American Girl....The Doll

Check Out These Photos Of The Store In Los Angeles

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American Girl

American Girl!  This is the name of a doll that I just discovered. I went to a "famous" shopping center called The Grove. I say famous because from my understanding you can see "famous" people shopping there, (I don't when I go). I digress. The American Girl doll has been around since about 1986, I instantly fell in love with it the minute I saw it. I wish that I had discovered it when my girls were young, no, better still I'm glad that I didn't know about them, because I quite possibly would have been homeless, spending so much money trying to keep up with the latest dolls and fashions.

These are the kinds of dolls that I was talking about in my hub, "What are dolls coming to." I mean this is the kind of doll that I was looking to buy for my granddaughters. Let me see if I can do them justice in just a few words.

My Discovery

The day in question, my daughter and I had missed our turn to be on the Price Is Right, so we wondered around the shopping area and happened upon the store. Our curiosity led to us stopping in the store. Needless to say my curiosity piqued when I say all those age appropriate dolls. I mean dolls that I wouldn't mind my preteen granddaughters playing with. Dolls that I would surely have bought for my girls if they were around when they were small, which by the way they were just coming to market about that time.

The Store

To my understanding there are only about 8 physical stores, however the dolls can be ordered over the Internet.

Now to the American Girl store here in Los Angeles, California. I was so impressed and again I can say I'm glad that I didn't know that this store existed when my girls were young. You see this store was a veritable playground. We actually stayed there for hours touring, taking pictures and talking to the employees.

The entire store was based on the American Girl theme, up to and including the restrooms.

The first thing that really caught my attention and impressed me was the beauty salon for the dolls. The employee was actually working on the dolls hair as if she were a real beautician. These were dolls that were brought in and left for them to have their hair done. As we walked through the store we saw a hospital. The hospital was for broken dolls. These dolls were either mailed in or dropped off to be repaired, mended, or whatever the term. One of the things that I thought was so cute was the restaurant. They had baby seats that they attached to the tables for the dolls.

Please click through the pictures to get a taste of what we saw. But excuse the photography, my daughter used her Blackberry, and I didn't quite know how to correct the position.


The Dolls

A little about the dolls. In the store the dolls are showcased by periods, in American History. From what I can tell, it appears the dolls cover a periods from 1774-1974. Also there's a series that began around 2001 called "Girl Of The Year Dolls." Then there's the Bitty Baby and Bitty Twins. Oh, I almost forgot, there's the "Just Like You," collection.

The American Girl Period Dolls are as follows.

  • Kaya, 1764 Native American. Kaya is the only Native American Historical doll.
  • Felicity Merriman 1774, representing the American Revolution period.
  • Elizabeth Cole, 1774, Felicity's best friend of the same period.
  • Josefina Montoya, 1824, a young Mexican girl living in New Mexico.
  • Kirsten Larson, 1854, is a Swedish immigrant who settled in the Minnesota Territory, with her extended family.
  • Addy Walker, 1864, the company's only African American character. Her character is a fugitive slave who escapes with her mother from a plantation in South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the American Civil War.
  • Samantha Parkington, 1904, an only child growing up during the Edwardian period, raised by her Victorian -era grandmother in New York.
  • Nellie O'Malley 1904, Samantha's best friend. Nellie is an Irish immigrant who works for the Parkington's neighbors.
  • Rebecca Rubin, 1914, a nine-year old Jewish girl of Russian descent.
  • Kit Kittredge, 1934, lives during the Great Depression in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Ruthie Smithens 1934, Kit's best friend, an only child from an affluent family.
  • Molly McIntire, 1944 is a young girl living in Jefferson, Illinois during World War II.
  • Emily Bennet, 1944, a friend of Molly who was sent from England for her protection, during the Second World War.
  • Julie Albright, 1974, a young girl growing up in San Francisco, California, during the mid 1970's nearing the end of the Vietnam War.
  • Ivy Ling, 1974, is a Chinese American, and Julie's best friend. Ivy is the only Asian American Historical character.

Girl of the Year dolls

  • 2001: Lindsey Bergman
  • 2003: Kailey Hopkins
  • 2005: Marisol Luna
  • 2006: Jess Akiko McDonnell
  • 2007: Nicki Fleming
  • 2008: Mia St. Clair
  • 2009: Chrissa Maxwell
  • 2010: Lanie Holland
I might add that all dolls have their own book and DVD.

Conclustion

I hope I've done justice for these beautiful dolls. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for age appropriate, modest dolls for their young daughters, granddaughter, nieces, etc.

Just because it says American Girl, that in no way limits it, girl around the world can truly appreciate the American Girl dolls.

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Comments 47 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You certainly have done justice to these olls and thank you for your wonerful hub.


