How to get a american girl
Business Insider. Starting around age 6 or 7, when I wasn't at school or swim practice, I was probably playing with Kit Kittredge and her dog, Coconut. While it may sound like a girl named Kit and a friendly pup named Coconut were my real-life neighbors, that wasn't the case. Allow me to explain. Founded in , American Girl started as a toy brand that sold a small collection of dolls with historical backstories via catalogs. Today, the brand — owned by Mattel, Inc.
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Business Insider. Starting around age 6 or 7, when I wasn't at school or swim practice, I was probably playing with Kit Kittredge and her dog, Coconut.
While it may sound like a girl named Kit and a friendly pup named Coconut were my real-life neighbors, that wasn't the case. Allow me to explain. Founded in , American Girl started as a toy brand that sold a small collection of dolls with historical backstories via catalogs.
Today, the brand — owned by Mattel, Inc. American Girl offers 11 dolls with historical stories, including Kit Kittredge, the one I had as a child. The idea behind the brand is credited to a writer and former teacher named Pleasant Rowland , who apparently imagined a line of dolls whose stories would educate girls about American history.
Previously, I spoke with American Girl's current president, Jamie Cygielman, about how the toy brand that I knew and loved as a little girl is getting creative to stay relevant in the digital age.
Keep reading to see what it was like to visit the New York City flagship store as an adult, where I saw with my own eyes how the dolls and their stories are continuing to capture the hearts of children and parents , but in a much newer way than I would've ever imagined as a kid.
I especially connected with the dolls' accompanying books that told their historical stories, and the Kit character — who I'm holding in the above picture — had a special place in my heart. Kit lives in Cincinnati, Ohio which is also the state where I grew up during the Great Depression, and is a budding journalist. I can't say I decided to go to journalism school because of my Kit Kittredge doll, but who knows? Maybe her story planted the seed in my head.
Aside from loving the dolls and their accessories, I was a fan of just about everything from the American Girl brand. When I went to summer camp, my parents would send me the latest issues of American Girl Magazine, which came in the mail while I was away. As I got a little older, while traveling and on road trips, I voraciously read the brand's books — many of which tackled nonfiction topics and had journaling activities. The first opened in Chicago in the late s, which is the location I visited as a kid.
At the time, the Chicago American Girl Place was the first of its kind: a brick-and-mortar shop that also had a restaurant and a theater for doll-themed musical shows.
It's been many years since I was among the target age group for American Girl — after all, my dolls are now safely stored in a container in my parents' house, on reserve for a potential grandkid; and it's been since the early s that I visited American Girl Place in Chicago.
I was eager to see in person how the brand has adapted and grown to stay relevant for a new generation of kids and parents. I no longer needed my Google Maps walking directions once I saw American Girl's classic red color streaming through the windows of the store. Even from outside the store, I noted the variety of dolls that were on display, which I thought was a clear reflection that American Girl aims to cater to a wide range of audiences.
American Girl launched its Girl of the Year collection in , and every year since then the company has released an exclusive doll with a story set in the present. The collection is a big part of the brand's shift to tell contemporary stories that modern girls connect with, American Girl's president, Jamie Cygielman, previously told me in an interview.
The Girl of the Year is an example of how American Girl is continuing to make its dolls reflect a variety of abilities.
For example, part of Joss Kendrick's story is that she was born deaf in one ear , and the doll comes with a hearing aid. An American Girl store representative told me that Joss' vehicle was designed and manufactured in partnership with Volkswagen. The surf bus doesn't come included with the Joss doll. American Girl Place has been optimized for the Instagram age, with several interactive photo backdrops scattered throughout the store.
The general manager of American Girl Place, Stacey Martland, told me that the Julie pop-up area was only recently installed. Martland has worked for the American Girl brand since She's managed American Girl retail locations around the country and has been the general manager at the New York flagship since She explained that the store's spacious Julie doll display has reinvigorated interest in the character, which was originally released in We talk about the characters girls are attracted to for whatever reason, but Julie's immersive part of the store really brings her back into the spotlight.
The model convertible looked nicer than any car I'll probably ever drive. Within the span of just a few minutes, I was hit with my second social media-friendly photo installation. Cygielman previously told me that the Instagram-worthy photo areas around American Girl Place have been an important part of keeping the retail experience relevant for visitors. From the hoodie to the tiny cellular device, this doll looked identical to millennials I see commuting on the subway every morning.
Visitors who design their doll at the store using the tablet can expect to have it shipped to them in about three weeks. Owners with dolls in need of repairs i.
The NYC and Chicago flagship stores have what's known as the "wellness center," where owners can watch their dolls go through routine checkups, X-rays, and eye exams for fun.
The wellness center experience, which is free of charge unless the visitor decides to purchase a product or service offered in the area, like getting glasses or having their doll's ear pierced lets store guests see their doll get all the regular checkups that would be tested in a typical pediatrician visit — including ears, eyes, nose, and heartbeat.
Fernandez explained that the doll "vaccine" process involves taking the doll in a back room for a minute or two. There's no actual shot involved," Fernandez said. The make-believe flu shot is an example of how the doll wellness center is adding an immersive, educational component to American Girl Place.
