Tag Archives: American Girl Truly Me

American Girl Dolls’ New “Boy World” for the Truly Me Line

29 Nov

Hello readers! Welcome back! This is for my fellow American Girl fans out there!

Rumor has it in the American Girl community that American Girl is planning on releasing boy dolls as an option in their Truly Me line. This group of boys will be in a section called “Boy World”. These dolls are said to be scheduled for release sometime in 2018. Some say they will arrive as early as December 26, 2017.

As we’ve seen with ALL the releases American Girl has had so far, we know that most of the rumors in the American Girl community turn out to be legit. Either American Girl is secretly reading all the suggestions made on social media and in message boards, or these people who have started these rumors seriously do have connections. Nanea was just a rumor last year, and come to fruition. Maryellen was a rumor, and was released. Back in 2001, Rebecca was a rumor, and was released in 2009. Yes, it’s safe to say there aren’t really any rumors in the American Girl circle. Most of the information we get are LEAKS.

So, when I heard this rumor, and saw the receipts, I froze. I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t surprised. But I felt odd; I felt this sudden wave of FEAR. Yes, I’m very much intimidated by this supposedly small fraction of Truly Me dolls that includes a section of BOYS. My feelings towards a boy line are bittersweet overall. The fears I have about it keep me bitter, the children who are excited for this keep me sweet.

For the last couple of years, since AMERICAN BOY was trademarked back in 2012 (?), I thought I could just ignore it. It wouldn’t affect me. In fact, I was pretty excited about it back then. In my mind back then, I just didn’t have to buy it if I didn’t like it, right?

Later, I began talking with other American Girl fans who opened my mind to some of their thoughts on the matter. I began to question whether it truly was a good move…Read my article ‘Should American Girl Sell Boy Dolls?’

When Logan was released, the best friend to Contemporary character Tenney and the first boy doll from the brand (well if you don’t include the Bitty Twins), I thought maybe this would just be a one-time thing or, at the least, even occasional. I had hoped it wouldn’t become very popular. I expressed why during the release of Tenney and Logan. Logan, for me, was a disappointment in many ways, so it really didn’t make me very excited for future boy doll releases.

But now that it’s happening…Now that my worst fear is happening, I realized that I can’t sock it at Mattel through my wallet, like I thought I could. No, that’s no longer enough. It’s not enough because there are too many people who support the inclusion of boy dolls in the American Girl brand. And that fact makes me completely petrified at the future of this doll brand. What is now the culture of the American Girl fandom? Is the fandom no longer filled with the same people who fought for a “girl’s space” in a world where we didn’t have many female heroes or honorable mentions in history? In a world that still finds males more interesting than females in much of the storytelling written and told? In a world where men still don’t understand why we have female lead characters in movies like Star Wars: Rogue One because they just “can’t relate to a girl”?

Fans upset at another female lead in Star Wars: Rogue One

What are they trying to accomplish by releasing a boy doll, let alone a whole line, to a brand that was supposed to empower girls?

It’s obvious to me now that Logan must have been selling well. In fact, Logan has pretty much out-shined his own “best friend” in most of the press releases. He was sold out in Washington D.C.’s American Girl store throughout much of 2017. It seemed like every time I called to inquire about him, he was sold out.

In fact, Logan took the place of Gabriela, 2017’s Girl of the Year, and the first African-American Girl of the Year at that, in the front display windows of most of the American Girl stores. I’m sure his sales are higher than hers as a result. Not only is she at a disadvantage because she’s black, but gosh, she’s also a girl. Her mold has been used and done before in Truly Me. Logan has Kaya’s mold, but in a “whiter” color, which makes it, I guess, a little more unique. It must look cuter on a boy. Being a girl in this brand is just not as unique as being a boy. Being black just makes Gabby…well, ugly. She couldn’t stand a chance against this hunky brunette boy named Logan. I mean, Logan gives girls the opportunity to ship cutie Tenney with a boy for once (not that no one wasn’t it doing it with Felicity and Ben, but you get the point).

If you can’t smell my sarcasm and cynicism by now, you never will.

Just like in the real world, life is not driven by black american girls. They are driven by white american boys. American Girl has suddenly become a reflection of just what we see in our very real world…

For the last couple of articles about American Girl, I really haven’t said too many positive things about American Girl lately. My praise of American Girl has declined since the transformation of American Girl’s historical line to “Beforever”. And it’s then when I began to see all the little flaws that irked me tremendously.

