New ‘American Girl’ doll an aspiring astronaut

Science, smarts and outerspace — that’s what the newest American Girl doll is bringing to girls around the world.

According to Good Housekeeping, American Girl has just unveiled its newest doll for 2018: 11-year-old Luciana Vega, a girl who dreams of being the first person to travel to Mars.

To craft the doll, GH says the company teamed up with NASA employees such as NASA Astronaut Dr. Megan McArthur Behnken, former NASA chief scientist Dr. Ellen Stofan, CEO of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Dr. Deborah Barnhart and the manager of strategic alliances at NASA Maureen O’Brien to accurately design “STEM-inspired outfits and accessories, including a flight and space suit fully equipped for intergalactic travel.”

Not only does the doll come ready for any space missions that may arise, GH reports that Luciana will also receive her own three-book series courtesy of Scholastic, which will detail her experiences as she receives a scholarship to go to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Katy Dickinson, president of American Girl, praised the newest addition to their collection as a “role model for today’s girls,” as she is “empowering them to defy stereotypes, embrace risks and failures, and chart their own course in life — whatever the goal.”

Luciana and all of her accessories became available on Jan. 1. You can shop the new doll here.

American Girl unveils first Korean-American Doll

Young girls of all backgrounds can now find a doll that looks a little more like them, thanks to the newest American Girl doll.

According to Refinery29, the famous doll company just unveiled their first-ever Korean-American doll named “Suzie “Z” Yang.” Available starting April 27, the doll’s backstory aims to inspire new ambitions in young girls as well as to represent diverse ethnicities, says Refinery29.

“Z (short for Suzie) is a Korean American hailing from Seattle, and is the latest addition to American Girl’s new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to more girls’ interests, backgrounds and experiences,” American Girl said in a release. “Through Z, girls get to learn more about this creative young filmmaker who loves staying connected with friends and sharing a good story through her stop motion videos.”

The move to release a Korean-American doll follows a statement from American Girl spokesperson Julie Parks, who Refinery29 reports told NBC News back in February that “the one thing we’ve heard loud and clear is a desire for more—specifically more characters and stories from today—with more experiences, more diversity and more interests.”

Way to go, American Girl.

 

An All-American Girl

Although Black History Month may have just ended, American Girl is set to release a doll this summer that will honor black history every day of the year.

According to CBS, the company is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of a doll named Melody Ellison, “a nine-year-old growing up in Detroit during the 1960s civil rights era, a girl who loves to sing and uses her voice to make a difference.”

CBS says that Melody represents one of the most important periods in U.S. history for African Americans. Vice President of Marketing for American Girl Julia Prohaska said that the decision to launch Melody was the result of very careful decision making. “We’re not looking to address critical demand — we’re looking to tell stories in the most authentic and genuine way that we possibly can,” she explained.

To ensure an authentic story, Senior Historian on the project Mark Speltz was hired to develop Melody’s story.

“When we learn about the civil rights movement, we learn about a handful of really important people. But the movement was… driven by average, ordinary Americans, like Melody,” Speltz said.

Speltz was just one of several hired to form a “six-panel advisory board made up of historians and educators, including the late civil rights activist Julian Bond,” reports CBS.

The board collaborated with lead designer Heather Northrop and her team on Melody’s every detail, making sure that her hair was the right texture and giving her accessories indicative of the times, like a recording studio that plays Motown music, all to breathe life into Melody’s story.

Melody will make her debut at American Girl stores around the country late this summer, starting at $115. But her recording studio and other accessories will amount to a $900 purchase, says CBS.