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How Many Girls of the Year Are Repeat Dolls?

I've been thinking a lot recently about how American Girl likes to repeat themes in the Girl of the Year line. This is somewhat understandable considering the average American Girl consumer is only interested in the brand for four or five years maximum, but frustrating for collectors who know of the existence of every Girl of the Year.


Lately, most GOTYs have been repeats of a similar doll from the past. Not carbon copies, but similar themes, per say. So I decided to write down every GOTY and figure out how many are copies, including how many have been copies in the past few years!

  • 2001- Lindsey Bergman: didn't really have a theme but she did like animals and scooters

  • 2003- Kailey Hopkins: tide pools/beach, boogie boarding

  • 2005- Marisol Luna: dance, specifically Ballet Folklorico, ballet, tap and jazz

  • 2006- Jess McConnell: international travel (Belize), exploration/adventure, nature

  • 2007- Nicki Fleming: ranch, skiing, animals (dog training and horses)

  • 2008- Mia St. Clair: ice skating

  • 2009- Chrissa Maxwell: swimming, crafts

  • 2010- Lanie Holland: nature, gardening

Jess and Lanie both like nature, but Jess was in Belize and Lanie was in Massachusetts, so it's not really a copy.

  • 2011- Kanani Akina: beach/paddleboarding

Kanani is the first real theme repetition here. Kailey, who was released eight years prior, also frequented a beach and enjoyed water sports. However, it's hard to notice that because AG did well with the Hawaiian theming and differentiating Kanani from Kailey.

  • 2012- McKenna Brooks: gymnastics

  • 2013- Saige Copeland: art and horses

Not only do Nicki and Saige look similar, but they also both share an interest in horses. Nicki was released six years before Saige.

  • 2014- Isabelle Palmer: ballet, costume design

Isabelle was released nine years after Marisol, who also liked to dance.

  • 2015- Grace Thomas: international travel (Paris), baking

Nine years after Jess traveled to Belize, Grace traveled to Paris.

  • 2016- Lea Clark: international travel (Brazil), photography, nature, animals

Lea is more of a Jess repeat than Grace was, since they are both interested in exploration and nature and they both travel in the Americas.

  • 2017- Gabriela McBride: poetry, dance

The dance element of Gabriela's story is clearly inspired by Marisol and Isabelle, even going as far as to reuse Isabelle items and recolor them. This is due to the lack of development time Gabriela had (11 months as opposed to 2-3 years for a regular GOTY)

  • 2018- Luciana Vega: space exploration

  • 2019- Blaire Wilson: farm, cooking, animals

Blaire's interest in cooking could be traced back to Grace's passion for baking 4 years earlier, but it's more likely coming from Nicki, who also lived in a home full of animals.

  • 2020- Joss Kendrick: surfing, cheerleading

Joss is most similar to Kailey from 17 years earlier with her interest in surfing and also living in California.

  • 2021- Kira Bailey: international travel (Australia), animals, nature

*looks at Lea from five years earlier*

*looks at Lanie from eleven years earlier*

*looks at Jess from fifteen years earlier*.

Enough said. Kira isn't that original. I do appreciate her aunts though.

  • 2022- Corinne Tan: dog training, skiing

Nicki from fifteen years earlier lived in Colorado, skiied and dog trained. Corinne... you're a lot like Nicki.


Do you like AG copying previous dolls or no?


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Some of the things that have been mentioned will probably be covered in the WBU series. With the GOTY they need topics that will appeal to the most girls in the short time they are available. They did handle that some when they extended the doll's availability - but the BTI is gone shortly after the year is over. That was the thing people needed time to save for. They have brought the price down on those as well. I think the biggie was Grace's Bakery for $500!!


I think they are under new management and they seem to be doing a good job of things - so instead of looking back - all we can do is look to…

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violette
violette
Mar 27, 2022
Replying to

I think the GOTY 2023 is rumored to be a poet

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Admin
Admin
Mar 27, 2022

I'm glad all of you guys are discussing this a lot! I wasn't able to share my feelings on this because I was rushing out the door when I posted this, but I'm fine with it as long as it's not a total carbon copy. For example, Corinne's story deals with totally different topics than Nicki's, and her being Chinese-American and in another social class adds a layer of differentiation as well. I do however wish AG didn't rely on the same themes over and over and chose different ones as well from time to time, but they've been getting better at that with the introductions of Luciana and Joss.

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americangirlstar
americangirlstar
Mar 27, 2022

I remember when Saige was released I noticed the Nicki theming, with a similar appearance, the horse interest, black-and-white dog, and Nicki was also interested in art in the books. Personally, I understand AG wanting to appeal to the same modern demographics ten years apart... but that's also what the Truly Me line is for. Something NEW with the contemporary would be grand. Like... a modern gamer? An archaeologist? More masculine sports?? like HELLO there's so much stuff they could do that they just don't cause they're hoping that Jess #5 will save them from financial ruin. just make a dinosaur girl ag it's not hard

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Luciana_Lover
Luciana_Lover
Mar 30, 2022
Replying to

They should make a Ninja Warrior GOTY. (for those not familliar with Ninja Warrior it is a sport that is basically an advanced giant obstacle course that has nothing to do with ninjas)

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hocuspocusdolls
hocuspocusdolls
Mar 27, 2022

I wish they would throw in some new ideas, simply because I'm tired of seeing the same story year after year, but I guess AG's target age matches up with the spacing of repeats. Shame about Kira though... I have no excuse for her (she's just washed-out Lea)

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Evette_stan22
Evette_stan22
Mar 27, 2022
Replying to

Although I do appreciate Kira’s aunts, I agree she could have been a little more original

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It's interesting comments about kids who visit foreign countries....... I know that when my mom was still teaching there were kids that got to travel abroad during summer vacation. Over the course of about 6 years one visited Ireland, one visited Portugal, and another one visited somewhere else, but I can't remember where, plus she had students from the Dominican Republic and Japan.. When I was in 3rd grade one of my friends went to Finland to visit relatives. Because of geographical proximity we traveled to Canada a few times (I know it's not that "foreign" but). While it certainly wasn't the majority, world travel isn't totally freakishly obscure. And, for reference, these weren't highly affluent families. Just middle class…

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