The American Girl company is releasing a brand new doll as part of an ongoing series of historically-themed dolls. The new addition to the American Girl collection is Maryellen Larkin, and she comes from the era of post-war 1950s.
According to People, the BeForever line of historical dolls includes characters from some of America’s most trying times, including the Civil War, World War II, and the Great Depression. But the newest American Girl doll is based around a happier part of American history: 1954.
— American Girl (@American_Girl) August 20, 2015
Each American Girl doll comes with her own backstory and characteristics, and Maryellen Larkin is no different. She’s a strawberry blonde 9-year-old from Florida with a passion for drawing. The doll comes with an array of outfits appropriate for 1954, as well as three books with original stories about the doll’s character. These stories show the American Girl doll having adventures within the historically accurate realm of the post-war 50s. All three books are written by Valerie Tripp.
“At first glance, Maryellen’s circumstances appear determinedly normal,” the author said. “I did this deliberately, so that I could show that the extraordinary exists with the extra-ordinary, and it is Maryellen’s own sparky pizzazz that makes the difference.”
Refinery 29 criticized American Girl for lacking characters of color in their line of dolls, so far only producing three dolls with any ethnic diversity (Addy, Kaya, and Josefina). However, with the three books accompanying the doll from the 1950s, it’s still possible Valerie Tripp will utilize the historical setting to tackle issues of race segregation, discrimination, and civil rights.
And the story of Maryellen Larkin will go one step further. American Girl is also producing a short web film about the character. The company recently held a casting call for young girls ages 8 to 14 to submit an audition tape to play Maryellen or Julie Albright (the American Girl doll from the 70s). The submission end date is today (August 24) so expect to see a web short soon. According to Marketing Land, the girl chosen will not only get to star in the film but will also win $10,000.
Fans of American Girl have been requesting a doll from the 1950s since the company started way back in 1986. Decades later, they’ve finally devivered with the adorable Maryellen Larkin. Will you be picking up the doll for yourself or a loved one?
[Images courtesy of American Girl]