American Girl is best known for its dolls that
introduce girls to their historical counterparts or provide them
with their own mini-me's, courtesy of the My American Girl line.
But now the Wisconsin-based company is quietly expanding its reach
with some new "special needs" items.
In 2012, American Girl introduced a
service dog set,
doll-sized hearing aids,
dolls without hair, and-most surprisingly-an
allergy-free lunch. These offerings join mainstay products like
eyeglasses that have been part of the American Girl line since
"There's a variety of different issues that girls are
facing," says company spokesperson Julie Parks. "People have been
really highly complimentary about the new products."
Parks says the dolls without hair have received the most
media attention, especially since they are fully customizable with
five different skin tones and multiple eye colors. And knowing that
some hair-loss conditions are reversible or temporary, the company
offers one free doll head replacement.
The hearing aids, which also have been well-received, are
done the same way as an ear piercing and cost $14 for right ear,
left ear, or both.
Although Parks says the company doesn't have any definite
plans for additional special needs items, American Girl constantly
is exploring new options that reflect the lives of its young
"By creating a doll without hair or with a hearing aid,
we're just providing more options for a girl to create a doll
that's as unique as she is."
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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