind them of #47. She has the Sonali mold except she has textured hair. I thought this mold was a favorite among fans. Guess not after the finished product. Some people were saying they wish she had the Josefina mold instead, which probably would’ve been more unique considering there are no dolls of color with that mold. Then again, people would be saying she doesn’t look “black enough” and that her features are just like a “white girl’s”…

The negative responses are bad for those who are hoping for more diversity in the future. Maybe this isn’t anyone’s idea of diversity, considering she looks like other dolls most fans have collected. I suspect that most fans are looking for dolls that have something unique about them, which is the only reason they will purchase a doll. Many are underwhelmed by her. If Melody doesn’t get a good response, her sales will decide the fate of any dolls of color in the future. This seems to be a test doll for American Girl. They didn’t want to risk making a modern doll, because they rely on those yearly sales to keep the brand afloat, but they wanted to see if this could be a success. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be.

Her hairstyle looks odd. I was personally all for the braids. I was reluctant about the flipped hair. But after seeing her, I think it’s cute. Some people don’t like the bangs and feel they are too short. But looking at several pictures below, it looks like the bangs vary.

People who asked for an Afro…You just don’t really know 1960’s history, especially in the North. NO little girls walked around with Afros. MOST little girls had their hair in braids and, for special occasions, their hair straightened with a hot comb. Look at pictures of little girls in the 1960’s. You hardly EVER see them with Afros.

Her features look Caucasian. I’ve heard people tell me she doesn’t look black, which is ridiculous. Most of the dolls in the company don’t look like their ethnic background in every way. Josefina’s face mold has been shared by White girls, and it was originally designed for a girl of Mexican heritage. So why make a big deal about it?

With these ridiculous complaints, it’s no wonder American Girl hardly EVER releases dolls of color.

I just think American Girl should’ve reached out to fans more about their wishes. They should’ve had votes on several prototypes before the final project. This is a big deal. This doll will decide the future of American Girl dolls of color. This doll could also affect their 3rd and 4th quarter sales. Their sales have already plummeted 13%. If this doll doesn’t do well, who knows how this will affect the company. We are going to see smaller and smaller collections. They really should’ve made sure this doll was a major hit.

Maybe the doll could sell on her era alone, but I’m so sad that many people don’t feel compelled to buy her. 😦 Let’s just hope that some people change their minds when they see her in person.

I think the book gave people too many expectations. Then there were too many spoilers. They probably should’ve waited to release the book with the doll. With people having such high expectations, everyone was bound to get disappointed.

I’m personally happy she looks like a normal girl and not some made-up model (like Lea Clark, Grace Thomas, Caroline). I was missing Molly so much because she was one of the few dolls that looked like a normal little girl.

What do you readers think? Check her out at americangirl.com and let me know!

melody

CBS News takes lovely pictures of Melody's collection! (I was hoping for a Salon and Spa though)

CBS News takes lovely pictures of Melody’s collection! (I was hoping for a Salon and Spa though) Meet Melody!

Melody's Motown dress-CBSnews photos

Melody visits Motown! She loves to sing.

Melody

Melody's picnic set

I’m so happy she has braids here! So adorable! This is her picnic set.

Melody bedroom set-CBSnews photos

Melody’s bedroom set! Maryellen doesn’t even have a bedroom set yet…

Melody holiday coat Melody's holoday dress

 

American Girl Publishing website says that “she will lift her voice and sing out.” Her full description:

Melody® is a sweet, hopeful girl who loves to sing. She’s growing up in Detroit in 1964, a city filled with big dreams and big changes—from Motown to the civil rights movement. Melody is inspired by her family and by leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After experiencing discrimination for herself, she decides to add her voice to those who are speaking up about equality and making things better in her community.

NoOrdinarySound

 

No Ordinary Sound: Melody can’t wait to sing her first solo in church! What song will she choose? She gets advice from her big brother, who has his sights set on being a Motown star, and she gets inspiration from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Melody’s also inspired by her older sister, who’s home from college with new ideas about making life fair. What isn’t fair is their cousins’ struggle to buy a house. Melody learns that they’re not welcome in certain neighborhoods because they’re black. Just as Melody’s ready to sing, an unimaginable tragedy leaves her silent. Can she find her voice when it really matters? 

Alternate synopsis: Melody is an optimistic, enthusiastic girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. She is excited and proud to share a special surprise with her family—she’s been chosen to sing a solo for Youth Day at her church! But what song will she choose? She gets advice from her big brother, and is also inspired by her older sister, but it’s the inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that help her pick the perfect song. There are many unfair things happening during Melody’s time, even to people in her own family. But it’s an unimaginable tragedy in the South that leaves Melody silent. Who can help her lift her voice and sing—who will inspire her to “keep stepping”?

NeverStopSinging

Never Stop Singing: Melody Ellison just turned ten, and she’s dreaming of new ways to make her community a better place! When her pastor issues a New Year’s challenge, she decides to fix up a neighborhood playground and plant a garden. But when her friends put her in charge, Melody finds out just how hard it can be to lead. From opportunities of a lifetime in Motown, to learning what it means to not give up in the face of setbacks and adversity, Melody discovers that working together makes everyone stronger.

MusicinMyHeart

Music in My heart: What would it be like if a girl suddenly found herself in Melody Ellison’s world in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s? Together, she and Melody could speak up about fairness, join a demonstration, volunteer with a civil rights group, or even use her voice to sing backup for a Motown musician! Readers’ journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns they choose, as they select from a variety of exciting options in this multiple-ending story.

The last name ELLISON brings to mind the Ralph Ellison book Invisible Man published in 1952. The book addressed many issues African Americans were facing in the early 20th century through a character who calls himself “invisible”. This excites me more!

Melody also has a movie that is supposed to be coming soon. American Girl already had auditions and picked the girl who will be playing Melody’s VOICE (another girl will play as her character)! She will be the first American Girl of “Color” to have her own movie!

Melody’s movie is set to be an Amazon exclusive “special” release. The movie is called Melody, 1963: Love Has To Win, An American Girl Story !

The project falls under a multi-year, mulimillion dollar production deal Amazon inked earlier this year with Mattel subsidiary American Girl to produce four live-action specials based on the company’s popular American Girl line of dolls and books.

Denise Lewis Patrick, author of Cecile’s books in the Marie-Grace and Cecile series, is the writer for the new Beforever character.

For Black History month, Melody might be able to introduce children to the Civil Rights Era from a child-size perspective:

—->American Girl Has Three Characters That Represent Black History

To read more about future possibilities regarding African American characters in American Girl—>Future African American Dolls

In Conclusion…

Are you excited about the new red-haired character and another African American character? Are you excited about the possibility of four new movies?

I love the idea that they finally created another red-haired girl. There are none in the Beforever line. As an African American, I also like that more African American characters are being added to the line. But am I the only one a little disturbed by the fact that there are no Asian girls in the plans? We have had two beautiful African American characters as lead characters in the line already. Felicity was the only other lead red-head in the line, so I can see why they are trying to make another one. Emily was only a best friend doll. Ivy was also barely acceptable as an Asian character, and yet, she was the ONLY Asian character ever released in the historical line. It’s sad really.

Want to see a funny video about the exclusion of Asian American dolls?

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/asian-american-doll/2836284

Well, I’m going to try my best to be positive about the new releases instead of thinking about what American Girl didn’t do right. Think positive…Think positive…

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the releases!

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77 Responses to “American Girl Beforever Maryellen Larkin from the 1950s and Melody Ellison from the 1960s!”

  1. Chinese Blogger 2015/04/22 at 11:20 #

    They are the same. Just prototypes so AG can work out which to make the actual doll. Please be the red head with no fringe!

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/04/25 at 15:41 #

      Has this been confirmed by American Girl that they are the same? Or a solid source? If so, I would love it if you could send me the link. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

      Like

    • sophie 2015/12/24 at 10:46 #

      I would make a doll called Primrose from 1945. I would create her to have white skin carmel color hair brown eyes and her to have a green dress with a white cardigan with black flats

      Like

      • generationnext 2015/12/25 at 14:05 #

        Another doll from the 1940s? Who’s white and a brunette? If she’s interesting to you, you don’t have to wait for American Girl. You can go ahead and create her if you like. 🙂

        But as for me…I wouldn’t buy her. XD I have my Molly and wouldn’t trade her for the world. Unless the girl had a different unique background, like Japanese or from Latin America, I don’t think I would be looking for someone from the 1940s for a while.

        If you make a doll from the 1940s, by the way, make sure it’s accurate with the times. XD This is why I wish they would bring Molly back! :(Then you would know how girls from the 1940s really dressed. Doing research on the fashion is a fun way to learn about the 1940s.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. LindaY 2015/05/04 at 22:23 #

    Has anyone confirmed 50s? These dresses look like the ones that were popular when I was a little girl in the early 1960s.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/05/05 at 09:05 #

      Nothing has been confirmed yet. Many of the info came from information from amazon.com, but the era has not been confirmed. Everything is still in the rumor phase.

      Like

  3. J 2015/05/09 at 21:07 #

    I will clarify the source of the pictures of the predicted “Mary Ellen” doll. They may have come from a Chinese blogger, but they were used on what is called the American Girl Forum, a private forum, that shows a select group of mothers and daughters pictures, ideas, etc ahead of time to get their thoughts on the products. The people on the forum are sworn to secrecy, and releasing this photos was from one of the participants on the forum. They almost got rid of it over that! So, yeah, that is where they originally came from.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/05/13 at 01:23 #

      From my knowledge, even the American Girl Forum got their pictures from the Chinese blogger who worked in a factory overseas creating American Girl clothing products.

