• 1959: Barbie

    The first adult doll focused on fashion was also one of the first toys to rely heavily on TV advertising.

    1960: Chatty Cathy

    This talking doll used a low-fidelity phonograph record to speak one of 11 phrases when the "chatty ring" on her back was pulled.

    1986: American Girl

    Blends historical-fiction storybooks with 18-inch character dolls and has grown to include boutiques, bistros, and live-theater shows.

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  • I admit it: I fell into the American Girl obsession/love fest/cult when I was nine years old. Times have changed since 1993. The brand has exploded from a few stories and dolls to an empire of stores, teashops and even hotel packages. American Girl will even make its Hollywood debut this summer with the company’s first, full-length feature film. The brand would appear to be unstoppable, leaving one to wonder what they could possibly do next.

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