My Letter to American Girl
Today I sent in my letter to American Girl stating my opinions and how I feel about the terrible decisions they are making.
Here is my letter:
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Jaclynn and I have been collecting American Girl dolls for 9 years now. I have 23 dolls, 3 sets of Bitty Twins (which are unhappily, not available anymore), one Bitty Baby, and one Wellie Wisher.
I also run an American Girl doll blog that I’ve had for going on 4 years now where I post photoshoots and stories with my dolls. I have a large following on there and I follow nearly 100 other doll blogs myself. And we are all saying the same thing; What is AG doing?
For many long years we have bought your products and poured our talents, our hearts, and our souls into them. Creating stories, capturing the doll’s personalities on camera, making stopmotions and movies – we have supported you and loved you all our lives, but now I fear that if you don’t revert to your old ways – you are going to lose hundreds of customers.
This is a list of things that are painfully upsetting to me and hundreds of your fans and customers:
1. Permanent underwear – What makes no sense to me is that on Facebook you asked for our opinion on this matter, but I’ve already seen images that you are doing it anyway, despite how your customers feel about it. Why on earth are you making the dolls have permanent undies? Is it too expensive now for you to make real underwear for your dolls? On the bottom of the doll it honestly looks like they have a lump of something in their “underwear.” It’s completely disgusting and so cheap of you to do this. Why even come out with a bathroom set when the dolls are going to have to sit on the toilet or bathe with their underwear on? In play – girls will want to remove the underwear and now they won’t be able to.
2. Squishy vinyl – I have also seen photos of your dolls now being squishy. How far will you go? For years the dolls have been firm and if they started to squish in that was bad and meant they were exposed to too much heat. So now, with this new vinyl – if they are exposed to too much heat, will they melt? Because it certainly doesn’t seem like they could squish in any more than they are already. This is beyond upsetting.
3. The packaging – The new doll boxes feel like you are buying a doll from Walmart and that is NOT a good thing. The boxes used to feel like you were buying a keepsake doll that was special – like it was more than a doll you were buying. But now it just feels like you’re buying some cheap doll from Walmart for over a hundred dollars. And honestly – some of the packaging on the clothes have left holes in the clothing. That’s awful.
4. Selling AG products in other stores – Kohls, Toys R Us, Sears – every time I see your products in one of these stores my heart sinks and I want to turn my head away. It feels so shameful for these products that used to be so special being sold in stores like these. I feel that you have taken away the specialness of your products.
5. Wellie Wishers – Although they are cute and I own one myself, these dolls don’t look AG. They’re like misfit dolls that look like a brand Toys R Us created and should only be sold there.
6. Discontinuing the Bitty Twin line – I was so sad when this line was discontinued. When I was younger, the Bitty Twins were a main part of my every day play. I have so many great memories with them and I always hoped you would make more – especially Irish ones with freckles. You can imagine my disappointment when they disappeared.
7. Getting rid of the Best Friend dolls – This one breaks my heart. The friends are such a huge, main part of the stories and you took them away. They were beautiful and important. And even when you brought back Samantha, you didn’t bring Nellie. Now you’re bringing Felicity back and not Elizabeth. Honestly – if you had brought back Nellie I would have bought her in a heartbeat. She was always one of my favorites, but I was so young when she retired that I didn’t have a chance to buy her before she was archived. And now, even though you got rid of all of the classic friend dolls that everyone loved, you are bringing in Tenney Grant and her friend Logan Everett and I’ve heard possibly also Tenney’s friend Jaya. You would make more sales bringing back the retired friend dolls than you will these – especially with the changes being made to these dolls.
8. The movies – Honestly, the movies are terrible now. I struggled through the Grace Thomas movie – the acting was terrible, there’s way too much singing and dancing now, and your 9 year old characters look like they’re 13. The historical movies are the best and made with real effort and quality. I wish you would make more of those.
9. Modernized historical clothing – Years ago, when American Girl was still Pleasant Company, the historical outfits were extremely high quality, well made, and really looked and felt historically accurate – and the outfits cost way less. Now the historical outfits are way too modernized, made with cheaper fabric, and cost more. We want the historical clothes back – the way they used to be. Please stop trying to make the historical dolls modernized when they are really from hundreds of years ago.