It's meant to mimic the experience doll owners have during their own real-life doctors' office experience. American Girl offers a variety of glasses made just for dolls — none have actual prescriptions, though.
Cygielman previously told me that the wellness center has been one of the most popular features of the store since it was introduced in October. While I was an extra-cautious 8-year-old and never had to send my dolls to the American Girl Doll Hospital to get repaired, I'm sure I would've been entranced by the imaginary medical experience when I was a kid.
Dolls get the ultimate beauty treatment with aprons, miniature hair tools and accessories, and authentic salon chairs. Girls can even get matching treatments, whether it's a coordinating hairstyle or manicure. Martland told me that while she is seeing most people very excited to buy a Truly Me doll, or a doll with a contemporary story and modern accessories, she thinks there's still a big interest in the brand's historical characters.
According to Martland, it just depends on the child's personality. The doll behind the counter is Maryellen Larkin, whose story is set in the s. When I wasn't admiring the adorably detailed dolls and arrangements, I noticed that the store had a unique use of mirrors. They were decorated with inspirational quotes — there was never just a plain mirror.
I thought this was representative of the whole essence of American Girl, which Cygielman told me aims to stand by and lift up girls as they're growing up and navigating their early years. It's been many years since I've visited the American Girl Place flagship in Chicago, but even if I did see these kinds of quotes or affirmations plastered on the walls or mirrors throughout the space as a child, I probably wouldn't have thought much of them.
Today, though, I thought these positive quotes were a small but significant way in which American Girl not only inspires, but also aims to appeal to the people actually buying the dolls. While I'm not a parent, I can imagine that a mom or dad or grandparent bringing their child to the store would probably love and appreciate seeing these sayings.
This reminded me of what Jamie Cygielman, American Girl's president, previously told me about the dolls being a "window" or "mirror" for girls. The hair salon looked and smelled nicer than just about every overpriced studio in New York City, and if the friendly, warm American Girl doll wellness center opened a human version, I would be the first to write my name on a waiting list. While I had never visited the doll salon or had a Doll Hospital experience as a kid, from my adult perspective, I was floored at the quality and attention to detail of these experiences and can understand why they help American Girl Place remain a destination for tourists and out-of-town visitors.
I was relieved to still see so much space in the store dedicated to the dolls that started it all in the s — and what many people who owned an American Girl doll in its early years remember — the historical characters. That being said, it was impressive to see in person just how much more diverse the characters have gotten over time.
Growing up, I would've loved to have a doll who came with Jewish holiday accessories. I can imagine other girls are excited to see a piece of themselves in the dolls that have been introduced since I've aged out of the brand, from Nanea Mitchell , a Hawaiian girl who survives Pearl Harbor; to Melody Ellison , the second black historical doll, who grows up in in Detroit.
After all, the next time I think about these iconic dolls might be when I have a daughter of my own which isn't anytime soon. Unfortunately, though, I couldn't drive Julie's blue Volkswagen Beetle back to my Brooklyn apartment. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Darcy Schild. Snapchat icon A ghost. Growing up, I loved American Girl dolls, and they played a big part in my childhood — from furthering my love of storytelling to fueling my imagination.
We even had matching pajamas. If that's not love, I don't know what is. Even on one of the rainiest, most dreary days in Manhattan, American Girl Place exuded warmth. I looked up and saw a row of dolls staring back at me. Inside, I was greeted by several displays of Joss Kendrick, the brand's Girl of the Year, a surfer and cheerleader who was born deaf in one ear.
Joss, whose story is set in California, has a cheery blue van where she stows her surfboards and other gear. Inside Joss' van, her laptop — showing a video editor program with clips of her surfing — was arranged on a table with a sandwich, cold drink, and "Surf's Up" magazine in the back.
I even caught some pretend waves as part of the store display celebrating Joss. Then, I entered a festive area full of furniture, photo ops, and hands-on activities dedicated to the doll Julie, whose story is set in San Francisco during the '70s. I was amazed at the ornate backdrop for the doll, which was complete with the Golden Gate Bridge and a miniature cable car.
Similar to Joss, Julie also has transportation options of her own. If the imaginary cable car isn't running, for example, she can hop in her shiny blue convertible. There was also a life-sized version of Julie's Volkswagen Beetle, which invites visitors to "climb in and take a '70s selfie!
Part of the character Julie's story is that she loves to play basketball, so naturally, the store had a setup for a real-life game of hoops. Moving on, I found myself face-to-face with neatly arranged Truly Me dolls, which are available in a variety of hair, eye, and skin colors. One of the newest Truly Me doll options has rainbow-colored hair with blue, purple, and pink streaks.
I obsessed over the dolls' 21st-century accessories. This character wore over-the-ear headphones and held a miniature cell phone with interchangeable screens. I was also amazed at how digital the experience was.
Here, people can use a tablet to design a custom doll. Next, I stopped by the Doll Hospital, which has an interactive "wellness center" inside the store. Bria Fernandez, the Doll Hospital caretaker on duty, gave me the full wellness center experience, including checking a doll's temperature and reflexes with tiny tools. There are also imaginary flu "vaccines" for dolls, which Fernandez explained doesn't actually involve syringes. Fernandez even performs eye exams on dolls. I stopped by the store's other interactive hubs, including the hair salon, where girls and dolls can get matching hairstyles and nails.