      Most American Girl websites, like AGplaythings, are sworn into secrecy when it comes to product ideas that are revealed.

      But there is always one person who will take the information and bring it to others.

      Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.

      Like

  4. generationnext 2015/05/22 at 11:34 #

    Reblogged this on Generation Next and commented:

    TWO NEW AMERICAN GIRLS FOR THE BEFOREVER LINE! One is confirmed to be Maryellen Larkin, an enthusiastic and imaginative girl from circa 1954!

    Like

  5. Alex 2015/06/06 at 16:10 #

    This is the first I have heard of AG cutting down the BeForever line by 80%. Is this rumor with good backing? Mainly because I am trying to think here what that means for the line in general (not out of selfish reasons, as I am pretty content with what I have for my historical girls). Does this mean they may slowly fade out the line in favor of moderns as they look to expand internationally (my guess is American history dolls aren’t going to sell well in other countries)? I have heard various rumors of Julie, Kit and maybe Addy going (after the black 2016 historical is released), not to mention Caroline is now going. That would put it down to half practically of what is available. And given the short lifespan, I would not be surprised is Samantha is only back for a short run, and she goes back into the archives sooner than later as well.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/06/08 at 17:33 #

      The only evidence I have is from talking to people at American Girl Place Chicago and speaking with people from the company by letter. It is also based on a video on Youtube by a fan who talked to many people in the company as well. But again, it is just a rumor. I heard about this rumor before the retirement of Caroline, and soon after, Caroline was retired. I edited this article once the news was released. So, it must have some truth to it.

      I predict that the American Girl historical line will be making room for future dolls. But there is only so much American history before it repeats itself. Making new girls in the same time periods is pointless when they can re-release a girl from the same time period after retirement. So, the longevity of the line is left in the air.

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Like

      • Marsha 2015/06/16 at 15:38 #

        So excited about the new releases. Can’t wait!

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/06/16 at 21:24 #

        I know! There is so much to look forward to. I don’t know if I can wait any longer. I want to know more about next year’s releases.

        Like

      • Alex 2015/06/17 at 20:28 #

        No problem. I occasionally have visited your blog for your AG related posts, since it seems that there are few AG speculation blogs (vs review or “look what I bought!” blogs).

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/06/18 at 01:55 #

        Thanks for reading my blog. I like to speculate on new releases and cover whatever news I find in the underground. 🙂 I appreciate readers who enjoy the same thing.

        Like

      • Sammie 2015/08/05 at 10:36 #

        I love her and they should make her

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/08/05 at 21:59 #

        They will. She is due to come out August 27th. Stay tuned Sammie!

        Like

      • Ashley 2015/08/11 at 09:52 #

        I have sent to a email to customer service before, and american girl did state on facebook that they have talked about bringing Felicity back but there is no official plans to do so, So we just need some hope that they annouce something about it 🙂

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/08/11 at 18:19 #

        That would be amazing news if they did. 🙂

        Like

      • sophie 2015/12/24 at 10:32 #

        I love what Maryellen looks like. If i were a american girl owner i would keep Caroline and bring back Kirsten, Felicity and Marie Grace alone with no Cecile. I also like Meoldy but isn’t it like a 60s sandwich with Maryellen a50s girls and Julie a 70s v girl. I dont think we need Kaya Addy or Josefina and here is why. Kaya hardly is even noticed on the AG website so just end her. Addy doesn’t teach young girls any propef vocabulary instead she teaches them to speak like your a southerner. Josefina hardly is noticed 2. Just keep in mind i am a 10 year old girl so please do not hate on me or curse and cyber bully me.

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/12/25 at 14:01 #

        No Cecile? Why no Cecile but Marie-Grace? I found Cecile to be a better developed character than MG. No offense, MG is cute as a doll, but dull. :/
        Yes, Melody is in between Maryellen and Julie, but clearly they will touch on different subjects. Molly is sandwiched between Kit and Maryellen (even though, yes, Molly is retired).

        It’s sad you don’t feel the American Girl Beforever collection needs Kaya, Addy, or Josefina. ESPECIALLY considering you’re the demographic (meaning the age American Girl is meant for). Your comment made me sad. 😦 As an American Girl owner, you’d get rid of all the girls of color. Here are two reasons why I don’t think American Girl LLC should get rid of those dolls:

        1) They are American Girl’s only minority characters. The White dolls aren’t superior to the other dolls. In fact, Kaya, Josefina, Addy, Melody, AND Cecile are more important than Mary-ellen! The 1950s was NOT a huge part of American history like the Civil War, Early America, Spanish settlement, the Yellow Fever epidemic of the 1850s, or the Civil Rights Movement. As an African American myself, just listening to your comment hurts me. This is why I feel American Girl needs to promote their minority characters. There are so many children like you running around, misguided and conditioned to love a “white” world, and encouraged to think “cream-colored face and straight hair” is pretty, and “dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes” aren’t pretty. We have been taught through media to think that everyone should speak, think, and act like “English Europeans” if we are to be Americans (though honestly, the word “America” came from the Italian language, not English).

        2) These characters are some of the few that come from the 18th and 19th century (1700s and the 1800s). Kaya is more AMERICAN than all the characters in the collection. The Native peoples are “native” for a reason. THEY WERE HERE FIRST. The Spanish were here before the English settlers arrived. The problem with your generation is you think history surrounds the 20th century. Life wasn’t as glam as the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Children today are so spoiled and comfortable nowadays, they only relate to other modern children who were also spoiled and comfortable. We are all very comfortable and spoiled by technology. Children need to learn about early American history, a time when life was much harsher. It helps them grow into thankful, content adults and less about money, clothes, cars, and technology. Kids today expect to be given everything, especially on birthday and Christmas. When was the last time you or some of your friends bought something for your parents or your siblings instead of asking for something? The problem is kids today don’t seem to appreciate or don’t seem to want a REAL history lesson. That is sad. And I blame some of the parents, school, and upbringing entirely.

        I want to address some of these racist comments you made:
        Racism: To think one race is superior to another.

        You may not be an active racist yourself(meaning you may not treat people of color (black people, Asians, Hispanics) meanly), but it’s clear growing up, you haven’t been around other races that often. You seem to think that American Girl Beforever would be better with mostly white characters and that it’s fine to have just ONE character of color, if any at all. In other words, you have racist ideas and thinking deep in your brain. Deep in your mind, white people relate to you, so you think that’s all America is or mostly should be. Your parents haven’t made you “culturally” open. You even want American Girl to bring back old “white” characters but not the black ones (like MG without Cecile, which I don’t understand your reason for this at all). Some of your reasons show me that you don’t like the current dolls of color. I could be wrong, but you will have to explain yourself a little more so people won’t get the wrong idea.

        “Kaya and Josefina aren’t as noticed”. CLEARLY it’s because they aren’t a) from popular modern times b) WHITE. The solution to get rid of them would clearly make most of the characters white. Are you fine with an all-white group of girls? How can you learn anything new from someone who looks just like you? You need to be more open-minded. The world has gotten so used to “blonde hair, blue eyes”, our children aren’t interested in stepping outside of what looks “normal” to them. All they care about is how something “looks”. And your idea of what “looks pretty” is a WHITE girl. I personally don’t think those dolls “not being noticed” is your only problem with them. Clearly, Kirsten or MG weren’t as noticed when they were around. And yet, you want them back? Why? You will have to explain this to me.

        “Addy doesn’t teach young girls any propef vocabulary” Why do you think Addy speaks the way she does? Think about that and you will understand and value Addy’s stories. That’s what Addy is teaching you. Addy couldn’t have a decent education. Put yourself in her shoes and imagine being her. That’s the point of the story! Slave masters WANTED people to look DOWN on them. Just like Harriet, her snobby desk partner who looked down on Addy because she didn’t look and speak properly. YOU, and other children of school age, clearly know that Addy doesn’t speak properly, so that clearly doesn’t need to be taught to you. So think about the other lessons you can learn from her character. These are history books, not English ones. They are teaching you how times were. Addy’s books help people appreciate education because, when reading it, children realize not everyone was fortunate to have it. Addy’s stories have more than that to teach. It also teaches you not to judge and look down on other people, just because they are “southern” or “black” or uneducated or different in ANY way. Finally, Addy’s stories teach about one of THE most IMPORTANT events in American history: The Civil War! I also just want to mention that Addy’s speech is the only part that isn’t “proper” English. The narration (the parts not in quotes) are proper. The solution is to look at those people who aren’t educated and try to help them as best you can, not ignore them or think poorly of them. We would never learn about history if we judged every book on proper speech. There are many history records in the world, in museums, that were NOT written by great speakers. But they are still apart of history and they tell us about those time periods.

        To add, I don’t understand how you want Felicity to return when she clearly doesn’t speak English the way we do today either. XD What “speech” can children learn from her?

        This isn’t racist, but…

        “she teaches them to speak like your a southerner”

        Not everyone in the South spoke like that. Today, some people in the south don’t speak that way either.

        I understand you’re 10, but you’re old enough to type comments, so I feel you’re old enough to be spoken to as you typed. You should always take responsibility for what you say on the internet. Be prepared for other people to disagree with you. If you can’t handle the responsibility of what you typed in a comments’ section, don’t comment. Otherwise, I (and others) will speak my mind, I don’t care how old you are. I see no need to curse at you as nothing you said is worth that. I’m not bullying you. But I do feel the need to redirect your thinking on such a sensitive topic. Clearly, you KNEW what you said was going to cause some hurt, which is why you’re asking people not to cyber bully you. I’m not that kind of person, but some readers may be that way.

