Came across this article, think it’s great that they’re trying to include more people in their target audience.
here are some highlights from the article:
“We have a long history of speaking to diversity and making girls feel good about themselves, and this is just another way we are expanding on the idea,” said American Girl Doll spokeswoman Julie Parks.
Whereas many dolls from high-end companies resemble a stereotypical beauty unattainable for most little girls, American Girl has always seemed to strive for all-inclusiveness. The dolls come in a vast selection of skin tones, hair color and eye color, which can be mixed and matched so the doll resembles its owner. Now they can also be fitted with glasses, braces for the teeth, crutches or a wheel chair, and the company recently began to offer dolls without hair to represent those who have lost hair to cancer.
American Girl books and movies also do a good job of highlighting problems girls are likely to encounter in life. This year’s “Doll of the Year” McKenna is a talented gymnast who struggles with injuries and a learning disability. In the book and movie about her experiences, Jesse, her brainy friend and tutor, is confined to a wheel chair.
Perhaps because acceptance for all is part of American Girl’s mission, it has been more successful than other toy makers that have attempted to make dolls with disabilities. Barbie’s wheelchair-bound friend, Share a Smile Becky, is a notable example. Even consumers who overlooked the condescending name couldn’t forgive the fact that Becky’s chair didn’t fit into the Barbie Dream House elevator.
Girl Power aside, all this diversity might have a limited reach. The price tag for a doll is $105, and from there the cash register never seems to stop ringing. The wheel chair costs $38, the hearing aid $9 and the allergy-free lunch bag $28. Let’s not even mention the hair styling, ear piercing and tea parties.