October 31, 2002

American Girl Debuts Girls Of Many Lands™ For Girls Ages 9 And Up

Exquisite New Doll and Book Collection Lets Girls Soar Beyond America's Borders

Middleton, WI (October 2002)—At a time when global understanding is more critical than ever before, American Girl is debuting Girls of Many Lands, an exquisite collection of historical dolls and books for girls ages 9-12. Expanding girls' knowledge of different cultures and events that shaped world history, Girls of Many Lands explores the richness, beauty, and unique traditions of the cultures and peoples beyond America's borders. Debuting in October, the first five Girls of Many Lands characters are Isabel (England, 1592), Cécile (France, 1711), Spring Pearl (China, 1857), Minuk (Yup'ik, Alaska, 1890), and Neela (India, 1939).

The characters in the Girls of Many Lands collection are brought to life through richly detailed 9-inch dolls created by renowned doll designer Helen Kish, and compelling historical novels written by acclaimed authors such as Laurence Yep and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Carefully crafted to ensure historical accuracy and cultural authenticity, the elegant dolls showcase the various customs and material culture featured in the Girls of Many Lands stories. Each fascinating novel reveals a strong and determined 12-year-old heroine facing circumstances and changes that are specific to her culture and time period but will still resonate with girls today.

"Girls of Many Lands seeks to show girls the beauty and humanity of each culture and its people," says brand director Carol Schmitz. "The stunningly beautiful dolls and dramatic, engaging stories will speak to girls in a profound way. And we hope that by learning about and identifying with a character whose life is very different from their own, girls will grow—both intellectually and emotionally—in understanding, tolerance, and compassion."

The Girls of Many Lands collection will be available for purchase in October through the American Girl catalogue, on the Web site at americangirl.com, and at American Girl Place® in Chicago. Prices for the doll and book sets range from $48 to $54. The Girls of Many Lands books also retail separately for $7.95 and will be available at bookstores nationwide. For a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.

More than 82 million American Girl books have been sold since 1986, including The American Girls Collection® of historical fiction, American Girl Library® advice and activity books, the Amelia® notebooks, Angelina Ballerina™ picture books, and History Mysteries®, Wild at Heart™, and AG Fiction™ novels.

Pleasant Company was founded in 1985 and was acquired by Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) in 1998. Deeply committed to its mission to educate and entertain, the American Girl brand has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators.