American Girl has debuted its 2015 Girl of the Year: Grace Thomas, an avid baker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Motivated to follow her dream of starting a baking business after an inspiring trip to Paris, Grace is available for only one year. Her collection includes an 18-inch Grace doll featuring long, dark-brown hair and sparkling blue eyes, plus several French-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her interests, such as a premium French Bakery Set with more than 60 pieces. [Read more...]
The 2014 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees are bubbles, little green army men, and Rubik’s Cube. The inductees were revealed at a public ceremony, which took place at the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play this morning.
The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that also included American Girl dolls, Fisher-Price Little People, Hess Toy Trucks, My Little Pony, Operation Skill Game, paper airplanes, pots and pans, Slip-N-Slide, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Visitors to the new American Girl specialty boutiques will find a curated assortment of the company’s most popular products, including the My American Girl personalized, contemporary doll line and the annually-launched Girl of the Year dolls. They will also carry a selection of the company’s Dress Like Your Doll clothing for girls, as well as American Girl books, which will be translated into Spanish. In addition, there will be the signature Doll Hair Salon.
The first two American Girl shop-in-shop boutiques will open next summer at El Palacio de Hierro’s Perisur and Interlomas locations in Mexico City, followed by a third boutique at the Polanco location in next fall.
Today, American Girl introduces BeForever, a new line of historical dolls, books, and related accessories that connects girls ages 8 and up with characters and timeless stories from America’s past. First introduced in 1986, and now with a new look, BeForever provides opportunities to explore the past, present, and future.
The BeForever line will debut with eight characters; all-new, historically accurate outfits and accessories for dolls; new and refreshed fiction books; and an original line of historically inspired clothing for girls. The characters include a Nez Perce girl who does her best to be a friend to the earth in 1764, to an optimistic girl who stands up for what’s right in the mid-1970s.
To celebrate the launch of BeForever, American Girl is welcoming back Samantha Parkington to its lineup of historical characters. One of the company’s original characters introduced in 1986, Samantha will be reintroduced with new products, including an ice cream parlor, a bike, a bedroom set, and several new outfits and accessories. [Read more...]
Isabelle Palmer, American Girl’s 2014 Girl of the Year, appears in a new feature-length movie from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight is now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, and on Digital HD.
Starring Melora Hardin from “The Office” and Hannah Montana: The Movie, and presenting Erin Pitt from Against the Wild as Isabelle, the movie tells the story of a talented 9-year-old girl who is an inspired dancer with a flair for design. When Isabelle starts attending the Anna Hart School of the Arts, she has a hard time getting her proper footing in her transition to a new school and in the dance studio. To complicate the situation, her older sister, Jade, is the star ballerina at the school, and a rival classmate tries to make Isabelle feel as if she doesn’t belong there. Isabelle struggles with self-doubt, but when she stops comparing herself to others and learns to focus on her own unique talents, she finds a special way to stand out and to use her passions to help others, too. [Read more...]
For the first quarter, worldwide gross sales for Mattel girls and boys brands were $656.9 million, down 5 percent versus the previous year. This included a decline in worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand of 14 percent. Worldwide gross sales for Mattel’s other girls brands increased 4 percent on the strength of Disney Princess and Ever After High, partially offset by Monster High. [Read more...]
American Girl has this wonderful program where they release a Girl of the Year doll, who comes along with stories, games, and activities that “celebrate what it means to be a girl today.” There’s a lot of dolls out there on the market that are providing great, positive messages to girls worldwide. Whether they are promoting positive body image, confidence, the drive to dream big, STEM education, or all of the above and more, girls have their pick of the litter when they are searching for a doll that is, in a sense, just like who they are or who they strive to be. American Girl announced their 2014 Girl of the Year on January 1: Isabelle, “an inspired dancer that finds her own way to shine.”
But some girls aren’t able to find that doll that would really make them feel special—and brave 10-year-old Melissa Shang has spoken out (adorably and politely) requesting that her favorite doll company, American Girl, make the 2015 Girl of the Year doll that is more like her.
Shang has Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy, and is leading one of the fastest-growing petitions right now on change.org for American Girl to create a Girl of the Year doll with a disability. Shang is truly an inspiration. In just over 72 hours of her starting the petition, more than 15,000 people have joined the campaign she has launched. [Read more...]
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again. Time to deck the halls, brave the malls, trim the tree, visit family—and if you’re a kid, it’s time to get serious about that Christmas list.
As we get older, our wish lists shift to more practical items, or fewer (and often more expensive) indulgences. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that my list included such fantasies as a horse like the one from the Billy and Blaze book series, an RV (a real one), a ride-on car, and other obnoxious requests.
Not everything was ridiculous or out of my parents’ price range, however. One Christmas I was delighted when Santa brought me a coveted doll that I’d had my eye on for months. Another year, Barbie’s shoe store made it down the chimney, to much jumping around and “YESSSS!!!”-ing. And the year that presents filled a shiny new Radio Flyer red wagon and overflowed all over the floor goes down as one of the most memorable of all.
Times have changed, and so have the requests of kids as they add, edit, erase, and perfect what may be the most important document of the year before carefully addressing it to the North Pole and sending it off to the big man himself. Here are a few gifts, old and new, that are sure to excite and delight the kids of today as they did us kids of yesteryear.
The red wagon from my Christmas past was a simple, classic steel wagon that I thought was just the best ever. Now, Radio Flyer’s Build-a-Wagon offers customers the chance to design their wagon to their own unique specifications. Through the website, users can choose from the classic steel-and-wood design or modern plastic, quiet-ride or rugged rubber tires, and accessories including canopies, umbrellas, seat pads, and an MP3 player. [Read more...]
Non-traditional items are finding their way onto children’s wish lists this year, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. For the first time, iPads are among the most popular gifts for both girls and boys, with slightly higher demand among the former.
Among the other results from NRF’s 2013 Top Toys survey: 44.3 percent of holiday consumers plan to buy toys as gifts this holiday season; children are still asking for timeless items such as Barbie and dolls (No. 1 and 2 among girls, respectively) or Lego and toy cars (No. 1 and 3 among boys, respectively). And the younger generation is clearly technologically savvy, asking this year for tablets/iPads, smartphones (girls’ No. 11), and game consoles like Xbox One (boys’ No. 5) and PlayStation 4 (girls’ No. 10, boys’ No. 6).
Other popular toys for girls include Monster High Dolls, Disney Princess, and American Girl. The hot new item for boys this year is Skylanders, a hugely popular interactive video game that allows kids to play with a toy action figure at the same time. [Read more...]