The illustrations in Samantha and Addy's books were completely redone sometime after 1994. Nancy Niles's illustrations in Samantha's books were replaced by ones by Dan Andreasen, and Addy's book illustrations originally done by Melodye Rosales were replaced by ones by Dahl Taylor. In 1998, a set of cards was created for Josefina the newest American Girl who had just been introduced in 1997. The decision was made to also create for release in 1998 new sets of Samantha and Addy cards which would be exactly like the 1994 cards except that they would bear these redone book illustrations. No changes were made to Kirsten, Molly or Felicity's cards in 1998.

   As many long-time AG collectors know, the illustrations in Molly's books were redone in 1989. The original illustrator of Molly's first three books (Meet Molly, Molly Learns a Lesson and Molly's Surprise) was C. F. Payne, with Book 4 (Happy Birthday, Molly) being illustrated by David Gaadt. But in 1988, Nick Backes was hired to replace them as illustrator on Molly's books. Mr. Backes did the illustrations for Book 5 (Molly Saves the Day) and Book 6 (Changes for Molly) in 1988, and he then went on to redo the illustrations in the first four books in 1989. The reason that there are not two sets of Molly cards with different versions of each picture, as there are for Sam and Addy, is because Molly's books were already changed to the new version before any trading cards were made. Sam and Addy's books were redone after the 1994 Series cards were made.

   If Pleasant Company had decided to create the first sets of AG Trading Cards in 1987 instead of 1994, the first 33 cards of Molly's set would have been based on C. F. Payne's pictures and cards 34-43 would feature David Gaadt's illustrations. There would have been only 45 cards in the set, because at that time Books 4 and 5 hadn't been published yet. Rounding out the set, card 44 would be the Valerie Tripp author card and 45 would be the checklist. I wondered, "What would that early card set have looked like?"

   Just for fun, I created a set of images which answered this question. I replicated Molly's 1994 cards with C. F. Payne and David Gaadt's illustrations. Shown below are these 45 cards which comprise Molly's 1987 Trading Cards - the cards that never were! Clicking on the images below will bring up much larger images.

Curt Danhauser - June 12, 2005

These products are appropriate for children 8 and over.
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