        Thanks for commenting anyway, though your comment made me sad. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ayako 2016/01/01 at 00:56 #

        Generationnext,

        Look here. Sophie is TEN. She isn’t going to understand beans
        about racism and all the other junk you mentioned in your post. Most little kids do not worry so much about their race. Only the adults
        complain about it, and then the kids copy the adult’s self-put-down
        behavior, and don’t realise that they are turning themselves into
        whiners who can’t get over their race. You worry way too much about it. If she liked the white dolls, what is it to you? Don’t criticize her and get mad just because she likes them and wants certain dolls to come back. Stop making it a race problem. YOU have the problem and not the 10 year old. YOU are old enough to keep your mouth shut and not tell off a little kid. She doesn’t understand as much as you think she does. I am sure most of what your long post said, went right over her head. I have a 9 1/2 year old niece, and I can tell you that she doesn’t get a lot of the stuff going on among the whiny adults who feel sorry for themselves because of race. Kids that young think in black and white and take things as they are. And, of course, you are old enough to understand what that means, and that it is NOT a racial statement. Only some low IQ idiot would think that it is.

        As to how Addy speaks, Sophie is right in a way. In her young 10 year old mind, it sounds wrong. And, Sophie is not mature enough yet, to see the larger picture of why Addy speaks that way. They barely touch on slavery in the lower grades. The kids are not old enough to fully grasp the deeper problems blacks had, during that time, at age 10. Adult concepts are not for young children. So, back off!! And, YOU are quite wrong about Felicity. She has PERFECT grammar and language skills, as befitting a proper young lady. Kids today, can’t even speak correctly half the time, and race is not even a factor there, now. And, their writing skills STINK to high heaven!! As you can see in Sophie’s post, it’s true. All the texting and computers have ruined the ability to think about proper writing skills and properly write with good grammar, punctuation and spelling. And, the teachers do not enforce those skills much now. My 9 1/2 year old niece can’t spell, etc to save her life and gets away with it. She doesn’t know how to use a dictionary, and in my day, we HAD to. It’s terrible. I love her, but not how she has lower grade level skills thanks to poor teaching.

        And, you know what? Sophie NEVER even said that she didn’t want any doll of another race. YOU made that up!! You are too hung up on race. Read her post again. How you got that out of her innocent post, I have NO idea. I guess you are one of those idiots who are demanding special black this and that in our colleges now, right? I guess you can’t handle being black, or you would not be so mad at what Sophie wrote. It’s 2015 and NOT the time before the civil rights movement, so get over yourself. Perpetuating racism is stupid. YOU can move forward, if you want to.

        She also never said she could only relate to white dolls. YOU are the one who made a false claim that she only could relate to white dolls. She isn’t racist, but you sure are. Assuming this of a 10 year old is wrong. She is a KID and not your age. She does not have the same level of mental maturity as an adult, and she only thinks about what she likes at that age. Kids see things literally. So she doesn’t like Kaya. So?? It isn’t your business. And it isn’t your place to claim it’s racism either. She has not been conditioned to think a certain way either, any more than YOU have. Clearly, you yourself have been conditioned to think everyone is against you because of your color. Don’t you know how to think for yourself? So what. Black, white, who the heck cares. Sophie doesn’t care. She just cares about what dolls she likes best. That is what 10 year olds do. They don’t go on stupid rants like you did, on race and diversity and blah blah. I myself, do not care much for Josefina, for example. I have no interest in her clothes, and looks and all. If she was retired, I would not care. But, I love Addy and Cecile. They have better stories, clothes, and looks. But, I bet you will turn that into a race problem too. Everyone has a right to want to have certain dolls retired or brought back, and so what if they don’t have an interest in a doll of a different race and don’t think about wanting them to come back? Don’t make it your immature problem. It is good to retire dolls and have new ones, and for a while, if there are only dolls of one race, get over it. They are just dolls!!

        Did you know that some blacks had a white slave owner father and many could pass for white? And, later on, when marriage between blacks and whites was made legal, the same thing was possible? Did you ever think about that?? So, white is a non-issue. A person of black decent with a white father or mother is NOT all black, they are HALF. And so, you could make up your OWN story with a white doll. It’s called having a mature and active imagination that is not tainted by racist junk.

        And, you should NEVER talk to a 10 year old in the way an adult talks to another adult. She likely did not understand half of what you said. I know my 9 1/2 year old niece would be rolling her eyes at your post and going, “What the heck is she taking about. Nobody told me to think white dolls are better. I just like whatever doll I like.” She has both Kaya and Saige. She chose both based on looks alone. Pretty to one person isn’t always pretty to another. Deal with it. She never told me, “I like this doll because she is a minority and blah blah.” She wanted Kaya because the doll was pretty. She was 6 at the time, and we had gone to the AG store with my mom and her older sister. She still likes both of her dolls, but doesn’t play with either anymore, in favor of her iPod and tablet. The stupid devices win every time.

        Oh yes… You shouldn’t bring up the whole kids are spoiled thing, either. You just implied that she is a spoiled brat. How RUDE. I would say that YOU are the spoiled brat, because you can’t deal with a simple post written by a little 10 year old kid who likes certain dolls for no reason at all, other than she just likes certain dolls. She never said it was for a race reason. YOU did though. Seriously, you have mental issues. You attacked this little kid for your own selfish and racist reasons.

        She knew people can be mean on public forums. That is why she asked people not to cyber bully her. You must think you are really something special, since you turned it into her supposedly “knowing” that she is being hurtful, when she DID NOT even think that. She just didn’t want anyone to be mean to her. Her whole post was an innocent post that you twisted on purpose to suit your stupid and arrogant self. I guess SOME people(YOU) still live in the days of slavery and then the Jim Crow era, in their tiny little minds. This is 2015. She had NO intention of saying any such thing about race and never did. What you said was mean and spiteful. All she did, was share what dolls she liked and didn’t, and what dolls she thought would be cool to bring back. The only thing YOU did was be very rude and condescending and then talk right over her head about things she won’t understand at age 10. And, it was very rude and mean to call her a racist, which you heavily implied several times in your post. You owe the young lady an apology and you need to get mental help for your problems. These are just dolls. They are not alive and human. They are meant for play and people have a right to like or dislike any doll AG has, and it does not matter if they like or don’t like dolls of other races.

        I am sure some blacks prefer the black dolls Cecile and Addy over the white dolls. It goes BOTH WAYS. WHO THE HECK CARES. I sure don’t. I’m white and I love most of the dolls, regardless of race. I choose based on what I like, and NOT based on race. I own both black dolls, for the record, on top of the the white dolls I own. I don’t care for Josefina. She doesn’t get me excited about her time. I like Kaya, but don’t have her. She looks cool. And, she has a cool story. It’s all about which doll sounds like the most fun to me. Addy is awesome and so is Cecile because they have really good stories. And, they are really pretty. That’s about all I care about. I am not into being a whiny worry wart over race or whatever. You become whatever you want to, by getting over the “poor me I’m x race” attitude. I have to tell you, that I don’t feel much sorry for you for being black because I have a disability. I know what discrimination is like. And, know what? I get over it and move on. Being all mad is worthless and doesn’t make it better. You leave the idiots to themselves and hang out/work with better people. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to tell them off. But, it isn’t worth it, because they are just too stupid to get it, in most cases.

        You need to understand that you do not bully a young kid online. NOT EVER. Telling her that you didn’t care and you would speak your mind just because she could make a comment(which has nothing to do with anything.), was wrong. She isn’t an adult. YOU ARE. You should know better. She isn’t old enough to understand half of what you even said. You should be a mature adult and
        apologize for your rude behavior toward her.

        Sorry if you do not like what I said. But, I call it as I see it. I do not expect to hear a stupid and rude rant from you about anything I have written. I expect you to grow up and think carefully about what I wrote. If you want to have your own blog, you need to be nice to whovever posts here, especially children. You can’t spew adult stuff at little kids. You deserved this dressing down. Next time, don’t go
        after innocent 10 year old kids.

        Like

      • generationnext 2016/01/03 at 19:49 #

        I teach 10 year olds. Honestly, they are more advanced than you can imagine. Perhaps I thought of my own children and how they can be. Still, I’ve reviewed my post. Perhaps I was too hard on Sophie. Still, there are other children who read my blog who were highly offended by what was said. I still feel someone should encourage girls to be more open-minded.

        If Sophie doesn’t understand racism, isn’t NOW a good time to teach a child about it? Especially because the next American Girl touches on it? If she doesn’t understand heavy subjects, how is she supposed to understand the American Girl books, books that touch on such heavy subjects? It’s up to the community to teach her differently.

        “Generationnext,
        Look here. Sophie is TEN. She isn’t going to understand beans
        about racism and all the other junk you mentioned in your post. Most little kids do not worry so much about their race. Only the adults
        complain about it, and then the kids copy the adult’s self-put-down
        behavior, and don’t realise that they are turning themselves into
        whiners who can’t get over their race.”

        Well, it’s not so much about me whining about my race. But so much that all of those girls don’t sell well and I love those dolls and I know other little girls who do. The idea to get rid of them is mean in my eyes.

        You may call me a whiner, but you are a white privileged person. You couldn’t possibly comprehend the lack of dignity those of a minority class experienced. You wouldn’t possibly understand what a little ten year old black child thinks when she reads this post. “No one likes girls like me”. But all you can say is “poor little Sophie”.