So far, I’ve tried to be fair, even if I didn’t agree with the directions American Girl has taken over the years. I’ve tried to be understanding. But every year I feel that disappointment, more and more of it, and it drains any passion I’ve had for this brand. I’m seriously at the point where I’ve been excited for a doll’s retirement because it meant that American Girl didn’t have the opportunity to screw whichever doll’s collection over.

I have always respected this brand, and I held on to this brand because I believed in its message. I believed that history was important. I believed that girls should know what they have done to help the world or should at least have role models that inspire them to do more. American Girl inspired me when I was a little girl in the 1990s.

Now, I’m adult. As an adult, really, I shouldn’t have any say on what a doll line is supposed to be. After all, these toys are for this generation’s children. Still, as an adult collector, and a true lover of American Girl dolls, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed after the latest news. I’m not disappointed with American Girl, LLC, not with Mattel, but at the fandom who drove the company to even consider creating this line of boy dolls.

It’s not all bad though. Don’t get me wrong. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I understand all the reasons why American Girl has created a boy doll and why they want a “Boy World”, and those reasons alone make me feel more positive about this new idea. The intentions are pure.

For one,  I am interested in the idea behind including boys in the world of dolls, especially in a high-profile doll brand such as American Girl. Introducing these boy dolls into the lines offered can help girls understand boys better. It’s different liking what boys do (like girls may with male Marvel superheroes) versus understanding boys. If done correctly, boy characters and dolls in a brand like this, a brand that focuses on the thoughts and feelings of everyday children, could open a gate for teachable or educational moments, moments that help girls understand the world of boys. It can introduce girls to a different type of world for boys, other than the violent and rough one. Of course, this is IF IT’S DONE CORRECTLY.

Unfortunately I don’t have much faith that American Girl, LLC, and overall Mattel, can do this correctly. But we shall see.

A second pro to the inclusion of boy dolls is that this could be a stepping stone to getting boys interested in dolls, or at least not being ostracized or bullied when they are interested. There are actually quite a few boys already interested in the American Girl characters and dolls. If more companies began offering boy dolls, people wouldn’t see “dolls” as a girl thing. Of course, having the Ken doll didn’t stop dolls from being seen as a “girl toy”. But again, IF DONE CORRECTLY, American Girl could truly make a gender-neutral brand of dolls, which would be ground-breaking on many levels.

The third pro is that boys who are interested in American Girl will now have a doll that at least resembles them. Though sure, a boy shouldn’t need a “boy doll” to be interested in a brand that appears directed to girls. But just having a face, just having that representation can be important for some little boys who want a doll that looks like them. It’s important when they are playing with their little friends or their siblings or their cousins. It helps them relate to the toy better.

Having it in Truly Me is probably the best step forward, and personally it’s where I think the boy inclusion should end (though I’m not against a separate Beforever or Boy of the Year line for boys). Truly Me allows children and collectors to pick any doll they want, to dress them any way they want, and to decide their story. These boys don’t have to be just modern boys. If someone wants to make them historical, they can be. Of course, American Girl isn’t offering any male historical fashions yet, but Kit had a cute pair of overalls in her collection and Felicity had some breeches that could work on a boy doll from the past, if anyone is interested in the secondary market, like eBay. Besides, you can dress your boy dolls in any of the outfits available if the child prefers a non-binary look. And custom outfits at home are an option, too. It seems American Girl wants to jump on the boy doll market, especially since people were already making custom boys out of their dolls anyway.

custom American Boy doll

One more positive thing about this is the fact that there will be many molds and hair textures, creating a diverse range of options. Boys of color don’t really have that many super hero action figures in their image. In fact, few toys directed at boys are black, brown, yellow, or any other color but the pinkish-white that’s often considered the default. The Truly Me line is offering something rare in the 18″ doll market, though the My Life dolls beat American Girl to it.

I imagine this whole release is to compete with the My Life dolls…and personally, I believe American Girl’s future decisions will be based on their competition. After all, My Life dolls are cheaper, which makes them more appealing and affordable to parents during the holiday season.

Despite all the good that this boy line could do for the toy industry, both originally and socially, I have many concerns with it.

I am a skeptic by nature, I’ve come to accept this part of myself. I worry and question everything. When it comes to things I like, I am hesitant when people decide to implement changes that I’m not comfortable or familiar with. I worry how the changes will affect the brand.

