Finally, American Girl’s first gamer is here. The company announced Tuesday that the newest addition to its iconic line of historical characters is Courtney, an adorable ’80s-themed doll complete with scrunchie, cassette player, and working, doll-sized Pac-Man cabinet.
According to her official bio, “Courtney Moore is growing up in California’s San Fernando Valley. She’s a total ’80s girl whose favorite place is Smiley’s Arcade because she loves playing video games. Courtney likes being in control of what happens, which isn’t always the case in real life. She and her stepsister, Tina, don’t always get along, and now that Courtney’s mom is running for mayor, things are changing at home. It’s a whole new game for Courtney, and she’s figuring out the rules as she goes.”
Like other dolls in American Girl’s Historical Characters line, Courtney stars in a book series that’s meant to show young readers what life was like for everyday girls during a particular time period. Set in 1986, Courtney’s book introduces her as “an avid gamer growing up with her blended family in the fictional town of Orange Valley, CA. Courtney loves going to the mall, especially the arcade, where she’s one of the top-scoring Pac-Man players.”
But Courtney isn’t just a Pac-Man champ — she’s also a potential game developer. According to the summary for Courtney Changes the Game, “Courtney is the best gamer at the arcade. But she can’t understand why there aren’t more girl characters in the games she plays. When a school project allows her to create her own video game, the hero is a girl who knows how to handle any situation—something Courtney struggles with in real life.”
In addition to a working, doll-sized Pac-Man cabinet, Courtney’s new line of clothes and accessories includes more recognizable symbols of the ’80s. She appears to be a big fan of the Care Bears, with a sleeping bag set and nightgown featuring the colorful creatures. (There’s even a matching nightgown for human kids.) Courtney can even carry around an American Girl doll of her own — a miniature Molly doll. The WWII-era Molly was released in 1986 as one of American Girl’s first dolls. Courtney can also dress up with a fanny pack, neon suspenders, acid-washed jean jacket, and other accessories that look like they were lifted straight out of the Saved by the Bell costume department.
This isn’t the first time video games have come to American Girl. In 2018, American Girl and Microsoft released an “Xbox Gaming Set,” complete with a doll-sized Xbox console, controller, headset, and gaming chair for the modern “Contemporary Characters” line.
In celebration of their new gamer girl and “to further empower today’s girls in technology and beyond,” American Girl has teamed up with the nonprofit Girls Who Code. The company will match customer donations dollar for dollar (up to $50,000) through the end of the year. American Girl is also offering $5,000 scholarships to four Girls Who Code members “to help further their education in computer science or a related field.”
Courtney, her Pac-Man cabinet, and other totally awesome ’80s accessories are available online now, and will be heading to American Girl stores on Sept. 25.
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