        As a mother figure, I believe in reprimanding children, not protecting them or coddling them. If you respond on my blog, I will speak to you like I would any of my readers or any of my children. I try to teach tolerance and open-mindedness. This helps them grow into compassionate, responsible adults.

        I am not bullying this girl. You’re exaggerating. To bully someone is to constantly harass someone, which I am NOT doing.

        “You worry way too much about it. If she liked the white dolls, what is it to you? Don’t criticize her and get mad just because she likes them and wants certain dolls to come back. Stop making it a race problem. YOU have the problem and not the 10 year old. YOU are old enough to keep your mouth shut and not tell off a little kid. She doesn’t understand as much as you think she does. I am sure most of what your long post said, went right over her head.”

        How many other white girls do you think feels the same way she does? In the long run, what do you think will happen to the dolls of color because of such a viewpoint? It’s fine if she likes white dolls, but it saddens me that she shows a lack of interest in those dolls because I think they have valuable lessons to teach girls. Look at the posts above and what the American Girl place worker said. Also, think about this. Who mostly buys American Girl? White people. If white girls won’t buy girls of color, they will head into the archives. Is that really fair? I wasn’t getting angry at the girl, but I was very hurt. And just like I tell anyone, it really hurts me. In what way did I say anything offensive but the TRUTH?

        I am normally NOT the type to make things into a race issue. You should read some of my articles on this page. People think I’M a racist because I don’t condone the “race card” being pulled in every case!
        https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/black-people-ethnitity/

        How little you know of me or my work.

        I am old enough to open my mouth and speak up and teach anyone who hasn’t been taught at home. No one is telling a little girl off, but someone is telling her that certain comments offend people. SHE KNEW it would, which is why she told people not to bully her. How about this: Why is a little girl on the internet in the first place? I feel that young children too openly engage with adults. I spoke to her as if she were a kid, but I will not sugarcoat the truth. She is at a age where she should learn that there are different kinds of people in the world. And if this post went over her head, SOMEONE else reading this post will recognize that dolls of color are not looked at favorably. It will help others become aware. One voice can make the difference and change the viewpoints of the future.

        “Addy doesn’t use the right vocabulary” That’s her reason as to why the doll should be removed. If that isn’t racist, what is? You tell me since you think I’m just being a “race whiner”. It comes from home. No one would think about race if no one singled any races out. Let’s play the reverse game. Imagine if all the dolls in the world, including Barbie were black and there were never any blue eyed blonde dolls that look like Sophie or your daughter. Those little girls would be begging for dolls that look just like them and you know it. But what if they just didn’t sell. Use your imagination. And the few blond, blue eyed dolls that DID exist, little girls want American Girl to get rid of because they don’t “understand” the doll. Or because the doll doesn’t make money. Or if little girls thought the doll was “ugly”.

        ” I am sure most of what your long post said, went right over her head. I have a 9 1/2 year old niece, and I can tell you that she doesn’t get a lot of the stuff going on among the whiny adults who feel sorry for themselves because of race. Kids that young think in black and white and take things as they are. And, of course, you are old enough to understand what that means, and that it is NOT a racial statement. Only some low IQ idiot would think that it is. “

        I have a nine year old cousin. I teach 10 year olds! But guess what? My cousin is black and CAN’T ignore what’s going on like your niece. She experiences people calling her hair “nappy” and calling black dolls ugly. Just look at the post above of an AMERICAN GIRL WORKER. Your niece doesn’t understand these things because no one has taught her to apparently, but it’s not because she can’t understand it. My 9 year old cousin doesn’t have a choice because the “white race” is choked down her throat. On Disney channel, in movies, all she sees are white girls and wonders why her hair isn’t straight or why her skin is dark. She can’t help but know what’s going on and ask questions.

        But based on your comment, why read American Girl? Are you saying that subjects in the American Girl books are too much for children? I’m not saying anything that isn’t mentioned in an American Girl book. Education begins early and I’m not dumbing anything down.

        She is a kid, but kids can be trained to shoot and kill. They can also develop subconscious racist attitudes from HOME. That’s where it begins. It starts with the youth and they grow up culturally ignorant and the cycle continues. If you want people to stop whining about racism, do something to STOP it. To me, it’s just as bad as bullying someone on the internet.

        You are a privileged white person, comfortable that little white girls like Sophie can have their dream doll, while the other dolls of color will not be favored. Little girls of color will be looked down on. Their history will be looked down on. All because their ancestors were barred from an education and couldn’t speak “properly”.

        “As to how Addy speaks, Sophie is right in a way. In her young 10 year old mind, it sounds wrong. And, Sophie is not mature enough yet, to see the larger picture of why Addy speaks that way. They barely touch on slavery in the lower grades. The kids are not old enough to fully grasp the deeper problems blacks had, during that time, at age 10. Adult concepts are not for young children. So, back off!! And, YOU are quite wrong about Felicity. She has PERFECT grammar and language skills, as befitting a proper young lady. Kids today, can’t even speak correctly half the time, and race is not even a factor there, now.”

        I understand she has a point about Addy. Still, whether Addy was black OR white, I don’t think it’s right to look down on someone just because they speak differently. These are history books, not English ones. If Addy were a white southern bell, no one would say anything. Again, I understand how her ten year old mind thinks. But as a teacher, I teach those who judge quickly and redirect the mind to understand new perspectives. If you want to let your children run around not understanding what’s going on in the stories, that’s up to you.

        Further, I still think it’s sad that people want to get rid of Addy because she doesn’t speak a certain way. I feel that Addy’s stories teach valuable lessons and help children appreciate education.

        Yes, Sophie ISN’T old enough to see the larger picture. SO THAT’S WHY I’M HERE to EXPLAIN IT TO HER. I’m here to help her see the larger picture. And maybe some WHITE kids aren’t old enough to understand. But BLACK children understand perfectly because they’ve experienced the same things.

        Adult concepts should be TAUGHT to 10 year olds because their Asian, hispanic, and black peers experience these things everyday. Children like Sophie should learn to appreciate all of mankind. And I have no problem redirecting someone’s thinking. After all, isn’t that what a writer does? Isn’t that the point of the American Girl brand? Isn’t that why we teach history to children? If someone doesn’t know any better, do we just ignore it and laugh it off? I don’t think I said anything rude to Sophie. I simply disagreed with her suggestions.

        If girls can’t handle such concepts, why read American Girl? Oh I know why. TO LEARN. What you’re saying is that girls shouldn’t learn, and I shouldn’t teach them. You’re saying that American Girl concepts go over their heads. So why does American Girl feed it to children? Apparently, demographic studies show that girls are never too young to learn about the world. The only people stopping them are those who want to keep them ignorant. I don’t believe in keeping a child ignorant. SO NO. I will not back off.

        Felicity doesn’t speak the English we speak. Instead of saying “Yes” she says “Aye”. Instead of saying, “It was”, Felicity says “T’was” which was actually a shortened form of the word and INFORMAL. My children do not understand that and always ask what language she speaks. XD Perfect grammar for OLD English. But most children think she sounds funny. The logic is still flawed. Language evolves and change. We have incorporated words from overseas you can’t imagine. We have Italian, French, and African words wrapped in the English language. No one speaks like Felicity does. You’re just making excuses for her.

        “Did you know that some blacks had a white slave owner father and many could pass for white? And, later on, when marriage between blacks and whites was made legal, the same thing was possible? Did you ever think about that?? So, white is a non-issue. A person of black decent with a white father or mother is NOT all black, they are HALF. And so, you could make up your OWN story with a white doll. It’s called having a mature and active imagination that is not tainted by racist junk. “

        And I also know some blacks had slaves. But that is irrelevant.

        In the past, someone who was half white COULD pass for white, but they had to LIE about it. Why? Because if they sided with their black side, they would be denied certain privileges. Those black people with slave owners for fathers were raped. Why is that a good thing? Slave owners ignored slave marriages and took women that they wanted for themselves.

        Making a half white doll wouldn’t be bad. Imagining what a child wants isn’t bad. What’s your point? You’re not helping Sophie’s case or yours. It’s irrelevant. Making up a doll’s story is different from actually thinking all the dolls of color should be removed because their background doesn’t fit with yours. The point of American Girl is to teach girls NEW things, not familiar things. And I have no qualms with telling a 10 year old that.

        Being “white” isn’t an issue. And I never said that. I’m saying that ALL girls, Hispanic, Asian, Native American AND black are just as important as the white dolls. Kaya and Josefina aren’t black, so what’s the point of mentioning slaves.

        They have those dolls so little white girls won’t be culturally ignorant. The white dolls also teach black children not to be culturally ignorant. I received my first American Girl at 8 years old. Even though I don’t speak Spanish, I learned a lot from Josefina. It helped me to be more open-minded about Mexicans. I never understood what Felicity was saying. But I enjoyed reading hers. I hated that she enjoyed a plantation with slaves even at age 9, but now I understood no one taught her any better, and I wanted girls like her to know better. I was a black 8 year old when I received my Felicity. If I hadn’t read about girls different from me, I wouldn’t have grown into the culturally open person I am today. I feel American Girl has the potential to do that for young girls. Addy’s books are no exception.

