American Girl Doll (formerly Pleasant Company), a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., is a direct marketer, children's publisher,
and experiential retailer that provides an array of premium-quality books, dolls, clothes, toys, and accessories for
girls ages 3 and up.
The company's flagship line is a collection of historical 18-inch dolls that have books and accessories.
The fictional heroines--who each start their series around the age of nine and turn ten in the middle--live during
important times in America's past, providing "girl-sized" views of significant events that helped shape the United States.
In addition to the historical collection, the company also offers a wide range of contemporary 18-inch dolls and
accessories, called Just Like You (formerly American Girl Doll of Today), as well as the Bitty Baby line of baby dolls
In 1983, educator, writer and entrepreneur, Pleasant T. Rowland was looking for dolls to give her nieces for Christmas.
Rowland found that the only dolls on the market were baby dolls, such as the Cabbage Patch Kids, and teen/adult
dolls, such as Barbie. She could not find dolls that were supposed to represent preteen girls.
That shopping experience, coupled with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, inspired her to create the American Girl Doll
line of historical dolls and books.
In 1986 the first catalogs were sent out. They contained the first three dolls in the line: Kirsten Larson, Samantha
Parkington, and Molly McIntire. These catalogs featured only the first three stories of each character's eventual
six-book series, as well as their pajamas, beds and trunks.
These dolls established american girl doll dress patterns 2018 the original format of the collections.
During the years 1986-1998, the company expanded, adding three more historical characters
(Felicity Merriman, Addy Walker, and Josefina Montoya),
as well as a contemporary magazine called "American Girl Doll", followed by a line of contemporary 18-inch
'American Girl Doll of Today' dolls and the 'Bitty Baby' collection for younger girls.
In 1998 Mattel, Inc. acquired Pleasant Company. This raised concerns by some consumers since the
American Girl Doll brand was seen as an alternative to Barbie.
However, Rowland believed and spoke emphatically about the two brands being able to co-exist happily together,
as they meet the various needs of girls at different times in their development.
As announced at the time of the acquisition, Rowland retired as president of American Girl Doll in 2000.
In 2004, the name of the company changed from 'Pleasant Company' to 'American Girl Doll,' to better reflect
how consumers were naturally identifying with the company.
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