American Girl dolls are costly for most Americans. But sales of the dolls are strong, even at a time when many people are concerned about the economy. Kaeli Chang has several American Girl dolls, including one that looks just like her. She and the doll wear the same kind of clothing.
“We’ve got matching outfits and I love to match with my doll. And it makes me feel kinda cool because I have a friend just like me.”
We spoke with Kaeli and her mother Liane Whalen-Chang at the American Girl store in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
“I have nine American Girl dolls altogether ‘cause my mom’s an awesome shopper.”
“What I like about it is that it kind of brings back the innocence of the kids. They grow up too fast. And so the American Girl allows her to be just a little girl a little bit longer.”
Kaeli got her first American Girl doll just after she was born. That was the beginning of her collection. A single American Girl doll sells for 100 dollars. Extra clothing can increase the cost. Valerie Tripp has written more than 30 American Girl books. She loves writing for eight-year-old girls.
“We wanted to speak to girls who were eight, nine, ten years old and say whatever your passion is whatever you are interested in right now, you know, hang onto that.”
She says most of them are reading by themselves for the first time.
“The ability to walk in somebody else’s shoes is a wonderful life skill. And if you can read about somebody who lived in a different time and kind of walk into her world, isn’t that a wonderful way of, you know, learning?”