        “What the heck is she taking about. Nobody told me to think white dolls are better. I just like whatever doll I like.” She has both Kaya and Saige. She chose both based on looks alone. Pretty to one person isn’t always pretty to another. Deal with it. She never told me, “I like this doll because she is a minority and blah blah.” She wanted Kaya because the doll was pretty. She was 6 at the time, and we had gone to the AG store with my mom and her older sister. She still likes both of her dolls, but doesn’t play with either anymore, in favor of her iPod and tablet. The stupid devices win every time. “

        A girl can choose any dolls she wants if she likes it. That’s not even the point. If a girl likes a doll, she does. It isn’t Sophie’s choices that I think are racist. It’s the COMMENTS as to why she thinks all the dolls of color should be removed, meaning no OTHER girls can have access to the dolls, and for reasons that are unfair. I can understand if she said because the dolls cost too much or because she doesn’t like those time periods (which I still would think is a shame, just not for racial reasons). Your niece likes Kaya. How would she feel if that doll was removed because she doesn’t sell well? How would the American Girl collection look if it were ALL-WHITE? That is what Sophie was suggesting. Re-read the comment. She didn’t realize it so I was helping her notice it.

        Addy’s culture has to do with her race. That’s why attacking her grammar is racist. It was a part of her culture as an African American and part of the reason racism existed. Many white people thought black people were stupid because they didn’t speak the “correct” English, according to white people’s standards (though they didn’t either. Much of the English language has deviated from its original “British” origins). This is why many didn’t support black-owned businesses or listened to them when they spoke out on political issues. The other dolls, Kaya and Josefina, don’t sell well, but neither did MG or Kirsten. Why does she want to get rid of the dolls of color then?

        No one tells a white girl to be racist. They form prejudices based on what they are exposed to and what they AREN’T exposed to. It’s up to others to help them become aware of the world around them. If the home doesn’t expose the child to various cultures, they grow up culturally ignorant. That happened to someone I know. There was a black girl I knew who was only raised around black people. She never had white friends or played with white dolls. She only knew one white person, and used to think the person smelled bad. So she went around thinking all white people smelled bad, like a wet dog. She grew up with that ignorant attitude. When she got to college, she asked her teacher “Why do all white people smell bad?” The white students in the class were HIGHLY offended, and said “We don’t all smell bad.” She grew up culturally ignorant. No one told her to be racist, but she was because no one taught her any different either. I don’t side with any one race. I support all, and stand against racism on all sides.

        “And, you know what? Sophie NEVER even said that she didn’t want any doll of another race. YOU made that up!! You are too hung up on race. Read her post again. How you got that out of her innocent post, I have NO idea. I guess you are one of those idiots who are demanding special black this and that in our colleges now, right? I guess you can’t handle being black, or you would not be so mad at what Sophie wrote. It’s 2015 and NOT the time before the civil rights movement, so get over yourself. Perpetuating racism is stupid. YOU can move forward, if you want to.”

        Clearly I said she’s not an ACTIVE racist. Re-read it again. I said she’s not someone who outright treats people of color meanly. Racism doesn’t have to be that. Some people develop racist attitudes based on their environment, based on what they’re exposed to (or not exposed to). I know she never said that she didn’t want any doll of another race. However, all of her complaints, even the one about Melody, have been about the dolls of color. Even in her other comments above. I can tell when someone is culturally ignorant and someone who has latent racist attitudes. Anyone can tell that she was raised to favor white dolls.

        You think her not liking dolls of color is just harmless. It’s not. In actuality, how she views the minority dolls will carry on with her as an adult and how she interacts with people who are different in the real world. Will she see them as expendable or unimportant? If she looks down on someone who doesn’t speak English properly, how will she view people like that in the real world (who are mostly people of color)? Imagine how she will look at someone in the future. There are people in the world who speak with different accents or speak broken English. “American” English isn’t spoken like the original “U.K.” English. Will she look down on someone who speaks a different form of English? This has nothing to do with a doll. It’s how she sees them in general and how they can carry with her as an adult in the real world. You can learn a lot about a child through what they play with and what they choose as “company”. It has happened and it can. That’s why we have to teach our children about the world now. It has to do with her mindset, not her choices of dolls. Such an innocent post can hide something so deeply rooted, you can’t even find it. Just like someone can bully someone and the post be so innocent, you don’t even recognize it.

        Again, how little you know of me and my work. I am the LAST person to demand black this and black that.
        https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/black-people-ethnitity/
        https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/ferguson-peggy-hubbard-black-lives-matter/
        https://soratothamax.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/disneys-first-black-princess-the-princess-and-the-frog/

        When I was younger, sometimes I couldn’t handle being black. And it is because I met people like Sophie who used to make me hate who I was. But as I get older, I realize that some people weren’t taught any better. Sophie wasn’t either. And like I said in my comment above, it’s not her fault because she doesn’t know any better. STILL, I feel SOMEONE should teach her SOMETHING. If the American Girl books can’t reach her, as long as she’s responding on my blog, I will. The Civil Rights Movement has NOTHING to do with racism. Racism can exist outside of movements. And it can be rooted in the subconscious. The people still involved with the movement are still alive and have deep scars from that period. They are still teaching their children of the time.

        By you saying, “it’s 2015, move on” you act like history is irrelevant. The point of American Girl is to LOOK TO THE PAST and LEARN FOR THE FUTURE so that those same mistakes won’t be repeated. The easiest way to do that is to teach it to the younger children, who are at an impressionable age. From your point of view, why read American Girl historical fiction at all? We should all just “move on” instead of learn history, right? Me speaking out about racism is no different from American Girl books talking about it.

        “She also never said she could only relate to white dolls. YOU are the one who made a false claim that she only could relate to white dolls. She isn’t racist, but you sure are. Assuming this of a 10 year old is wrong.”

        She didn’t have to openly say she only related to white dolls. She clearly does without realizing it. She said before “Maryellen is pretty, but why is Melody sandwiched between Maryellen and Julie”. She also wanted to get rid of all the dolls of color and never mentioned any of the other dolls like Kit or Rebecca. Rebecca doesn’t make that much money either. And yet, she did want to remove dolls she doesn’t relate to. Relating allows someone to favor or like something. It’s a subconscious thing, meaning something she wasn’t aware of but something that could’ve offended someone far worse then it has me. You act like I cursed at the girl and banned her or removed her comments. I did not.

        How am I racist? XD You are using that word out of context. Dictionary.com is useful in these situations.

        “I am sure some blacks prefer the black dolls Cecile and Addy over the white dolls. It goes BOTH WAYS. WHO THE HECK CARES. I sure don’t. I’m white and I love most of the dolls, regardless of race. I choose based on what I like, and NOT based on race.”

        I wouldn’t tell those black girls any different. I encourage black girls to buy the Native American, Asian, and Mexican American Girls so that they can be more open-minded. What if a black girl came and said, “Get rid of all the dolls except Addy, Josefina, and Kaya since they are the only ones who actually teach real history”. Or “replace all the dolls with native american dolls since they were in the USA first”.

        Still, I don’t run across too many black girls who prefer the black dolls. In actuality, even black girls buy and prefer the white dolls. My first two dolls were Samantha and Felicity, two dolls I felt were pretty. My mother used to tell me Addy’s hair was too nappy. A BLACK WOMAN. I used to look at my own hair and wonder why no one liked that. Now I understand why. But then, I felt ugly.

        It’s great you have dolls of color. Still, there are girls, whether they have many dolls, who would rather have an all-white collection. You are just not one of them.

        “She isn’t an adult. YOU ARE. You should know better. She isn’t old enough to understand half of what you even said. You should be a mature adult and
        apologize for your rude behavior toward her.”

        Since you’re an expert on being an adult, how would YOU have responded to that post?

        I feel I acted very mature, especially considering what she would’ve gotten if she’d spoken like this to someone her age or to someone on Youtube. As an adult, I feel it is my responsibility to redirect the minds of children, especially on the internet. I feel, as the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child”. I don’t know if you have children of your own or work with children outside of their home environment (they tend to act differently around peers), but I don’t feel that children should walk around culturally ignorant and if I see it, I speak up. I DO know better, and that is why I told her better. If you really want to know some 10 year olds, try teaching a 5th grade class nowadays. Let’s just say I feel the Chrissa Stands Strong movie is an example of how my classroom is.

        I’m sorry I offended you or you took it the wrong way, but I will not take back what I said. Hopefully, she will think about it and maybe consider opening her mind a little more. I didn’t respond in a rude fashion. If I did, point it out and I will rephrase my comment. But I do feel it needs to be said to children, and as early as TEN.

        All the texting and computers have ruined the ability to think about proper writing skills and properly write with good grammar, punctuation and spelling. And, the teachers do not enforce those skills much now. My 9 1/2 year old niece can’t spell, etc to save her life and gets away with it. She doesn’t know how to use a dictionary, and in my day, we HAD to. It’s terrible. I love her, but not how she has lower grade level skills thanks to poor teaching.

        This actually gave me a chuckle. It’s true. Children today can’t spell. BUT I often felt that Addy’s speech can help them realize what happens when they DON’T get an education. To add, even at history museums, you might find journal entries from people who possibly didn’t speak what we would call “proper”, but it teaches people about the time period.

        So, how can American Girl teach little white girls like Sophie about slavery and still be accurate historically? It’s a strong challenge because white girls won’t touch a book with poor vocabulary, but that was how families of slaves talked. What is your solution to this problem?

        I myself, do not care much for Josefina, for example. I have no interest in her clothes, and looks and all. If she was retired, I would not care. But, I love Addy and Cecile. They have better stories, clothes, and looks. But, I bet you will turn that into a race problem too. Everyone has a right to want to have certain dolls retired or brought back, and so what if they don’t have an interest in a doll of a different race and don’t think about wanting them to come back? Don’t make it your immature problem. It is good to retire dolls and have new ones, and for a while, if there are only dolls of one race, get over it. They are just dolls!!

