History and education were her passions, and Pleasant had an idea. Rowland sent a postcard detailing her plan to her friend Valerie Tripp, a children's author. "I've been down in Williamsburg this week and had an idea. What do you think of it? A series of books about nine-year-old girls growing up at different times in American history."
These three first dolls were made by the company Götz in West Germany.
Götz has been producing dolls since 1950, when Marianne and Franz Götz founded Götz Puppenfabrik in Rodental. The first dolls were made of paper mache and were crafted with the help of five family members and sold directly to the public by Franz Götz
These three dolls, Samantha, Kirsten and Molly had a number of historically accurate outfits and accessory sets which tied into and were depicted in the various stories.
For example, Samantha's Winter Amusements set included a pair of ice skates. The doll also can have a 3-Wheeled Bicycle, stereoscope, winter hat and muff. The goal was to make history personal and also to fill a gap in the market: there were baby dolls and Barbie dolls, but no dolls designed to be the age of girls who were actually playing with them.
The first store, American Girl Place, debuted in Chicago in 1998. "From its inception, it was a doll company, a toy company, a clothing company, a publishing company, and a direct mail company all at once," Rowland told the 25th anniversary crowd. "But in truth, from its beginning vision, it was a company that was bigger than the sum of all those parts. It was a girl company, and anything that was good for girls, was ours to give them".
Less than a year ago a new American Girl Place opened at 75 Rockefeller Plaza. The 40,000-square-foot store is filled with popular products, including a large selection of American Girl dolls, accessories and hundreds of fiction and advice books.
There are two levels on this store: the first floor and the lower level (accessible by escalator or elevator). The first floor is the place to be with many of the dolls scattered about, including a huge display for the doll of the 2018 year, Luciana Vega, an 11-year-old "aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars " . There is also a new salon which offers services like ear piercing, nails and hair-dos not just for dolls but now also for girls. Your girl and her doll can even get their ears pierced and manicures together.
Downstairs there is a huge assortment of books and DVDs and historical dolls. The best part of the bottom level is the brand new restaurant cafe two private party rooms both with flat screen giant TVs. Now let us take a look at the prices. Be prepared to spend $$! A basic American girl doll starts at $115, the hair and nails are around $75, kid's meals were $20 and only for kids under 10, $3.75 for a soda and no drink refills. Flight Suit for 18-inch Luciana, the doll of the year, is $28.00 and here Space Suit is $75.00!