Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Fugitive Doll

The fictional Rebecca Rubin was a new 18-in. American Girl doll designed to be a 1914-era Jewish-Russian immigrant living on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The real Rebecca Rubin is an arsonist wanted by the FBI. She goes by the nickname Little Missy (which, ironically, sounds like a doll's name) and is wanted for a series of Oregon fires dating back to at least 1997. It seems the wholesome American Girl company accidentally named one of its historical-themed children's dolls after a fugitive whom authorities consider armed and dangerous. The company discovered the unfortunate coincidence only after it was pointed out in the May issue of Heeb magazine. A few months later, the doll manufacturer was back in the news with Gwen Thompson, a Great Depression–themed doll who, according to her backstory, is homeless. Her retail price: $95.