12 Things You Didn't Know About American Girl Dolls

Have you met the latest little lady in the collection?

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Looking for a fun way to teach girls about American history, Pleasant Rowland founded American Girl in 1986. Initially, the dolls were only available through the catalog. And yes, every kid in the '90s wanted or had one. Now, it's a mega-business that includes flagship stores in most major cities, restaurants, movies, books, and more. Heck, you and your doll can even take cooking classes, shop, and head to the salon together. But famous as they are, here are a few more fun facts you may not know about these iconic toys.

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1 Maryellen Larkin is the latest doll!
American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin
Courtesy of American Girl

She's the 15th historical doll — and hit stores on August 27, 2015. Maryellen's also from Florida, and when her book series starts in 1954, she's 9. We can only assume there will be lots of jukeboxes and saddle shoes.

2 First, there were only three.
Original three American Girl dolls Kirsten, Samantha and Molly
American Girl

When the company launched, eager girls could only order from just three dolls in the catalogs — Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, and Molly McIntyre. Kirsten was retired in 2010, Molly in 2014, and Samantha was axed in 2008, only to be brought back in 2014 — with new outfits.

3 More than 151 million AG books have been sold.
American Girl original books
centerstuffonly via ebay.com

Plus, they were almost all penned by author Valerie Tripp. Even cooler: Over 27 million American Girl dolls have been sold since 1986.

4 The hair is not human — even though it looks like it.
American Girl doll store hair salon
Getty ImagesJuana Arias for the Washington Post

Every American Girl doll's locks are a wig made of high-quality Kanekalon sewn into a mesh wig cap, which is then glued onto the head. (My Kirsten doll was sent to the Pleasant Company hospital at least 3 times for a new wig, oops!)

5 There's a bald version.
American Girl doll no wig alopecia cancer
Courtesy of American Girl

For kids with cancer, alopecia, and other conditions causing hair loss, the company offers a doll just for them.

6 The WORST thing you can do to your doll is...
Kristiana Drawe, 7 and twin sisters, Natalie and Madeline Gordon, 8, wait to pay for their accessories during the grand opening of American Girl at Park Meadows, in Lone Tree, CO, March 27, 2010.
Getty Images

…get her wet. She may have all the right gear for fun in the sun, but actual water makes her eyes rust and her cotton body mold — not to mention it wreaks havoc on her lovely locks.

7 But if you did, there was always the hospital!
Julie hospital gown
via craftingwithmnm.wordpress.com

Starting in 1992, the company offered "hospital visits" and back then, they included a hospital gown, hospital bracelet, certificate of good health — and a "Get Well Soon" ballon.

8 They all have the same face.
American Girl Just Like Me dolls
Getty Images

Well, almost. There are 8 face molds, but the vast majority (and almost all the BeForever dolls) have the same one. The only current doll to have her own completely unique face is Kaya. (Bonus fact: The company launched a diverse line of dolls in 1995.)

9 Their bodies have changed a lot over the years.
Kit American Girl doll anatomy
via americangirl.wikia.com

Before the company was bought by Mattel, they had chubbier faces, less color on their lips and cheeks, larger feet, and a chubbier (flesh-toned) body shape, a.k.a no thigh gap or butt. Essentially, the dolls (like this one) have been Barbie-fied.

10 They're the second-best selling U.S. toy.
Della Laster, Ashley White, 7 years old and Dana Laster, 9 years old react as they see Laster's doll hair done at the new American Girl in McLean,VA on June 18,2011.
Getty ImagesJuana Arias for the Washington Post

Second only to Mattel's other staple: Barbie.

11 The movies are actually pretty good.
Shailene Woodley as Felicity
The WB/Brooke Palmer

Seriously. The movie adaptations of the books, produced by Julia Roberts, have starred actresses like Abigail Breslin, Annasophia Robb — and Shailene Woodley, who played Felicity!

12 American Girl Stop Motion is a thing.
AGSM
via youtube.com/superag101

If the movies aren't enough, AGSM is a YouTube phenomenon where fans make stop motion films starring their dolls, using the technique of stop-motion animation — like this Hunger Games clip. It's the kind of tedious thing only teenage girls have the hours for (we hope!)

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