American Girl

The 1980s Historical American Girl Doll Is Going To Take You Back To Your Own Childhood

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In 1994, when I was desperate for my first American Girl doll, it didn't really occur to me that Molly, set in 1944, was basically a fictional representation of my grandmother's childhood. And I can only assume that the new historical American Girl doll set in the 1980s won't cross my children's mind as basically living my life. But you guys, she kind of is.

The company's first historical doll in three years really is so rad. Her name is Courtney Moore, and she's an '80s girl growing up in 1986 — a really incredible time for women and girls. Her story, written in a two-book series by Kellen Hertz, will cover so many pop culture references from the '80s, and a lot that you probably grew up with, too. Like the first video games, the Challenger tragedy, and all the neon you can remember.

Courtney is growing up in a blended family in a fictional town named Orange Valley, California. She's a total STEM girl and tech-lover who loves going to the mall to keep her Pac-Man top score at the arcade. Because of her love of video games, she wants to create them herself, and looks to inspirational women around her, like her mom who's running for mayor and the astronauts on the Challenger.

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I know, I know. You already love her. But wait for the major nostalgia kick. Courtney has curly, sandy-blonde hair that she, of course, can wear as a side pony with a scrunchie, and her accessories are perfect. She has a cassette player and tape, bangle bracelets, and even a tube of Lip Smacker lip balm. She comes in a high-waisted denim skirt, a neon blue off-the-shoulder crop top, and white slouchy faux-leather boots. (They look just like the ones I had, I swear.)

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And like other American Girl dolls, you can buy more in the Courtney collection, including a 13-piece mix-and-match '80s fashion collection, and a bedroom set with over 25 pieces — including a hot pink bunk bed, two rainbow comforters and pillows, and the infamous see-through phone of the '80s. (You guys, it lights up and rings.)

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But here's where it gets really meta. Remember when I mentioned Molly, the World War II character and one of the original American Girl dolls? Oh, yeah, Courtney has one of those, too. Since the American Girl dolls were first released in 1986 by the Pleasant Company, you can buy Courtney her own American Girl doll, Molly, in the original Pleasant Company box. (You can also get a mini Pleasant Company catalogue, which I definitely spent hours at '90s sleepovers with my friends, highlighting all the things we wanted.) You can also grab Courtney her own miniature versions of a Caboodles case, Care Bear pajamas, and Care Bear sleeping bag set. There's also a doll-sized Pac-Man arcade game. I really, really love this so much, and I just want to play with the whole set and try to impart on my 6-year-old just why this is so amazing.

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Courtney will, of course, make the perfect holiday gift. The Courtney collection is available Sept. 15, 2020 online at American Girl, and will be available Sept. 25, 2020 at all American Girl retail locations nationwide.

For more fun, there's a 25-minute movie, Meet Courtney: An American Girl Movie, on YouTube Kids, and a dedicated Courtney play site will go live on Oct. 1 with free games, like Courtney's Mall Madness interactive experience. Oh, my heart.

Bring on all the neon. I can't believe the '80s have become historical, but I'll take a heavy dose of nostalgia and my childhood in miniature form any day.