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Seven years ago, American Girl introduced its first Asian-American doll in its exclusive historical line: Ivy Ling, a Chinese-American girl growing up in San Francisco during the 1970s. Cecile Rey, an American Girl character doll with African-American and French roots, whose story is set in 1850's New Orleans.
Though American Girl has “retired” its dolls before, this marks the first time the company, owned by Mattel, has archived any of its historical characters of color.
Two Asian American sisters, ages 10 and 14, have started a petition, calling on American Girl to commit to creating a new Asian-American doll. American Girl’s historical line consists of characters that “bring to life important times for America,” according to a company description. To many, the company's decision to discontinue Ivy and Cecile -- two dolls of color -- underscores the disconnect between corporate decision-making and potential consumer demand among minority communities, particularly in an era that finds the U.S.
Marie-Grace, an American Girl doll whose story is set in 1850s New Orleans, is one of four dolls being discontinued by the company this fall. An American Girl spokeswoman said the decision to discontinue the dolls was not based on sales. According to Parks, the decision to archive the four dolls -- which also include white dolls Marie-Grace and Ruthie -- came from a new strategy to end having companions to its main historical characters. But even among American Girl's existing customer base, the doll's disappearance was poorly received.


Ha, a mother of two, said that she hopes the outcry will make American Girl reconsider its decision. Ruthie, an American Girl doll whose story is set in the Great Depression, is one of four dolls being discontinued by the company this fall. American girl Lindsay has launched a website to help Chinese people choose appropriate English names. On the "Best English Names" website, users pay 15 yuan (about $2.5) to access an online test, designed by Lindsay's team, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.
The test consists of 10 questions about the user's character and requirements for a name, and on completion the user receives five English name recommendations.
The website's daily page views have reached more than 2,000, with visitors being predominantly young women from Hangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, Wenzhou, Chengdu and other cities in China, who are preparing applications to study abroad.
Lindsay previously worked in Shanghai and her idea to launch the website was inspired by the strange names chosen by some of the Chinese people she met. Lindsay likes experiencing different cultures and she hopes her website would develop into a platform for cultural exchange.
Though she was a companion to another doll, Ivy represented a quiet acknowledgement of the rapidly growing Asian-American consumer population and their place in U.S. Ivy and three others dolls are being “archived” as part of the toy company’s rebranding of its historical line.


They care about social issues as long as they make money,” said Elizabeth Chin, a professor at the Art Center College of Design, who has written extensively on children, popular culture and race.
Both Ivy and Ruthie were sidekicks to other girls, while Marie-Grace and Cecile were paired together.
For her daughter’s ninth birthday this spring, Nina Ha gave her an American Girl doll and celebrated with a special lunch at the American Girl store in Los Angeles.
In 2006, it made Jess McConnell -- a doll with Japanese-American and Irish-Scottish parents -- its “Girl of the Year,” part of a limited collection of dolls available for one year. Find general information on life, culture and travel in China through our news and special reports or find business partners through our online Business Directory.
In addition to Ivy, American Girl is also discontinuing another doll of color, Cecile Rey, a girl with African-American and French roots living in New Orleans during the 1850s.
By 2017, Asian Americans are expected to have a collective buying power of $1 trillion, and African Americans, a collective buying power of $1.3 trillion, according to reports by Nielsen.
But parents have often considered American Girl a wholesome alternative to other dolls and the company has been lauded for its efforts to teach girls about U.S.



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