Monday, September 06, 2010

American Girl—What a Concept!

A new American Girl Doll store opened in The Big City Saturday. What a day! What a store!

If you’re not familiar with American Girl dolls, you’re missing a wonderful treat. It’s even more wonderful if you’re a pre-teen girl, like our granddaughters Mari and Darby who have American Girl dolls of their own. Parents and grandparents alike can go broke keeping up with them, too (compare to the cost of a college education). But it’s worth it. At least we don’t have to change their diapers. By the way, if you have only boys, you can smirk while you read this—Jennie.

Just one of many American Girl dolls. Ain't she cute? I don't know her name.
I got this picture from the American Girl web site.

We took Mari and her mom to the Grand Opening of the new local store. At least 3,500 girls and their parents/grandparents were there. Nearly every girl there brought her doll, too. Everyone had to wait in line, wait in line, wait in line and wait in line. Only about 200 people at a time were let into the store. Inside was a beautiful store setup—dolls everywhere. Boxes and boxes of dolls and their needs. Racks of clothes for both the dolls and their little owners. Shelves and displays of pretty dolls and their accessories. There was a bank of 12 cash registers(!) and we got to wait in another long line just to pay and get out.

And just one of the lines waiting to get into American Girl doll store. See any boys?
This picture was taken about two hours after the store opened! The lines stayed this way till after six p.m.
I want to recommend American Girl to all two of my readers. American Girl is not just a doll manufacturer. It’s an enterprise—a wholesome enterprise, at that. They sell several dolls, from babies to “Tweens,” some of which already have names. Each doll has a full line of personal accessories like carriages, clothing, hair and makeup junk, jewelry, pets and glasses. The doll and her pre-teen girl can even dress alike in matching clothes and pajamas. I’m telling you, times have changed—and in this case it’s a good change. Story books accompany most of the dolls and many of them have historical information that rival the girls’ school textbooks. American Girl is some grand idea.

That's Mari down in the LH corner. She has her doll, Wan-Wan, which is a little Asian cutie-patootie. Can you tell that they're wearing matching clothes? Mari was so proud to stand in front of that banner.

 Mari and Granddaddy. I promise you: the line DID NOT start there.

 Mari and her mommy. They're almost there; it says so, right there on that sign.

 Finally! About to enter American Girl. She was so proud and excited. I wonder what her heart rate was.

It was a long day. This picture was taken about 4:15 p.m. After about an hour inside the store, she still had a smile on her face. She was pleased, satisfied, still thrilled and pre-exhausted. 
Psst. Don't tell Mari, but see that red shopping bag on the LH side of the photo? Mari got far more than what she's holding. She has a birthday in just a few more days. And then Christmas...

Please note: the most impressive thing I saw all day was the conduct of the girls. Almost to the girl, regardless of her age and despite the hours-long lines, I saw patience, courtesy, respect, obedience, quiet (well, almost) and cooperation. No attitudes; no crying. They were excited, too, of course, and made friends easily with other little girls. These were good and well-behaved young ladies and I was proud of every one of them. 

A tip of the hat to American Girl, too. In most of the lines, there were little girl-oriented crafts and activities to help pass the time. Overall, AG put on a grand Grand Opening this weekend here in The Big City. I’ve always loved kids and this day was a great one for them. My faith in the future of silly girls—and dolls—has been restored.


srp said...

Yes, American Girl was a part of Nyssa's life too. She has Molly... one of the historical dolls and another that they sort of design with the same hair and such as the little girl if you want. They had such detail on their outfits and the accessories.

Another doll conception that is AMAZING is My Twin. You pick the hair from a lot of different swatches and the eyes and skin tone and you send a picture and they style the hair just like the little girl. It is truly amazing how close they get to the real thing. When Nyssa was 9 and took hers on the plane, we got a lot of double takes in the airport.

DBFrank said...

My eldest had many of the American Girl dolls, and the other two daughters read the books... good stuff

Jennie said...

They are adorable and a great idea. Somehow Bionicles and Lego Star Wars characters don't really make up for the lack of dollies. Dollies are special.

Star said...

I raised 3 daughters and knew nothing about American Girl dolls until recently. Good thing I have a granddaughter to get into it with.

Senorita said...

Wow, I love this post ! I live in California and we don't have such a store, so I've never heard of it. I love the concept ! Way better than Barbie.

Also, unfortunately in my area, well behaved children has been an unheard-of concept.

Scarlet Ily said...

What well-behaved little girls and it sounds like a fantastic store! My daughter LOOKS like Jennie. lol She had the infant doll (I can't remember her name at the moment) and she came with the cutest accessories, but everything was bought online. I'd love to visit a store like that sometime.

Great photos, btw. Love Mari's smile! :)

Janell said...

Oh, I am a huge fan of the American Girls! When my little American Girl grew up and moved out, i got custody of Addie, Kirsten and Josefina. I keep them in a display with some of their accessories and such. I even go and 'play' with them... sort of. Well, anyway, I change their outfits and positions at the tea table.
That's so wonderfully cool that all the gilrs at the opening stayed cheerful and excited. Yup - "the future's so bright, i gotta wear shades..."

Cliff said...

Great story. I hadn't heard of it.

alexandra capuano said...

Americand girl dolls are great.

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