The dolls portray eight- to twelve-year-old girls of a variety of ethnicities, time periods of origin, faiths, and social classes. They are sold with accompanying books told from the viewpoint of the girls. Originally the stories focused on various periods of American history , but were expanded in to include characters and stories from contemporary life. Aside from the original American Girl dolls, the buyer also has the option to purchase dolls that look like themselves.
Мы решили уйти. Я не видела смысла впутывать моего спутника, да и самой впутываться в дела, связанные с полицией. Беккер рассеянно кивнул, стараясь осмыслить этот жестокий поворот судьбы.
Сьюзан пожала плечами. - Обычная проверка кандидата. - Ну и ну… - Беккер с трудом сдержал улыбку. - И что же ты ответила.
Если бы Танкадо не вернулся к анализу программы после ее выпуска свет, он ничего бы не узнал про этот черный ход. Но он так долго трудился над Цифровой крепостью, что вряд ли ему захотелось бы к ней возвращаться. Сьюзан понадобилось некоторое время, чтобы все это осмыслить. Она вдруг поняла стремление коммандера к необычайной секретности в шифровалке. Стоящая перед ним задача была крайне деликатна и требовала массу времени - вписать скрытый черный ход в сложный алгоритм и добавить невидимый ключ в Интернете.
Тайна имела первостепенное значение. Любое подозрение об изменении Цифровой крепости могло разрушить весь замысел коммандера.
Иногда отвергались абсолютно безвредные файлы - на том основании, что они содержали программы, с которыми фильтры прежде не сталкивались. В этом случае сотрудники лаборатории систем безопасности тщательно изучали их вручную и, убедившись в их чистоте, запускали в ТРАНСТЕКСТ, минуя фильтры программы Сквозь строй. Компьютерные вирусы столь же разнообразны, как и те, что поражают человека.
Подобно своим природным аналогам они преследуют одну цель - внедриться в организм и начать размножаться. В данном случае организмом является ТРАНСТЕКСТ.
Неудивительно, что Стратмор просиживает штаны на работе.
Ему была видна задняя дверца: как это принято в Севилье, она оставалась открытой - экономичный способ кондиционирования. Все внимание Беккера сосредоточилось на открытой двери, и он забыл о жгучей боли в ногах. Задние колеса уже остались за спиной - огромные, доходящие ему до плеч скаты, вращающиеся все быстрее и быстрее.
В парке. Это было убийство - Ermordung. - Беккеру нравилось это немецкое слово, означающее убийство. От него так и веяло холодом.
Рего… Но… Она пожала плечами и произнесла по-испански: - Девушке возле парка. Беккер почувствовал, что у него подкашиваются ноги. Этого не может. Росио игриво улыбнулась и кивнула на немца.
- El queria que lo guardara. Он хотел его оставить, но я сказала .
Я хочу знать. Бринкерхофф уже пожалел, что не дал ей спокойно уйти домой. Телефонный разговор со Стратмором взбесил. После истории с Попрыгунчиком всякий раз, когда Мидж казалось, что происходит что-то подозрительное, она сразу же превращалась из кокетки в дьявола, и, пока не выясняла все досконально, ничто не могло ее остановить.
- Мидж, скорее всего это наши данные неточны, - решительно заявил Бринкерхофф.
Она хотела его продать. - Не волнуйся, приятель, ей это не удалось. У тебя скверный вкус на ювелирные побрякушки. - Ты уверен, что его никто не купил. - Да вы все спятили.
И долго ты собираешься здесь сидеть. - Всю ночь, - безучастно ответила Сьюзан. - Хм-м… - пробурчал Хейл с набитым ртом.
Такое впечатление, что он его буквально всучил - канадцу показалось, будто бы он просил, чтобы кольцо взяли. Похоже, этот канадец рассмотрел его довольно внимательно. - Стратмор остановился и повернулся к Сьюзан.
Заинтригованный, он позвонил одному из своих партнеров по теннису, бывшему политологу, перешедшему на службу в Библиотеку конгресса. Слова приятеля его очень удивили.
Сам он трижды пытался связаться со Сьюзан - сначала с мобильника в самолете, но тот почему-то не работал, затем из автомата в аэропорту и еще раз - из морга. Сьюзан не было дома. Он не мог понять, куда она подевалась. Всякий раз включался автоответчик, но Дэвид молчал.
Сюда. В этой встрече было что-то нереальное - нечто, заставившее снова напрячься все его нервные клетки. Он поймал себя на том, что непроизвольно пятится от незнакомцев. Тот, что был пониже ростом, смерил его холодным взглядом.
- Сюда, мистер Беккер. Быстрее. Беккер повернулся и побежал, но успел сделать только один шаг.
Из размышлений об этом кошмаре его вывела Соши, подбежавшая к подиуму со свежей распечаткой. - Я кое-что нашла, сэр! - возбужденно сказала. - Висячие строки в источнике. Альфа-группы повсюду.