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Ltd. Edition American Girl Doll - Homeless?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok, so American Girl has a limited edition doll, named Gwen, who's back story reveals she's homeless.

I would link to articles, but most are opinion pieces. However, this is, supposedly, the doll they're talking about: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop...F9311#moreInfo

And here is my Google search for more information: http://www.google.com/search?q=ameri...+doll+homeless

So, the debate is...is it responsible for a company to sell a doll who is "homeless" for $95? What kind of message do you think that sends?
post #2 of 24
I don't think it's a huge deal. I mean, kids will use their imagination to make their doll do anything during fantasy playtime, including being homeless.

If they'd made a "prostitute doll" or a "heroine junkie doll", I think that would be sending quite a dark message to children. Too far.

I do see the concern, though, that marketing a doll designed to romanticise homelessness could be construed as insensitive or misleading.

*shrug*
post #3 of 24
My parents very wisely kept me FAR away from the American Girl Dolls."Mommy can I have a " "Here honey, go play with your horsies!" bright woman . Then again I wasn't overly big on having dolls that even, as a kid, I was too scared to play with they were so expensive.


A friend of mine did have the entire collection along with clothes, and accessories. I think the dolls have very good stories behind them that teach allot about history in a way little girls can relate.

A homeless doll, hmmm, how modern of them...

But you guys have a president who was raised by a single-mom maybe it's time!
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PintaMeez View Post
I don't think it's a huge deal. I mean, kids will use their imagination to make their doll do anything during fantasy playtime, including being homeless.

If they'd made a "prostitute doll" or a "heroine junkie doll", I think that would be sending quite a dark message to children. Too far.

I do see the concern, though, that marketing a doll designed to romanticise homelessness could be construed as insensitive or misleading.

*shrug*
I don't think it's a big deal, they make their dolls from all different walks of life to teach kids about it.
post #5 of 24
I think she was more asking if $95 for a homeless doll is appropriate
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I think she was more asking if $95 for a homeless doll is appropriate
But you have to look at the Brand, they are all about the same amount of money. They wouldn't drop the price of just one doll in the series.
post #7 of 24
IMO if the company would donate a nice portion of the money from those doll sales to at least one homeless shelter in every state, then I'm all for it.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO if the company would donate a nice portion of the money from those doll sales to at least one homeless shelter in every state, then I'm all for it.
This is an excellent idea. Without doing so, there is almost a perverse exploitive quality to using a label of "homelessness" to sell a product.
post #9 of 24


They are made my Mattel... that is NOT going to happen.

(not that it wasn`t a lovely idea!!)
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by kscatlady View Post
I don't think it's a big deal, they make their dolls from all different walks of life to teach kids about it.
I agree. "We" overthink these things way too much IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I think she was more asking if $95 for a homeless doll is appropriate
Why not? It's about the cost of the other dolls and I seriously doubt the homeless would be buying dolls whether they were $95 or 95 cents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
But you have to look at the Brand, they are all about the same amount of money. They wouldn't drop the price of just one doll in the series.
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO if the company would donate a nice portion of the money from those doll sales to at least one homeless shelter in every state, then I'm all for it.
I'm willing to bet that Mattel donates large chunks of money to various charities throughout the year. I know our company does and every other company I ever worked for so I wouldn't have an issue with that.
post #11 of 24
post #12 of 24
Ha, I don't care whether she's homeless or not, because I never really "understood" the whole reasoning behind wanting one so bad. Saying that, I did get one of those look-a-like type ones for my 1st Communion because I really wanted it. But I think I only wanted it because that was the "in" thing to get. I didn't realize that they were still so cool to have for kids. I thought that all the hype about them would die out within a few years, but apparently I was wrong.

Either way if she's a homeless doll or not, I still think those dolls are absolutely ridiculous. I mean, come on, $95 for a dang doll? It's not like it's made out of the finest materials in the world or something. If you actually look at the way they are made, it's actually quite cheap crraftmanship on their part lol.

So yea, I don't give a darn one way or the other, I just laugh when I see more and more people wanting those American Girl Dolls.

(Consider this to everyone who is against the idea of this doll being homeless- Take a look at all the dolls that have been made up until this point. They all required LOTS of racism to create. Like the black one, asian one, Native American one, the one that came from Sweden or something and has blindingly blond hair and crystal blue eyes, it's just all very racist.)
post #13 of 24
I'd never heard of these dolls until today. I grew up with Barbie. Not quite as expensive.

Anyways.... The only thing I have to say is that they need to make her look more homeless.
post #14 of 24
Well, "homeless" doesn't alway mean they live in a cardboard box under a bridge. I knew a family that lived in a hotel room for a year.....technically homeless (according to the census). Another family that lived in their car and took showers at truck stops. The children were always clean and decently dressed (Goodwill has some nice clothes). I'm trying to find her backstory to see what it's all about.
post #15 of 24
Well I know that, but what is the picture that most people conjure up when they hear the word homeless?

Not pretty blonde girls in frilly, spotless white dresses, and happy little pink ribbons.

You want to educate kids about homelessness, just drive them through downtown portland.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering what ya'll thought. I don't care either way, and I have no desire to spend $95 for a doll, "homeless" or not.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
I was just wondering what ya'll thought. I don't care either way, and I have no desire to spend $95 for a doll, "homeless" or not.
It was a very good question!
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO if the company would donate a nice portion of the money from those doll sales to at least one homeless shelter in every state, then I'm all for it.
That's a lovely idea
post #19 of 24
Im just curious as to what caused them to think "lets make a homeless doll"? lol I was very sad to see my doll, my grandma bought me as a kid, is no longer available...the Samantha doll, she was always my favorite. And they were no where near $95 for a doll back then!!!
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mismaris777 View Post
(Consider this to everyone who is against the idea of this doll being homeless- Take a look at all the dolls that have been made up until this point. They all required LOTS of racism to create. Like the black one, asian one, Native American one, the one that came from Sweden or something and has blindingly blond hair and crystal blue eyes, it's just all very racist.)
How is any of that "racist"?
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PintaMeez View Post
How is any of that "racist"?
I just see it as catering to a market, why cant Asian people have a doll that looks like them instead of all the 'usual' dolls on the market. However I could never see myself paying $95 for any of them

I do question paying $20 to have your homeless doll's hair styled though
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PintaMeez View Post
How is any of that "racist"?
I agree. I thought one of the points of the American Girl doll was that any little girl can have a doll that looks just like her. Or am I wrong?
post #23 of 24
My daughter got Kit from Santa when she was nine. She had saved all her bday and previous Christmas money to buy her, then Santa stepped in. Anyway, Kit was nearly "homeless", being the 1934 Depression-era doll.

The price of these dolls is absolutely outrageous, I agree. But they are definite keepsakes - I truly hope my daughter will have a little girl to pass Kit on to. It would be a great idea if Mattel made a statement of sorts that a certain percentage of their proceeds will go directly toward homeless folks. I'm sure they give to charity already, but this would be a nice touch, IMO.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
I was just wondering what ya'll thought. I don't care either way, and I have no desire to spend $95 for a doll, "homeless" or not.
IMO, encouraging girls to buy expensive dolls is just promoting our current consumerism culture. But that's just me, raised a practical country girl.
I remember visiting cousins who had "everything" and wishing out loud that I could have a bike. My dad said "fine, which one of the horses shall we sell to get the money to buy one?" After that day, I was really glad that we lived in the country. I didn't get to go to birthday parties or have neighborhood kids to play with but we had owls & deer in the backyard; in the winter, the lion (cougar) sat on the cliff, watching us play in the light. My sis and I had 1 Barbie between the two of us, but we had lots of cats & I trained my chickens to do all sorts of tricks. I used to let them out in the yard, and the dogs & I would play "cattle drive"
My girls had it "poor" too, but we played all sorts of fun games with nature. And once I took my youngest grandson to the park, and some of the other toddlers had these really fancy pails with glitter & toys glued on the sides. They wouldn't share with him, so he was feeling left out. so I got out a large empty mayo jar that I use for feral cat food, told him it was a "magic jar" and we should ask for "gifts" to put in as treasures. First off, a tiny pine cone fell down, and that began a wonderful collection. Then a raven feather, then small rocks that glinted in the sun. The other kids came over & one girl was crying because she wanted a "magic jar" too - so I had my grandson let the other kids hold it & bring over treasures, too, because our elders teach that one should always share gifts from nature. There was more happiness for "free" that I could have ever imagined that day
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