Pleasant Rowland introduced American Girl dolls in 1986 as a historically-themed alternative to Barbie and the Cabbage Patch Kids. Since 1998 her firm has been owned by the maker of both rival dolls, #1 toy manufacturer Mattel. American Girl produces the American Girls Collection of 18-inch, high-dollar dolls, including Addy (an escaped slave) and Rebecca Rubin (a young Jewish immigrant). The company also publishes "American Girl" magazine and American Girl books (nearly 140 million copies sold) and sells room d�cor, clothing, and accessories, including items that match their dolls. American Girl's products are sold through catalogs, its website, at about 20 stores. American Girl is expanding into Mexico.