        But your reasons for disliking Josefina has nothing to do with her speaking Spanish or because you don’t like her culture, and if that WERE the case, I would strongly suggest you reconsider, just as I am with Sophie. It’s easy for people to pick what they are comfortable with, but it takes a seriously open-minded person to try a new culture and learn about it. I still think it’s a shame that people don’t honor the 18th and 19th century dolls. It’s one of the reasons I know the historical line of dolls won’t last that long. XD After tackling the 21st century, heading farther back in history will be a challenge.

        Also, the difference between you and Sophie is that you don’t zero in on one doll of color, you like some and you dislike others. Your reasons are logical, like clothing styles and content of character, things that can be changed in a person or with a new updated character in that time period.

        If they don’t want me to make it my problem, why are they commenting to me? XD Clearly, they wanted to share their thoughts with me, and as the blogger, I’m not just going to ignore anyone who posts. I’ve had kids I’ve ignored before and they have told me to respond to them. That makes no sense to talk to someone and not expect them to respond back.

        “Sorry if you do not like what I said. But, I call it as I see it. I do not expect to hear a stupid and rude rant from you about anything I have written. I expect you to grow up and think carefully about what I wrote. If you want to have your own blog, you need to be nice to whoever posts here, especially children. You can’t spew adult stuff at little kids. You deserved this dressing down. Next time, don’t go
        after innocent 10 year old kids.”

        Just as you call it as you see it, so do I, and clearly we have two different viewpoints and upbringing.

        You don’t expect me to rant, but I never ignore a comment. I will respond to whoever I want and sometimes my posts are long-winded. I will admit that. I will try to be careful how I approach a 10 year old, but I will not change what I say or what I feel needs to be said even to a child. It’s your choice whether you ignore it or not. Here’s a suggestion: Instead of wasting your time ranting over my comment, a comment that clearly seems to get under your skin, why not ignore it? I was commenting to a reader based on “how I saw it”. It was not a rant, it was an explanation as to why I disagreed with her post. I didn’t use aggressive words, exclamations, or vulgar words. If I ranted, please point it out. YOUR comment was clearly a rant, though.

        I have my own blog to release my opinions. If a child wants to post here, they have to be prepared for me to respond as I would to any readers. Otherwise, I will ban this blog to all children under the age of 21. If they are not mature enough to handle the content, then I will ban them from it. I keep it open because I’m a person who believes in freedom of speech and want to hear how people think, even a child. I don’t think what I said was mean-spirited, but I was completely hurt by what was said and expressed that. I know other little girls who were too. I even allowed YOUR comment to come through because I want to hear different viewpoints, but I have mine as well and will give it as I see fit.

        Again, the little kids need SOMEONE to go after them. Too many of them have too much freedom on the internet and don’t know how their comments affect other people. I believe in teaching children to be responsible for their comments.

        She knew how people can be mean on message boards. But if she had nothing mean to say, why even say that? No one can be mean to someone who isn’t mean. She may not be AWARE that she was saying something mean, but she knew that someone would be offended.


        “Oh yes… You shouldn’t bring up the whole kids are spoiled thing, either. You just implied that she is a spoiled brat. How RUDE. I would say that YOU are the spoiled brat, because you can’t deal with a simple post written by a little 10 year old kid who likes certain dolls for no reason at all, other than she just likes certain dolls. She never said it was for a race reason. YOU did though. Seriously, you have mental issues. You attacked this little kid for your own selfish and racist reasons.”

        Most older people think the next generation is spoiled. This is nothing new. And that point had nothing to do with racism. That was a SECOND reason as to why I don’t think they should get rid of those dolls. XD I think you’re the one making a bigger deal out of it than even I am. I do believe that we all are more spoiled today than people living in the 18th and 19th centuries. I feel that is what is valuable about the 18th and 19th century stories. That was one of the reasons I felt the dolls should stay. From my experience, children understand the least of how privileged modern society is. We have smart phones, automatic toilets, free education, grocery stores, clean hospitals, television, etc. These are things people take for granted, especially children. I believe in teaching children to understand that times were not always that easy and believe in helping them to be thankful for what they have. It’s an important lesson, and one taught over and over again in the American Girl books. Why can’t I bring this up on my own blog?

        The kids in my classroom all kept saying what they wanted for Christmas and when I asked what they were giving their parents, they all said parents are supposed to give things to kids. :/ That’s really sad. I do feel people should teach children to be thankful and grateful and understanding. The older American Girls really taught that to me at a young age. It taught me to give rather than receive. The 18th and 19th century girls also help them cope with death and harsh issues. I lost my father at 9 years old. Josefina’s story really helped me get through that period in my life. There are other girls who suffer the same things.

        You said “for no reason at all”, but she actually DID give reasons. Addy doesn’t speak “proper English” and the others “don’t sell”. Remember? So clearly she just doesn’t dislike the dolls for “no reason at all”.

        How can I attack someone for my own selfish reasons? What do I gain from attacking a 10 year old? XD How old are you?

        Again, thank you for giving your opinion. But I stand by what I said and I feel it is the right thing to do.

        Like

      • venussigns 2016/01/03 at 20:43 #

        Ayako, you are one ignorant person. First off, you must not have ever worked around ten year olds. They are NOT Kindergartners.

        First off, Sophie is old enough to comment on a blog, she is old enough to be taught lessons on racism and she is also old enough to be CORRECTED on her ignorance. She more than likely has ignorant parents like YOU who teach her that AMERICAN history only consists of the white girls.

        I’m Indigenous Native American from the Shoshone tribe myself. And guess what? Your European culture is not EVEN AMERICAN. Your people came here later. So for Sophie to say that Kaya and Josephina should be removed is sad and ridiculous, even for a girl her age. To add, Addy’s doll doesn’t speak ignorant…it is JUST A DOLL! So why get rid of the doll? I could understand if she doesn’t want to buy the books. But why get rid only to dolls of color? As if any of the other dolls are better? Yes, she is entitled to like certain dolls, but liking white dolls over dolls of color is still racist and sad. SMH
        If you were that ignorant at her age I feel sorry for you too, because when I was her age I understood that everyone was different and that is because I had good parents who taught me so. Sophie must have parents who think like you and your parents who teach her to be culturally ignorant. Even ten year olds should know what racism means.

        What makes you more ignorant is that you failed to miss the point of what GenerationNext was saying. Sophie suggested that ALL the dolls of color be removed! That doesn’t sound racist to you? GenerationNext is right for telling this little girl that her mindset is sad. Because it is. White people always try to act superior and thus their children imitate their parents.

        In your post, you brought up stuff that was totally irrelevant. “Black people had slave owners”? Who said they DIDN’T? That is not even relevant to any point UP HERE!

        I think you are missing the difference between bullying a kid and CORRECTING a kid when they are WRONG.
        Bullying means to harass someone. GenerationNext never HARASSED the kid, she corrected her on her OWN blog about her ignorant attitude. GenerationNext told her the honest truth which she needs to hear. And ANY kid that prefers their own race to another and any PERSON that suggests the whole line be ALL white IS RACIST. Stop making excuses for it and stop acting like it isn’t racist. You must be joking!

        You are basically saying there’s nothing wrong with being racist. To say that Sophie is entitled to her opinion is saying that it is okay if no one understands someone different. How would you like it if all your little cream colored dolls were wiped from the American Girls and told they weren’t American enough or they were ugly? How would that make you daughter feel? I swear, white people don’t have a clue. People try to say we’re pulling the race card…but that is because white people like you love to pull the “ignore it” card every time an issue is right in front of their faces. There would be so many cards pulled if so many white people like you and Sophie didn’t walk around like your people are the most superior. Its a shame that American Girl even has fans like you. American Girl is meant to broaden the minds of young girls.

        I want to say nice day to you, but your comment stinks so bad and so does your attitude. You don’t even deserve to be treated with respect.

        Liked by 1 person

      • venussigns 2016/01/03 at 20:56 #

        GenerationNext Thank you for your posts! They are always so good. Even your comments are inspiring. I’ve been dealing with racism as a Shoshone my whole life and it amazes me how ignorant people still are after 200 years. You’re right, it is NEVER too early or too late to learn.

        Liked by 2 people

      • NerdHope24 2016/01/09 at 21:29 #

        It makes me kind of sad that a lot of people, like “sophie,” would be fine with eliminating most of the minority characters in AG.

        It seriously makes hate the American education system even further. Of course, at her age she wouldn’t understand Kaya’s, Josefina’s and sadly Addy’s important role in American history. As a history person, it furthers my disappointment considering she’s in the fourth grade, which is when I first discovered AG through Samantha, Addy and Josefina. Our current history textbooks only gloss over other cultures history, especially native Americans, which is ridiculous. For a multicultural country, it’s sad, considering all races are a part of this country’s history.

        Also, I grew up with never having a doll who looked like me. I never saws black dolls with my natural hair or braids, so I never connected with them or had any interest to buy “African”-American doll.

        Oh, and about Addy not teaching proper English in novels; what would you expect from a kid who grew up without an education? Not like you have much right to say that considering the fact that your grammar isn’t that great for a kid who grew up in this school system. She’s supposed to speak like that, she learned English by ear and it wasn’t meant to be proper since she’s a slave.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Brit 2015/07/09 at 11:45 #

    To be completely honest I like the idea of another African American Historical doll, and Mary Ellen. I also agree with you about them needing more diversity with Asian dolls or Indian (India) dolls. Wish they would do an African American GOTY. I feel torn about them cutting down on there Historical Dolls, one because it is what made them the company they are but you are right eventually they are going to run out of time periods. Two the storys they now tell are watered down history compared to to real thing. I understand that younger girls are the targeted group but I think they need the honesty of the time period, like the American Journal series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brit 2015/07/09 at 11:46 #

      P.S. Loved your article, very well written, and informative.

