Monday, May 25, 2009

American Girl Meets Rebecca Rubin on May 31st!



If a person was to go into my room and search the nooks and crannies of it, they would find evidence that while I am 27 years old, the American Girl Company still holds a very soft spot in my little heart. I can vividly remember when I first heard of American Girl. I was seven years old, and I had received my scholastic book order catalog. I had, from a very early age loved the Victorian and Edwardian time period and Samantha caught my attention. Meet Samantha was one of the first books I got from the collection, the next was Kirsten and then onward to a whole collection of books by the company. Soon I was begging my poor nearly single father of four for the expensive American Girl doll of Kirsten. At that time I believe she was around $75. She was so pretty and cute and I had to have her.

Kirsten was around my age, I believe she was nine and I was seven. She was from the Victorian time period which was and still is my favorite era in history and she was from another country. She immigrated to Minnesota which was a state very near to Michigan where I lived. Plus she had a Native American friend named Singing Bird. I am part Cherokee so the fact that Kirsten had a Native American friend had a special effect on me. And so the bond between Pleasant Company and my seven year old self came about. My father, knowing I would love Kirsten and play with her till the end of my dying childhood days bought the doll for Christmas for me that year.

Throughout the years, I’ve collected dozens of American Girl books, toys, movies, cds, calendars, posters, two dolls, even the magazines and the catalogs. I even got to go to one of the Fashion Shows. Since Pleasant T. Rowland retried and Mattel took the company over, I must say that I have been a little disappointed in the company. I missed the fun historical craft books that the company used to come out with the dolls. I missed the authentic historical outfits the company had for the historical dolls. Basically I missed the fact that the company seemed to have lost its historical value in the newer dolls. I was greatly disappointed when Kaya, and Julie did not have a craft book or a friendship book the way Kit did. I had learned a great deal about the time period not only through the books but also through the side books American Girl had for each doll, such as the paper dolls, craft and cook books and other books that helped girls learn about the dolls era in history. I was also greatly disappointed when American Girl suddenly retired Samantha who seemed to have been the company’s most beloved doll.

However, I recently found out that American Girl was coming out with a new doll named Rebecca Rubin who will be a nine year old Jewish Russian Immigrant living in New York City’s Lower East Side during the Edwardian time period. Her books are set in the year of 1914, and from what I can tell are similar yet different than Samantha’s. Also, it seems that the American Girl researchers have been working on Rebecca Rubin for some time now and have taken very harsh measures to get the doll and her history exactly right. From the pictures I have found on dolldairies, Rebecca looks very much like a Jewish Russian Immigrant may have looked in this time period. Her clothes seem very authentic. And I must say that I have very high hopes for Rebecca.

I hope that through Rebecca the American Girl Company will restore its historical products that the company’s founder encouraged so greatly.



Resources:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/fashion/24Doll.html

http://dolldiaries.com/american-girl-rebecca-rubin-headlines/

http://rebshaya.com/

http://americangirl.com/

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