Concern 1: Will introducing Boy dolls take boys away from relating to girl dolls and characters?

Sure, I understand American Girl’s mindset, the fact that they want to encourage others to recognize that boys can play dolls too, and so it seems that the logical thing to do would be to introduce boy dolls into the brand. But should a boy need a “boy doll” to get interested in the American Girl brand?

Girls don’t need a girl character to get interested in Marvel’s superheroes (though they’ve released girl dolls, but it wasn’t necessary to get girls interested in Marvel). Plenty of girls loved Harry Potter books, even though the story is male-driven. So why should boys need a boy character to relate to American Girl?

Boys should be encouraged to admire toys of all kinds, art of all kinds, even if the image on the cover is that of a girl. Boys should be encouraged to admire any character’s strengths, regardless of their gender. Why can’t boys admire and look up to girls as much as girls admire and look up to boys?

And let’s be honest, girls do look up to boy characters a lot. Women will deny being into dolls before they’ll deny being into action figures because boy toys are considered “cool” while girl toys are considered “weak” or “lame” or “babyish”.

I think it’d be great if a boy can find a girl doll or character that relates to him. Kit is pretty popular among boys because she does just that, but she doesn’t have to be a boy to relate to boys. When boys read stories like hers, they can connect and discover that girls don’t feel any different from them. And isn’t that more of American Girl’s goal? To put girls out there more? To help the world understand girls? It shouldn’t be to help girls understand boys. There’s plenty out there that can help girls understand boys. But few stories do what American Girl stories do, and few dolls represent the message that girls can do important things and inspire others with their positive actions. How many stories give such realistic portrayals of girls in ways all children can understand?

For this reason, I fear that American Boy dolls will give boys a reason to overlook the girl dolls, as if they don’t have anything valuable to offer or teach boys.

Concern 2: What would happen if the success of these boy lines encourage American Girl, LLC to start creating more boy characters in the brand? Should the boy dolls be treated as accessories to the girls or should American Girl seek to give them their own lines?

This is a trickier question, one that I proposed five years ago when AMERICAN BOY was first trademarked. So far, American Girl has already decided to go the “best friend” route, the route I was especially against when it came to American Girl. It seems they also might try some customization with the boys in Truly Me. Which I’m okay with.

I’m not against the boys being in Truly Me. I’m happy with them right there.

I won’t be okay if American Girl starts making boy friends for the Beforever characters or the Girl of the Year. My issue is that the boys may steal the attention from some of the girls in the brand, like what Logan has done to Gabriela and his “friend” Tenney, even if they are just accessories. The girls of color would be at the greatest disadvantage, as they already struggle for attention against the white American Girl dolls. Now, they would have to compete with the boy dolls, too!

And yet, with the success of Logan, I believe the best boy friend concept will be reintroduced in the near future. It won’t stop until the novelty of boy dolls stop.

I would personally like the boys to have their own separate lines in a completely different section called AMERICAN BOY, as trademarked. I’ve talked to many fans that don’t like this idea. I’ve asked them why. Most just don’t want the boy line to compete with the girl line. They don’t want the American Boy books to show more history with male-driven characters, as it’s so often portrayed that way. They feel it would take away the symbol of American Girl. Truly, it wouldn’t be American Girl anymore, in their opinion.

I agree that the competition for importance would be a factor. However, I believe that having a separate American Boy line, with maybe a variety of different characters and outfits, but not so extravagant like the girls, would be a good way to implement boy dolls without them outshining the girl dolls. After all, most of the little people who walk in the AG stores are little girls, and little girls tend to be drawn to little girl dolls.

Of course, there would still be the issue of honoring boys in “women’s spaces”, a space set aside to honor girls that never had a place in history books, on movie screens, in literature, and in the present working world.

Concern 3: Will having “gendered” outfits limit the fluid fashion expression of the girl characters? Are boys the only ones capable of having short hair and wearing baggy pants? What clothing and accessories will define the “boys’ line”?

As someone who loves androgynous fashion, I couldn’t help wondering why Logan couldn’t be a girl. And hard as I’ve tried to pretend that Logan is, after reading about his story, I just couldn’t put that into my imagination. I guess I’m not that creative?

