Farewell, Samantha Parkington!

Samanthaparkington_lIt’s a sad week, PopWatchers. And that’s not just because I Love Money ended its inaugural run (yes, I’m maintaining hope that there will be two seasons). Yesterday, American Girl announced that it would discontinue all its products related to Samantha Parkington, the company’s poor little rich orphaned girl who was introduced as one of the original characters way back in 1986 (her books will still be sold in book stores, though). And to that, I say, hell to the no! As an early American Girl enthusiast who also happened to own a Samantha doll, this announcement made me feel like a birthday girl who just realized Eddie Ryland salted her ice cream. (In other words, super-pissed). But seeing as I don’t have the power to change major corporate decisions (yet!), it’s time to say my official farewell:

Goodbye, Samantha. Though I can no longer vicariously live through the children who meander the American Girl store demanding their long-suffering parents buy them your overpriced accessories, we’ll always have our memories: tasty petit fours, beautiful Nutcracker dolls and tenacious canoe trips, to name a few. And I’ll never forget how your early 20th-century winter cloak and furry hat provided a great costume for my childhood cat, Mooshie, for our family Christmas card. As sad as I am to see you go, however, I am happy that my first generation doll in your visage will now only appreciate in value. So thank you, Samantha Parkington. Not only did you entertain me during my childhood with your stories of bravery and kindness, but you will also be paying my rent.

PopWatchers, leave your Samantha Parkington tributes—and conspiracy theories—below (I bet Molly McIntire is laughing maniacally in her tap shoes right about now…)!

More on American Girl, dolls, etc.
Movie review: ‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl’
‘America’s Next Top Doll': Watch all five episodes (before a new one arrives later this month)
I want to see ‘Kit Kittredge’ — is that weird?

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Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • Em

    What?!?!?! That’s insane! I’m devastated, especially since I gave my Samantha doll (along with Kirsten and Felicity) to my niece a few years ago- I want Samantha back!

  • mscisluv

    The only AG doll I had was Molly…but I dressed her in Samantha’s much cooler clothes. Not really understanding why they have to discontinue her entire line (“including her best friend Nellie” lol)? Can anyone make sense of it?

  • Cara

    What?? No! Not Samantha! She was the only one I ever actually liked! This is terrible news. Discontinue stupid Felicity or Kirsten, American Girl company! Everybody likes Samantha! She was our little-girl version of wish-fulfillment fantasy! We need her and her petit fours!

  • Winona

    Yes, let’s get one step further from the original intent of AG, which was to teach girls about American history, and edge it further into full-blown blatant commercialism. Ugh.

  • carla

    I too was saddened to hear of Samantha’s untimely retirement, but not as sad as I was when I learned that Julie, the newest historical character, lived waaaaay back in the … 1970s. The years of my childhood! I mean, I know I’m old, but… historic?

  • Vicky

    I thought Samantha was their most popular doll. I read the books, but I never had her doll. I did always like her storylines best though. Maybe enough people will complain and they’ll bring the doll back.

  • meg

    This is devestating. I own her and now I can’t buy anymore of her stuff.

  • Sara

    Aw, I had a Samantha, and my sister had Molly. I stole Molly’s penny, but I definitely liked Samantha (and her checked dress) better.

  • Katie

    I love that you dressed your cat up as Samantha…when I was 9 years old (waaay back in the 80’s), I wanted an American Girl Doll so badly. I used to drool over the mail order catalogue (remember those?) and knew each item by heart. That summer, my family got our first and only pet, a cat that I desperately wanted to name “Frisky”. In order to soothe my American Girl wanting heart (and spare our poor cat a horrible moniker!), my mom intervened, and our kitty was christened “Samantha Parkington Rochon”, known as Sammie for short. That winter, I did end up with an AG doll, but Samantha Parkington the cat will always be my favorite!

  • Molly McIntire

    Heh heh heh. World domination starts now.

  • DT

    I had a Molly because my best friend in 3rd grade had a Samantha and she said I couldn’t copy her. We are no longer friends:) Samantha had the coolest stuff! I’m also a Felicity fan so maybe I’ll talk my daughter into her when the time is right.

  • Meghan

    I can’t believe that…I always thought Samantha was one of their most popular dolls! I remember AG back when there were only three dolls – my sister had Samantha, I had Molly and my cousin had Kirsten. We would obsess over the catalog and I read the magazine from when it started until I was 13. And I agree with Winona – it seems like the historical dolls are given less and less emphasis now. It’s a shame.

  • rebecca

    They’re discontinuing Samantha? That’s so sad. I didn’t have Samantha (mine was actually one of those customizable “girl of today” ones) but I had several friends who did. Man, every little girl had at least one American Girl Doll then. Hasn’t the company technically been bought out by Mattel now? Grrr.

  • ashley

    I used to dress my cat up in doll closthes and push her around the neighborhood in my cabbage patch stroller.

  • mscisluv

    I just checked the AG website – is anyone else in utter disbelief that the dolls are actually cheaper now than they were 15-20 years ago? That’s crazy! I know that the $100+ for my doll was a huge amount for my family then, but why hasn’t that price kept up with inflation?

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