5. You Can Buy So Many Cool Accessories & Even a Recording Studio to Go With Your Melody Doll!

dsfsdsfdsfSo just like all other American Girl Dolls, you can buy TONS of accessories to go with your Melody doll! You can start with Melody’s Accessories, which include a beautiful blue hat, purse, Civil Rights button, and awesome sunglasses which all reminiscent of the style in the 60’s! You can step it up a little and also purchase a Microphone Set, Piano, Bed & Bedding, Bedroom Accessories, and even “Bo”, Melody’s dog!

If you’re really looking to go all-out and budget is not an issue or maybe you’ve been saving up, Melody’s Recording Studio is SOOO cool! The product designer actually visited and replicated old, Motown recording studios from the 1960’s when created this awesome setting. The recording studio actually has recording and playback abilities. If you have a little singer at home and you want to inspire them in a MAJOR way, the recording studio is a must!!

Continue to #6 Below!

Here are a few really good videos about Melody that you may enjoy as well!

[learn_more caption=”Transcript for Hearing Impaired”] American Girl is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer, it will release a new historical doll. Jericka Duncan went inside the design studio to get the first look at Melody the company’s third black doll in its BeForever historical line.

For the last 30 years, American Girl dolls have brought countless smiles to faces of little girls.

I like it.

What is it about American Girl?

I think it’s that we’ve stayed true to our mission and our purpose. While it would be really easy to call us a doll company, we’ve always seen ourselves as storytellers. Have a very distinctive visual …

Vice president of marketing Julia Prohaska says their dolls come with books that tap into imaginations while providing a rich history lesson.

We put at the center stories and advice for girls that really are intended to help them be their personal best.

Stories like Kaya’s a native American girl who wants to become a leader for her people, or Addy’s a child slave who escaped to freedom.

What role do you think the doll industry has in making sure there’s diversity, making sure little girls see that at a very early age?

I think the doll industry has a very heavy responsibility of reflecting what is true about our society.

In 2014, the company was criticized for discontinuing four characters. Two were minorities, African American C├ęcile Rey, and Chinese American Ivy Ling.

In the 30 years you’ve designed over 20 character dolls, but only three of them have been black?

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Why is that?

When we launched Addy, the universal feeling was that we needed to address the very difficult topic of slavery before we addressed any other experience in black history.

And then the orange one and green …

This summer American Girl is addressing another chapter of black history with the release of Melody Ellison.

Here she is.

She’s a nine-year-old girl growing up in Detroit during the 1960 civil rights era who loves to sing and uses her voice to make a difference.

Why did it take till 2016 & 2017 to see a doll that is representative of arguably one of the most important periods for African Americans today?

Well, we do approach every character very thoughtfully, so this isn’t something that we rush into. We’re not looking to address critical demand, we’re looking to tell stories in the most authentic and genuine way that we possibly can.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Charlene Jackson supports what American Girl is doing, but stresses the importance of seeing more modern stories for African American dolls.

As we encourage our children to learn about their history, we want also to teach them and show them that who they are right now in 2016 & 2017 is fabulous as well.

Probably purchased about 200 different books.

Mark Speltz is the senior historian who helped develop melody’s story.

When we learned about the civil rights movement, we learned about a handful of really important people, but the movement was led and driven by average ordinary Americans like Melody.

To ensure her story was authentic, American Girl formed a six panel advisory board made up of historians and educators including the late civil rights activist Julian Bond.

The girls love the stuff.

Lead designer Heather Northrop and her team worked with the board to bring Melody’s story to life.

This doll is different, even the face …

When it came to choosing her hair, Northrop says she even consulted the panel several times to get the texture right.

Here’s her bedroom …

She even has her own bed, and recording studio that plays music from Motown. To build and keep interest in a company that has seen annual sales drop over 9% since 2013, American Girl launched a new campaign last year.

I pledge my strength to the team …

Encouraging girls to take a pledge to empower each other and American Girl so it will be around for another 30 years.

… For all.

Thank you Jericka. We understand that more that 50,000 have taken that pledge, and Melody will be on stores late this summer. There she is.

We like Melody.

We do.

Very cute hairdo.

We’ll be right back.

And smile.


[learn_more caption=”Transcript for Hearing Impaired”]

My name is Denise Louis Patrick, and I’m the author of the 2 Melody books. Melody’s time period is 1963 to 1964. It was a lot of fun writing Melody as a character. Singing is almost an extension of her self. It’s one of those things she was born to do. Melody does evolve in her understanding of fairness and equality, because she learns to think about it in terms of others, and of larger groups of people than just her family, or herself and her friends. A message that I hope that readers take away from Melody’s story is to think about themselves in terms of their community and what they can do to be a part of their community. There are small things that we can do, like Melody singing in the choir, and then there are larger things, like working in the garden with her friends to build this community garden, but I think I would like readers to understand that there’s always something that we can do to help change our world for the better.