There doesn’t seem like there will be any stories with the release of these new “Boy World” dolls. Still, how is it going to be defined separately from the girls? For me, I don’t understand why the first dolls we get with bowl cut or pixie cut hair dos have to be boys. This just made me realize how much American Girl lacks in terms of diverse gender expressions. Sure, we have tomboys like Felicity and Kit, but few modern characters have the same expression they do, and even Lissie and Kit wore dresses and such most of the time (considering the time, it wasn’t their fault).

In our modern world, we have all kinds of ways to express womanhood, and not all of it is in a dress, ballerina flats, and pink hair streaks. Some of us like to wear out hair really short. Some of us like our clothes baggy instead of hugging us. Some of us like bland colors like brown and black and green.

With this new “Boy World”, will the lines between what is boy and girl be set? With the boy dolls now, there’s no chance a true tomboyish character could be released. They’d be associated with the “boy’s collection”.

And how are we going to define this boy line when it comes to items and accessories? With basketballs? STEM items? Items it took years for the girls to get?

Are we going to stereotype the boys by shoving them with most of the sports attire or the science attire? Truly, what defines a “Boy’s World”?

I’m curious to see what that will mean in the American Girl brand.

Concern 4: Is it necessary to “create diversity” by adding boy characters, especially when we don’t even have a diverse range of female characters yet?

As mentioned before, American Girl doesn’t even have a diverse range of gender expressions among girls yet. How can they seek to bring representation to boys when they haven’t even represented all the girls yet?

How revolutionary it would’ve been if Logan had been a girl! I would’ve been more tempted to buy Logan (it’s the face mold that still turns me off). I guess I can buy him and still pretend, but the fact that he comes with a back story and everything kind of kills the imagination for me.

It’s more necessary to make more characters of color, something American Girl is also seriously lacking. They don’t have any Asian American Beforever characters with their own line and series (Ivy was a sidekick, and so was not important in my honest opinion). They’ve only had ONE African-American Girl of the Year character. They don’t even have any Muslim characters (Leyla, from the Girls of Many Lands, was the last one from the brand, and she wasn’t an 18″ doll). They’ve only had one 18″ Indian doll, none from Pakistan or Iran or any other group. We don’t even have a Native American, or indigenous, Girl of the Year!

And yet, Logan gets his chance to shine? Nu uh. There are far more role models out there for boys. American Girl doesn’t have to offer boy dolls for boys to have options. They find these options in toys, video games, literature, history books, and in LIFE. I just finished watching the Hey Arnold movie. He’s a pretty good role model for boys, and American Girl didn’t have to be around for him to exist.

Concern 5: Is it okay for the boy dolls to share the same mold as girl dolls?

This might seem like a silly concern (well my whole rant about a bunch of dolls might seem silly to most of you), but I believe having boys carry on some of the girls’ molds would hurt the sales and perception of the girls. A lot of times, what is considered masculine is considered “ugly” on a girl. But if it were placed on a boy, it might be deemed more “attractive”.

Take the Addy mold for example. There are a lot of people who don’t like the Addy mold and they think she looks masculine. That’s people’s perception of black women anyway, but they will project that perception off on the doll. If a male were to have that exact mold, they might find it looks “better” on him.

I’ve heard some people say that Kaya’s mold looks better on Logan than on her! It’s not fair to her. She was designed with that specific mold because it fit with her culture and time period. For Logan to appropriate her mold is just an outrage!

My other concern is that these dolls would end up being considered ugly by girls because they share the same mold as the boy dolls. Though it shouldn’t matter, the opinions of these girls can greatly affect the success of the dolls. I mean, we shouldn’t think anyone is ugly, and so we shouldn’t find characters’ dolls to be ugly, just because they have more masculine faces. But how can anyone really change the way a kid feels?

Black girls already get called masculine and ugly by some of their peers. Do they really need to see that Addy shares a mold with a Truly Me boy doll?

I know this is a lot to talk about, and all just for some child’s plaything. I guess it bothers me because American Girl dolls have always meant a lot more to me than the average doll line. I’ve collected a lot of dolls, but American Girl was always the diamond in the rough. This brand brought a new kind of representation to the toy industry, and changed my perception of what a girl could and couldn’t do. I believe it’s why I’m able to be so independent to this day. I know I don’t have to follow the crowd. I know I don’t need to be married by 30. I know my role is not just to be a loving wife and mother. I know there’s more for me out there. And American Girl dolls, among other things, helped me discover that at a young age. I can’t deny that it was a contributing factor.

