Kirsten Through the Years

   As one of the original three dolls, Kirsten has my heart! She was released in 1986 along with Samantha and Molly. Over the years she has undergone many changes. I have multiples of almost every historical doll, but I currently have nine Kirsten dolls. I have had more through the years, but have let some go. Each one is different. Not all of my Kirsten dolls are displayable as some are waiting for restoration. 


My Kirsten Collection

The original dolls started with white, muslin cloth bodies. In 1991, it was changed to tan for the release of Felicity. Felicity’s colonial fashions needed a lower neckline and the bright white body would show. For more information on Felicity visit Felicity Through the Years. Dolls around 1990-1991 are often referred to as “transitional”. 


The earliest Kirstens that I own are from 1988. My completely original ‘88 is stunningly beautiful. Her eyes have a deep richness to them. My other ‘88 had to be re-wigged with a ‘92 Kirsten’s wig. Her hair had been chopped off by her previous owner, but I couldn’t resist those chubby cheeks. 😉 Both dolls still have their original face color. The hair on my original ‘88 wig is finer and slightly thinner than the ‘92 wig. The ‘88 bangs are “wispy” vs blunt. I call these two my “best girls” because I take them everywhere and they are very photogenic.


1988 Pleasant Company Kirsten Dolls

In 1986-87, Pleasant Rowland, the founder of Pleasant Company signed 2,500 of each of the three dolls. I dream of owning a signed ‘86, maybe one day. (sigh 😉) My white body Kirstens include two 1988’s and two 1989’s. White bodies have very flat neck strings, where tan bodies slowly became more cord like.

After the transition to tan bodies in the early 90’s, Kirsten had a full face and slightly lighter blue eyes. My 1992 Kirsten has a very innocent look and very pink coloring. She also has the “Do Not Cut” tag on her neck strings, this was used for a limited time in the early ‘90s. Neck strings hold the dolls head on and if cut it makes it harder to tighten or remove the head for repair. (I sometimes have to replace these during restoration, as some have worn out or been cut.) My 1995 Kirsten has a very thick body and quite the caboose! 😉 Her tan body is darker and has slowly been acquiring age spots that my earlier dolls have not been getting. 

After Mattel bought Pleasant Company in 1998, things started to slowly change. Over the years the dolls became much thinner and acquired body tags. Their neck stamp changed from Pleasant Company to American Girl.

As the years went on, their faces slimmed and they were given a slight hour-glass figure. My 2009 Kirsten has two body tags and is notably smaller than her earlier Mattel version. My early PC girls are too chubby to fit into some of the newer American Girl outfits. 


2005 compared to a 2009 Kirsten

Sadly, American Girl announced Kirsten’s archival on October 1, 2009. Her collection was officially retired on January 1, 2010. Kirsten changed in different ways over the years, but no matter the differences she has always been adorable and a prized part of my collection.


1991 Pleasant Company catalog

10 thoughts on “Kirsten Through the Years

  1. Wow, I love all of your adorable Kirsten’s! They are each so cute in their own ways. I’d love to have a white body Kirsten or Molly some day.

    Do you know if/when Kirsten started getting the American girl stamp vs the pleasant company stamp? I know dolls continued to have the pc neck stamp for quite awhile after the Mattel change. I recently purchased a Kirsten with a pc neck, but I am thinking she is on the newer side-she seems more similar to some of of newer dolls (like Emily) than my mid 90s Molly, so it makes me wonder!


    • Thank you! Yes, they all have their differences, which is why I keep hoarding them. 😉 I’ve heard that the PC stamp officially changed to AG in 2005. The Kaya/Logan face mood still have the Pleasant Company stamp. I am not an expert, I just try to note the differences in my dolls. 🤗

  2. Pingback: Meet the Historical Dolls | Dandridge House Dolls

  3. I have a Kirsten from (I think) 1989. She has original braids, St. Lucia outfit and accessories, garment bag and accessory bag, book set in box with ribbon, patterns, several handmade dresses and undergarments from the patterns, hangers, and a few dresses from other dolls. Any idea what she may be worth? Or where I could look for that information?

    • Hi Katie, That is really neat that you have such nice older Kirsten items. A way to look up current selling prices is to search what you have on eBay but set the filter to SOLD items. This will help giv you an idea of the going rate. I privately sold an ‘89 white body Kirsten recently for $120 nude. She was not in mint condition but overall nice. Summer is not a great time to get the most for your items. I hope this information can help.

  4. Hi,
    Thanks for writing this, it’s very comprehensive! I just bought a Kirsten on EBay and she hasn’t arrived yet but I’m confused about her possible age. She comes with her original box that is the maroon with all the historical doll’s faces on it (I believe this is a 2005/2006 box) though her next is still stamped “Pleasant Company” so I’m assuming she must have been right before they started stamping American Girl?

  5. Thank you, first of all, for your excellent site and AG / PC research, tips, and insights. I use your site frequently for restoration and doll age placement assistance.
    I hope you can get your signed Kirsten. I just purchased a white-body Kirsten – something I never thought I’d be able to afford. She came rewigged with a lovely Chinese replacement wig, but I had a tan body Kirsten that was already on her third rewig, and have already swapped out the wigs. (Gratefully, whoever did the rewig had a conscientious eye to possible future removal and it came off easily.) I have both ‘girls’ drying now, and then I’ll put my tan body Kirsten up for sale – something I never thought I’d do. (She was my first real play doll and I got her about 10 years ago as an adult collector.) I really enjoy trying my skill at rewigging, limb tightening, limb cleaning and eye repair, although that last really makes me nervous. Practice does make perfect! Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your comprehensive, well-written and very enjoyable site. It is apparent you not only have a love but a real talent when it comes to PC / AG, and writing. Best, June M.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words June! I am very pleased that you have found the blog useful. Congrats on your new Kirsten, sounds like a fun project! Happy Collecting!

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