Celebrate Harlem History with American Girl’s Claudie Wells (Press Article)

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Mattel‘s American Girl is welcoming a new member to its lineup of historical character dolls.


Claudie Wells celebrates the Harlem Renaissance with a backstory rooted in New York City, circa 1922. The 18-inch doll features an all-new face mold and has shoulder-length hair styled in bouncy ringlets and a hairbow. Claudie comes dressed in a blue-and-white plaid dress and knit cardigan, and features several accessories, including a heart-shaped necklace, a cloche hat, a journal, and a vintage-style Baby Ruth candy bar alongside a companion book.

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Mattel says that its American Girl designers were inspired by a host of authentic, 1920s archival materials and other resources like The Brownies’ Book, a magazine for Black children published by W.E.B. Du Bois, a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance.


American Girl fan and New York Times best-selling author Brit Bennett penned Claudie’s story.


“Before I ever sat in front of a computer to type, I had already started telling stories each time I played with my dolls,” Bennett says. “My sister and I were in love with our American Girl dolls and books, especially Addy. While the doll itself was beautiful, what enchanted me was Addy’s courageous story written by the trailblazing author Connie Porter, so creating a new historical character for American Girl has been a dream come true. As a girl, I always loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, an outpouring of Black artistry that emerged alongside larger struggles for equal rights. I hope readers will enjoy exploring this fascinating era through Claudie’s eyes.”


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Additional toys in Claudie’s collection include a doll-sized kick scooter, a plush version of her dog, and an elaborate bakery playset that comes with more than 60 pieces. Additionally, a trio of outfits designed in collaboration with Harlem’s Fashion Row and designer Samantha Black is also available. A second Claudie book will be released next year.

The full collection is available now at American Girl stores and online.


P.S: I missed the reveal of Claudie in my time zone, but I found a tape delay stream for the Central time and will be recording it during Central time!

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