American Girl doll lawsuit filed by Adler Planetarium astronomer over look-alike doll is dismissed

Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz wanted American Girl to stop selling the doll. It has not.

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American Girl’s Luciana Vega doll.

American Girl’s Luciana Vega doll. Adler Planetarium Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz claimed in a lawsuit the doll was modeled on her without permission.

Federal court documents

A lawsuit filed by an Adler Planetarium astronomer against American Girl for creating a doll in her likeness without permission was dismissed this week.

Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz sought unspecified damages and wanted American Girl to stop selling the doll. It appears she got neither.

Both parties agreed to dismiss the case without a financial settlement, according to court documents filed Tuesday. 

And the “Lucianna Vega” doll was still for sale on the American Girl website for $110 as of Thursday afternoon.

Walkowicz filed the lawsuit in April 2020 in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin — not far from American Girl’s headquarters.

The doll is marketed as an “aspiring astronaut ready to take the next giant leap to Mars.”

Everything from the name of the doll to its distinctive shoes and the purple streak in its hair was styled after Walkowicz, the suit alleged.

She argued that American Girl employees heard her give a lecture in Wisconsin and then used her as a model for the doll.

Walkowicz didn’t return a message Thursday. Neither did attorneys for Walkowicz and American Girl.


An image of Lucianne Walkowicz that was included in her federal lawsuit against American Girl.

Federal court documents

Walkowicz is a TED senior fellow at the Adler Planetarium where she’s worked for more than five years consulting on programming.

She most recently has worked as a lead creator of online content during the pandemic as the planetarium remains closed, an Adler spokeswoman said Thursday. 

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