American Girl Re-Issues First Latina Doll in Tribute Collection

Josefina Montoya returns for this special American Girl collection

Josefina American Girl

Photo: American Girl/Mattel

Iconic doll line American Girl is bringing back Josefina, the first Latina doll in the collection. Owned by Mattel, American Girl is a line of 18″ dolls that aim to represent a vast array of experiences and cultures. Since 1986, they have released several Latina dolls including Marisol Luna, their “2005 Girl of the Year” and an aspiring Chicana dancer, as well as Luciana Vega, their “2018 Girl of the Year” who was of Chilean descent and aspired to be an astronaut. But none has been more popular than the first-ever Latina doll Josefina Montoya, who was originally released in 1997 as part of the original Historical Doll line along with Kirsten Larson (1986) and Addy Walker (1993). Set in 1800s Mexico before the Mexican-American war, Josefina’s story has remained a cultural fixture for young millennial Latinas everywhere, leading the company to re-release her back in 2021 for their 35th anniversary. This month, the company announced that they will be re-issuing Josefina, Addy, and Kirsten to celebrate the fans who have been there since the beginning and reintroduce them to a new generation. As part of the re-issue, the Josefina doll will be released in a special tribute collection with the original outfit, accessories, packaging, and corresponding paperback book that she came with in 1997, according to an American Girl press release.

“As we look back on American Girl’s rich legacy, it’s our beloved historical characters and their powerful stories that have transcended the test of time—instilling in generations of girls and women an understanding of their own important place in the world,” Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl, said in the press release. “Through the return of such classics as Kirsten, Addy, and Josefina, along with new product and story offerings for our other timeless characters, like 1970s Julie Albright, we’re excited to continue engaging and inspiring American Girl fans of all ages for years to come.”

Over three years, Josefina’s appearance, clothing, and story were developed with an advisory board of historians, university professors, librarians, and curators with backgrounds in the American Southwest. Research and oral interviews were also conducted throughout the U.S. and Mexico. According to her website listing, Josefina lived on a ranch with her father in New Mexico before it became part of the U.S. and was already experiencing many cultural changes. Her tribute collection includes all of her original pieces of clothing and accessories including a white camisa with puff sleeves, a red skirt, a rebozo, lace-up moccasins, a blue hair ribbon, a set of plastic primroses, a jola coin in a paper envelope, a hankie, gold hoop earrings, and a pendant necklace. Her original birthday party dresses and Happy Birthday books with the original cover designs will also be included, available for the first time since 2018. Finally, she comes packaged in the retro American Girl burgundy box (the one used from 1986-2014) and her Meet Josefina book with the original cover and updated language, imagery, and resources for families and teachers.

For even more fun, American Girl additionally shared that they will be releasing their first graphic novel mysteries for their historical character line, with two books set for 2024 and 2025. Nothing has been announced yet for Josefina but more novels are planned for future releases.

“We’re thrilled to re-introduce these classic characters with the new tribute collections that celebrate American Girl’s roots—stirring up a wave of nostalgia and inspiring a new generation of fans with these timeless stories and products,” Cygielman told People.

The original Josefina Montoya doll retails for $150 and is available at

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