Precious Daughter adores her American Girl doll. She received it as a gift from Uncle R. and Aunt V., and she plays with her nearly every day. If it weren't for her aunt and uncle, Precious Daughter probably wouldn't have one at all, because they're prohibitively expensive. when Precious Daughter first voiced her desire for one, I started poking around on eBay in hopes of finding one in good condition at a reasonable price.
American Girl has come up with an interesting hypocrisy, namely, "Gwen Thompson." Gwen Thompson is the friend of Chrissa, whose story surrounds negotiating the tricky waters of being the new kid in school and dealing with bullies. She is teased for finding a good friend in Gwen Thompson. Gwen and her mother have fallen on hard times. Abandoned by her father, Gwen and her mother are living in their car.
Part of what makes American Girl so popular today is the newer dolls' relevance to the lives of the girls possessing them. "Oh, hey, this doll is ______ like me!" At $95 a pop (for just the doll and the book, never mind accessories!), it was unlikely Precious Daughter would have had her own AG doll if my sister and brother-in-law hadn't stepped in.
What are the chances of homeless girls out there owning Gwen or any other in the AG collection? It strikes me as kind of mean. "Here's a doll whose story might parallell your own, but YOU CAN'T AFFORD HER!! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!"
Am I wrong? Am I missing something here? Chrissa and Gwen certainly teach a nice lesson about friendship, but I wonder how much of it will be learned by the child given the pair ($175 for the pair, a ten-dollar savings!!!) other than "two is better than one."
I hope Mattel has other more noble plans in mind, like donating an AG doll to Toys for Tots for every Gwen purchased or perhaps donating a percentage of sales proceeds to help homeless families.