Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Middleton, WI, United States (4E) – American Girl, the popular line of 18 inch-tall, multi-ethnic dolls, has Luciana Vega, an 11-year-old aspiring astronaut who wants to be the first person to land on Mars, as its 2018 Girl of the Year doll.
The doll is on sale starting today, January 1.
Wearing a white space suit and helmet, Luciana was unveiled Dec. 28 on the ABC TV show, “Good Morning America.”
American Girl was first released by Pleasant Company in 1986. The dolls portray 8- to 11 year-old girls of a variety of ethnicities. In 2001, the company began releasing a “Girl of the Year” doll exclusive to that year. There have been 16 Girl of the Year dolls from 2001 to 2017.
Pleasant Company describes Luciana as “a champion of (science, technology, engineering and math) and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality.
“Luciana is a role model for today’s girl — empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life — whatever the goal.”
The company worked with NASA and the Johnson Space Center in Houston to develop Luciana’s story. Luciana’s tale starts with her winning a scholarship to Space Camp in Alabama, and is chronicled in a three-book series also available for purchase.
To ensure accuracy, doll creators travelled to the Johnson Space Center to “gain insight into a day in the life of a Space Camp trainee.”
American Girl dolls are sold with books told from the viewpoint of the girl dolls. The stories originally focused on various periods of American history, but were expanded in 1995 to include characters and stories from contemporary life.
Buyers can also buy dolls that look like themselves.
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