“Samantha,” the Victorian version of the American Girl line of historical dolls, had been living peacefully in the perpetual year 1904 for over 20 years—-until now. American Girl has announced that Samantha Parkington—-along with her best friend, “Nellie”—-will not last another holiday season. And the discontinuation of the beloved child’s toys is tinged with the unmistakable odor of death.
Like the passing of a family pet, the retiring of Samantha & co. has inspired a host of euphemisms from the American Girl camp to explain away her sudden departure. Samantha “will soon say farewell,” American Girl says. At that time in the near future—-no one can be sure at what precise moment she will surrender to her tragic end—-Samantha “will be placed into the American Girl Archives,” a type of miniature mausoleum meant to “preserve her place in history.”
But though the doll will soon be gone, “Samantha’s stories live on,” continues American Girl, which encourages those who knew her to “leave Samantha memories” on its Web site in preparation for the horrific and unexplained tragedy that will one day consume her.
“Remember when you saw Samantha for the first time?” asks American Girl. “You shared your first secret together? Samantha helped you get through a tough time?” You will never again experience these joys with Samantha, who will soon leave this world alongside her closest friend, indicating that her departure will be more than simple accident.
Submitted memories will undoubtedly be closely monitored by an American Girl eulogist, who will finely comb his elaborate Samantha death notice as he waits to publish it at the exact moment of her passing.