      Like

      • generationnext 2015/08/21 at 13:29 #

        P.S. Thank you for your comment on the article. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. 🙂

        Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/21 at 13:28 #

      I would actually rather have a GOTY African American girl than a Beforever one because the GOTY desperately needs more diversity. But since I don’t buy into the GOTY line much, Beforever suits me as a collector better.

      As far as American Girl and their “watered down” reality…

      Well, I don’t think it’s just that the American Girl dolls are watered down for the targeted group, but how old are the American Girls? 9 to 10 year old girls. What would kids be doing in the time periods they come from? I feel no other series really touches on that, not even history books. NO history books tell people how kids lived. This makes American Girl’s brand unique. When stories do talk about kids, it’s a coming-of-age story about the child moving from kid to adult, and is usually intermediate/advanced literature.

      Which two stories do you feel are watered down in American Girl?

      Actually, as a History major and teacher, I find American Girl is MORE realistic than the American Journal series when it comes to 9 to 10 year old girls. Some historical stories, like American Journal, focus on the dramatic moments in history and focus on dramatic events. But think about it, what are YOU doing now? Probably at work or school, looking at your phone, roaming the internet, eating food, etc. Are you doing anything dramatic on a day-to-day basis? No. I’m not either. XD Believe it or not, American Girl shows the everyday life of people in their times, not the dramatic moments of history. In WWII, for example, sure there were soldiers overseas, but what was everyone else doing? Probably doing what Molly was doing, especially a kid. Sure, Native Americans went through a lot in history, but it was actually a slow process not a sudden one. Besides, why not show how glorious the culture was rather than the shame Native Americans experienced after European influence? That’s what Kaya’s stories focused on. It helped us understand the people more. Felicity’s story hardly touches on African Americans and their struggle with being a slave. In fact, she never even seems to notice that her grandfather owned a plantation full of slaves. But would a child have noticed that? Would any English Americans have noticed? People around the world had slaves as that time. And guess what? It was considered normal. It wasn’t until the 19th Century people began questioning the morality of slavery and human rights laws were put into place. Those issues weren’t made aware of to the public at that time in the 1700s and a child only knows what they have been taught. That’s real history. Most history stories focus on the drama; American Girl focuses on the normal, simple lives of Americans. It’s up to the individual as to what they deem as more “real”.

      I feel that American Girl is more honest than any other stories out there. The others are honest in their own way because they focus on harsher subjects, like Dear America, but the reality is in most times in American history, many dramatic situations didn’t happen everyday, to everybody, and many people ignored those dramatic events even in history, just like we do today. Reality doesn’t always equal harshness. Sometimes, harsh realities can be exaggerated, just like what we see on our news.

      I also would love it if American Girl focused on Asians and their contribution in this nation. But choosing a time period is the challenge because American Girl just doesn’t want to focus on culture but also cover an era in American history. For instance, Addy just wasn’t the black character, but she also covered the Civil War as well, which relates to more than just black people in that time. Still, I hope American Girl takes the time to dig deeper into our history and find where the Asian Americans fit in.

      Like

      • craftychemist1834 2015/10/01 at 08:20 #

        Hey,
        So I understand your frustration. I last worked for AG during the 2014 GOTY launch, as I was college student at the time. That was Isabelle. In general those of us who loved the brand and had heard the rumors (at the time) that they were completely revamping the historical line were skeptical.

        As an employee you start to see the trends year after year. And we’d been hoping for an interesting girl of the year. When we had our Isabelle training we asked if there was ever going to be a girl of color for the Girl of The Year. At this point the manager leading training sighed and explained that so much money is sunk into the Girl of the Year that no matter what she has to be a hit and sell out every year.

        Also, if you’ve ever spent a lot of time in the stores you’ll notice that a lot of little girls are carrying blonde haired blue eyes dolls even if they don’t reflect the girl herself.
        In general, the blonde blue eyed dolls sell better and the longer the hair the better since it means the girls can style the hair themselves.

        So this is what they gravitate too. I would point to Chrissa Maxwell, where they released both of her friends with her. The Solani doll barely sold and since they won’t sell her have 12/31 they were stuck with all the backstock.

        Considering that I personally had a woman tell me that she would never buy a “Nappy haired slave doll ” (Addy) for her daughter, regardless of the message of her stories really is the point I must drive home. If Addy doesn’t sell with her inspirational message and realistic appearance, what will. I then showed her to the Truly Me dolls where she picked out a nice doll with straight blonde hair and brown eyes.

        In summary a black girl of the year will never happen because black dolls statistically don’t sell as well as the blonde dolls.
        Another black historical character is likely, but I guarantee she’ll end up like Cecile.

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/10/01 at 09:58 #

        This is very true. It’s sad to say that the USA is so white-washed that “beautiful” is considered blonde and blue-eyed. Obviously, American Girl is a company. They have to do what sells.

        Still, I think if American Girl tried to make more dark-haired dolls instead of blondes, girls would have no choice but to choose from the dark-haired variety.

        On the other hand, I know black girls with their “nappy” hair isn’t appealing in this white-washed society. As a black woman, that breaks my heart, but it’s the truth. Even my mother said she didn’t like the nappy headed slave girl when I was a kid, and my mother is black. Just another product of the society that encourages black girls to hate themselves and the way they look. American Girl isn’t a tool for social change or progression, so expecting them to make a black GOTY is asking too much. Just glad I never got into them.

        This is exactly why Mattel’s competitor will always have the upper hand. MGA is excellent at making an inclusive line of dolls. The Bratz and Project MC have beautiful dolls in their lines of many different ethnic backgrounds. The most attractive doll is Yasmin and she isn’t even white or blonde! It’s amazing. Also ironic is that Monster High’s most popular character has dark hair, Draculaura. Samantha was once American Girl’s most popular doll and she had dark hair. Still, the likelihood that anyone would relate to a black girl is so slim nowadays.

        Because of the nature of GOTY, I recognize it must sell out in a year. This is why I never got into the line back in 2001. From jump I recognized that the modern girls would be over-rated in promotion and down-played when it comes to story-telling. One year to save for a doll? I also couldn’t deal with that.

        Though it’s true that blondes sell better, they must not be too hot lately either if they had to get rid of Caroline, too. In general, American Girl is going to be focused on making money. Honestly, I was surprised AG released a red head considering their trend with red haired girls.

        I feel that Cecile didn’t really get a chance because she was clumped together with MG and had such a boring collection. None of the 19th Century dolls have sold too well, not Caroline, Kirsten, MG, Cecile, Josefina, nor Addy. We’ll see how a modern black girl fares.

        If a modern black girl is designed she doesn’t necessarily have to have “nappy” hair. Based on popular stats on My American Girl or whatever they’re calling them now, the black girls are some of the most popular. They could give her long hair, but it doesn’t have to be hard to comb or anything like that. There are ways they could make the doll more appealing, it’s just natural for western society to cater to a white doll much easier.

        Thanks for your honest comment. It’s always interesting to talk to an objective observer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sophie 2015/12/24 at 10:39 #

        I agree i also would like a African-American GOTY as well but i do like Lea Clark

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/12/25 at 14:02 #

        I think Lea Clark is boring. :/ I already have Jess Girl of the Year 2005, who you probably don’t remember from GOTY. But she was JUST LIKE Lea Clark only Asian. I think I’ve had enough of the blondie world.

        Like

      • Sandy 2015/12/28 at 12:27 #

        I agree with your overview of the historical characters. This is why Pleasant Roland started the company in the first place. I have been buying and following since it’s inception in 1986 and, for the most part, have been pleased that they have continued to follow that theory. I agree that it would be nice to have an Asian American, but (like Kaya) it will take a lot of research to determine which Asian American and what time frame. Since they try to be historically correct, they can’t just have a doll who looks Asian. They need to choose which Asian nationality.

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/12/31 at 14:08 #

        Agreed. The difference with Kaya is that there is plenty of Native American history, as they are the nation’s ancestors. Asian Americans were some of the last immigrants to arrive, and it wasn’t a large number. Still, I feel that the 1970s would’ve been perfect instead of another blonde character, considering it was after the Vietnam War. Ivy being a best friend character wasn’t good enough. Now, they have to really dig deep.
        I have been following American Girl since Josefina was released. I believe that was 1997. American Girl veterans. 😉 *salute*

        Like

  7. yousef 2015/07/09 at 22:13 #

    hey did you know that on the american girl book retailer site they said they will release josefina’s beforever mini doll along with maryellen. they will keep caroline”s mini doll and of course her books. i agree that they need a little bit more diversity. but we cannot blame them. they are starting to want money more than the education. mattel is giving ag a barbie make over. there clothes are not even historical anymore. im 10 years old and this is awful for me. american girl has gone money hungry.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/21 at 13:03 #

      Yep. I did know that Josefina’s journey book was coming along with her mini doll. 🙂 Josefina was the last to get everything, which is unfortunate because the novelty of the newly revamped Beforever line is gone by now and most people are focused on the new characters. 😦

      I’m so sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond to you. It’s even more important that I talk to the kids because you guys shape what American Girl is today.

      American Girl is currently working very hard to increase diversity in their brand. I am actually looking forward to a future with more diversity. The demand for it is higher than ever before.

