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American Girl History Lesson: Not Your Grandma's American Girl Club...

Ah, childhood clubs. I've never personally been to one, but I've seen lots of photos online of libraries having their own American Girl Club- usually a discussion, craft, snack and maybe story time. I wanted to host my own for the neighborhood girls, but my awkward introvertness and moving caused me to change my mind. (My shyness is really weird. I'm a bit shy when it comes to talking in a normal conversation with a girl that hangs out with girls that are mean to me, but I was just "elected" president of the seventh grade by a bunch of kids after I quieted down the entire grade and saved us all from being late for fourth block and gave a speech about how kids at school shouldn't use the R word also in front of the entire grade even though we already have a class president that does nothing, so it's kind of weird how I can be confident in front of large groups but shy one-on-one. OK, enough rant for today.) But way back in the early 2000's, an official online American Girl club started- and boy, it was not your grandma's!

The American Girl online club started in 2004. You could purchase a membership kit (the only way to get in to the club) for $20. The membership kit, along with the way to get in, came with a charm bracelet for girls along with a first charm and a $10 coupon for American Girl for the parents. The membership only lasted one year, so if a girl wanted a second year, the parents would have to order another 20 dollar kit.

Here's a video demonstrating what you could do on the Club site:

If your parents don't allow you to watch videos from YouTube or you just don't feel like watching a 4 minute commercial for a club that doesn't exist anymore, here's a little summary of what girls could do. They could make pages of their favorite things (sport, animal, color, American Girl doll), send messages to other club messages- both prewritten and created by the girl (which had to be parent approved first), get virtual "Treasures" that could be traded with other club members, and the coolest thing in my opinion: EARN STARS!

"Why stars, Sydney? You are 13, why would you be excited over virtual stars?" Well, you could earn the stars by reading American Girl books, doing projects or for visiting the American Girl store. (I'd be raking in those stars weekly if the club still existed!) Here's the best part about the stars- you can save them for FREE CLUB MERCHANDISE!

You could buy club merchandise with Stars or real money, but they were only available to American Girl club members. These included charms to go on the bracelet people got when they joined the club, clothing for dolls and clothing and accessories for girls.

The club stopped accepting new members on June 12, 2006 and closed on August 15, 2006. During this time, Club merchandise sold like crazy as girls spent their last remaining stars before it was all over. American Girl said that the club didn't get enough members, but American Girl collectors who had daughters in the club noticed that the club members got spam and strange messages, making the fandom believe that security issues was the real reason for the club's closure. After the club, the Innerstar University online world only let girls send pre-written messages, probably because of what happened on the American Girl Club.

What should I do next- Angelina Ballerina, Hopscotch Hill or American Girl store plays?

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