American Girl is adding three new dolls and archiving three of its original dolls including Felicity, Kirsten and Samantha.
(Image Source: InSapphoWeTrust/flickr ) BY TYLER FINE American Girl is now producing contemporary dolls dealing with what the company has deemed modern-day problems, but not everyone is ready to let go of the company’s historical past. The company originally produced dolls from different eras in history, each accompanied by a six-book series covering historical, social and political issues from the past. (Via Brietbart.com ) But now bloggers are criticizing the company for “archiving” three of these core dolls: colonial tomboy Felicity, Swedish immigrant Kirsten, and Victorian orphan Samantha. And replacing them with contemporary characters such as amateur gardener Lanie, aspiring gymnast McKenna, and horse-loving artist Saige. (Via American Girl ) A writer for The Atlantic led the backlash, criticizing the company for shifting its focus from historical characters tackling social issues to dolls that, quote, “ look just like you. ” “American Girl once provided a point of entry for girls who have matured into thoughtful, critical, empowered citizens. Now the company's identity feels as smooth, unthreatening and empty as the dolls on their shelves.” ‘’ An American Girl spokeswoman defended the company’s decision to archive the older dolls, saying while the historical dolls are still at the core of American Girl, it had to make room for newer inventory. A writer for the Daily Mail says while the historical dolls taught girls lessons on history and social issues... “The newer crop of dolls also face 'challenges' though they mostly seem to be the type that would trend on Twitter with the hashtag #firstworldproblems.” Although some express anger about the change, not everyone saw the dolls as iconic or revolutionary in the first place. A writer for The Huffington Post points out not every girl experienced the impact of the dolls. “When it comes down to it, this organization is one based in consumerism, not non-profit education. The population buying these dolls has always been largely white and middle to upper class. I have fond memories of my American Girl doll, but really, how radical is a $105 doll that only brings history alive for the elite?”