The Portfolios of Pastimes (or "Pastimes Collection") was a set of six books that offered activities. The sets focused on the first three released Historical Characters and was the precursor to the American Girls Pastimes.
The portfolios became available in 1991; the only characters included were Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, and Molly McIntire as they were the only released characters at the time. Each portfolio was either modeled like a book or in an envelope for keeping. Each set focused on each of the characters fairly equally and had historical facts and data sprinkled through the text where it was available.
The American Girl Patterns later used the same designs for its covers.
- American Girls Diary
- American Girls Cookbook
- American Girls Paper Dolls
- American Girls Theater Kit
- American Girls Historical Games
- American Girls Album
The items could be purchased individually or with a subscription. Through the year, the sets alternated between books and Historical Character Craft Kits and the first month after purchase was the first received item.
A one-year subscription was $192 ($16 per month) and received all the available items. A six-month subscription to the activity books was $84 ($14 per month) and included all the portfolios; a six-month subscription to the craft kits was $108 ($18 per month) and included all the craft sets.
Schedule and Items
The year schedule was as follows:
- January: Diary
- February: Samantha's Valentines
- March: Cookbook
- April: Molly's Knitting Nellie
- May: Paper Dolls
- June: Molly's Lanyard Kit
- July: Theater Kit
- August: Kirsten's Weaving Loom
- September: Games
- October: Samantha's Embroidery Sampler
- November: Family Album
- December: Kirsten's Straw Ornaments
The kits and books remained available until 1994, when they were supplanted by the American Girls Pastimes, and thus retired.
Throughout the set, Samantha and Kirsten were given portraits from their Meet book covers. Molly's portrait was from the original 1986 cover of Molly's Surprise.