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Thursday, August 27 2015 08:13

AMERICAN GIRL Goes Back to the "Nifty '50s" with Maryellen Larkin

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For years, fans of Mattel's AMERICAN GIRL line have been requesting something that surprisingly hasn't been produced until now - a BeForever doll with a story rooted in one of America's most iconic decades: The Fifties. Today that changes, with the introduction of Maryellen Larkin, "an energetic and optimistic girl who follows her heart instead of the crowd." This new doll and all of her accessories have become available today, exclusively at American Girl in the U.S.*, with special launch events planned across the country. Personally, I think it's pretty cool to now have a doll from the decade that gave birth to Rock 'N Roll - complete with records and a jukebox. Check out a preview, and all the details below...

Maryellen Larkin

From the Official Announcement:

The Maryellen collection includes an 18-inch doll with strawberry-blonde hair and hazel eyes, plus several historically-authentic 1950s doll outfits, like an iconic poodle skirt and saddle shoes. Numerous accessories round out the play experience, including a 30-piece diner set, a TV console that works with a girl's iPad, and a jukebox that plays '50s-style songs and connects to electronic music players.

Maryellen

Written by award-winning American Girl author Valerie Tripp, the Maryellen stories introduce readers ages 8 and up to a key cultural theme of the 1950s: conformity versus individuality. While Maryellen feels the pressure to conform to social standards, she also strives to stand out and be true to herself, even when that means going against expectations. Through Maryellen, Tripp shows how trends of the 1950s—such as the burgeoning of suburbia, "the baby boom," geographic and economic mobility, new technology (like TV and rockets), rock 'n' roll, and lingering postwar prejudice—shape the life of one girl.

maryellenbooks

"At first glance, Maryellen's circumstances appear determinedly normal. I did this deliberately, so that I could show that the extraordinary exists with the extra-ordinary, and it is Maryellen's own sparky pizzazz that makes the difference."American Girl author Valerie Tripp

Maryellen Larkin

To celebrate Maryellen's debut, American Girl retail stores will be bustling with Maryellen excitement with free and paid events, including giveaways, crafts, and in-store activities. And at americangirl.com/scrapbook, girls can explore the era with Maryellen's Nifty '50s Scrapbook. The online digital scrapbook—told from Maryellen's point of view—will include photos, illustrations, video clips, games, and activities. For parents and teachers, a free downloadable Maryellen Learning Guide, available at americangirl.com, explores themes and issues from the 1950s.

*Maryellen Larkin will also be available at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ locations in Canada; and at El Palacio de Hierro in Mexico City.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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