American Girl Is Bringing Back Its 6 Original Dolls to Celebrate Its 35th Anniversary

In honor of American Girl reintroducing its historic dolls — Samantha Parkington, Kirsten Larson, Molly McIntire, Felicity Merriman, Addy Walker and Josefina Montoya — we're looking back at the A-listers who played them on screen

american girl dolls
Photo: american girl

The OG American Girl dolls are back!

To celebrate American Girl's 35th anniversary, Mattel has announced the return of the brand's historic, six original characters that started it all — Samantha Parkington, Kirsten Larson, Molly McIntire, Felicity Merriman, Addy Walker and Josefina Montoya.

Samantha, Kirsten and Molly, the first three dolls in the series, debuted in 1986 and were retired between 2008 and 2013. Felicity, Addy and Josefina were introduced in the 1990s and retired in the mid-2010s. Due to their scarcity, original dolls are in high demand; an original Samantha with all of her accessories is currently listed for sale on eBay at $11,000.

Collectors and new American Girl fans alike will rejoice to see the original cast of inspiring female heroines brought back for a special 35th Anniversary Collection. Dressed for the first time in their signature outfits, the 18-inch dolls will come packaged in a retro-inspired box which will also include the first paperback book (with a fun vintage cover!) in the character's series. Each doll will retail for $150 and are available to buy now.

"For 35 years, American Girl has created powerful stories with smart, courageous heroines that have helped shape an entire generation of women," said Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl in a press release. "As we celebrate this major milestone, we're thrilled to recognize the very first generation of American girls who grew up with these beloved, original characters and made them the phenomenon they are today."

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American Girl hopes that the reintroduction of the original dolls will inspire women who collected them as kids to pass down the tradition to their own children.

"Knowing many of these women are now moms themselves, we look forward to creating special, multi-generational experiences for families via their shared love of the brand," Cygielman added.

american girl dolls
Stars like Olivia Rodrigo (left), Shailene Woodley (center) and AnnaSophia Robb (right) got their start as actors in American Girl doll films. american girl

American Girl dolls' stories haven't just been great for kids' imaginations — they've also served as a launching pad for young actresses who have gone on to big careers. Above from left, Olivia Rodrigo got her start in an American Girl film (as Grace Thomas), while Shailene Woodley (as Felicity) and Annasophia Robb (as Samantha) starred in films highlighting the original dolls' stories. Below, Willow Smith and Abigail Breslin starred in a Kit Kittredge film, alongside Stanley Tucci and Joan Cusack.

american girl dolls
Abigail Breslin, who portrayed Kit Kitteridge,' at the red carpet premiere of 'Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.'. courtesy american girl

And even before its film series featuring the characters, American Girl also championed children's literacy by publishing books about each of the girls. To continue to promote reading, American Girl will also donate more than $100,000 worth of American Girl books to Save the Children's U.S. Literacy program.

Cygielman said, "We can't wait to inspire and empower this next generation with even more relevant products, immersive experiences and timeless stories."

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