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Horrifying Dolls to Expand Empire

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jan 16, 2007 7:57PM

americangirlgroup.jpgWe know that our nostalgia over the former FAO Schwarz on Michigan Avenue is probably matched by the tortured remembrances of those we dragged into the store as a chorus of terrifying little voices sang "It's a Small World After All."

Even so, we maintain that the American Girl Place is 100 percent more aesthetically upsetting than any other toy store that has ever existed. That's why we have some sick, sick pleasure in hearing that the Mattel-owned American Girl will be exported throughout the country. Get ready, Atlanta and Dallas, because you're about to get a smaller version of what we Chicagoans have been baffled by for years.

This news is a chance for us to look at the store's stats, though: for example, we can poo-poo it all day, but 3 million people are still going to go there annually. Apparently, between the cafe, the in-store theater, the doll hair salon, the doll museum and the $87 dolls, people hang out in the store for an average of two hours. The American Girl Place is probably just another part of the city's look to those who visit nowadays.

We just hope they don't think that ALL our dolls are confined to wheelchairs. Oh, we may have put them there, but — are we being too harsh on the historical doll store?

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