American Girl’s New ‘Girl of the Year’ Character Inspires Girls to Help Others

MIDDLETON, Wis., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ — Whether it’s assisting with disaster-relief efforts, rescuing animals in need, or helping an elderly neighbor, girls today are making a significant impact on our world. A recent national survey of girls ages 8 to 13, conducted by Synovate and American Girl, found that volunteerism and social consciousness are at an all-time high. By age 13, more than 90% of girls volunteer approximately 14 times a year, and nearly all view volunteering as something that’s very important to them. To celebrate the caring spirit of girls, American Girl is proud to introduce Nicki — 2007 Girl of the Year. A contemporary girl who’s compassionate, generous, and a natural with animals, Nicki is brought to life with an 18-inch doll, several outfits and accessories, and an inspiring story to tell that’s all her own. Nicki’s story will resonate with girls ages 8 and up as she struggles with friendships and finding balance in her busy life while training a service dog for a person in need.

Available for only one year or while supplies last, Nicki is the fifth in a series of contemporary characters that give voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds, and show girls today that there is no limit to what they can accomplish.

To celebrate Nicki and her story’s inspirational message, American Girl is honoring real girls and their accomplishments through the 2007 Real Girl of the Year Award. Beginning on January 1 and ending on March 31, 2007, moms (as well as dads or legal guardians) are invited to enter online at and describe the ways in which their daughter demonstrates the strong values that Nicki represents — compassion, responsibility, and a drive to help others. Three lucky winners will receive donations of $5,000 to a cause they support and $5,000 to the school they attend, an appearance at an American Girl Place event in their honor and in the American Girl catalogue, a trip to American Girl Place, and Nicki’s complete product collection. Five honorable-mention winners will receive Nicki’s complete collection.

The Nicki book, written by award-winning author Ann Howard Creel, introduces readers to Nicki Fleming, a 10-year-old girl who is growing up on a ranch in Colorado. In addition to the daily chores for which she is responsible, Nicki is on her school’s gala planning committee, helps her younger brother with his math homework, and even takes on the challenging job of training a service dog, Sprocket. Whether it’s helping in ways that are big or small, Nicki learns valuable lessons about making tough choices, sticking to commitments, and setting limits. But more important, Nicki discovers how rewarding it is to make someone else’s life better, even if it means giving up some of the things she loves most.

A True Story section at the back of the book focuses on two real girls, sisters Celia and Abby, who, like Nicki, are training a service dog for a person in need, demonstrating to readers that they too can make a difference. A list of informational Web sites is also included for girls to learn more about raising assistance dogs.

A beautifully crafted 18-inch Nicki doll, featuring caramel-colored curly hair, light skin, blue eyes, and cute Western-inspired attire, brings the new character to life for girls. Nicki’s outfits and accessories consist of everything she needs for her busy life in Colorado, including a ranch outfit and horse, a pretty gala outfit for her school’s big event, and Nicki’s dog- in-training, Sprocket. And for girls who want to achieve Nicki’s look, Dress Like Your Doll(R) outfits are also available.

The Nicki doll, book, and accessories will be available January 1, 2007 at American Girl Place(R) Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, at, and through American Girl’s consumer catalogue. To request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.


American Girl, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) (NYSE: , the world’s leading toy company. Since American Girl’s inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1.800.845.0005 or visit