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American Girl Celebrates 35 Years of Making Herstory and Empowering a Generation of Girls

Brand brings back the original six characters that started it all!

Today, American Girl, a cornerstone in the Mattel portfolio of purposeful brands, kicks off its yearlong 35th birthday celebration with the reintroduction of its original historical characters—Samantha Parkington, Kirsten Larson, Molly McIntire, Felicity Merriman, Addy Walker, and Josefina Montoya. Since 1986, the cherished brand known for helping girls grow up with confidence and character has created engaging heroines who have transported millions of girls back in time—from 1774 to 1944—through books and stories teaching courage, compassion, confidence, and resilience. Now, these same characters are about to inspire a new generation to make their own positive mark on the world.

Each of the six original characters comes in its own special 35th Anniversary Collection, featuring a signature 18-inch doll dressed in her original outfit and authentic accessories, and the character’s first paperback book in the series with a vintage cover. In further tribute to the brand’s roots, each set comes packaged in a retro-inspired American Girl doll box designed for both new and existing collectors.

“For 35 years, American Girl has created powerful stories with smart, courageous heroines that have helped shape an entire generation of women,” said Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “As we celebrate this major milestone, we’re thrilled to recognize the very first generation of American girls who grew up with these beloved, original characters and made them the phenomenon they are today. Knowing many of these women are now moms themselves, we look forward to creating special, multi-generational experiences for families via their shared love of the brand. We can’t wait to inspire and empower this next generation with even more relevant products, immersive experiences, and timeless stories.”

American Girl fans can also celebrate the brand’s 35th birthday with the following new content and experiences:

  • Available now, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from American Girl, is a new inspirational book with full-color illustrations that celebrates the heartfelt and humorous advice shared by fan-favorite characters.

  • For girls who love music, there’s the all-new digital album, American Girl Get Up and Dance, in partnership with Warner Music Group. The album includes ten American Girl character-inspired songs that are, for the first time, available to download, including a new release—Happy Birthday, American Girl—that will have girls singing and toe-tapping along.

  • On May 8th, fans are invited to join American Girl and Magnolia Bakery for a virtual 35th Birthday Bash, including a cupcake decorating party with Bobbie Lloyd, Chief Baking Officer of Magnolia Bakery. The Facebook Live event will also feature appearances with influencers Rachel Pitzel, Ava and Leah Clements, and Zooey Miyoshi.

With its roots in children’s publishing, American Girl has long-championed the belief that strong readers become strong leaders. This summer, to further support children’s literacy and ensure access to quality materials to help kids grow as readers, American Girl is partnering with Save the Children’s U.S. Literacy program with a gift of more than $100,000 in American Girl books. This donation brings the brand’s total commitment to more than $9 million in books and funds to the organization.

American Girl has several other exciting events and partnerships lined up this summer and fall to further celebrate the brand’s rich legacy and reimagine its future. Visit for more details about upcoming birthday-themed product releases, can’t-miss virtual events, and additional 35th-anniversary activities happening throughout the year.

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