      Mattel is about money, but you’re 10, right? What would girls your age rather buy? A modern doll or a doll way back from the 1700s or 1800s? Or would they even buy a doll? It doesn’t seem that many young girls are really interested in history anymore or even dolls anymore. But you are a young person, so your opinion of American Girl is very important. What do you think? I really would like to know what your generation hopes to see from American Girl…I’m happy to see that a 10 year old such as yourself really is interested in the beforever brand and the historical aspect of it. 🙂

      If your generation is more interested in modern girls, then that’s probably why Mattel is more focused on money. Money helps the company stay in business. I don’t think Mattel is just money hungry for no reason. They are just a doll business and all businesses need money. For example, without money, they won’t have plastic material to make the dolls. Someone has to buy the fabrics for the clothes as well. They need money to even get the wigs for the dolls. They even need money to buy the name of the doll because of copyright issues. Without money, there is no American Girl. We don’t want American Girl to close for good, do you? Still, there is a way to meet the demand of fans and still make money. Mattel just hasn’t found a way to do both.

      Like

      • Amelia 2015/09/07 at 12:24 #

        I’m 13, and while I don’t hate GOTY or TM, I prefer Beforever. I prefer historicals because they have stories, and I’ve always loved history. It’s my favorite subject, probably BECAUSE of the historicals.

        In the Molly books for instance, she’s in a war with her brother, and she learns that there’s a better way. Of course sometimes you can’t help it if the other person still continues it or is threatening something especially important (your freedom for instance), but in a lot of situations it’s better to work it out. That’s what Molly taught me besides World War II.

        In Maryellen’s book that I just read, it’s sort of the same thing. Except she’s in a Cold War with her old best friend, Davy.

        In a way, the AG books show on a smaller scale of what was going on back then. But also everyday life.

        I think GOTY’s are fine, they can be cool, but I really hope AG doesn’t downsize BeForever too much.

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/09/08 at 06:41 #

        I really feel the same way you do. I love that American Girl teaches life lessons through history, with everyday events.

        It’s great that at your age you appreciate history. But 13 year olds are sophisticated enough to grasp these lessons.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

        Like

  8. love 2015/07/18 at 12:38 #

    so it is audreyfor 2016

    Like

  9. Rebecca 2015/08/12 at 15:25 #

    Mary ellen is confirmed! There has been tons of leaks and it looks like she even has a retro diner! Shes supposed to come out in a few weeks!

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/13 at 14:58 #

      Yep. She’s on her way and is coming August 27, 2015! Stay tuned for more information. I’m not allowed to put up confirmed leaks yet, but I will within two weeks.

      Like

  10. bertholdschnappaufi9 2015/08/13 at 18:10 #

    gidolls.wordpress.com

    Like

  11. Canady 2015/08/18 at 12:15 #

    I have never seen toys like this awesome toy. This is absolutely awesome .

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/19 at 16:46 #

      American Girl is a unique line of dolls. It is one of the only ones left that focus on history and that have lasted more than two decades.:) Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  12. yousef 2015/08/21 at 11:32 #

    you have not answered my comment. 😦 i have been reading your blog for 2 years and i always wanted to talk with you. p.s. read the first comment i posted

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/21 at 12:46 #

      I’m so sorry. 😦 I really try to respond to everyone who comments. I’m so sorry I’ve overlooked you. I really do appreciate all of my readers.

      I will definitely re-read the thread to see any comments I may have overlooked.

      Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

      Like

  13. Brittany 2015/08/23 at 09:09 #

    Omg. I can’t wait till maryellen comes out on Thursday. Even tho I have no be forever books, I do however have two central series box sets, and the biggest majority of the others are the old white covers. And old is an understatement. They are in very good condition. Almost like new. My goal is to get all the ag books. I may be 20 years old, but I am a freak for American history. I read anything historical- specifically the 1800s, whether true or complete fiction. My top favorites are the little house series, love comes softly series and American girl.

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/08/23 at 15:36 #

      I’m 25 and still love American Girl. 🙂 I don’t feel shame. I’m super excited about Maryellen on Thursday.

      My favorite part about the American Girl dolls are the books they come with. I’ve actually collected many different historical books, but the American Girl series is actually more realistic in regards to how a NORMAL person lived in that time, without all of the extra drama and exaggerations that makes history seem like a theatrical film.

      If you ever get the American Girl books, it will widen the world of the American Girls’ Beforever line from a simple time perspective. The characters are very individual.

      Like

  14. yousef 2015/09/07 at 13:50 #

    im actually a boy and i do think that a lot of kids would like fashion dolls rather than historical but i love historical dolls from ag. you are African American right? american girl sorts skin tones into three different catagories. i have the medium skin tone and i am Arab

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/09/08 at 06:50 #

      I’m sorry. I was talking about the demographic before. XD American Girl is geared towards girls, but it’s AWESOME that you’re a boy because I’ve always felt that the line is universal.

      Who is your favorite in the Beforever line, by the way?

      I do know about the different shades American Girl offers, especially for My American Girl.

      I would really like a Muslim character because my cousin is Muslim. BUT have you heard of the Girls of Many Lands collection from American Girl? It came out probably when you were born and I was about your age, if not a little older. The collection was released in 2002. It actually had a Muslim character in it named Leyla. She was a beautiful character.

      I think making a modern Muslim doll would be hard because many women aren’t allowed to show their hair, so American Girl would have to be careful. But possibly she could be from a Muslim family, but cultural sensitivities would have to come into play.

      Like

      • yousef 2015/09/11 at 21:08 #

        actually when you are a muslim women you have the option to show your hair or not. my mom doesn’t. and if you are a kid you definitely do not have to. my 2 fave in the beforever line r kaya and julie

        Like

      • generationnext 2015/09/21 at 19:56 #

        Really? Well, that’s good. I think a Muslim character would be perfect.

        It’s cool you like Kaya and Julie. Why are they your favorites, if you don’t mind me asking?

        My favorite is Kit and Molly. I love Kit because she reminds me of myself. I felt Molly was one of the most down-to-earth characters in the series. Her stories were always colorful too.

        Like

  15. yousef 2015/09/07 at 13:51 #

    and muslim so i would love a muslim doll

    Like

    • yousef 2015/09/11 at 21:10 #

      i have heard of girls of many lands

      Like

    • yousef 2015/09/24 at 12:18 #

      my favorites are kaya and julie because i am in love with the hippy theme and 70’s style for julie and kaya is just so realistic and historically accurate and her story seems interesting. i am notable to get an american girl doll due to there prices. i have been wanting one since i was 5 and now i am 10. i want several (more like 100 :]) and one to be a custom boy with brown eyes medium skin and black hair to look like me. all the others to be girls. btw what is ur fave hair color and skin tone? it turns out that beforever is really historically accurate but they add more color to make history seem more interesting. but they actually had those pastel colors back then.

      Like

      • generationnext 2015/09/24 at 17:10 #

        There are many things that are very accurate about the Historical line. There are some things that are stretching for a 10 year old, like Julie’s platform shoes, but mostly everything is accurate.

        The books are as accurate as can be for 9 to 10 year olds in those time periods.

        It’s hard for me to decide my favorite skin tone. But I loved Cecile’s mold and look.

        I would love it if they made boys. That would be really cool.

        Like

  16. yousef 2015/09/29 at 19:09 #

    i agree with everything u said

    Like

    • generationnext 2015/09/29 at 19:11 #

      I’m glad there are others who think like me. 🙂 Thanks for all of your comments.

      Like

  17. danielle 2015/11/21 at 14:48 #

    i raed it

    Liked by 1 person

  18. danielle 2015/11/21 at 14:49 #

    i am 13

    Like

  19. ouam2014 2016/01/18 at 13:56 #

    I have they released the doll Melody yet? I haven’t seen any pictures only the books

    Like

    • generationnext 2016/01/20 at 01:45 #

      I don’t think she will be released until July. They only released her first book to promote her collection.

      Like

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    Like

    • generationnext 2016/05/06 at 19:54 #

      Thank you so much for taking the time out to read! Please do come again soon. You’re welcome to share anything you like.

      Like

  21. Mackenzie Wachter 2016/06/27 at 15:49 #

    I ship Maryellen from American Girl with Rex from Subway Surfers!

    Like

    • generationnext 2016/06/28 at 13:36 #

      LOL That’s so cute. 🙂 I haven’t played that game yet, but I know it’s a favorite among kids.

      Like

  22. mydollneighboorhood 2016/08/18 at 20:20 #

    I’m in love with Melody! She’s beautiful in braids! I need to get her and some of her collection for Christmas!

    Like

    • generationnext 2016/08/19 at 10:23 #

      Yes, yes, yes! The doll is gorgeous! I love all of her accessories. I didn’t like her Meet outfit at first, but all the accessories put it all together!

      I am still hoping for a salon and spa playset for Melody! Crossing fingers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mydollneighboorhood 2016/08/19 at 10:48 #

        That would be an awesome set, especially since it would go with her stories. Haven’t seen one yet but if I do I’ll let you know. Hopefully it will be released in the future!

        Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lea Clark, Girl of the Year 2016, Takes Us to Brazil and Helps Girls Overcome Their Fears | Generation Next - 2016/01/09

    […] this. See, the thing is I thought I’d already posted this. My issue is I was so excited about Melody, I forgot to post this for those interested in […]

    Like

  2. Black History Month For Children: Learning Black History Through the American Girl Beforever Collection | Generation Next - 2016/02/01

    […] a salon and spa, and spending time with her sisters. In fact, I think she and American Girl’s Maryellen, the 1950s red headed character, have a lot in common. If people didn’t make such a big deal […]

    Like

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