American Girl dolls have been a part of American pop culture for decades. First arising in 1986, the company sold dolls of girls along with books describing the inspiring stories of the characters these dolls represented. These were some of the most sought-out items by young girls all over the country (and boys; I found a Kit Kittredge doll in my Dad’s old belongings). These dolls and stories even inspired cinematic masterpieces such as Samantha: An American Girl Holiday and An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success. It is hard, however, to keep up the popularity of the American Girl dolls. Kids these days are constantly on the internet for entertainment and are more concerned with the new iPhone release date rather than the new Tammy Penelope doll. They would rather watch Jake Paul clickbaits than Isabella dancing into the spotlight. That is why American Girl has decided to focus on a new target audience: Dads.
Why target dads you may ask? “Well, kids are always struggling to get their dad gifts, whether it be Father’s Day, a birthday or just as a quick little ‘I love you dad!’ gift,” says American Girl founder Pleasent Rowland. “With our new A Dad’s Life dolls and stories, we can help provide dads with a different kind of gift that they can relate to on a more personal level.” Rowland wants these dolls and their stories to relate to the struggles and lifestyles these dads are going through in order to show them that yes; America loves their dads.
One such story that is in the works is titled Doug and the To-Do List. The story follows Doug Miller on an evening in July. After a long day of working at the office, Doug just wants to go to the local Elks Lodge to drink some new IPA his brother in law was talking about on Facebook. He wants to show off to the rest of his Rotary Club buddies and prove that he has the best taste in beer out of all of them. However, on his way out the door, Doug gets ambushed by his wife, who gives him a to-do list before he is “allowed” to leave the house. Doug is swamped with chores, and can only delegate so many of them to his kids to do for him. Doug may never be “allowed” to leave the house at all! Will Doug triumph over the tasks his wife have assigned him in order to show off to the guys? Or will he be stuck cleaning out the gutters of his double-wide for the whole afternoon? This doll has features such as Doug’s work and Elk’s outfits and adorable props such as a bucket for the gutters and mini IPA bottles that allow dads to customize their Doug any way that they please!
Another story that has been developed follows the emotional struggles of Dale Schmidt in Why the Hell Didn’t I get a Prenup? Dale, a Midwestern father of 4 kids, comes home from a business trip one day to find his wife Deborah packing up her and the kids’ things to go move in with Steve, the guy she has been seeing for three months. After a messy divorce, Deborah takes custody of the kids, the house, and all of Dale’s money. In order to get his revenge, Dale decides the only thing to do is coach a little league baseball team in hopes of beating Steve’s team at the East County Ballfields Little League Championships. That way, he can show his whore wife that “she left a real winner.” With rage in his soul, will Dale take home the gold? Will he pick up his old habit of smoking? Find out in Why the Hell Didn’t I get a Prenup? This doll set also comes with Dale’s coaching outfit along with a real pack of Marlboro red’s for the dad’s to enjoy while they read!
With many other ideas, such as a squeezable doll that can tell over 400 dad jokes and puns, A Dad’s Life dolls and stories are predicted by Wall Street to be the hottest selling item in 2018. “There is so much potential here. We could even expand this into movies and video games. I am so excited to see what is in store for the future!” speculates Rowland. So, children, wives, and avid dad collectors, go out and get your A Dad’s Life dolls and stories as soon as they hit shelves this spring!
–Jack Gottfried, Contributor