I never had an interest in American Dolls, the line of toys that’s made a name for itself as the wholesome, pretty, educational playthings for good little girls. Play pretend as a child who churns butter on the prairie or tend to my beloved horses at my parents’ Revolutionary War homestead where my best friend is the maid? Can’t relate.
But this? This would have been more my style. The new American Girl is a console gamer. And not only that, she’s a budding esports champion.
The doll-sized “Xbox Gaming Set” was released online and at American Girl retail stores on Monday. “Dolls can get ready to play—and win—in tournaments with friends!” the product description says. It comes with a doll-sized Xbox One S game console that projects 10 different gaming scenes, a controller, a wireless headset, and two game discs. She completes her battlestation with a faux-leather gaming chair with built-in speaker.
“We know gaming is a popular activity for girls today, making the new set a great addition to our contemporary Truly Me 18-inch doll line, which allows girls to express themselves and their interests,” a spokesperson told me in an email. “Our product development team worked in partnership with Xbox to ensure the pretend set for dolls accurately reflected the look of the real version.”
Console Gamer American Girl follows in the plastic footsteps of her parent company’s predecessors: In 2016, Mattel—the same company that owns American Doll—launched Game Developer Barbie, and before that, a failed attempt at Computer Engineer Barbie.
Sexisim is still a huge problem in video games, and one that's probably not going away any time soon, but it is cool that we're at a point where the idea of girls playing video games is so common that American Dolls created a girl gamer doll. Pretty cool that this is a gift you can get for your daughter now. Personally, however, I'd rather get an actual Xbox One than Xbox One-playing doll.