Mattel Announces American Girl’s 2013 Girl of the Year Doll

It’s a new year, and that means it’s time for a new American Girl doll. This year, her name is Saige Copeland.

The story behind the doll is one of a young girl striving to be a painter and loving to head over to her grandmother’s Albuquerque ranch to ride horses. Of course, she wouldn’t be girl of the year if she didn’t have to overcome a little adversity, which comes when her school needs to make budget cuts, and threatens to axe their arts program. The prospect of her favorite horse being sold makes matters worse. The creative Saige jumps into action to prevent both from happening, in stories written around the doll, called Saige and Saige Paints the Sky. The stories will be backed up by real stories of real girls who had experiences not unlike Saige’s.

There’s a lot of extra fun to be had besides just the doll and the stories. Girls can go online to download their own hot air balloon template (playing off Albuquerque, known for its hot air balloons), which they can decorate and submit online. All submissions received before April 1 will be included in a giant mosaic, and will be entered to win prize packages. On top of that, American Girl events across the nation will be popping up, offering up arts and crafts activities.

American Girl has also partnered up with Americans for the Arts to create an art curriculum based on Saige’s stories, which will help foster kids’ creative abilities as they follow Saige’s artistic pursuits. American Girl has also started a charity called “Shine on Now” to help support the arts in schools across the United States, and will also hold a grant contest, which schools across the country can enter. Up to $45,000 in grant money will be available.

The doll herself is 18” tall, and can be purchased as of yesterday. She comes in one of many sets, including her beloved horse, her dog, a hot air balloon, multiple outfits, and the accompanying stories. The sets start at $110. You can access more information about American Girl events and the grant contest here.