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Kids Turn Toy News


Six Doll Characters With Their Own Story Journals & Accessories Lovingly Express Canada's Distinctiveness

Newmarket, Ontario (May 7, 2012) - What makes a young girl growing up in Canada, well, Canadian? Six-to-twelve-year-olds from Halifax to Winnipeg to Whitehorse now have a collection of beautifully detailed dolls to inspire national pride while learning the wonders of their country. Known as the Maplelea (may-pull-lee) Girls, the first six dolls of the series are ready to educate youngsters about Canada's culture, heritage and geography.

Meet huggable and lovable Jenna, Taryn, Brianne, Léonie (lay-oh-nee), Saila (sigh-lah) and Alexi, 10-year-olds who hail from across the country. Each doll stands 46 cm (about 18") tall and has a soft body with arms and legs that can be posed. Their eyes open and close and their hair is a delight to comb and style. Maplelea Girls offer an extensive range of clothing, furniture, bedding, pets and more to customize each doll to her character's story (or her owner's preference). Each doll retails for $99.99.

Imagine having a social studies lesson by playing with dolls. That's the concept behind the collection. All of the Maplelea Girls arrive with a distinctive 64-page journal illustrated with doodles, photos and writings done by the doll character to tell about her life and the part of Canada she calls home. Canadian girls will discover fascinating locales within their own country like Cabbagetown, a delightful Victorian neighborhood in Toronto or Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, home of the Bluenose schooner. Learn about the walled city of Old Quebec with Léonie, go on an outdoor adventure with Taryn or experience with Brianne the challenges and fun of living on a family farm on the Canadian prairie. If you've never worn an amauti or Pang hat, check out Saila's from Nunavut.

As their website,, explains in age-appropriate language, "They like different hobbies, sports, school subjects, foods, colours and even have a different personal fashion style! However, there are some things that they have in common-they are all bright, caring, energetic Canadian girls who think Canada is one terrific country." But that's not all -- the second half of each Maplelea Girl's journal offers blanks, questions and prompts for its young owner to fill in with her own notes and drawings. Girls eagerly write down the story of their own family and community, as well as imagine the next chapter of their doll character's story.

"Maplelea Girls were created to be positive role models for our daughters," explains parent company Avonlea Traditions President Kathryn Gallagher Morton. "Each doll is a unique individual with her own preferences, interests and strengths. All are involved in their own inspiring, age-appropriate activities and are happy with just who they are at this time of their young lives." Morton adds, "Through the journal that accompanies the doll, your daughter will learn not only about her Maplelea Girl, but also about our country's geography and heritage."

Reviewers who have seen the dolls agree! writes, "The Maplelea Girls line of dolls are an inspiration to and a reflection of Canadian girls from coast to coast. With realistic body types, trendy but appropriate clothing and accessories, this line of dolls supports the ‘real' messages so many of us are trying to send to our young girls."

In addition to the dolls and their keepsake journals are an array of clothing and accessories designed for each girl's lifestyle. Farm country girl Brianne has a Welsh pony ($85) and a riding helmet ($15) among two-dozen accessories. Jenna, who likes sports of all sorts, has a yoga outfit ($40), skateboard set ($34) and a soccer uniform ($39). Saila of Nunavut has a warm parka set ($40), an adorable Inuit dog and puppy ($25) and a traditional sled called a qamutiik ($38). Alexi has a gymnastics outfit ($29) and an array of fashionable outfits suitable for life in the big city. Taryn, with her Bernese Mountain dog ($20) at her side, has a tent ($20), or a hiking set with backpack, or a bed linen set with sleeping bag for her outdoor adventures in the Rockies.

Maplelea Doll - Taryn of Banff, Alberta Girls can even dress like their dolls in matching t-shirts, hats, pajamas and slippers.

New items are always being added to the Maplelea Girls online store so check in often. New for Spring 2012 are a karate set ($25), a raincoat and boots ($25), two new pets, a maple leaf hoodie set ($30) that will show off your doll's Canadian pride, and much more. And, with each new outfit come more journal pages that will add to your doll's story and your daughter's knowledge of Canada.

The six Maplelea Girls currently available to ship by ordering online, by phone or by mail are:

    Taryn of Banff, Alberta
    She's ready for any outdoor adventures in her cozy cotton striped turtleneck, her khaki skirt with buckle closure, funky striped tights and her oh-so-comfortable hiking boots.

    Brianne of Sandy Lake, Manitoba
    Brianne looks so sunny in her delightful embroidered cotton short sleeve top and matching embroidered, drawstring pants. Pink striped socks and amazingly detailed pink shoes with snap closure make her feet feel like dancing.

    Alexi of Toronto, Ontario
    Alexi is set for an urban adventure in her denim-flared pants, orange t-shirt with string ties, and wonderfully comfortable brown suede mules. Eight tiny orange hairclips decorate her lovely long hair.

    Jenna of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
    When Jenna is on the go (which is always!) she likes to wear clothes that won't hold her back. She can go anywhere in this three colour t-shirt with Maplelea logo and comfortable fleece pants.

    Léonie Bélanger-Leblanc of Quebec City, Quebec
    Léonie always likes to look her best and takes particular care to coordinate her outfits. She arrives wearing a detailed soft knit top, a skirt made of a printed and embroidered fabric and dressy red boots.

    Saila Qilavvaq of Nunavut
    Saila is an interesting, authentic and positive role model, not just for girls of Inuit heritage living in Nunavut, but for all girls living in all parts of Canada. Saila's dark silver jeans have a subtle sparkle so that they glisten like new-fallen snow, her zip-up vest provides an extra layer of warmth and her kamiik (traditional Inuit footwear) show her proud Inuit heritage.

Parents will be pleased to know that considerable Canadian talent has gone into creating the Maplelea Girls. All sculpting, designing, researching, writing, illustrating and translations are done by Canadians. The dolls, journals and accessories are all safe, meeting both American and Canadian standards and are regularly tested by independent third party laboratories to ensure compliance.

Maplelea Girls are not found in retail shops. Why? The company keeps its costs down by selling directly to the consumer. Plus many Canadian girls do not live near retail outlets that sell high quality specialty toys. By offering a flat $9 shipping fee for any size order traveling anywhere in Canada, all girls have equal access to the product line. The company will also ship outside of Canada.

Orders can be placed online at or by phone at 1-800-668-4339 24 hours/7 days a week.

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Before there were Maplelea Girls, there was Avonlea Traditions. Avonlea Traditions Inc. is a Canadian owned and operated company founded in 1988. Avonlea began by developing products based on Canada's ever-popular storybook character, Anne of Green Gables and quickly secured a position as the world's largest distributor of products based on this famous storybook heroine. Avonlea Traditions grew beyond “Anne” to design, produce and distribute a large range of award-winning dolls, fine collectibles and giftware.

In 2003, after more than a decade of research, Avonlea Traditions introduced the Maplelea Girls, a line of high quality, Canadian-themed, 46 cm (18”) tall vinyl play dolls with story journals. Three years later, Avonlea Traditions sold all its other product lines so it could focus exclusively on the Maplelea Girls. The Maplelea Girls line has experienced rapid growth in recent years and offers an ever-increasing range of products specially designed for girls aged 6 to 12. For more details, click on