Another One Bites the Dust

I'm ticked.

No. Really.

Pissed.

Felicity Merriman did not survive the Revolution. The American Girl Company has 'archived' her.

First, it was Samantha, the 1904 rich girl living up life in New York City before World War 1 and the Spanish influenza.

Last year, it was Kirsten Lar(s)son. The girl I have to thank for impressing my then new boyfriend with my knowledge of Swedish customs, like St. Lucia. Plus, we had matching outfits.

Now, they've gone too far. TOO FAR. Felicity is next. Gone. For whatever stupid reason, they are getting rid of the original American girl dolls (and replacing them with stupid ones like Julie from the 1970s. Really? Are we that old already that the 1970s doll from San Fransisco is necessary? And why 1970? Wouldn't 1965 been a bit more interesting? Have a Sally Draper doll. She goes on adventures, kinda, plus her dad is smokin'...though a bit of an alcoholic. But I digress (been watching way too much Mad Men.)

But seriously, Felicity was one, if not the, (ok, maybe I'm a bit biased, but I did read all of the original books of all the girls) coolest American girl. She was spunky and a patriot, and not the kind that wear stupid t-shirts that have unintentionally funny references to tea-bagging and tea-baggers. She was interesting and inspiring, giving young girls someone to relate to while studying a massively important event in my home country's history. Without her, it is battles and politics and generals. It's hard to focus on that kind of history, let alone be interested. Felicity was a brilliant way to teach girls about history. That's why they started these dolls, is it not? If it is, then why are they getting rid of the really important dolls? I know they are being replaced, but did they have to get rid of really the only 18th century doll? What are they going to replace her with? Mary Sells, the pilgrim American girl? Sarah Proctor, Salem Witch Trials American Girl? (That would be cool....).

Just the summer alone I was in Williamsburg, I witnessed, at least a couple times a day (always more than one, always), where a little girl who came into the Millinery Shop holding her Felicity doll (now with that ugly purple dress, but that's a different rant for a different day) sometimes, her mother would have made her and her Felicity matching outfits to wear. Occasionally (especially if a younger sister was involved), there would be Elizabeth, Felicity's Loyalist friend, tagging along. I know that those little girls wanted to come to Williamsburg, because they loved Felicity so very much, and  they wanted to see where she lived. They were able to go to a real place and learn about real people during a very special and interesting time in history. That is so much better for that wanting to watch the next Barbie Fairy Princess video with crappy computer animation. They are learning, interested, and engaged in what has happened in history, this no doubt will help them along in the future when they're older. You really did learn something from Felicity (and Kirsten and Samantha).

Now that Felicity is gone...who will inspire those little girls to want to see where she lived and learn and become more interested in history?

I'm really bummed....and ticked.

R.I.P. Felicity Merriman, you will be missed, by girls from the the littlest, to 20+ year old women who remember screaming their brains out when they saw you in the white Pleasant Company box for their birthday...and her parents still have it on video....

Comments

  1. What the heck?!?! Felicity was THE BEST out of all of them! I read the books over, and over, and over... You might say it's what got me interested in history in the first place. As a kid, I was one of the ones screaming my brains out when I got the doll for Christmas (not wearing the purple dress-- the old one is so much better!), and my grandmum made us matching dresses, which I wore and wore and wore.
    One of my favorite childhood memories was going to Williamsburg, walking into the millinery shop just like the little girls you saw, dressed to match Felicity in my cap and gown. Nothing was more exciting to me than seeing the places I'd read about in the books and the amazing events that happened there.
    I remember when they took Felicity out of the catalouge when I was about ten. My friends and I made a petition to bring her back, which we all signed in our best, sprawling cursive!
    I'm just as upset as you are. Those books and the dolls inspired so many girls, including myself, to develop a love for history and learning. Hearing about them 'archiving her' is quite unsettling to those of us who so dearly loved Felicity and her books.

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  2. What?!? She was the character that first drew me into American Girls. How sad.

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  3. What? That is completely ridiculous! It's making me glad I saved all my American Girl books from when I was little--who knows if I'll be able to buy them for my kids someday. Both Felicity and Kirsten tell such important stories of America's history, it's really sad they've been phased out.

    As a reenactor, I always loved when little girls would come with their Felicity dolls or would be familiar with her stories--they always had such great questions from their knowledge of the books!

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  4. Amen! I've been quietly reading your blog for a while, but this has motivated me to speak up. It's so sad. I too was one of those little girls who drooled with pleasure over Felicity when she was first introduced back in '91. She was the first doll I ever really wanted, and ever bothered to ask for. She was the reason my sister and I became interested in history, and why we're now both 18th century reenactors.

    I remember thinking it was so cool when Pleasant Rowland helped to fund the publication of "Costume Close-up." We need more people like her, and it's so sad she sold the company and it's since turned into nothing but overpriced toys with little to no standards in historical accuracy any more. I wish she had sold the Felicity line outright to CW. Talk about marketing gold...and all those future little girls who could then still be able to fall in love with something of more substance than Disney princesses.

    Thanks for the post, and for providing a mini forum for similar rants of despair!

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  5. Oh No! She came out right after I got my first doll, Kirsten, and I was so bummed I hadn't waited, she really is the best! And I never got her! And now I'm 30 and will probably have to finally break down and buy her just so I can have her when I have kids someday!! This makes me sad and angry too. Boo American Girl. (She's also the reason I've always wanted to go to Williamsburg...)

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  6. I knew I wasn't the only one who felt this way! I'm considering a petition, or at least a strongly worded letter to American Girl. Thanks for the great comments ladies...I really do wonder if American Girl is aware of how important their dolls are? Especially Felicity?

    I mean, I am a bit surprised CW hasn't kind of stepped in. They have whole tours devoted to Felicity, and they have to know she's one of the big reasons why families go to Williamsburg. Those little girls are serious about their Felicity! But they're being sneaky about it, I think, the American Girl company....sneaky sneaky sneaky.

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  7. Goodnight sweet princess. You will be missed dearly.

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