American Girl debuts civil-rights era doll, hosts “block parties”


AmericanGirl-Melody-DollAmerican Girl at Scottsdale Quarter will host events this week to mark the release of its newest BeForever historical doll/character: Melody Ellison.

Melody is a talented 9-year-old growing up in 1960s Detroit. Her character and family members face struggles during the civil-rights movement, and Melody finds her extraordinary voice.

“No Ordinary Sound,” by Denise Lewis Patrick, the first of three storybooks about Melody, has been out for months. Accessories include Motown-inspired fashions and a $250 recording studio.

American Girl releases a new 18-inch (contemporary) Girl of the Year doll every January, but historical characters are released sporadically and take years to develop. The Melody doll, one of only nine current BeForever dolls, retails for $115 and is recommended for ages 8 and older.

Owned by Mattel, American Girl has been aggressively releasing new products of late, including American-Girl-themed Mega Bloks (competing with Lego Friends) and a new line of 14.5-inch vinyl dolls for ages 5 and older called WellieWishers that sell for $60.

American Girl recently started selling 14-inch WellieWishers dolls for ages 5 and up.
American Girl recently started selling 14-inch WellieWishers dolls recommended for ages 5 and up.

Aug. 26-28: Melody’s Summer Block Party

Join in Melody’s Summer Block Party 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27; noon Sunday, Aug. 28. Free event includes Motown music, doll T-shirt giveaways and a craft. 15059 N. Scottsdale Road. 877-247-5223 or

Sunday, Aug. 28: Casting Call for American Girl Fashion Show

Ages 6 and older (size 6x-10 in American Girl clothing). Casting call and audition to walk the runway in one of the two events to be held Nov. 5-6 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge. Proceeds from the fashion shows will benefit The Emily Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Auditions noon-3pm. Free. Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2929 E. Camelback Rd, Phoenix.

Related: Visit our day-by-day calendar of family-friendly events.


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