American Girl Brand Made In China?

While visiting a friend with two young daughters I noticed an American Girl book lying on the table. The cover read: Meet Molly. Okay, I’ll bite. I flipped through the book to see what this American Girl book was about. It was one in a series of six books about Molly McIntires’ experiences during World War Two.

American_FlagThrough a little more research I learned the American Girl brand celebrates girls and helps them “enjoy girlhood through fun and enchanting play” with books, dolls, games, activities, chat sessions and more.The website enables girls to complete a quiz to learn what matters most to them.

There is a line of historical dolls that help girls learn how growing up has changed—and stayed the same—throughout American history.  There is also a contemporary line called Girl of the Year. It offers diverse characters to help girls feel connected and build confidence to take action and make a difference.

Girls can also create a custom doll online or in a store—My American Girl. These doll owners can gain access to and its virtual campus. Through fun games and activities, it challenges girls to work hard and be their best in everything they do. Inner Star guides help girls discover how to play and learn. Everyone gets a chance to shine.

Girls can also visit the American Girl Place to experience a special package that includes a meal in the café, a photo session, a doll hairdo, souvenir T-shirts (girl and doll) and a $130 gift card. This will only set you back $255 (one adult, one child) and $230 for each additional child. Cafe gratuity is not included! Can you say “God bless America.”

China_FlagThe tagline for this brand is “Follow your inner star.” Pretty cool. So, I wonder why a brand and product line steeped in American history and culture to empower young girls would outsource manufacturing to China. What message does this send to them?  Follow your inner star to China because Mattel needs to profit more? I guess that’s how things have changed throughout American history, but I doubt there’s a doll for it.

Noteworthy: 61% of Americans say they are more likely to buy a product when an ad says it’s “Made in America.” And they are willing to pay a premium. Our advice: be true to your brand, it pays.