10. The pets – Why are the pets now creepy looking stuffed animals? It looks like they have oversized stuffed animals as pets instead of actual pets.
All of the topics listed above lead to one thing – I, along with many others, want you to stop changing things. You are only making things worse and will continue losing customers because of it.
Once you revamp the dolls to have permanent underwear and squishy vinyl I can tell you that I will no longer be purchasing your dolls. The money will no longer be worth it for me. And I cannot put into words how much it pains me to write those words because I had thought I would be buying dolls from you for my entire lifetime. I never in my wildest dreams thought this company I loved so dearly would come to this; that I would be forced to make such a decision or even to write such a letter.
I thank you for who you used to be – for bringing joy and fun into my life. Without you, I never would have created my blog and without my blog, I wouldn’t have made such great friends who loved AG as much as I did.
Writing the end of the letter brought me close to tears. It was painful to say those words – to say that I wouldn’t buy anymore dolls from them. I love AG, the way they used to be, but not now. This isn’t AG anymore. 🙁
If you are unhappy with the changes AG is making and already have made, I highly encourage you to write them your own letter! They need to know just how many of their customers are unhappy with what they are doing and why.
I agree with all of that! When I was little I so wanted Bitty Twins, but never ended up getting one. I was going to get at least one pair as baby dolls for my future kids, and now the only possibility is used. I may only be able to get used AG now, if they continue to go in this direction. I regret that my dolls aren’t nearly as played with as they should, but at least I’ll have them for once I have daughters so that, if they can’t have their own, they can have the amazing experience I had. Honestly, I love the new Beforever clothes. They’re adorable and I would wear some myself…but that’s the problem. Yes, they used to have modern versions of the doll clothes even in Pleasant Co days, like Nellie’s Irish Dancing dress…but they weren’t the focus. And dressing like the doll meant the same outfit, not inspired by. I got to BE Kit, not like Kit. That’s the magic. Making the dolls like us is even worse.
I sent an email to AG as well, it was short and not nearly so detailed, but I plan to email again. They need to know their fans aren’t okay with this. I don’t expect the best but they need to know. They can do whatever they want with Truly Me – they have. But the historical line is what AG was built on and they shouldn’t go changing their history.
Adding onto what I said about not buying from them — It is absolutely not justifiable to buy a doll for so much that isn’t near the quality we know amd love. I didn’t hear about the squishy vinyl but that is perhaps the worst part. I am very sad they are making this move as they bring Felicity back – getting her used is now the only possibility.
Wow Jaclynn…your letter is amazing! You’re so professional, and I can really tell that you’re passionate about this. GAH…your letter is just so amazing! 😀
My outlook has sorta changed on the underwear…my mom pointed out that they could be doing it now that they’re making a boy doll. But it still doesn’t make sense that there would be a bathroom when the underwear is sewn on! And you’re right…that lump looks awful! 🙁
I also totally agree about the movies…they’re just awful! It’s SO hard to stay an AG fan with all the things they’re releasing that aren’t good quality. It makes me so sad. 🙁
Thanks for sharing your letter, Jaclynn! I hope and pray that AG listens to their buyers and makes the necessary changes to bring their quality back to our standard. 🙂
Good for you!
I completely agree!
I’ve loved AG’s products for around 4 years now and well, let’s just say it’s not the way they used to be!
and bringing a boy doll to the American GIRL company!
and getting rid of the ways to customise your doll (zip tie instead of neck strings)!
AG is starting to look desperate!
I’m gonna start my letter tomorrow!
I hope they see the problem before it’s too late!
I agree with everything! I’m gonna write them!
Oh, Jaclynn. I know how you feel. I’m glad I have other, equally special dolls in my life, but AG was special. Too special for me to put into words how devastated and disappointed I am. Wellie Wishers were the start. Now – squishy vinyl? Come on, AG. You can do better than this. Don’t make us stop loving you.
