MIDDLETON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, American Girl, a cornerstone in the Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT) portfolio of purposeful brands, kicked off the new year with the unveil of its 2022 Girl of the Year, Corinne Tan. Growing up with her Chinese American family in Aspen, Colorado, Corinne loves hitting the slopes, being a big sister, and training her new puppy to be a search-and-rescue dog. Although surefooted and brave on the mountain, Corinne must find her balance as she adjusts to her new blended family and the courage to speak up when faced with xenophobic comments. Through Corinne’s stories, young readers learn that home means being surrounded by the people they love and to be proud of who they are, while advocating for positive change. Further leaning into the power of family—in a Girl of the Year first—American Girl is also proud to introduce a 14½-inch companion doll of Corinne’s little sister, Gwynn™!
“As we celebrate the new year, we’re excited to welcome Corinne and Gwynn Tan to our popular Girl of the Year lineup with meaningful stories that reflects what it means to be an American girl today,” says Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “While filled with outdoor adventure and fun, Corinne’s message is, ultimately, about the power of love—between families, friends, and communities—and the strength and courage that comes from it. We created Corinne to be a positive role model our fans can look up to and learn from as we all work toward a world where everyone is treated fairly and with respect.”
To develop the characters, American Girl engaged award-winning author Wendy Wan-Long Shang, along with freelance illustrator Peijin Yang, to create two incredible books: Corinne and Corinne to the Rescue. According to Shang, “What I really hope is that there is some part of Corinne’s story that makes readers feel seen, whether it’s because they are Asian American, or because they’re part of a blended family, or because they love skiing. I think when readers feel seen, they realize that they matter and their experiences matter, and that they are meant to be the stars of their own stories!”
The following team of advisers also supported Corinne’s development, offering real-world insights and weighing in on key products for authenticity and accuracy:
- Lori Spence: Ski patrol director at Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol and avalanche dog trainer
- Professor William Wei: Colorado State Historian and professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Colorado Boulder
- Professor Jennifer Ho: Professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, president of the Association of American Studies, and an anti-Asian racism expert
- Greta Gessele: Certified figure skating coach who started skating competitively at the age of six and an Aspen native with deep local knowledge
- Angela Liu: American Girl digital marketing manager and diversity task force member
Bringing Corinne and her stories to life is a beautiful 18-inch doll, featuring brown eyes and long, straight black hair with turquoise highlights. To create the doll, American Girl designers consulted with the author and advisers on several exclusive features, including Corinne’s hair style and color, skin tone, and newly designed eyes. The Corinne product collection has everything she needs for an afternoon on the slopes, including her signature outfit complete with a white cable-knit sweater, iridescent leggings, and faux-fur trimmed boots, plus an accessory set that includes a knit hat, sunglasses, legwarmers, and backpack. There’s also Corinne’s Ski Outfit and Ski Accessories, and a plush version of her adorable puppy.
Much like her sister, the 14½-inch Gwynn doll features brown eyes and long braided black hair with bangs. In addition to her introductory outfit, additional accessories are available that reflect Gwynn’s love of ice skating. To further bring the sisters’ Aspen adventures to life, there’s a premium Ski & Snack Shop and Ski Lodge Fire Pit, complete with flickering LED flames, plus a stunning 35-piece bedroom set—featuring a 360-degree play structure that converts from the sisters’ ski-chalet-themed bedroom to a doll-sized ski slope.
To help amplify young voices like Corinne’s, American Girl is partnering with AAPI Youth Rising (AYR), a student-led nonprofit that’s bringing awareness to the rise in xenophobia against Asians in America and calling for positive change through education. To support their mission, American Girl is donating $25,000 toward their ONE/180 pledge, which asks schools and teachers across the country to include at least one classroom lesson about Asian American and Pacific Islander history and culture during the school year. Today through December 30, 2022, customers can donate to AYR at americangirl.com and at American Girl retail stores nationwide. To learn more about AYR, and read an in-depth interview with the organization’s 13-year-old founder, Mina Fedor, and other members, visit American Girl’s parenting site, Explore.
To celebrate Corinne’s debut, fans can participate in the following events and activities:
- Watch Corinne’s New Year’s Day livestream, in partnership with PopSugar, and hosted by gold medal figure skater Tara Lipinski, and actress and dancer Jenna Alvarez. Viewers can enjoy crafts, quizzes, and exclusive footage from an on-location Girl of the Year event in Aspen, Colorado, along with an appearance from American figure skater and 2022 Olympic hopeful, Alysa Liu.
- Visit American Girl retail stores to explore Corinne’s world and engage in Girl of the Year-themed events and experiences available all year long.
- Check out the all-new American Girl TikTok channel, launching with Girl of the Year inspired feel-good content for parents on the #1 entertainment platform in the world.
- Explore the mountains and more with Corinne-inspired videos on American Girl’s popular YouTube and YouTube Kids Channel, including a six-week Meet Corinne stop-motion series, plus a Corinne and Gwynn music video, a four-part Big Sis Club DIY series in June, and other Corinne-inspired content throughout the year.
- Read about Why Corinne Matters, with an in-depth focus on the important themes and issues covered in Corinne’s stories, plus a Q&A with author Wendy Shang.
- Enjoy fun games, like Skiing with Corinne and Search & Rescue with Flurry, on Corinne’s free play site.
The Corinne product collection is available December 30, 2021, at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide and, starting January 1, 2022, at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ locations in Canada and online at Indigo.ca. The Corinne books ($7.99 each) can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.
ABOUT AMERICAN GIRL
American Girl is a premium brand for girls and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby®, WellieWishers™, Create Your Own™, and American Girl’s classic historical characters. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on americangirl.com, in its proprietary U.S. experiential retail stores, as well as at specialty retailers nationwide. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators. Connect with American Girl on:
ABOUT AAPI YOUTH RISING
AAPI Youth Rising is a student-led organization composed primarily of middle-schoolers. Our mission is to take small actions to make positive change in our communities. In March 2021, AAPI Youth Rising organized a 1,200+ person rally in Berkeley, California to bring awareness to the increase in xenophobia against Asians in America. After the AAPI Youth Rising rally, we launched the ONE/180 pledge asking schools and teachers to teach at least one day of Asian American history and culture during the school year. We have partnered with numerous groups to celebrate our diversity through art activism, to include anti-bullying resources in our schools, to advocate for change within our educational systems, to introduce diverse books into our curricula, and to spread awareness about the issues affecting our youth. This is an exciting time for change and we are honored to be a part of this adventure. We realize that even as middle-schoolers, we can make a difference.