I didn’t have an American Girl doll as a kid, but I did devour the corresponding book series. Molly, Samantha, Kirsten, Addy, Felicity—I read them all, and it’s probably what first got me hooked on historical fiction. I loved learning about the historical period each girl lived in, what her daily life was like, how she dressed, what she did for fun. 

So when I saw the latest addition to the American Girl historical lineup, I died a little inside. 

Isabel and Nicki, the first twins introduced in the series, live in 1999. 

Nineteen ninety-nine, in the year of our Lord. 

As in, like, six years ago. 

Right? RIGHT?! 

I don’t know why it still shocks me every time I realize the ’90s were more than 20 years ago, but there it is. Maybe it’s a function of my advancing age, this willful denial. All I know is I played the Oregon Trail in school, I remember buying my first CD (Ace of Base), and today no one knows if I’m actually a Geriatric Millennial, a Xennial, or some other -ennial yet to be determined. 

No wonder I feel like an ibuprofen and a nap. 

At least the new historical dolls come with some spot-on nostalgic accessories, I’ll give them that much. Like many kids in the’90s, Isabel and Nicki participate in Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT!™ Program by reading books to earn a free one-topping personal pan pizza, the website describes an ALRIGHT FINE IT IS ADORABLE Pizza Hut accessory pack. It even includes the red plastic cup you definitely used when you went to the restaurant for lunch buffet. 

Personal pan pizza, Pizza Hut red cup and Book-It button
American Girl

There’s also a computer and desk set that’ll take you right back to your childhood. The giant block of a machine you remember is now in miniature size, complete with floppy disk drive and CD slot. The cordless phone is, no doubt, connected to the teen line in Isabel and Nicki’s shared bedroom, and you can even grab an inflatable doll-sized chair. The only thing missing is an AOL free trial disc that came in the mail. There’s even an interactive bedroom online where you can hear that dial-up internet sound, use a photo booth, and take a personality quiz. 

Toy computer, desk, chair, and accessories
American Girl

The fashions are ’90s inspired too—Isabel prefers preppy and pink and Nicki sports Avril Lavigne-esque Sk8r stytle. According to American Girl, “Isabel is bubbly, extroverted, and very into pop music (she’s a Spice Girls superfan). Nicki is thoughtful, introverted, and passionate about skateboarding.”

Real-life twin sisters Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy wrote the diary style book for the new American Girls. “I love Isabel and Nicki’s enthusiasm and joy for doing all the ’90s things,” DeVillers says. “Isabel is passionate about writing with her glittery gel pens, keeping her Tamagotchi well-fed, eating Cheez Balls, reading for Book-It prizes, and planning to celebrate Y2K.” 

RELATED: Why I Loved Being a Teen In the ’90s

Roy says Nicki channels the girl she was in the ’90s. “I love how Nicki loves No Doubt and Gwen Stefani’s message of girl empowerment. I owned the first No Doubt CD when it came out and played it all the time! Also, I remember how exciting it was to get my own personal computer. And like Nicki, I was scared about the Y2K bug crashing all the computers and causing disaster around the world. (Spoiler: Nothing happened.)”

Now that I’m over the indignation that 1999 is now its own a historical era . . . I have to admit, I kind of want it all. Long live the ’90s! 

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Carolyn Moore

Carolyn has served as Editor-in-Chief of Her View From Home since 2017. A long time ago, she worked in local TV news and fell in love with telling stories—something she feels grateful to help women do every day at HVFH. She lives in flyover country with her husband and five kids but is really meant to be by the ocean with a good book and a McDonald's fountain Coke. 

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