Hey guys, it’s 2016 & 2017, and we’re asking people about the new year.


[learn_more caption=”Transcript for Hearing Impaired”]

When I first saw the Melody dolls, I went like, “Oh my God!” It was great. All of a sudden I wanted to know more about her, I wanted to hear her voice, I really wanted to see her a lot.

We had these experts from museums and several rights leaders that were really willing to work on this project with us. Here you are with these people who lived through this history and how it really helped us decide which products would make sense for this character. It was just really fun to see that all come to life. Some of the things that we worked on that had an impact on what you have today are the electronic things. There’s the radio in her bedroom, which is now sort of like an MP3 player for girls today. Then there’s also the recording studio which has the reel-to-reel tape recording system on it that girls probably don’t really know what that is, unless they’ve seen it in movies. That’s very much just like you can record into your phone now.

Melody is set in the 60s and that’s a fantastic period for fashion. I was really eager to try a new silhouette for our doll. We had some beautiful artworks available to us and there was this one piece when I saw it I just knew we had to use it in the line. It’s this beautiful print with this hot pink flower, and I used that in her recording studio dress. In the 1960s a girl would have different outfits for different time periods during the day. She would have an outfit for school that was formalish, could be a dress, it wouldn’t have been pants or shorts at that time. When she would come home she would change into play clothes. Then on Sunday you would have your Sunday best clothes. We designed outfits for each of these occasions in a girl’s day and life.

One accessory that I was excited to have in Melody’s line is cat eye glasses. One thing that we tried to do with our meet outfit is to have someone be able to look at it and immediately identify the period, and the cat eye is iconic of the 60s and she had to have them.

The clothing that Melody is wearing is very emblematic of the 1960s and it immediately resonated with me. They were aha moment, when I saw the dress, the white socks, the patent leather shoes, even the hat, and the bows and the hairbands. It was very 60s.

She was beautiful. She was everything I thought she was going to be. She was very stylish. She was a girly girl but she was very strong. That was a very realistic image. It’s not the only image that they could have been, because there’s no … You know, black girls aren’t monolithic, but that image was just a complete one that was gorgeous.

I lift my voice.

I lift my voice.

I lift my voice.

My Voice.

My voice.

My voice.

My voice.

I lift my voice for girls who want to play sports that are for “boys only”.


[learn_more caption=”Transcript for Hearing Impaired”]

Lift every voice and sing, till Earth and heaven ring.

Hi, I’m Steve DeSpirito. I’m a product designer here at American Girl and I’m here with my new friend.

Hi, I’m Demi.

We’re here to show you Melody’s recording studio, the latest product that I’ve designed for Melody, our new character, who grew up in 1964. We actually went and looked at some of the recording studios that were used in the ’60’s. That’s where we got the inspiration to make this.

You put different ideas from different studios on one?

Exactly. There’s a lot of different things in here that all come together to make our unique studio. Demi, what I really like about this product is not only does it look like a recording studio would’ve, back in Melody’s day in 1964 but you can actually record your own voice and hear it back along to music just like Melody would’ve listened to in her time.

That’s cool. Steve, can you show me how some of the features work?

Sure. Actually, if you want to listen to the music as it was recorded with the person’s voice you just push the button with the green arrow on it. If you want to actually record your voice along with it, then you push the button with the red circle. Then, when you sing along it’ll record your voice. I’ll start it, and you sing this little light of mine. Ready?

This little light of mine.

Let’s play it back and see what it sounds like.

This little light of mine.

There’s three songs to choose from and by switching out which tape you’ve got on the reel it knows which song you’ve got on there and will play a different song.

Lift every voice and sing, till Earth and heaven ring.

That’s amazing.

There’s also some fun little sound effects, just like people would’ve said in the studio. From this side, I can talk to you on that side by pushing this button.

That was great. Let’s do one more take.

I see there’s a sheet here. Does it actually go with the real life song?

It does. That’s actually the sheet music for the songs that are recorded in the studio. Another fun thing about this is that I know it looks really neat as it is right now, but there’s actually a sticker sheet that you can use to decorate it any way that you want.

That’s cool. Are these actual graphics from the ’60’s that would go on there?

Exactly. We’ve got a lot of stuff in here that’s just like the stuff that they would’ve had in the ’60’s.

I think my choir class would actually think this is pretty cool and how the whole set is designed and how you actually made voices and actual music come out of it.

That’s cool. I’d love to hear your choir sing on it.

When I first saw the Melody doll, I went oh my God. It was great.



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