Let’s talk about my favorite American Girl, Felicity! I know that I tend to call all of them my favorite but Felicity really is my favorite. 😂 Her collection is the most beautiful and detailed collection of the American Girls and the one I drooled over as a kid. In my post Meet the Historical Dolls I shared how I saved up my money as a child to purchase Felicity. She was my second doll and the last doll I would get until adulthood. (She’s the doll in the middle.)
Felicity was the fourth doll released in the American Girl Collection by Pleasant Company. Pleasant Rowland came up with the idea for the American Girl collection while visiting Colonial Williamsburg with her husband on a business trip. Rumor has it that a colonial character was the first doll that Pleasant envisioned and that she had this time period in mind when she headed to the Gotz factory in Germany to create the doll line. At that time (1986), Gotz only made doll wigs with bangs and that would not be historically accurate to a character in 1774. Also, Felicity’s collection would be very detailed and would require finding skilled craftsman to produce the amazing little replicas. In 1986, Pleasant launched the first three dolls that began the collection. Felicity followed 5 years later in 1991. For more information on the first dolls in the collection visit Kirsten Through the Years and Molly Through the Years.
I currently own 7 Felicity dolls ranging from a first edition to the current BeForever doll. I say “currently own” because I frequently buy and sell dolls for research and rehabbing purposes. Let’s get started with my 1991 First Edition. First edition Felicity’s have an easy tell. In the back, underneath their hair you can see what is called the wig ribbon. Early Felicity’s have very copper red hair with burgundy tones. This copper red hair remained until ’94 and then turned more auburn. My first edition has very rosy cheeks and stained eyebrows (vs painted). A first edition Felicity Meet Dress will be labeled “Made in West Germany for Pleasant Company 1986 Pleasant Company, Inc.”. Some people think this is when their doll was made, but it is a copyright date.
Pleasant Rowland numbered and signed 2500 of each Kirsten, Samantha and Molly back in 1986-87 for an extra $20. When Felicity was introduced, Pleasant numbered and signed 500 dolls and sold them for $500. Since that was extremely pricey in the early 90’s, very few sold. The signed dolls were stored away and forgotten about until an employee found them years later after Mattel bought the company. The signed dolls were sold at American Girl Place New York for $500 each. Needless to say, they now sell easily for over $1,000 among collectors, if you can find one. 😉
Next up we have these two darlings, ’92 and ’94 Dreamers. They have a dreamy, far-away gaze. A fellow collector/expert has named them Dreamers. This is not an official term but is used among most collectors. They remind me of Princess Diana, as if they are looking under their lashes. In Dreamers, you can see the whites at the bottom of the eye and their irises are smaller than other years. This only occurred in Molly and Kirsten in late ’87 and then again with Felicity and Samantha on-and-off from ’92-’94.
On to the mid 90’s! I purchased my childhood Felicity in 1996 and she has a body tag labeled “Made for Pleasant Company 1986”. Again, this is a copyright date not a production date. I personally have only found these tags on ’96’s but other collectors say it can be on mid-90’s dolls. I have always wondered if this was done as a nod to Pleasant Company’s 10th anniversary, but that is purely my personal speculation. As you can see in the mid-90’s the hair went from bright copper red to a darker auburn. Dolls from ’97 to 2000 didn’t change much or at all. They look identical to the ’96 but without a body tag.
In 2005, American Girl premiered the Felicity movie and the doll received a whole new wardrobe including a new Meet outfit. This new Meet outfit had already been released as Felicity’s Traveling Gown in the early 2000’s. Now Felicity was completely a Mattel doll. Her torso was thinner, her hair darkened to almost brown, her eyes were an electric green and she had an American Girl body tag.
American Girl announced Felicity’s archival in September 2010. Her entire collection and best friend Elizabeth Cole were officially retired on March 28, 2011. In February 2017, six years after her retirement, Felicity was re-released as part of the BeForever line. She isn’t the Felicity I drooled over as a kid but she is a very stunning doll. When I bought her, I left her in the box for 6 months debating if I should return her. Once I decided to keep her and took her out of the box, it was love! I love her dress, her pin curls and those deep green eyes. The new Felicity has a very long body tag and no longer has neck strings. Her eyebrows are feathered instead of the original arched line.
Whether you are like me and have loved Felicity for 28 years or are new to her collection, she is a beautiful doll and an absolute favorite American Girl.