For more than three decades, American Girl has cornered the market on weirdly expensive dolls with cloth bodies and plastic limbs and 7,000 accessories. In part, this is because we are all suckers, and American Girl understands this and plays to it by giving its dolls “personalities” and extremely detailed backstories that correspond to various pressure points in American history. There’s Samantha, the icy white Victorian bitch with 600 headbands and a “fancy coat set” whose driving motivation is “to help others.” I see you, Samantha. There’s Molly, a child of WWII whose glasses and permanent braids indicate a rare intelligence and a latent fear of womanhood. There’s Addy, who, for a very, very long time, was the only black doll and a Civil War–era slave (now she is joined by Melody, who dresses like Megan from Mad Men, and Gabriela, who is ready to work out at all times). There’s Kirsten, who is NO LONGER AVAILABLE, HOLY SHIT, SHE WAS AN IMMIGRANT AND THIS IS TRUMP’S AMERICA, I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.
As you can very plainly see by Kirsten’s unholy obliteration from this Earth, plus this new set of dolls whose common theme is “we all wear plastic rain boots (a.k.a. wellies)” (?), American Girl has been taking wild and ludicrous brand risks of late in an effort to avoid its own obliteration. This week, the company did the corporate equivalent of shaving its head and getting an entire-face tattoo by introducing its first boy doll. According to Mic, the next set of American Girl dolls will include a MAN.