Updated: May 6, 2020
Today on Weird AG News: some astronomer, Lucianne M. Walkowicz sued American Girl because they believe AG ripped off their likeness, name and story for Luciana Vega, the 2018 Girl of the Year. Walkowicz works at the Alder Planetarium and has spent much of their career with NASA, whom American Girl partnered with to create Luciana.
Walkowicz claims AG got these aspects of Luciana from them:
-They extensively lecture about Mars exploration and has researched and discussed the Lyra constellation, which contains Vega as it's largest star.
-In one of their TED talks, Walkowicz has a purple streak in the right side of her black hair and wears holographic shoes. Sounds familiar?
The lawsuit also claims American Girl designers, including lead contemporary doll designer Rebecca DeKuiper, watched Walkowicz speak at a convention center Madison in 2016, and a NASA consultant AG worked with attended one of their lectures in Pittsburgh the same year.
If successful, American Girl will be forced to cease and desist sales of Luciana and her collection and they will have to pay an unspecified amount of damages. In addition, their trademarks for Luciana and Luciana Vega would be canceled.
Do you guys think American Girl copied Lucianne? I don't really think so, in my opinion. Holographic shoes and streaks are typical space-inspired fashion, and they were already writing Luciana's books in 2016, so they couldn't just have gone to a convention and been like 'let's copy this person'. Even if these claims seem to be correct, American Girl has a strict "no ideas outside of the company, no making dolls of real people" policy, so I doubt they'd try to copy some random astronomer- especially when Luciana wants to be an astronaut, not an astronomer.
CORRECTION, 5/6/20: Lucianne uses they/them pronouns.