Quietly swearing under his breath, Mattel chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz realized earlier this morning that he’d accidentally authorized the release of a secret American Girl Doll from an alternative timeline where the assassination of Franz Ferdinand never took place.
“Dammit — and just at the start of the new fiscal quarter, too,” Kreiz muttered agitatedly, having realized he’d absentmindedly printed and signed the wrong document, triggering the release of an off-the-books doll he’d personally designed as a pet-project about a world unmarred by the 1914 tragedy that irreversibly changed the course of history. The doll, named Viktoria Meusberger, not only comes with two sets of neoprene robes, but also her very own furry friend Ryan the West African Black Rhinoceros (a species no longer extinct in this alternate reality).
Inside sources at the toy company confirm that Viktoria was commissioned by Kreiz after drug-induced hallucinations caused him to see visions of a world-historical splinter universe created when Gavrilo Princip failed to murder Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. A cascading butterfly effect resulted in World Wars I and II never taking place and the Catholic Church eventually re-establishing a Holy Empire over a Europe unfractured by land-war.
“Viktoria lives in 2019, yet it’s a 2019 entirely unlike your own,” the children’s book accompanying the new doll, now available for purchase, begins. “A militant Catholic hegemony, powered by a ritualized energy source known as Hellfire (what in our world we call atomic energy), is on the verge of war with a pan-Arabic caliphate that emerged in the mid-60s from a marriage-alliance between the Ottomans and Saudis. With her spymaster father undercover as an opium physician in the Far East, and her cyber-nun mother on the run in the bombed-out ruins of a re-colonized Boston, Viktoria must balance the everyday struggles of tween-age life with the escalating geopolitical tensions of a world both unrecognizable and eerily familiar. Not to mention dealing with her MAJOR crush on Pope-Emperor Timothée Chalamet!”
Addressing shareholders after the botched release, a visibly ashamed Kreiz has since confirmed that — while it was never his intention to sell the alt-history Viktoria dolls — now that they’re out there, it’s worth noting that he has a five-season TV show treatment ready to go if any major network is interested.