A Doll Remembered…

Before there was this Felicity…

(photo of Keri Russell, IMDB)

There was this one…

And sadly, both of them are now collector’s items on EBay…

I was thinking about my Felicity doll today as I tore through CW in hopes of getting a Shrewsbury Cake Cookie…(more later.) My Princess-Weary heart can’t wait to get my hands on my Felicity and Kirsten dolls and their corresponding historical fiction books and impose them on my daughters

One of my earliest memories of Colonial Williamsburg was for Felicity’s Tea Party. (Admit it, some of you were there, too.) In July of 1991 (the year Keri Russell got her start on The Mickey Mouse Club) thousands of  young girls descended on Williamsburg, with their mothers, and their dolls. It was the debut event for Felicity Merriman, spunky equestrian, cute brunette,  Champion of of the Revolution, and, yes, a doll.

The newest American Girl Doll in years, Felicity’s  premiere became a flagship moment for a  company  chasing a new vision in what “toys” could do, and, I hope, a heyday for summer tourism in CW. ( It would have been a well-deserved one. It was a visit to Colonial Williamsburg that had inspired Pleasant Rowland to start her company in 1986.)

I remember the discussion between my parents over the cost of this event.

IT COSTS HOW MUCH? FOR A PARTY? FOR A DOLL?

My mom held her ground,  my Dad held his tongue, and that summer has informed my views of marriage, financial partnership, and choosing to understand not understanding ever since.

I lost track of the American Girl Scene even before Pleasant Rowland sold the company in 1998 for $700 million to Mattel. And it seems the dolls lost track of history…Call me a purist, but a doll from the 1830’s or the 1940’s has more perspective to offer than a doll designed to look just like its owner. Joke’s on me, though…Mattel’s brand seems to be doing just fine – apparently not everyone is looking for perspective from their dolls.

I assumed that, at the least,  they still sold the original dolls. No, friends who are still with me on this topic, check out this site and feel the outrage. And according to the American Girl site , Molly is the only original one still available. She always was a bit trendier. Ruthie had her. Kirsten was my first and favorite, and probably the first to be discontinued.  We all knew that sweet, braided Pioneer Girl never stood a chance.

 As for Felicity Merriman, even though she was the only one to get her own weekend of celebration, and we can still visit her living history museum/town and rent her outfits in our sizes… she too has gone the way of Felicity Porter, to be remembered  in the hearts, and on the websites, of those who loved her.

What doll did you have? What doll did you want to have? Or did you just drive your Barbie Jeep past this whole scene? (Oh how I wanted one of those jeeps…)

12 thoughts on “A Doll Remembered…

  1. I totally had Molly! I assume she’s tucked away at my parents house still. I wanted Molly because she had glasses and looked most like me, guess that’s where the trend of dolls-who-look-like-their-owners spurred from. Aww, i miss my American Girl doll, perhaps I’ll have a reunion with Molly next time I’m in VB.

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    1. No, Maria – you are right. The Mini Me trend began with the historical dolls – often we wanted the one most resembling us. And don’t think I didn’t go to school some days in 2nd Grade with my hair in those Pioner Kirsten/Princess Leia Ear Buns…

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  2. I thought I had lost my Samantha doll until my mom found it, just this week, in a box of my old stuffed animals. My niece has one of the newer dolls, whose name I don’t even know, which I totally thought was Samantha.

    I remember Ruthie having Molly and being completely jealous of it too!

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  3. Samantha sits proudly at her tea party table in the guest room along side her school desk, trunk of clothes and brass bed. A secret niche for both my nieces to hideaway in and escape Thomas the train land downstairs. Although Carter does enjoy pouring the tea every know & again. I did buy my niece the Molly book collection for her birthday party just last week. Long live the originals!
    Do you know that now they even have American Girl stores with fancy Cafes that you can take your dolls to. My friends has frequented the one in NYC with her daughter. I on the other hand only get to visit Bass Pro.

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  4. I made a joke to Carrie, Katie and the Jewel freshman year that we had Felicity to thank for having any interest in William and Mary. They looked at me like I was nuts and then denied ever playing with American Girls. I was so mad at them!

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  5. Lindsey and I LOVED our dolls. Her first was Samantha and mine was Molly. We ended up with a few others too. I am so sad they aren’t making them anymore. I’ll have to clean mine up for Reese to play with someday!

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  6. I was totally at that tea. We might have even gone together?? I have Samantha, Kirsten and Felicity waiting in my parent’s attic for a future playmate… now I just need a little girl to give them to… *sigh*

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  7. I had Addy. There goes the mini me theory.
    Though I do have a real-life mini-me that I chose to name Addie.
    Perhaps Ruthie can sort out the deep emotional reasons behind all of this craziness.

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