American Girl Debuts New Contemporary Character “Z” Yang,(TM) A Filmmaker Who Tells Stories Through Her Own Creative Lens
April 27, 2017

–Original Live-Action “Z” Special, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life, Premieres June 9 on Amazon Prime Video–


MIDDLETON, Wis., April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –– Lights, camera, action! Today, American Girl brings its popular stop-motion vlogger character, Z Yang, to life for millions of fans who have come to know and love her as the star of the company’s popular web series, Z’s Crew. Inspired by the American Girl Stop Motion (AGSM) phenomenon, the series has garnered more than three million views on YouTube and continues to draw a large fan base.

Z (short for Suzie) is a Korean American hailing from Seattle, and is the latest addition to American Girl’s new series of contemporary characters and stories designed to speak to more girls’ interests, backgrounds, and experiences. Through Z, girls get to learn more about this creative young filmmaker who loves staying connected with friends and sharing a good story through her stop motion videos. Z’s adventures unfold in a two-book series, The Real Z and Z on Location, as well as an Amazon Original Special, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life, scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 9, 2017.

Z jumps from the screen to beautiful 18-inch doll, featuring long dark-brown hair, warm brown eyes, and a beauty mark on her left cheek. The Z doll comes dressed in her signature outfit, along with the first book in the series. The full Z product collection includes several creatively-inspired doll outfits and accessories that reflect her filmmaking interests, such as a wooden fold-out desk—complete with a chair and several pretend video-making supplies like a laptop and video monitor, as well as her own filming accessories like a camera, smartphone, and tripod, to name a few.

The Z books, published by Scholastic and written by author Jen Calonita, introduce readers to Suzie “Z” Yang and her vlog, Z’s Crew, which she created to share her passion about stop motion animation and ended up making friends all over the world. Now, she’s taking a shot at her dream of becoming a true filmmaker by participating in a film festival documentary contest. Outside of her comfort zone and under the stress of trying to be a real filmmaker, Z loses sight of why she liked making movies in the first place. And, with a little help from her crew, she discovers that to be a real filmmaker, she’ll first have to be her real self.

Other Z-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

  • Z Online and Digital Play: Girls can visit the Z-dedicated site at for free book excerpts, stop motion and product videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.
  • Z Retail Events: Starting April 27, American Girl stores are hosting Z’s Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus channel their inner director with a special giveaway, featuring a doll-sized movie clapboard and director visor. Girls will also be able to make their own stop-motion film with a Z-themed paper doll craft. For more details on the in-store events, visit
  • Amazon Original Special: An adaptation of American Girl’s stories about Z, the live-action special, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life, will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 9, 2017.

The Z collection is available on April 27, 2017, through American Girl’s catalogue; at; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; and at the American Girl brand store at Amazon: Outside of the U.S, Z products are available at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo and Chapters in Canada. The Z books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

To learn more about Z and other new American Girl characters debuting throughout 2017, go to, Facebook at, Twitter at, Pinterest at, and American Girl’s Instagram page at To request an American Girl catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.

American Girl is a premium brand for girls and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT,, a creations company that inspires the wonder of childhood. Headquartered in Middleton, WI, American Girl offers an inspiring world of dolls, content, and experiences that nourish a girl’s spirit and help develop her strength of character. Best-selling lines include Truly Me™, Girl of the Year™, Bitty Baby™, WellieWishers™, and the classic historical character line BeForever™. The company sells products through its award-winning catalogue, on, in its proprietary U.S. experiential retail stores, and at select specialty retailers nationwide. Outside of the U.S., American Girl products are sold in specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City. By inspiring girls to be their best, American Girl has earned the loyalty of millions and the praise and trust of parents and educators.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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