You begged for a Samantha, read all six of her books and even managed to score her brass twin bed (lucky). Ah, yes: The ’90s American Girl doll craze. Those were the days. But in retrospect, some of the girls were just a lot cooler than others, and we couldn’t help but rank them in order. So proceed with caution (particularly those who had a Caroline growing up).
From Addy to Samantha: The Definitive American Girl Doll Ranking
12. Marie-grace & Cecile Rey
Released together, this 1850s New Orleans pair always seemed, well, kinda, random? The quick background: The introverted Marie-Grace is basically an orphan whose best friend was a dog until she met Cécile, an extrovert who (also) wants to be an actress and—gasp—doesn’t like Marie-Grace’s best friend dog.
9. Rebecca Rubin
Although her family immigrated from Russia to escape Jewish persecution, in America, Beckie’s biggest concerns are lighting the Sabbath candles before her sisters and not getting enough attention leading up to her brother’s bar mitzvah. But hey, she does get some points for working at her dad’s store. Oh, and guess what she wants to be when she grows up? An actress.
3. Melody Ellison
As the most recent addition to the plastic girl club, she’s also the first African American doll with a story set in in the 20th century (um, c’mon American Girl). Melody gets high marks not only for her mod-awesome outfit and her Motown connects, but most importantly for her civil rights activism. Her character participates in demonstrations and sit-ins at the height of the civil rights movement in Detroit.
1. Addy Walker
To earn the top-top spot, you’ve gotta be a special kind of strong. A nine-year-old Addy escapes slavery with her mother to Philadelphia. Initially separated from the rest of their family, they ultimately reconnect but live in poverty. It’s Addy’s resilience, bravery and kind heart that make her the best American Girl doll of all. And bonus points: She doesn’t want to be an actress.