While there are currently 11 American Girl dolls to choose from today, if you were an American Girl fan in the 1980s or ’90s, you may remember you only had a choice of six original American Girl dolls.
This year, in honor of the dolls’ 35th birthday celebration, American Girl has reintroduced those original American Girl dolls in a special anniversary collection. The original American Girl dolls include Samantha Parkington, Kirsten Larson, Molly McIntire, Felicity Merriman, Addy Walker and Josefina Montoya, who were all “born” between 1774 and 1944.
Each of the six original American Girl dolls comes in its own special 35th Anniversary Collection package, featuring a signature 18-inch doll with her original outfit and authentic accessories.
The doll also comes with the character’s first paperback book in the series, which has a vintage cover. Each set even comes packaged in a retro-inspired American Girl doll box.
“For 35 years, American Girl has created powerful stories with smart, courageous heroines that have helped shape an entire generation of women,” Jamie Cygielman, general manager of American Girl said in a press release.
The anniversary dolls are $150, about $40 or so more than the others that aren’t original American Girl dolls. It’s important to note that these are not vintage dolls in the sense that they were created at the same time as the originals; they are simply reproductions made to be nearly identical to the originals, right down to the neck string.
American Girl launched in 1986 with Kirsten, Samantha and Molly, adding eight more dolls over the next 35 years with stories that span over 200 years, from 1764 to 1974.
Some of the most recent dolls include Courtney from the 1980s and Kira, the brand’s first doll with an LGBTQ storyline. Courtney comes with sky-high hair and neon-colored clothes, and she spends her time at the arcade. Kira is a 10-year-old from Michigan committed to conservation action. She has two great-aunts who are in a same-sex marriage.
This year, American Girl also introduced special-edition dolls to honor frontline workers. The custom dolls — a paramedic, pilot, teacher, grocery store worker and caregiver — are modeled after “Heroes with Heart” contest winners.
The winners were chosen after kids across the U.S. nominated first responders and other frontline workers they knew. The company then picked five people to be made into custom dolls, with each kid nominator also receiving a $200 American Girl gift card.
While the dolls weren’t for sale, there were American Girl #ThankYouHeroes Scrubs available for purchase at one point. Each set had a doll-sized scrub top and pants, fabric mask and slip-on plastic shoes. For each set purchased, American Girl donated a doll activity book to First Responders Children’s Foundation, which goes directly to children of workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did you have one of the original American Girl dolls as a child?