Sunday, October 17, 2010

Set to Retire: American Girl Felicity

American Girl, once again, it preparing to retire one of their historic dolls. It seems to be a yearly event now-a-days. First it was the beloved Samantha, then Kirsten (my doll), and now- Felicity. American Girl was a staple of my childhood. As I've said before, I adored my Kirsten doll and I truly feel that without her I wouldn't have developed such a passion for researching the history of my heritage (I am Swedish as is the character Kirsten). I discovered this new world and developed an interest for it so easily- because it was all part of my dolls world. It's a great and clever way for American Girl to attract the interest of girls. Here are expensive, beautiful dolls with a series of clothes and items which relate to each of their stories. Within those stories you're given an interesting history lesson.
(via)

But why American Girl, WHY ARE YOU RETIRING THE HISTORICAL DOLLS??

Thanks to this awesome article by Susan Braun (the only article that gave me any type of a clue as to why the company is doing this) I had a small bit of an answer:
An email from American Girl does state "we do so knowing their departure will make it possible to introduce new characters and time periods for our customers to enjoy." It's interesting to note that most of the latest "time periods" represented have been modern (to be fair, American Girl did introduce a new historical doll as well in 2009; Rebecca Rubin, a Jewish girl of the early 20th century).
Good point Braun! Most of these new dolls are all modern... and that's what bothers me. Why would I want a doll of a girl who is living the same life I am? Experiencing the same things I am? I'd much rather use my imagination and play pretend that I am in another place in time. Are the children of today so void of imagination that they can only play with toys that associate them with today? If so, it makes me extremely sad. And yes, they did have a recent addition to the historical dolls being Rebecca- which is great! Keep those historical dolls coming out and lay off of the "girl of the year". Which, I have a sneaking suspicion, is only a quick way to score a lot of money for the company.

Maybe my memory of my childhood- where I didn't really pick up on this stuff- is a little faulty. But I feel that American Girl has changed. I feel that ten years ago the company was about producing beautiful dolls that had a historical lesson tied in. Something for little girls to bond with but also be used as an educational tool. Now I feel that the company is slowly turning into a typical money hungry one. Maybe I'm wrong... they are still trying to put a good foot forward in educating children (which I cheer for relentlessly, anything that's fun but still educates is GREAT). Maybe I'm just still holding a grudge over the company retiring Kirsten. Felicity was my next favorite so now it's a double grudge.

Who knows.

But what I do know is that if you have a child, or maybe as a kid you always wanted Felicity but could never afford one, you better get onto the American Girl website and put your order in before we say goodbye to Felicity.

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