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Tuesday, February 14 2017 21:57

American Girl goes Country with New Friends, and its 1st-ever Boy Doll...

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One of the hottest new toys of 2017 here at Rock Father HQ is the latest American Girl - Girl of the Year (GOTY), Gabriella McBride. For the first time ever, the folks at Mattel revealed that their GOTY would remain available for the foreseeable future, and that change in routine was just the first move in what's shaping up to be a very big year. Ahead of Toy Fair getting started in New York this weekend, news has come down that American Girl will be introducing "a new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to even more girls' interests, backgrounds, and experiences." It begins very soon - February 16 with the release of Tenney Grant, "a rising star in the Nashville music scene," and her drummer - American Girl's first-ever boy character, Logan Everett.

AG More Characters to Love LR

From the official announcement: Tenney is a breakout songwriter finding the heart to be herself. Tenney comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Tenney doll featuring long, curly blond hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her artistic side, and a book chronicling her story. The Tenney collection also comes with several music-inspired outfits and accessories, including a miniature version of an authentic Taylor® GS Mini® guitar that can be strummed and plays three songs, and a two-sided stage and dressing room that features more than 40 pieces, like an amp, microphone, and working spotlights. And keeping the beat as Tenney's drummer is newcomer Logan Everett. Logan's assortment includes an 18-inch doll with short brown hair, gray eyes, and an original outfit, as well as his very own rhythmic drum set.

Logan and Tenney on Stage DS LR

Published by Scholastic and written by award-winning author Kellen Hertz, the Tenney book series will inspire girls to share their authentic selves and find the courage to pursue their dreams. Tenney has a world of feelings, ideas, and music welling up inside her—all she needs now is the right stage to share what's in her heart. As her star rises, Tenney goes from writing songs in her family's backyard, to taking center-stage at her school Jamboree, to playing her music in a professional concert. She learns quickly that it takes hard work and grit to stay on the path to becoming a great performer—but it's going to take extra determination if she wants to stay true to herself and her music.

Tenney Cover LR

Other Tenney-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

  • Tenney Online and Digital Play: Girls can visit the Tenney-dedicated site at americangirl.com/tenneyplay for free book excerpts, videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.
  • Tenney Original Music: American Girl worked with Nashville's Erika Wollam Nichols, CEO of one of the world's preeminent listening rooms, The Bluebird Cafe, and renowned artist manager and music producer Denise Stiff to find singer-songwriters from around the country to write Tenney-inspired music. Songs were chosen from nine girls and are featured throughout the Tenney books, products, and behind-the-scenes videos on American Girl's YouTube channel.
  • Tenney Retail Events: Starting February 16, American Girl stores are hosting Tenney's Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus enjoy in-store activities, colorful crafts, giveaways, and a fun photo opportunity. For more details on the in-store events, visit americangirl.com/retail.
  • Radio Disney Music Awards: American Girl and Tenney will come together for the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards to support the Heroes for Change Award and Music In Our Schools initiative during the show. The telecast, "Disney Channel Presents the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards," airs Sunday, April 30 (7:00-9 :00 p.m. EDT) on Disney Channel.

Gallery - American Girl's New Friends

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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