A few weeks ago I came across a line of dolls that are similar in premise to American Girl dolls – in the sense that they bring history to life through a doll and her stories for specific period of time. The difference is, these dolls are modeled after important time frames in English history and they are 16″ tall as opposed to 18″.
The first girl in the A Girl for All Time series, Matilda, has been released and is already winning awards, garnering media attention in the UK and winning the hearts of doll lovers. The creator of the A Girl for All Time dolls, Frances, shared a lot of the background and plans for the dolls in an email conversation with me. Additionally, one of the doll collectors I recently got to know via a weekly doll chat on Twitter, Charlie Cecil Riley, also discovered the dolls about the same time I did and it just so happens, she ordered one and it arrived today. She is kind enough to let me borrow a few photos so you can get a better look at Matilda, a girl inspired by the Tudor Era.
From the creator of the dolls, Frances:
I was inspired to create A Girl for All Time® when my own girl reached the age of 8/9 years old and suddenly lost all interest in her old toys – her baby dolls and the books she had been reading were too young and not challenging ( or interesting ) enough for her. But when I looked through all the shops, the things on offer were either too old and sent the wrong message, or had very little imagination, or did not encourage any creativity.
I wanted to create something that offered feminine play in an intelligent and engaging way.
So I was inspired to create A Girl for All Time® series. The dolls are created with an historical reference giving older children the chance to feel more grown up bet still enjoy being exactly what they are – young girls. Each doll features in her own novel novel in different eras of the most exciting times of English history.
I think dolls are a wonderful way for girls to express themselves and when presented in a thoughtful and intelligent way can encourage independence, self expression, and imagination.
The dolls themselves look like fine porcelain but are in fact durable vinyl that will last a lifetime of play. They are 16″ vinyl dolls with full vinyl bodies, articulated elbows, knees and can turn their heads, and are crafted using a combination of latest technology and traditional hand sculpt methods. They have beautiful long hair which can withstand endless brushing and styling and the torsos are sculpted to look like those of a young 11 or 12 year old girl.
The first novel, Matilda’s Secret, is written by a twice BAFTA nominated screenwriter/director and Matilda’s Keepsakes and Secrets activity book is designed by a post graduate of the Royal School of Art. The costumes are in collaboration with a London designer who has been featured in Vogue and has her own line of clothing in upmarket boutiques.
The initial roll out plan is for 6 dolls, each one representing a major period in English history. The release of dolls reflects the order in which History is taught in English school, so though they are not chronological there is actually a logic to them for the English education system!
The dolls will be as follows:
- Matilda – Your Tudor Girl ™ Sep 2011
- Amelia – Your Victorian Girl ™ late summer 2012
- Clementine – Your WWII Girl ™ late Summer 2013
- Elinor Your Elizabethan Girl ™ late summer 2013
- Sophia – Your Georgian GIrl ™ 2014
- Olivia – Your Restoration Girl ™ 2014
If you want to stay up to date, hear about special offers and promotions, or learn about the making of the dolls and creative process like the A Girl for All Time Facebook page and sign up for newsletters via the website.
For more photos and first reactions, go check out Charlie Cecile’s post on the arrival of Matilda. Personally I love her outfits – and I am really looking forward to seeing the other dolls in the line debut as well. What do you think of them?