Mattel’s American Girl brand will take center stage this December with the premiere of American Girl Live, a new musical stage show touring across the US.
Featuring original songs inspired by six popular American Girl characters—Rebecca (1914), Nanea (1941), Maryellen (1954), Melody (1964), Julie (1974) and Luciana (2018)—the show takes place at a summer camp and is led by an all-female creative team. Launching on December 13 in Ohio, American Girl Live will eventually travel to 37 US cities, and children are encouraged to bring their American Girl doll with them to see the show.
Mattel recently reported a 31% third-quarter gross sales decline for its American Girl segment, to US$64.3 million. The toymaker attributed the drop to lower sales in proprietary retail and direct channels, as well as a shift away from external distribution channels.
The launch of American Girl Live is part of a live and location-based brand extension renaissance that’s playing out right now in children’s entertainment. PBS KIDS recently announced it will partner with Gershwin Entertainment to produce its first-ever live stage show, Fred Rogers Productions is set to bow an interactive live show inspired by its series Peg + Cat, and ZAG is hitting the road with a musical stage show for its Miraculous—Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir superhero property.