American Girl is an American line of 18-inch dolls released in 1986 by Pleasant Company. The dolls portray ten-year-old and nine year old girls of a variety of ethnicities living in various times throughout American history. They are sold with accompanying books told from the viewpoint of the girls. Originally the stories focused on various periods of American history, but were expanded in 1995 to include characters and stories from contemporary life. A variety of related clothing and accessories is also available. Pleasant Company was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland, and its products were originally purchasable by mail order only. In 1998, Pleasant Company became a subsidiary of Mattel. The company has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award eight times.