Radical! Today, American Girl announced the launch of its first historical character in three years, Courtney Moore. She is a total ‘80s girl whose big, bright and bold ideas inspire today’s girls to find their inner hero to accomplish great things.

Growing up in 1986, Courtney’s story reflects the pop culture of the decade from sky-high hair, neon-colored fashions, music television and video gaming to major historical moments surrounding women in government and space exploration, as well as larger cultural shifts around blended families and emerging technology.

Courtney

Courtney comes to life via an 18-inch doll with curly sandy-blonde hair that can be worn in a high side pony with scrunchie, plus accessories like a pretend cassette player and tape, colorful bangle bracelets, and pretend Lip Smacker lip balm. The Courtney doll arrives wearing a high-waisted denim skirt, a bright blue off the shoulder crop top, plus white faux-leather slouchy boots. Girls can add tons of new looks with Courtney’s 13-piece mix-and-match ‘80s fashion collection and spend hours playing with Courtney’s Bedroom Set with over 25 pieces—including a hot pink bunk bed, two rainbow comforters and pillows, and a see-through phone that lights up and rings.

Courtney

Courtney’s world also includes several licensed products of ‘80s classics—including Courtney’s Caboodles and Hair Accessories Kit with a real mini Caboodle, plus Courtney’s Care Bears Pajamas for both girls and dolls and Courtney’s Care Bears Sleeping Bag Set. Fans can also level up with Courtney’s doll-sized PAC-MAN Arcade Game that plays like the real thing with multiple levels. 

Courtney

Any 80s girl can tell you how obsessed they were when American Girl launched in 1986. Courtney is no different. She has her own mini American Girl Molly doll, one of the first three historical characters released by the then newly-founded Pleasant Company. Molly comes in a replica of a Pleasant Company doll box, a mini version of the original Meet Molly book, and even a mini 1980s Pleasant Company catalog.

Courtney

​“The ‘80s are back, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this pop culture-defining decade with girls and their parents through Courtney,” says Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “For nearly 35 years, American Girl’s historical characters have helped to bridge the past and present, while providing inspiring role models through immersive storytelling and imaginative play. Likewise, Courtney’s story illustrates how to create positive change by standing up to fear, finding strength in every challenge, and developing empathy for others—qualities that are timeless and more important than ever. And to further our mission to help build girls of strong character and confidence, we’re partnering with Girls Who Code to help change the game when it comes to influencing female leadership in the fields of computer science and technology.”

Written by Kellen Hertz, the two-book series introduces girls to Courtney Moore, an avid gamer growing up with her blended family in the fictional town of Orange Valley, CA. Courtney loves going to the mall, especially the arcade, where she’s one of the top-scoring PAC-MAN players. But Courtney doesn’t only play video games, she’d like to create them and bring more girl characters to the forefront. When given a chance to create her own video game, Courtney looks to real-life heroes—like her mom, who’s running for mayor, as well as the astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger—as inspiration to invent a female superhero who’s bold, brave, and gives Courtney the courage to speak up for the people and ideas she believes in.

Courtney Changes the GameAmerican Girl is partnering with Girls Who Code, a leading nonprofit that’s on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. From now through Dec. 31, 2020, American Girl is matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $50,000 to support the organization’s programming and outreach to girls, including those from historically underrepresented minority groups. In addition, American Girl is providing a $5,000 scholarship to four deserving Girls Who Code members to help further their education in computer science or a related field. To learn more about how American Girl is helping Girls Who Code, visit americangirl.com/gwc.

“Girls are constantly online, using apps, playing games and more, that’s why it’s so important that they also see themselves on the other side of those products, actually building them,” says Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code. “It’s our goal to show girls the power of learning this skill set so that they can code the future they want to live in and, ultimately, change the world.”

Courtney

Other Courtney-themed activities and events include the following:

A 25-minute stop-motion “Meet Courtney: An American Girl Movie;” a new Courtney ‘80s-inspired music video; new Dolled Up episodes—featuring all the big hair fun Courtney and friends can handle; plus rad ‘80s DIY crafts on the brand’s popular YouTube and YouTube Kids Channel.

Visitors to American Girl retail stores on September 25 will receive a free Courtney craft and giveaway. And in early October, fans can “relax to the max” in an all-new ‘80s-themed immersive experience at American Girl Place-New York, featuring a Courtney-inspired bedroom with bunk beds and a revolving closet that mixes-and-matches her outfits, plus an ‘80s arcade with two real PAC-MAN video games to play. 

A dedicated Courtney play site, goes live on Oct. 1, and includes free games and activities, like Courtney’s Mall Madness interactive experience; an ‘80s-inspired dance challenge tutorial; Courtney wallpapers and much more.

The Courtney collection is available Sept. 15, 2020, at americangirl.com, and starting Sept. 25, 2020, at all American Girl retail locations nationwide. Courtney products will be available on Oct. 1, 2020, at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo and Chapters locations in Canada and online at Indigo.ca. The Courtney doll and book retails for $110 and the Courtney books ($7.99 each) can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

All photos courtesy of American Girl

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