The line was aimed towards an older demographic with a suggested minimal age of ten years old; it was often shown in catalogs next to the American Girl Minis line as they were targeted towards the same older girl audience.
Primary Characters and Book Titles
- Cécile Revel, representing France during the last years of the reign of King Louis XIV of France (1711)
- Minuk, representing the arrival of American Christian missionaries in the Alaskan Territory (1890)
- Kathleen Murphy, representing Ireland during the global Great Depression (1937)
- Neela Sen, representing the emerging struggle for country independence in British-occupied India (1939)
Each girl had one book unlike the six-book Central Series for Historical Characters. The books were much more complex both in length and topic than Historical Characters' and had much more detailed plots. The title format included the girl's first name and a poetic subtitle that evoked an image of the time and referred to events in the book (for example, Cécile: Gates of Gold implies the lavish lives of the pre-revolutionary French nobility as well as referring to literal gates). Also included were the country and year when the story was set, though the year was not directly on the cover.
The cover showed a close up of the girl's face, "Girls of Many Lands" in gold script, the country setting (or culture in the case of Minuk), the character name in cursive script, and the subtitle in cap letters. The inner flap gives a descriptive blurb of the story; the back cover has a quote from the story imposed over a faded image that is shown internally.
The half title shows the title and the main character's name in her language, if in a written non-Latin language. For example, in Saba: Under the Hyena's Foot, her name is in Amharic.  Behind the half title is a full color splash painting of the main character in a background scene related to the book's setting. (The cover is a close-up photo from this picture).
Each character is given a decorative "ribbon"-style motif connected to their culture in black and white that borders the top of the first page of each new chapter. The books use many words from the language of the main character. A glossary is provided in the back that lists unique words and locations, their approximate pronunciations, and definitions. The books are written in first person and have no internal illustrations. Stories went into more complex topics than the Historical Characters, including controversies such as civil or political discord, war and colonization, and disease.
Like the Historical Central series, each book ends with a look back at the time, called Then and Now: A Girl's Life. It discusses the social aspects of the era for girls approximately of the class and culture of the main character, and how the culture and times have moved forward to modern girls in the area. (At the top of the page, the ribbon border is shown in color.) The back flap contained a removable bookmark of the character on a perforated edge and the author's data.
The dolls of the characters, approximately nine inches tall, were intended for display only and designed by Helen Kish. Each doll was made of full vinyl with jointed head, shoulders, and hips and painted eyes and features; hair was wigged. Helen Kish's identifying signature was on the sole of the left foot. There were two specific hand styles: curled under fingers and flatter, pointed fingers.
Dolls came in one elaborate, detailed outfit designed to fully resemble what the character is wearing on the internal pages and cover of her respective book. The outfit was generally of an ornate style as opposed to casual wear (the exception being Minuk, whose outfit was standard wear). The outfit generally had deep significance to the character during the events of the book (for example, Neela's sari was a symbol of her impeding maturity as worn to her sister's wedding; Cécile's fancy dress showed the expectations for dress at the French Court and were given to her at arrival). There were no extra clothes for any characters; while some clothes had snaps for adjustment or ease of display, many items were sewn or tacked into place and thus the outfit was to be considered non-removable. Each doll had a wrist tag with her name, country, and year around the left wrist 
The dolls came in a trunk shaped cardboard box. One side held the book in a slide out base. The other side had a clear plastic window; inside the doll was attached to the slide out cardboard packaging with metal twists, clear bands, plastic, and/or sewn thread for security and display, with tape on the back to hold the thread in place. Due to the back width of Cécile's and Isabel's dresses, they were backed with small cardboard boxes to help prevent crushing.
Included was a doll stand; a white circular base with the line's logo and clear leg braces that snapped around the lower leg and calves. This came stored on the back in two separate pieces that, once snapped together, were not easily separated. Smaller accessories were either packaged with the stand or attached to the doll's hand.
Prices were initially in the $48-54 range, depending on outfit complexity for the character. They were later lowered by 50% before the line was discontinued. 
- Isabel: $54
- Cécile: $52
- Leyla: $54
- Saba: $48
- Spring Pearl: $50
- Minuk: $48
- Kathleen: $50
- Neela: $50
There were no extra outfits or accessories for any of the characters. Other items in the line included:
- Display Case: White wooden mirrored display case. Clear acrylic sides and mirror back with magnetic front. The case was designed to hold one doll. Retail cost was $38
- Display Shelf: White wooden display shelf with purple velvet lined storage drawer and logo at front. The shelf could hold up to five dolls and be wall mounted or set on a table with spaces between for books if disconnected. Retail cost was $58.
- Display Risers: Additional risers for were available for $18, which connected to the sides of the shelf. This offered display space for nine dolls, even though the line only had eight.
History of the Line
The line was launched in Holiday 2002 with the release of Isabel, Cécile, Minuk, Spring Pearl and Neela, their books, the display case and display stand and risers. They were initially intended to have different face molds, but Minuk's proposed smiling face mold was deemed inappropriate for the character, so she shared Spring Pearl's mold. The line was marketed towards an older collector, rather than being for play.
In 2003, Saba, Leyla and Kathleen were released along with their books. That same year, American Girl Minis were discontinued, leaving Girls of Many Lands the only line in the catalog targeting older girls. By 2004, the prices had been lowered by 50% on the dolls, with lower prices on some display components.
The Girls of Many Lands line was formally retired in 2005. Theories for discontinuing mostly lean towards the collection being unpopular, though the initial high cost may have been a deterrent as well as the forming societal idea that dolls, even of display quality, were considered immature for preteen girls.
Currently there is no line that American Girl offers for older girls, though some books are targeted towards an older demographic.
- American Girl Minis, another discontinued line aimed at an older demographic.
- ↑ Noted exceptions are Minuk as Central Alaskan Yup'ik language was not in a written form until approximately 1900 with the creation of the Yugtun script and Kathleen, who does not have her name in Gaelic (Caitlín) as it likely has been Anglicized for some time.
- ↑ Isabel, as she speaks English, is not given a glossary.
- ↑ Minuk's was looped over her mitten.
- ↑ Prices were pulled up from the Wayback Machine.