As part of the 35th birthday, the brand has also released a new book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From American Girl, which Cygielman says is a “sort of tongue-in-cheek” 32-page nostalgic look back, geared towards adults. Then on May 8, fans are invited to join American Girl and cupcake shop Magnolia Bakery for a virtual 35th Birthday Bash, along with other surprises throughout the year.
Frosting and parties aside, the real celebration is what these dolls and their stories represent for millions of girls all over the world. “The stories act as a mirror to a child so that they can see themselves,” Cygielman tells Glamour. “Sometimes it’s a window into another world that they may not have been as familiar with but that they can learn from. We’ve always wanted to tell diverse stories about the American experience, but also to give girls great role models, which builds strong character.”
Cygielman notes that while the way a girl dresses or the toys that she plays with has changed over time, “the core tenets of girlhood and those rites of passage have not changed—such as her friends, her family, her community, doing the right thing, being a better person, and inspiring to do great things. So it seemed really culturally relevant right now to tell those stories again to a new audience.”
As part of the 35th celebration, American Girl is partnering with Save the Children’s U.S. Literacy program this summer with a gift of more than $100,000 in American Girl books. “We’ve long-championed the belief that strong readers become strong leaders,” the brand says.
And to continue to get fans more excited, the brand is also releasing new images of the original dolls, which you can see below, along with some of The Pleasant Company’s vintage photos released in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
The six original dolls are available on American Girl’s website and will retail for $150 each.
Happy Birthday, American Girl! Turning 35 never looked so much fun!
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. To see her vintage Kirsten doll, you can check out her Instagram here.