BeForever was the rebranding and refresh of the Historical line of American Girl, relaunched and released by American Girl in 2014.
The rebranding was done to refresh the line and make the historical characters relevant to a new generation of the target audience. Methods include tying the characters to the ways that girls have remained the same through history and had the same feelings and ideas, and to market the characters as companions or friends to the target audience instead of tied solely to their own personal eras.
The Beforever branding was removed from all Historical Characters in 2019, with the historical character collection reverting to the previous name Historical Characters; however, several changes remained.
BeForever Initial Launch Changes
- Samantha Parkington was rereleased with a new meet outfit, setting a precedent for bringing archived Historicals back out for availability.
- Original Meet Outfits for Addy Walker, Julie Albright, Rebecca Rubin, Kit Kittredge, and Josefina Montoya were retired and replaced with new versions which were initially available for separate purchase. The original meet outfits (called "Classic") were temporarily available to buy but were not available to purchase on a new doll anymore.
- Some dolls were slightly modified from the prior looks, e.g. Kit was given a slightly more angled bob, and Addy's eyebrows changed shape.
- The six individual books of the Central Series were rebundled into two volumes--the Classic Series--that each had three of the earlier books per volume; this allowed the book to read more like a single volume chapter book and help aim the stories towards an older audience.
- Book cover images were redone to have characters and backgrounds appear more photo-realistic.
- All internal illustrations in books were removed.
- Text in books was changed tweaked, or edited in small capacities. This was generally either to describe new meet outfits where older had been talked about (e.g. Rebecca's dress style) or to add transitions between what had previously been "books", e.g. Between the original text of Samantha Saves the Day and Changes for Samantha several paragraphs are inserted that explicitly state that Mary Edwards married Archibald Beemis and Samantha has moved to New York to live with her aunt and uncle.
- Looking Back was renamed to Inside _______'s World and reduced to about two pages per volume, focusing on the overall era with small specific highlights, instead of precise details targeted to the topic for each book.
- My Journey Books, gamebooks set in the time of the characters as time-travel adventures, were released.
- Prior to launch the two remaining Best Friend Characters--Ivy Ling and Ruthie Smithens--and Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner (and all the associated collections) were retired.
- Child-sized clothing inspired by historical meet outfits were released.
- Several color alignments were reconfigured; for example, Addy's books were coded medium blue instead of burnt orange, while Kaya's were changed to red from light blue.
- Any lobster-claw or ring-style closure clasps on jewelry (such as necklaces) were replaced with heart-style interlocking clasps.
Timeline of BeForever
In early 2014, information was seen on the American Girl Publishing site that showed the rebranding of the Historical Characters as "BeForever." American Girl's official Facebook page initially announced the rerelease of Samantha; later, the announcement came of the rebranding of the remaining Historical Characters.
Over the course of the year, American Girl released quizzes, videos, and previews of new outfits and items for the character's collections.
BeForever was formally launched August 28th, 2014.
In Spring 2015, American Girl announced the first BeForever-released character, Maryellen Larkin. She was released in August, approximately a year after the initial BeForever launch. At the same time, Caroline was officially retired.
In January, No Ordinary Sound, the first book for the second BeForever character, Melody Ellison, was released, officially announcing her entrance into the line. In February American Girl released images of the doll's look and some items on CBS's morning show, Good Morning America. Her other two books were released in June, and the doll and her collection was released in August.
In February, Felicity Merriman was rereleased along with new versions of her books and a My Journey book. At the same time the third character, Nanea Mitchell, was announced. Nanea and her collection were released in August.
Images and information for Molly McIntire were revealed in February along with a mini doll and new versions of her books. In October, she was rereleased exclusively for Costco retail stores.
On August 27th, the Historical line was revamped. This included dropping the 'BeForever' name and branding from all products, as well as retiring Felicity Merriman again. Furthermore, illustrations were added or returned to the Central Series books. However, redesigns of characters' clothing and several changes to collections that had been implemented remained.
|BeForever Historical Characters|
Felicity Merriman */**
|* Archived | ** ReReleased for BeForever|
- ↑ Separate purchased outfits do not include any hair decorations or ribbons.
- ↑ The exceptions were Caroline Abbott and Kaya'aton'my, who had no change in outfit; furthermore, offering Kaya's meet outfit separate from the doll would be a degree of cultural offensiveness.
- ↑ Josefina Montoya is the exception, as she only had her rebundled volumes at launch.
- ↑ These are also present in other lines.