Perhaps we shouldn’t politicize toys, or make them into a social issue. But some toys can be great tools for promoting positive and encouraging messages. I think it’s important to create toys that have a purpose than to just have kids play with toys meaninglessly. But when we do create toys with a purpose, it’s important to remember the message sent when selling them.

This is why the imagery this company dishes out is so very important. These images really do influence the little girls who play with them, especially because there are books that accompany the dolls. That’s why American Girl has a responsibility to make sure the images they produce really do bring honor to girls.

This is why what American Girl produces is important to me. This isn’t just some flimsy underground brand. American Girl is a brand that has the power to influence girls. I just hope that American Girl uses that power wisely.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the new rumored “Boy World”! Are you for it or against it? Are you concerned? If you are, do you share my same concerns or do you have some of your own? Let’s discuss!

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American Girl’s Girl of the Year 2017: Gabriela McBride! + ‘Girl of the Year 2017’ Is Set To Last More Than A Year!

31 Dec

In West Philadelphia, born and raised

On the playground is where I spent most of my days…

You readers like that ‘Fresh Prince‘ reference right there?

That’s the first thing that came to mind when I heard about American Girl’s newest Girl of the Year 2017.

If you don’t know what American Girl is:

American Girl is a premium brand for girls and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT, www.mattel.com), a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby™, WellieWishers™, and the classic historical character line BeForever™. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on americangirl.com, in its proprietary U.S. experiential retail stores, and at select specialty retailers nationwide. Outside of the U.S, American Girl products are sold in specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators.

If you’re a fan of the American Girls, but have been out of the American Girl loop for awhile, you probably don’t know why I made that reference in the introduction. Let me introduce to you GABRIELA MCBRIDE.

girl-of-the-year

Gabriela is a true talent who gets creative for a cause. She is considered a quiet, creative girl growing up in a family of artists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (exactly why I made that Fresh Prince reference). Her mother is especially passionate about the performing arts. Her mother is founder and director of the arts center Gabriela loves and her dance instructor.

Gabriela is also interested in the performing arts (particularly tap, hip-hop, and ballet) and poetry. Aside from dancing and poetry, Gabriela also helps run a sandwich shop.

Gabriela has a reason she’s so quiet: She struggles with stuttering.

In the first book, Gabriela is said to be “going into the 6th grade”. Still not sure of her age, but she may be the “oldest” Girl of the Year produced.

Gabriela is a true creative talent who uses the power of poetry to help her break down barriers and overcome a personal challenge with stuttering.

Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.

American Girl Press Release

Despite Gabriela’s struggles, she’s still witty, honest, and courageous!

Her book cover and synopsis are out. Are you ready? {insert drumroll}

gabriela-book-1

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? Yes, believe it. Finally, finally American Girl has released their first African American Girl of the Year character!

After seeing the name Gabriela trademarked, most assumed the character would be of Latin/Hispanic heritage. It turns out it was set aside for an African American character.

Gabriela is set to have a series of FOUR books (yes, four, 4). The first book will be out in January. The next one comes out in March. The other two will be released throughout the rest of the year.

Book synopsis 1: Gabby loves expressing herself — especially in the dance studio — but lately, poetry is becoming her art form of choice, and for good reason: Gabby struggles with stuttering, and spoken word poetry helps her speech flow more freely. Still, compared to how confident she feels on the dance floor, speaking up can be scary. When the city threatens to close her beloved community arts center, Gabby is determined to find a way to help. Can she harness the power of her words and rally her community to save Liberty Arts?

Teresa E. Harris is the author and it is her first time writing for American Girl.

*This will be updated as more information is released.

And now, what all American Girl fans have been waiting for…

The reveal of the doll!

 

melodys-pjs

More items and one of her books will be available Spring 2016.

Gabriela’s doll is really adorable in these pictures, but…

This is where my excitement diminishes. I came to the realization that she’s not just a doll of color. I came to the realization that if I look beyond her color, I have very mixed feelings…

 

Gabriela McBride is considered by many of the American Girl Fan Community to be the LAST GIRL OF THE YEAR.

For those who don’t know, there have been rumors that American Girl plans on ending the Girl of the Year line after Gabriela (possibly to make room for their rumored Contemporary line). I’m not sure how true the rumors are, but it is a FACT that there will be changes to the Girl of the Year line in 2018.

In American Girl’s press release, they stated:

Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond.

On facebook, American Girl has confirmed that they have plans to release their next girl of the year in 2018. So does this mean Gabriela will be available along with the new Girl of the Year?

