Meet Z Yang, American Girl’s New Korean-American Doll

By Sameer Rao Apr 27, 2017

American Girl fans can now take filmmaker Suzie "Z" Yang, the manufacturer’s first Korean-American doll, home to create their own vlogging adventures.

The company debuted Z and her accessories today (April 27). A company press release describes her as follows: 

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. 

Fans might recognize her from "Z’s Crew," the stop-motion web series she hosts on the manufacturer’s YouTube page that currently boasts more than a million views. Given Z’s interests, customers can purchase a range of accessories including cameras and a tripod alongside clothing options and Z’s dog, Popcorn.

American Girl further explores Z’s story in two books, "The Real Z" and "Z on Location," written by Jen Calonita and published by Scholastic. Both books follow Z’s struggles to prove herself without compromising her identity while participating in a prestigious documentary film festival. "The Real Z" is out now, while "Z on Location" comes out this fall.

Z also stars in an upcoming Amazon special, "An American Girl Story: Summer Camp Friends for Life," that premieres June 6 on Amazon Prime Video. Fans looking for teasers, videos and more can visit American Girl’s new Z-specific website

NBC News reported in February that Z is the first American Girl doll of Asian descent since the company discontinued Ivy Ling—a Chinese-American girl who grew up in 1970s San Francisco—in 2014. She is one of several dolls introduced or announced this year that diversify American Girls’ line-up. Other dolls include Gabriela McBride, a Black aspiring poet that the company designated its 2017 "Girl of the Year;" Nanea Mitchell, a Native Hawaiian growing up during World War II; and Logan Everett, a musician and the company’s first boy. Nanea dolls hit the market this fall, while Gabriela and Logan are available now.

American Girl spokesperson Julie Parks told NBC News that the company developed the newest dolls in response to fan demand for more diverse characters. "The one thing we’ve heard loud and clear is a desire for more—specifically more characters and stories from today—with more experiences, more diversity and more interests," she said.