U.S. — The latest doll from the classic American Girl line is expected to miss projected sales numbers for the holiday season following an unenthusiastic launch. The doll, named Steve, is the company's first openly transgender doll.
Boy dolls are not new for the American Girl company, but they've previously been pitched as companions to the company's main line of dolls. Steve is the first doll to be a girl who is a boy.
"Steve is a breakthrough," American Girl President Tilda Jadis told shareholders. "Girls can finally take home a doll that is just like them: secretly a man."
"Sales are admittedly discouraging," she continued, "but we're not giving up. Even if it means running this business into the ground, we need to show little girls that gender is a social construct, and that they can achieve any gender they want with nothing but a scalpel and jug of artificial hormones."
"If they work hard enough," added Jadis.
Steve is the first American Girl doll with no hair, as his backstory says it all fell out thanks to the puberty blockers. He does, however, sport a full, testosterone-induced beard. The doll will also include a variety of rainbow-colored "pride" wear, a book telling his story, and a scalpel for cutting off various body parts.
Employees at the American Girl store in Los Angeles are reportedly instructed to push the doll onto shoppers by reminding them they are transphobic if they don't buy it. The efforts so far have not improved sales.
At publishing time, American Girl has put a hold on plans for a doll named Charlotte, an adult man who believes he is an American Girl doll.
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