American Girl said they don’t have plans to retire the GOTY line, but they’ve been known to hold back from revealing a retirement or archival before.

american-girls-message

 

One part of me is happy that she will last long enough for me to save for her collection.

Another part of me is sad that I may not have a Girl of the Year to look forward to next year. It was sort of an American Girl tradition.

And another part of me is just a bit frustrated with the design of the doll and her collection…

Here…at this moment…I have to analyze this objectively.

This Girl of the Year is really mediocre as a doll in comparison to dolls prior.

Here I am, being the Negative Nancy. Call me a self-hating black woman, a coon, whatever. I’m know I’m going to hear it all. I don’t care. I can’t fully accept her as a “great” Girl of the Year character, not under the current circumstances (with this possibly being the final GOTY doll).

If you’re an American Girl fan, you can probably better understand where I’m coming from. Newcomers may find her to be a great doll addition. And she isn’t garbage, but she has flaws.

I fell in LOVE with Gabriela’s story. I love the fact that she loves poetry and how she uses poetry to overcome her own disability. I think she’s a good role model for girls. I fell in love with this story so hard, even though I haven’t read it all, I want to buy two copies.

However, I have my hang-ups.

First off, this doll is #46 from the Truly Me line. She doesn’t just look like #46. She IS #46.

46

Truly Me #46

I always thought that doll was beautiful. I was sad when she was retired. And I am personally happy to see her return (especially because I don’t collect the Truly Me dolls). But I know plenty of people who said they already have this doll. This means there will be quite a few people who aren’t interested. It always leaves me uneasy when I hear that people don’t want to buy a doll of color. It’s especially bad because Gabriela is the only African American character (in 15 years) to have been produced (or rather “picked”) for the line AND she is supposed to remain in the line through 2018.

Some fans have expressed that American Girl, LLC has put a lot of effort into making the Caucasian American Girls look different and unique, but clearly didn’t do the same for Gabriela. Some feel they didn’t really plan on making an African American character for the line. Some people feel the company rushed production of her because the demand was so high. Basically, they pulled out a retired doll, put clothes on her, gave her a story, and called her Gabriela. Some people feel Gabriela is recycled and doesn’t reflect the same effort the company has put into former Girl of the Year dolls.

I can see their point. Maybe they have given up caring because they wanted the line to come to an end. Maybe they recognized the popularity of #46 and wanted to make her into a character.

Regardless of the reason, this part has been disappointing for most fans.

I don’t have #46, so I feel compelled to get Gabriela, but I wish she was designed in a way that would compel others to want to buy her.

The second problem I have with Gabriela is the fact that she is a DANCER.

I have to be fair about this. I talked about Isabelle being another dancer, I talked about Lea being another tropical princess, so I can’t let this slide.

This Girl of the Year is supposed to last for more than 12 months, she is the ONLY African American character, and you stick her with one of the most unoriginal themes? It doesn’t hurt the story, which incorporates poetry and overcoming disabilities, but it certainly hurts the collection.

Marisol was a tap dancer, ballet dancer, Mexican folk dancer, and jazz dancer. Isabelle danced ballet and modern dance. And now Gabriela! How many dancers does Girl of the Year need?

Because other “dancing” dolls came out, I’m not really interested in the majority of Gabriela’s playsets or accessories.

american-girl-marisol

isabelle-barre-set-hr

What would I need with two ballet barres?

I just can’t get excited AGAIN about another dancer when American Girl has done the theme TWICE before.

I know there are other people out there feeling the same way. And I just don’t like the idea that the first African American character in this line is not unique enough to be a MAJOR sell-out this year.

The final insult is that American Girl has stated on their facebook page that they don’t have major plans to release a movie for her! It takes at least a year to create a movie, so if they haven’t thought of one now, I don’t know if she’s ever getting one!

Still, she’s going to be around in 2018, so only time will tell. But she clearly seems slapped together.

Despite all of that, there are some American Girl fans who are excited about Gabriela. Some are even willing to buy her even though they already have #46! Some people like her dance collection the best out of the three. And some people are new to American Girl and missed collecting the other dance items.

Since Gabriela will be out more than one year, at least none of us have to worry about her selling out within one year. People will have the opportunity to save up for her and have a chance to get her between this year and next year.

That wraps up my review of the new Girl of the Year.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you all think of the new Girl of the Year and my article!

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