Celebrating Girls and all they can be

A history of helping girls shine

American Girl's mission is to celebrate girls. We embrace who they are today and look forward to who they will become tomorrow.

Since the first catalogue debuted in 1986, American Girl has provided inspiring products for each stage of a young girl's development—from her preschool days of baby dolls and fantasy play through her tween years of self-expression and individuality. Through an array of premium-quality books, dolls, clothes, toys, and accessories, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators.

American Girl first introduced a line of historical characters, which currently includes Kaya®, Caroline®, Josefina®, Marie-Grace® and Cécile®, Addy®, Rebecca, Kit®, and Julie®, that come to life through extraordinary books, 18-inch dolls, and accessories. The nine-year-old fictional heroines live during important times in America's past, providing "girl-sized" views of significant events that helped shape our country, and they bring history alive for millions of children.

In 1992, the company launched American Girl® magazine, an age-appropriate publication designed to affirm self-esteem, celebrate achievements, and foster creativity in today's girls. With a circulation of over 450,000, the award-winning magazine ranks among the top-ten children's magazines in the nation and is the largest magazine dedicated exclusively to girls.

In 1995, the company debuted a line of contemporary 18-inch dolls and accessories that has since evolved into My American Girl®. The My American Girl product line lets every girl create a truly special doll that's just right for her, and then bring her doll to life in a safe, enriching, online world that promotes learning and helps girls to be their best.

For younger girls ages 3 to 6, American Girl also introduced the Bitty Baby® and Bitty Twins® lines of soft, huggable baby and toddler dolls and related toys that encourage nurturing behavior.

American Girl products are marketed and distributed through the company's award-winning catalogue; on its website, americangirl.com; and at its proprietary retail stores. The American Girl books are also available in bookstores nationwide. Since 1998, American Girl has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel.

American Girl is headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin, in two warehouse operations and distribution facilities totaling 560,000 square feet. With the 19 American Girl retail stores and additional warehouse and distribution sites, the company's facilities total over 1.8 million square feet.

Between the company's various locations, over 2,300 women and men are employed full- or part-time throughout the year, with the ranks swelling to nearly 5,000 during the pre-holiday season.

Jean McKenzie serves as Executive Vice President of American Girl and is also a member of the Mattel Leadership Team.

Highlights in American Girl history

Explore each era