Trends come and go but some brands are timeless. I loved playing with American Girl dolls as a child and my daughters love playing with them now. My vintage AG outfits and accessories remind me of the fun memories I made as a child. American Girl has changed a lot over the years, but many of the characters remain classics. American Girl’s 2017 dolls and stories teach important lessons and character qualities.
One of my favorite American Girl characters is Felicity Merriman. Her story begins in colonial Williamsburg in 1774. America was on the brink of the Revolutionary War (1775 to 1783).
Felicity is a brave and adventurous 10-year-old girl. She is often annoyed by her lack of freedom and the ladylike customs of the era. Felicity believes in fighting for what she wants and sometimes wavers between being brave and foolish in her actions. Her story introduces girls to an important part of history in a way girls can connect with. This AG doll is absolutely adorable, complete with historical outfits and accessories. You can find our full American Girl Felicity doll review here.
Next, American Girl introduced modern character Z Yang on April 27, 2017. “Z” (short for Suzie) is Korean American. She’s also a stop-motion vlogger character, representing more diverse backgrounds and creative interests girls have today.
Z Yang is being brought to life for fans who have come to know and love her as the star of American Girl’s immensely popular web series, Z’s Crew. She lives in Seattle and loves staying connected with friends and sharing a good story through her stop motion videos.
Other recently released American Girl characters include band mates Tenney Grant and Logan and the 2017 American Girl of the Year Gabriela McBride.
American Girl Gabriela McBride is the 2017 Girl of the Year. She’s a talented African-American girl who loves dance, art and poetry. Gabriela works hard to overcome her stutter and she joins her cousin’s spoken word poetry group. She also uses her creativity to come up with a plan to help keep her local community center open.
The 18″ Gabriela McBride American Girl doll has warm brown eyes that open and close and curly dark brown hair. Gabriela comes wearing a soft turquoise tank top and a cropped purple sweater with silver letters spelling “dream”. Stretchy dark blue jeggings, purple and turquoise shoes, and a pink ribbon headband complete her look. My daughter especially enjoys styling Gabriela’s hair. You can find our full Gabriela McBride AG doll review here.
American Girl Movies
Girls can also watch some of the American Girl stories on the big screen! The first three original American Girl specials are available to stream on Prime Video. These movies feature American Girl characters Melody Ellison, Maryellen Larkin and Ivy Ling.
The award-winning An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is set in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement. This story follows the joyful life and troubled times of 10-year-old African-American girl Melody McBride. Her vivid imagination and creativity reinforces her optimism. When shocking national events threaten her sense of security, Melody must find inner strength to restore her hope for a better world.
An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas tells the story of middle child Maryellen Larkin. She longs to stand out amidst the hustle and bustle of her big family. Benji, a family friend afflicted with polio comes to stay with them. Maryellen is intent on making the holiday special. After her plans for a big celebration fall through, Maryellen discovers the best gifts are often simple.
Related post: See our American Girl Maryellen doll review here »
An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance features Ivy Ling, a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl who struggles with finding a balance between her two cultural identities: Chinese and American. Ivy’s all-city gymnastics tournament lands on the same day her parents are hosting a big Chinese New Year dinner. She feels torn between competing with her team and honoring her family obligations. Ivy works through her struggles with her best friend, Julie Albright. Julie is also dealing with her own emotional turmoil from parents’ divorce. Ultimately, Ivy must make a hard choice. She learns that being true to yourself is the best way to land on your feet.
Collectible Toy Brand
I love the American Girl brand because of their beautiful dolls and classic stories. I’m excited to read some of the same stories to my girls that I read when I was young. My two daughters have already started their own American Girl doll collections. My girls enjoy dressing up the different characters in mix and match outfits and accessories.
Who is your favorite character from the American Girl collection?
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, creative projects, taking photos and traveling. I’ve previously worked as a web designer, journalist and barista. I hope you enjoy our creative projects and family adventures!