I have 4 AG dolls – Poppy, Rebecca, Skye, and Norah. Now I’m starting to feel really happy I bought Poppy this summer before AG went completely downhill.
I’m trying to make you see, AG. What you’re doing isn’t making us happy. We may be a small group of bloggers, and hey, you might not care, but we represent girls all over.
We are fighting for quality, AG.
I completely agree with you!
I’m so happy to hear that you are speaking up and using your voice to let them know your concerns. Best of luck to you, girl! <3
OH.MY.GOSH. You go girl! That was an amazing letter, and if I was AG I would be changing everything back to what it used to be right now. I haven’t touched an AG doll in months (I’m sad to say it), but I still love reading all the AG posts people post. There were many things you talked about in this post that I didn’t know they were changing. I’ve been wanting to send AG a letter for many months now, even though I don’t play with dolls too much anymore. And now, after reading this post, I’m going to actually write them a letter.
wow. your letter is so much better than mine, it’s sounds so much more professional! O.O
and I didn’t know that they were making the dolls squishy…uhg. just uhg.
A lovely heartfelt letter that expresses what so many of us are feeling right now. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like AG is listening at all. I really wish that they would think for one second what these changes are going to do to their sales. I have seen some sneak previews of dolls that are coming out, and I got excited at first, but then I thought about the permanent underwear situation, and I just can’t do it. We, like many others, won’t be buying these dolls anymore if they have permanent underwear. I’ve sewn up too many cute pairs of undies for our dolls for that.
ginnie / http://www.fakingitmostly.com
I think you did very well on your letter! It seemed very thorough and well thought out. I’m glad that you stayed calm in it; I would think that yelling at American Girl would make them quickly disregard the letter. Hopefully they will listen. 🙂
P.S. I was wondering, isn’t the squishy vinyl more of a rumor at this point?
On second thought, I just saw American Girl Idea’s review of Logan, and his vinyl was more squishy than the older dolls.
Squishy Vinyl!?!? What?
I wrote my letter. It’s not as good as yours, but it’s done:
American Girl, I’ve been a fan of your company for years, and I run a blog about my three dolls. I’ve been blogging for a year, but over that year I’ve begun to see that you’re making a lot of changes. You’re making sewn-on underwear, packaging the dolls differently, and even selling them at Toys R Us. AG and its traditions have been a part of me for so long, but the company, to be honest, is going downhill. The thrill of buying a doll from the AG store is a magical experience. But selling them at local toy stores kills the vibe. It takes away from the speciality of walking into a giant store filled with dolls, and picking one to take home. And the sewn on underwear, frankly, is not a good idea. At all. It will make it hard to put swimsuits, leotards, ballet outfits, etc. on dolls. It’s just not practical! I understand that they don’t interfere with what you’re selling at the moment, but what about older pieces? Also, the idea of new squishy vinyl…it reminds me of cheap dolls you can buy at Target. Like Our Generation. Your high-end, sought-out, loving company, is becoming like Our Generation. Squishy vinyl makes the dolls seem cheaper, and they’ll still be sold for the same price! Who is going to pay for that?? AND getting rid of GOTY. Every year I look forward to the new doll of the year. But you are running out of ideas. None of them are creative in the least. You are changing everything about the company, even the way traditional American Girl dolls are supposed to look, and it is truly saddening. And it’s great that you have more diversity now, but how about making an Indian-american GOTY, one that’s not just a friend? It’s never been done before. Diversity doesn’t only mean dolls with other skin tones. It also means new stories, new ideas. Your lack of product quality & creativity is going to be the end of my love for AG if it keeps going. AG is becoming more and more “modernized” and the company is definitely not as special or caring as they were at one point. I, along with the rest of the American Girl Blogging Community, want Quality AG back. Please.
I just realized that they are not, after all, discontinuing GOTY, and I need to edit that out. Whoops…
I wrote a letter to AG. However, I have not sent it yet. Do you know of an email address that I send it to, or do I have to send it via the contact page on their website if I do not want to go for snail mail?
I used the contact form on this page to email them: