Girlhood Journeys

Year of introduction: 
1997
About the brand: 

According to this article in kidscreen:

"The doll and book line, Girlhood Journeys, was conceived and developed by independent toy promoter Renée Posner.

...

The four authentically costumed, 14-inch Girlhood Journeys dolls, which represent girls from different countries and periods in history, include: Juliet, England 1339; Kai, Africa 1440; Marie, France 1775 and Shannon, San Francisco 1880. The dolls are manufactured and distributed by Ertl Collectibles. The books, described as historical adventure fiction for girls, are published by Aladdin Paperbacks, the children’s publishing division of Simon & Schuster.

The Girlhood Journeys doll/book line, aimed at girls age seven to 11, launched last year at the American International Toy Fair. Target, JCPenney, Coles and Toys ‘R’ Us will roll out the line in their stores this fall. A new character, Isabella, Peru 1820, will be unveiled in spring 1998 [editor's note: this doll was never produced].

According to Posner, the book/doll concept was designed to bring history to life. ‘The beauty of this is that there are so many countries and so many different ways of approaching cultures and lifestyles,’ she says. ‘Girls can really feel like they’ve traveled someplace through these stories.’

Posner adds that the Girlhood Journeys line attempts to address an underserved niche. ‘In a market where 80 percent of the top toys are aimed at boys, I saw a niche for a product line that would appeal to girls while providing an alternative in the growing book/doll category.’"

About the books:

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5--Capitalizing on the popularity of the "American Girl" stories (Pleasant), this series explores the lifestyles of young girls from different times and places. In these titles, both characters find themselves in tense situations. Marie, an aspiring ballerina training at the 18th-century Paris Opera, faces expulsion from the ballet when she's accused of ruining another dancer's wig and of stealing her shoe. Juliet, a maid-in-waiting to a medieval lady, risks her life to get a message to a woman whose husband has been unjustly imprisoned. Both tales have happy endings. While the stories are engaging and filled with interesting period details further described in the afterwords, the plot lines are thin and only the protagonists are well-developed characters. Indeed, the books seem to be somewhat more of an excuse for peddling the Girlhood Dolls advertised on the last page than an attempt to provide young readers with solid stories. The words "mystery" and "rescue" in the subtitles promise more excitement and suspense than the tales actually deliver, especially in the case of Marie. Full-color illustrations appear throughout both titles; the pictures in Marie are rather stilted. Nevertheless, the predictable narratives promote the themes of self-discovery, self-worth, and the importance of true friends. Additional purchases, these selections will be popular with readers intrigued by the romance of life in distant places and times.

Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence,

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Details
Height: 
14.00 in
Doll types: 
Play dolls
Primary material: 
Vinyl
Hair type: 
Wigged
Eye type: 
Painted
Doll ages: 
Child dolls
Target age (of owner): 
7
to: 
11
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