The History of American Girl Dolls and Pleasant Company and changes in Book Illustrations

Pleasant Company debuted with the American Girls Collection in 1986 and continued to grow...
1987: The historical fashions for girls was introduced so that girls could match their dolls. Kirsten, Samantha, Molly, Felicity, and Addy had matching dresses for each of the core stories. Matching nightgowns for girls for all 10 historical characters are still available as of 2009.
1991: Felicity Merriman(colonist from 1774) was introduced to the American Girls Collection.
1992: American Girl Magazine debuts, as well as Fashion Shows for girls throughout the country.
1993: Addy Walker (ex-slave from 1864) debuts.
1995: American Girl Today(contemporary dolls and accessories) introduced. American Girl Library, a series of contemporary advice and activity titles, debuts. American Girl Gear, girls' contemporary clothing and lifestyle products, introduced. Bitty Baby debuts. 1996: launched.
1997: Josefina Montoya (Mexican girl living on a rancho in 1824).
1998: American Girl Place, Pleasant Company's first retail site, opens in downtown Chicago.
1999: American Girls Short Stories published, History Mysteries and A. G. Fiction novels launch, A. G. Gear (clothing for girls) is relaunched with a stand-alone catalogue.
2000:Wild at Heart fiction series launches, Pleasant T. Rowland retires as president of Pleasant Company. Ellen Brothers is appointed as the new president of Pleasant Company and executive vice president of Mattel, Inc. Kit Kittredge (growing up during Great Depression in 1934) is introduced to The American Girls Collection, Pleasant Company relaunches the classic Angelina Ballerina picture book series and debuts related merchandise. AG Mini*s, a line of tiny rooms to change and arrange, debut.
2001: Lindsey Bergman, the first Girl of the Year, debuts.
2002: Kaya'aton'my (American Indian girl growin up in 1764) debuts.
2003: AG Mini*s line is discontinued, American Girl Place: New York opens.
2004: American Girl's first best friend doll, Nellie O'Malley (Samantha's friend) is introduced.
2006: American Girl Place: Los Angeles opens.
2007: Julie Albright (living during 1974) debuts.
2008: Samantha Parkington is archived.
2009: Rebecca Rubin (Jewish girl living in 1914) debuts.

Historical Fashions for Girls (thanks to Tiffany for most of the scans here)

A big thanks to Lynn, who sent me the Addy scans!

Page compiled using this link from the official American Girl site.

Click here to see how the books have changed through the years.

Click here to see books I had signed by Connie Porter and Valerie Tripp, authors of American Girls Collection books.

Click here to see some brochures, pamphlets, and some retired American Girls collection items.

Click here for instructions on how to style your doll's hair.

Click here to see some changes to Molly and Samantha's Christmas Collections since 1986.