Learn more about the history of American Girl

Our story. Inspiring girls to grow up with courage, confidence, and strength of character

Reach for the star
It's who you are

Reach for the star
It's who you are

Our purpose
We celebrate girls

Our purpose
We celebrate girls

Bringing out the joy of girlhood is at the heart of everything we do. Through adventurous stories and imaginative play, we give girls the chance to discover who they are—and who they’re meant to be.

No matter if she’s a toddler or entering her teen years, every girl can find inspiration to be her best, to grow a strong mind and spirit, to laugh while she learns to be resilient, confident, and kind. Most of all, we hope to open girls’ eyes to a bigger world so they can create a brighter future for us all.

Our purpose: We celebrate girls

The American Girl experience is more than just a collection of toys. It is a collection of magical moments filled with goodness-moments that will nourish a little girl's spirit, send her imagination soaring, and make her dreams come true. -Pleasant T. Rowland
The American Girl experience is more than just a collection of toys. It is a collection of magical moments filled with goodness-moments that will nourish a little girl's spirit, send her imagination soaring, and make her dreams come true. -Pleasant T. Rowland

Our founder
The story of Pleasant T. Rowland

Our founder
The story of Pleasant T. Rowland

When Pleasant founded American Girl in 1986, she believed that great stories with aspirational characters could inspire girls to make their own positive mark on the world—and she was right. Since then, we’ve been a trusted partner in empowering girls with confidence and character.

After an inspirational trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Pleasant combined her love of American history and her commitment to high-quality educational products to create our first-ever product line, The American Girls Collection. From there, she developed even more books, dolls, and toys that integrate learning and play experiences to emphasize important values. She also fulfilled her long-time dream of opening experiential retail stores, the first of which debuted in Chicago in 1998, where fans could see and shop the product in person and fully immerse themselves in the world of American Girl.

As American Girl grew in popularity, major toy companies took notice, and Mattel acquired the brand in 1998. Today, guided by Pleasant’s original vision, we’ve grown into one of the nation’s most beloved brands. Through powerful stories of courageous heroines, we’ve helped shape an entire generation of women of character—a brand truth we are immensely proud of and a testament to the spirit and ingenuity of our remarkable founder, Pleasant T. Rowland.

Our founder: The story of Pleasant T. Rowland


Our history, looking to the past with pride, A timeline of American Girl
Our history, looking to the past with pride, A timeline of American Girl


Our flagship historical characters launch, featuring 18-inch dolls with wide worlds of play for girls ages 8 and up. Each character is highlighted in a book series that explores her era and offers a dramatic understanding of the role women and girls played in shaping our country.


A contemporary 18-inch doll world that has since evolved into Truly Me® debuts. These dolls encourage a girl to express, explore, and discover who she is right now—and to find the confidence to be her true self.


The world of Bitty Baby®, a 15-inch baby doll, arrives to help teach younger girls important life skills like caring and nurturing.


Contemporary books, highlighted by expert advice and hands-on activities, join the American Girl library of historical fiction to expand the range of topics and entertainment for girls.


The first American Girl store opens in Chicago, bringing to life all the characters and experiences girls love in an award-winning retail environment. In subsequent years, our stores spread across the country, giving girls nationwide the chance to enjoy dining, celebrations, salon treatments, and hands-on activities like nowhere else.


Girl of the Year™ joins the American Girl world as 18-inch contemporary character dolls who experience modern-day issues and give voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds.


The WellieWishers™ blossom to life with a world of 14.5-inch character dolls, early chapter books, and accessories for girls ages 4-7 that teach how to build lasting friendships.


The ultimate experience in personalization arrives with Create Your Own, enabling girls to design the doll and apparel they’ve always dreamed of.


Addy, Kirsten, and Josefina return with special-edition birthday outfits and classic books, first published in 1993, 1986, and 1997. The re-released books feature updates to language and imagery, and include additional resources that help readers understand each era better.

More points of pride

More points of pride

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Our awards

Based on their high quality and
authenticity, many of our dolls, sets,
and books have earned prestigious
awards for play and developmental

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Our learning guides

To enrich the experience girls enjoy
with our characters, we developed
learning guides for parents and teachers
to explore new ideas.

Our people & places
Who we are, where we work

Our people & places
Who we are, where we work

Since our start in 1986, we’ve dedicated our entire business to being a trusted partner in building girls of strong character and helping them reach their full potential. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, we are one of the nation’s top omni-channel marketers, with direct, retail, and publishing divisions to serve the American Girl brand and our customers.

More than 162 million of our books have been sold since 1986.

Over 36 million of our dolls have been sold through the company’s catalogue, retail stores, and website since 1986.

Our retail stores have welcomed over 114 million visitors and are recognized as premier models for experiential retail.

Americangirl.com receives more than 27 million visits per year.

Our social channels have gained a combined audience of over 3 million followers.

We have a long-standing commitment to children’s charities and have donated more than $140 million in merchandise and cash to thousands of U.S. nonprofits.

Our diversity and inclusion: Celebrate every kind of great

Since the beginning, we’ve created dolls and accessories that reflect the real world and all its colors, customs, and capabilities. We write engaging stories with a goal of opening minds and hearts. And we will never stop learning because of our promise to encourage kindness, build confidence, and celebrate every kind of great!

Our wide range of dolls—offering a variety of skin tones, face molds, eye colors, hair styles and textures, plus hundreds of accessories and stories—helps girls highlight their individuality and style. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends even further, continuing with our selection of dolls without hair. These dolls are a perfect companion for girls who may be dealing with permanent or temporary hair loss.

In addition to dolls without hair, we offer several other specialized items, such as an asthma and allergy set, service dog gear, crutches, a wheelchair, and a diabetes kit. Plus, hearing aid placement is also available for our 18-inch dolls (historical characters, Truly Me®, and Create Your Own), either at the time of purchase or through our Doll Hospital.

We seek to help create a world where everyone is valued and respected, and we are committed to empowering the next generation of girls through inclusive stories, products, and shared experiences. Check out our free online library of diverse books.