Z Yang, a Contemporary Character.

Contemporary Characters is the semi-unofficial[1] term for the line of modern characters that, unlike the Girls of the Year (which were initially limited edition characters), will be available for extended periods of time before any information about retirement. The line follows the stories of modern characters in modern settings much like the Girls of the Year.

The line was launched in 2017 with Tenney Grant and Logan Everett, followed shortly by Z Yang.

Traits of Contemporary Characters

Contemporary characters, unlike Girls of the Year, are not given an initial end date or "retirement" date, nor a set release date. They are released with their first book[2] of their given series.

Contemporary characters have all been older than the nine (later ten) year old ages of the Historical Characters and the Girls of the Year. Tenney is 12, Logan is 14 (currently the oldest character released) and Z is 13.

Books and Media

Like all books following the BeForever relaunch, contemporary character books are chapter books with no illustrations. Books are not in any specific number per character, and are staggered in release.

As Z was initially created for the Z.Crew series of stop-motion web videos, she continues to have media distributed through American Girl's official YouTube Channel.


The first special for Z, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life, was released through Amazon Prime in June 2017.

Criticisms of The Contemporary Line

One of the first major criticisms of the line was the line and characters overshadowing the Girl of the Year release, who is normally left prominently for upwards of half of the year before any other character dolls are released. Tenney's collection release was only a month and a half after the release of Gabriela McBride, the 2017 Girl of the Year. The displays and items greatly overshadowed the release of Gabriela, and the annual movie is later to focus on Tenney; images were shown last year by American Girl focusing on her. She was given a larger, more elaborate collection than Gabriela (including the first released boy doll, Logan). Upon her release, displays for Gabriela were minimized or downsized--a first for a Girl of the Year. Furthermore, there have been multiple implications that Tenney was initially expected to be the Girl of the Year for 2017, but this was adjusted to Gabriela late in 2016. (Examples are purchase receipts showing items in Tenney's collection labeled with the GotY designation, as well as overseas markets labeling her as such.)

Contemporary Characters

See Also


  1. While American Girl uses the term, it is also used to refer to Girls of the Year, which are grouped in the "Contemporary" section along with Bitty Baby and WellieWishers (and as opposed to Historical Characters).
  2. The exception is Logan, who is considered part of Tenney's collection and so is not packaged with a book.

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