Historically, some of our earliest American Girl leaks have come from their very own trademarks. They have also been known to trademark "ghost names" in order to throw the leak hunters off their scent for awhile, however, usually when both a first and last name show up together it is a pretty good indication that we will see a doll with that name sometime in the next year or so.
Which brings me to Nanea Mitchell.
They've trademarked everything from a doll to video games with this name, but who could she possibly be? My first thought was a possible 2018 Girl of the Year, but the latest rumors are that 2017's GOTY (who most believe will be named Tenney Grant) will be the last GOTY. I don't know how true that is, considering the GOTY line seems to be bringing in a nice chunk of AGs revenue, but rumors surrounding AG are surprisingly accurate, so it is possible that Nanea could be a new historical doll.
The timeline would fit. The last two historical dolls, Melody Ellison and Maryellen Larkin were both originally trademarked a little over a year before their August 2015 and 2016 releases. (Less than 3 weeks until Melody! