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August 26, 2007

A Line of Dolls Enters the 70s . . . continued

Part 2 from the New York Times:

So the seven books that accompany the dolls focus on social changes like mothers in the workplace, divorce, immigration and greater opportunities for girls in sports and education. Ms. Prohaska said the dolls took about three years to develop, with a team of historians, researchers, editors and others working together.

The Julie figure is important to the brand. American Girl has sold more than 117 million books and 13 million dolls since 1986, but sales slowed last year. Julie and Ivy dolls will each cost $92 and come with a hardcover book ($87 with the paperback).

Ms. Prohaska said the company, when choosing the next character, considered various time periods, but the '70s quickly rose to the top.

"One of the first things that come to mind was the bicentennial in the mid-'70s," said Megan McDonald, who wrote the six Jullie books and is also the author of another children's book series, "Judy Moody," for Candlewick Press. "The '70s really was trying to return to optimism after the Vietnam War and Watergate. The bicentennial was a good way to show that the country was trying to heal and celebrate."

As for the country's divisions, Ms. McDonald said, the divorce of Julie's parents reflects that theme.

She said that American Girl sent a historian, Mark Speltz, to help with her research, and that they would take walking tours through San Francisco. "I could call him and say, "Could you find any Christmas ornaments that were handmade in the '70s?' and he would go back and look at old magazines and send me clips."

Controlling the characters' image is clearly important to the company. Could Mr. Speltz comment? No, said Stephannie Spanos, a public relations manager, sounding as if she had been asked to hand over the secrets from the Manhattan Project. Only designated American Girl spokespeople can speak to the press.

Ms. McDonald, fortunately, was one of the chosen few. "I was able to draw on my own experiences," she said. "I had four teenage sisters, so, for example, where Julie's older sister rolled her hair with orange juice cans, those were things that came from my own childhood.

"Moms flipping through the book will say, 'Oh, we did that.'"

End of August 25, 2007 article by Patricia Cohen

Posted by dollcloset at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2007

The New York Times discusses Julie!

A Line of Dolls Enters the '70s

By Patricia Cohen

Nine-year old Julie Albright likes to wear her long blond hair loose, with a single thin braid in the front. With her parents divorcing, and with her move from a big house in San Francisco to a smaller apartment across town, she is trying to adapt to a bewildering web of changes, just like a lot of other children growing up in the 1970s.

Except she is 18 inches tall.

Julie and her Chinese-American friend, Ivy, are the latest additions to American Girl's fabulously popular line of historical dolls and books. Scheduled to be introduced on Sept. 10 in the company's stores in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, these West Coast girls are the first new characters in the series in five years and the first to be situated in an era so close to the present. Girls who grew up playing with Dawn* and Chatty Cathy* can now watch their own daughters play with a doll version of themselves.

"We have high expectations and hopes for this character, because it's striking such a powerful connection between girls and their moms," said Julia Prohaska, the company's senior director of marketing. "It will become the new gold standard."

But don't expect Julie to be dragged to a peace rally or to Haight-Ashbury for a Summer of Love flashback. Or to talk about Watergate, the hostages in Iran, the fall of Saigon, the recession, the oil crisis, the Jonestown suicides, gay rights, affirmative action, President Richard M. Nixon's pardon, Love Canal, Roe vs. Wade or the radioactive leak at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.

"We don't take a political stand," Ms. Prohaska is quick to say. "It isn't our job to tell them what is right or wrong." She adds that "we tackled some of the tricky stuff of the '70s in an age-appropriate way."

Until now, the most recent period that the company has touched has been the Second World War. Other dolls reach further back into the past: Felicity is growing up in colonial Williamsburg, Va., Kirsten is a pioneer on the prairie, and Addy is a slave trying to escape to the North during the Civil War. These historical periods are not without political passion, but they are much more distant than the '70s, when today's culture wars took root.

* Popular play dolls in the 1970s

To Be Continued

from August 25, 2007 New York Times

Posted by dollcloset at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2007

New - Middleton Doll Clothing!

Just up! New doll clothes for Large Baby Dolls from the Middleton Doll Company

They are very cute, top quality and guaranteed to fit the large dolls from the Middleton Doll Company.

More coming so stay tuned . . . shoes are next.

PS: While you're on the Large Baby Doll Clothing page, do check out the new Corolle outfits for their 17 inch baby dolls such as Lila and Lea!

Posted by dollcloset at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2007

Summer Clearance Sale!

Time to Prepare for School Days with
Our Annual Summer Clearance Sale!

All swimsuits, shorts, sundresses, sandals and sunglasses are on sale through August 31st . . . applies to in-stock items only. so act now!

Yes, that's in addition to Thursday, our Customer Appreciation Day when you get a 20% discount on purchases over $20.00.

Watch for Back to School Fashions and Halloween Specials coming Soon!

Posted by dollcloset at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2007

Accessories for American Girl Doll, Julie

Lots of fun items coming for the 1974 doll, Julie! The picture above shows some of them including (from the left) a footprint rug, a record player (with 3 records that really play!), a terrarium, a tupperware pitcher, a tape recorder, the record box for Julie's records, and, on the shelf, Jiffy Popcorn!

And here's Julie's Christmas gift - a Barbie Curl set!! And another view of the record box and the tape recorder.

This is Julie's school locker - it comes with stickers and things that you can use to decorate the inside. . . such as the poster from the popular TV show "The Brady Bunch" Once it is available it will be $175.00 Although expensive, it looks like it will hold lots of goodies and her clothes (instead of a trunk).

Other accessories we don't have pictured include her school lunch box with lunch, her pet bunny, Nutmeg, and a set of Bleachers so Ivy and others can watch Julie play basketball. Too cool!!

Posted by dollcloset at 08:30 PM | Comments (7)

August 14, 2007

More Pictures of American Girl Julie's Outfits

Isn't Julie's bed cool?! Love those beads - and her PJ's with slippers. I think this is a new bedroom that Julie gets after her parents divorce. Her Dad stays in the same house but Julie, her big sister and her Mom live above her Mom's shop. Looking at the picture on the cover of Julie Tells Her Story, it appears that her Mom has a dress shop.
The PJ's will come in Girl's sizes too. They will run about $54.00 for the pair. Julie's bed and bedding is $118.00 ! I assume that's with the beads but check it out first -

Below is my favorite outfit - Julie's Gauchos and embroidered jacket that she wears while walking dogs in her job. See the little dog in her arms? You can also get that dog plus two others. I think the hat and scarf (a must in foggy San Francisco) are an extra purchase.

Have fun planning your Wish List!

Posted by dollcloset at 12:00 AM | Comments (20)

August 12, 2007

Welcome Julie and Ivy!

Here they are! The newest Historical Doll, Julie, and her best friend, Ivy. They were brought around at the Los Angeles American Girl Place while we ate the special dinner. Notice Julie's cute hat and her necklace that says Julie on it. Ivy has a beret . . . and fancy dangle earrings!

Julie's story was told through a musical skit - narrated by her Mom. Here's a view of the cast afterwards while they sign autographs and pose for pictures:

Both Julie and Ivy have cute outfits and accessories . . . here Julie is in her Christmas velvet jumper while Ivy is in her red New Year's dress.

More outfit pictures coming soon!!

Posted by dollcloset at 07:07 PM | Comments (3)

August 10, 2007

Julie and Ivy Introduction

August 9 and 10 mark the dates for the official introductions of the newest Historical dolls, Julie and Ivy.

To celebrate, we've extended our usual Customer Appreciation Sale to THREE days ie Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The 20% discount is automatic for purchases over $20.00.

I think this is the first time that two dolls have been introduced at the same time ie Julie plus her friend Ivy. AND it's a first for an all-Asian doll (Chinese in Ivy's case).

We will be in Los Angeles (pictured above) to view the dolls and the accessories etc BUT, unfortunately, we can't bring them back with us!! Yes, we can order them (and pay) but the official release date is September 9th.

We will bring back pictures of the dolls - watch for them by Tuesday!

Posted by dollcloset at 12:24 AM | Comments (7)

August 05, 2007

Halloween Doll Costume Previews!

We're quite excited about this year's line-up of Halloween Costumes as we have FOUR new matching girl costumes coming!

The Pastel Princess costumes shown above are brand new - the Lilac Princess costume will be available soon for girls also. In addition, our Cinderella and Snow White costumes will be at DollCloset.com for girls in time for Halloween. Plus we have a Samantha Dress coming!!

We've asked one of our suppliers to make more of the wonderful Halloween Witch costumes we've had in the past (see the picture below). And of course we have lots of other 18 inch doll costumes available on the second page of our Traditional page. More Baby Doll costumes coming too - it's going to be a wonderful Halloween!

Posted by dollcloset at 11:33 PM | Comments (1)