Philipo profile image

Philipo 6 years ago from Nigeria

Very nice.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

I wish they had a store like this here. It seems like such a delight to be in. My girls and I could literally spend hours here. I have heard so many good things about this doll, I will have to check it out. Thanks for the virtual tour.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

This was an amazing hub! I never knew these dolls existed. I had 3 boys, then a girl. Her growing up with 3 brothers, well, you can pretty much guess that she was a tomboy and didnt care much for dolls. I played with dolls until I was about 13. LOL. I would love to get a collection started for my little granddaughter but I fear she is a tomboy too. She is 2 and my son is teacher her boxing and wrestling. She loves it! Will I ever get a gurly girl? Thanks and it is always a treat to read your hubs! LISA


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you Hello, hello and Philipo for taking the time to read and leave a comment. See you both real soon.

You're right Veronica, you and your girls would have endless fun, I know I did with my adult daughter.

Lisa, if I were you, I'd at least introduce her to one, who know she just might want to be a girly girl, not the tomboy her father wishes. But either way I'm sure she's a joy to you.

Thank you all for stopping and taking time to read and leave comments. Hope to see you all soon.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thanks freta, for a great hub on dolls, I love dolls, but I don't own any. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

I love this, Fastfreta. I was a doll lover as a kid and in my day (I'd have been in Kit and Ruthie's general age group, but a bit older in years and possibly more so in school grades, since I started very young) - I had several memorable dolls, including Shirley Temple and Sonja Henie (including the ice skates). But the dolls I collected, most loved and played with all the time were small bisque Nancy Ann "Storybook" dolls. They all had storybook personnas - Mary Had A Little Lamb, Cinderella, - you get the idea. They were only about 6 inches tall, beautifulled dressed with darling faces and hair, arms that moved, but legs that sometimes did or didn't, depending on the year of the doll's issue, I suppose. They came in pretty boxes - white with polka dots - each box featured a different pretty color for the dots.

http://collectdolls.about.com/library/weekly/aa042...

I know there are so many lovely collectible dolls. My neice had Madame Alexander dolls. I only mention Nancy Ann dolls because they were my passion when I was a kid.


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

My sister discovered these dolls while living in Chicago, and purchased them for our great nieces. They are interesting, portraying particular periods of history, and having books that tell their story. Also, the child can have a dress just like the doll's dress. Very creative and educational idea, also not cheap. Thank you for reminding me of thse dolls. I still get their catalog here at the house. (: v


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you all so much for stopping and weighing in on this hub. Creativeone, I also love dolls and have none.

Nellianna, you sound as if you know something about these dolls yourself. I wish I had been able to collect dolls when I was young.

Oh yes Valerie, I forgot to add that little tidbit about the matching clothes. Thanks for adding that.

Again thank you all for stopping, please come again soon.


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

This is the ONLY store where I could find a doll that looks like a doll rather than a monster. The obsession of the toy industry with ugliness is beyond believe.

Exposing young children to monstrousity is far from educational and will only distort their sense of aesthetics

P.S. too bad I didn't run into you at the store, I would have loved to have a cup of coffee; maybe next time, Fastfreta


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

I agree they are more like the dolls of my past. You know we just might have run into each other and didn't know it. Well next time. Thanks Petra for visiting my hub, see you soon.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

When my girls were young there were Kirsten and Samantha dolls, which matched their coloring. Now girls can order dolls to match their unique look, which I think is very cool. I love that there are dolls from many different nations of origin in all colors... though the shapes are pretty similar, lol. Thanks for reminding me of them.

I have to share the trouble with purchasing an expensive doll like this and letting your daughter mother her... when my youngest got a haircut she decided to cut the hair on her sister's Kirsten doll. But Kirsten's hair did NOT grow back, UGH!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Storytellersrus, for your visit and for sharing that tidbit with us. I guess that's the downside of buying a doll that looks like them. (Smile). Thanks again for stopping, please come again.


the pink umbrella profile image

the pink umbrella 6 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

I remember girls getting them for christmas when i was younger, i dont know why but i never was a fan of "dolls" persay. You would be more likely to find a box of naked barbies with muddy hair under my bed, than a display of beautiful dolls on my dresser!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

I personally could go either way. I would play with my brothers trucks, and also play with dolls. I just liked to play. That's cute, the pink umbrella, "naked barbies with muddy hair."


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

A nice refreshing Doll Hub - Barbie and Cindy doll are popular over here, but I like this American Girl doll.

Thanks. :)


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Hi Lady_E, I know Barbie, but I don't know Cindy, and Barbie is also very popular. However I hope the preteen group will take a look at these dolls. Thanks girl for stopping as usual. See you soon.


embee77 profile image

embee77 6 years ago

I like this hub because it focuses on play. What a great outlet for girls (and anyone who might enjoy the dolls). Most kids do, tho I never did get the whole idea. Thanks for the great nostalgia. Keep up your thinking, and writing.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks embee77 for visiting and leaving a comment. Thank you also for the encouragement. I'll see you soon.


ACcoolcat(Alyssa) profile image

ACcoolcat(Alyssa) 6 years ago from Montana

OOH!!!! i love american girl dolls!!! i've actually been to the store in Los Angles!!! IT WAS HUGE!!!! I JUST LOVE YOUR HUBS!!! EXPECT TO SEE ME AGAIN!!! :D


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Alyssa, you had the same reaction that I had when I went there. Thank you so much for stopping and I look forward to seeing you again.


ladydijay 6 years ago

Thanks for the enjoyable trip to the doll store. I'm glad to know about this find. I want to take my granddaughter there when she visits.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

I guarantee she will enjoy it, but as for you be prepared to spend a little money. Thanks for the read, see you later.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

My grandaughter and I share a love of The American Girls. Maybe someday I can take her the the store in LA, it sounds wonderful. Great hub and info.


Missi Darnell profile image

Missi Darnell 6 years ago from Southern California

Love this hub and these dolls. I love the concept behind them and the history. They also made the "Kit Kittredge" into a movie which was terrific! I hope they make more of them into movies.


CoolKidd654 (Pronounced sixty-fifty-four ;)) 6 years ago

Hey guys!!!!!

I'm tryin' to get popular so remember this name!!!!!!!!


WildIris 6 years ago

You are right, these are lovely dolls. My daughters own five American Girls dolls and two Bitty Baby dolls. We've read the stories, watched the movies and made clothes for the dolls. A few of the dolls need new hair and an arm or leg repair from being played with so much, but they are well loved dolls. Great Hub. Fastfreta, may be a granddaughter in you future will want one of these dolls.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you Koffeklatch Gals, Missi Darnell and, Wildris for your visit, and you're all right about these dolls.

Missi Darnell, I remember the movie, but I didn't realize that it was made from the doll. I also hope that they will make movies of the others. I like the concept.

KoffeKlatch you and your granddaughter will love it there.

WildIris, if I'd known about those dolls when my girls were little, believe me I would have bought several. However right now I can't afford to buy my granddaughters any, but one day I hope I can.

Thank you all for stopping and taking time to leave a comment, see you soon.


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

fastfreta, great hub. I bought my sweet little girl her first American Girl Doll when she was around 8 years old. I thought it was a great way to begin teaching history. She has Addy and Kitt. I was right, my girl hated to read and thought history was boring. She got her doll and then I told her they had books. I told her if she went to the library and read the book I would take her to the book store and buy the next one. She did it. I told her if she would read one a week I would buy her another doll. Once I accomplished this I told her if she would read other books I would send her, her mother and her doll to The Grove where they could all have lunch, see a movie and get their hair done. Now I have a girl who loves reading, history and is an accomplished public speaker at the ripe old age of 14. It all started with American Girl Dolls. I love them.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Right Black, what a great story. I hope others will read your experience and follow your example. Public speaker, that's great. Thank you very much for stopping and leaving that wonderful experience, please come again. Say why don't you write a hub about it.


Sue1226 profile image

Sue1226 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Wow, I love those dolls, and like you I would of loved to give them to my daughters but also like you I would of been homeless. Thanks for the tour. Sorry you didn't make the Price is Right would of been nice to see you on there.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Hi Sue, you didn't read my hub on the Price is right, I did finally make it to the audience. And I was shown on TV about 3 or 4 times, because I was sitting down front. Anyway thanks for stopping by, see you soon.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

My daughter (now grown) had Samantha, Molly, Kirsten and the Baby. Since my daughter had them all the newer "Girls" have been introduced. She loved them, and the replica-accessories are so nice. (My son, at the time, said how he wished they had something like those replicas, minus the dolls, of course, for boys.) The books made the whole American-Girl doll thing that much nicer.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Lisa, it looks as if I'm the only mother of TWO daughters that knew nothing about the doll. But in hindsight, I'm glad that I didn't, (smile), because as I stated before, I couldn't have controlled myself. Thanks Lisa for stopping, see you again soon.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Gee- why aren't there any guys commenting? Oops- I forgot- they have "action figures"!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Micky Dee, you're too much.


js 6 years ago

nice!


Esther 6 years ago

I like Elizabeth Cole the best!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you both for stopping and leaving a comment. I hope to hear from you again.


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

Great hub here, my niece got into them big and I loved playing with her too! Enjoyed reading. Thanks.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Ladybird33, again I wished that I'd discovered them while my girls were small. No doubt I would have played with them also. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.


Karen N profile image

Karen N 6 years ago from United States

Lovely dolls, they would make beautiful collectibles.

Maybe someday you can enjoy them with granddaughters.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Karen N. Yes I do look forward to enjoying them with the girls one day.


eventsyoudesign profile image

eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

Good article. My nieces loved these dolls. They collected clothes and all. I had a Madame Alexander doll. Pussy Cat to be exact. I wish my mom had know she would be worth a lot of money someday and my doll would still have hair.

Thanks for sharing. Teresa

P.S. I like the art on your poetry page. Beautiful! Try a poetry reading I bet you would be good at reciting poetry.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Teresa you're wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to read so many of my hubs. And I think I will take your advice and look into a poetry reading group, if for no other reason to do a self analysis of my "works." Thank you again for taking your precious time to read and leave comments on my hubs. You're too kind.


ChristineVianello profile image

ChristineVianello 5 years ago from Philadelphia

Never knew there was American girl store. My mom has always ordered me things from the book. I have the Molly doll, plan to give her to my children.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

The store was so much fun, I'm really glad that I didn't know about it when my girls were little, because I would have been broke from that alone. Thank you Christine for stopping, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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