26.3.09

R.I.P


Chad posted a creepy trailer about a children's book, and I use that as justification to post this.

American Girl announced the retirement of their most popular doll, Samantha Parkington. Though the company released a statement October 13, the media has not covered it properly.
Fans were sent an email last October explaining that although Samantha was vastly popular since her birth (if you will) in 1986, American Girl Co. decided that it was time "to preserve her place in American Girl's history making it possible to introduce new characters and time periods for our customers to enjoy."

I never had an American Girl doll, but I always wanted one. I started numerous "Samantha funds" to buy my own. She was $98 worthy of my affection, but I never saved beyond $23. I suppose I grew tired of waiting and wanted to spend my money on the latest Amy Grant tape.

American Girl was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Company with the goal of reaching young girls with historically-inspired characters. They first marketed character dolls with their own set of books, encouraging girls not only to continue playing with dolls, but to increase their love for reading. Over the years, American Girl added on a literary magazine for girls. Most recently Warner Bros. has produced movie versions of the books for network television.

I can't count how many girls I knew that had American Girl dolls, but I do remember how significant they were to "girl culture" in the past 20 years.
Grieve Samantha if you must, and pass the word along to a girl in college if you have the opportunity. Chances are the news might feel a bit like a childhood friend's death.

10 comments:

  1. I must confess that I never ever heard of American Girl until my eldest niece got one. She is now 6 which means I've only been "in the know" for about 2 years.

    I will also confess that I never had a Barbie Doll. Scratch that, my mom bought a used one for my older sister at a Garage Sale and I took her head off.

    I prefered to run around barefoot outside and come in late for dinner.

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  2. Oh man I loved me some American Girl books and dolls as a kid. I was lucky enough to have a Samantha and Felicity doll.

    Anyway--I loved them then b/c of the books and dolls, but now I love them b/c they offer products that educate girls rather than sell strippers disguised as dolls (i.e. Bratz). Also, when a competing company developed dolls similar to AG dolls, they said they welcomed the competition "if the result is better products on the market for girls."

    Wow...sorry to write such a long comment. I'm just a fan...

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  3. Grieving! I have a Samantha, although she is hanging out on a shelf at my parent's house (she has Felicity to keep her company).

    Samantha and I were buds, sisters in the long-brown-hair-and-bangs club. I saved up for her when I was nine.

    I suppose all this means is that when I have daughters, I'll have to share...

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  4. My daughter (now 23) let me know last year that Samantha was being retired and it wasn't too late for me to finish out her accessory collection. She has Samantha, several outfits, furniture, plus other dolls with similar accoutrements. She absolutely loved them and all the pieces that came with them were good quality and beautiful. (I used to have them shipped to my office, and my secretary and I would ooh and aah over them before I had to take them home and wrap them up.) But they were very expensive, so I was grateful when I was able to shift to buying other things for my daughter!

    wv: edulanti - a school truant officer i.e. vigilante

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  5. So did Sarah die, or retire?

    She's just switched to the American Geriatrics line, no?

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  6. My 7 year old loves to listen to the American Girl "Felicity" books on CD, but we haven't bought a doll yet. Next year we're thinking about using the books as the core of our History curriculum and buying a doll at the end of the year as a reward.
    I don't understand why they have to

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  7. I challenge anyone to stare at her eyes for 20 seconds uninterrupted. I think she might be "undead."

    There's a cover-up here.

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  8. I as just at Water Tower Place in Chicago and I couldn't believe the American Girl store was two floors! It's huge! I dared not go in. My daughter, Miss Chattyshoes, is nearly 2. There will be enough time down the road to torture myself with these high-priced necessities.

    Jeannie
    http://mamabusypants.blogspot.com

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  9. Bets! Does this mean my Samantha is worth money??

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  10. oh i TOTALLY blogged about this when i found out the news in october! i was/am devastated. i wasn't allowed to have an american girl doll because it was too expensive, and i've bugged my parents about it ever since (even though they were right). R.I.P. indeed.

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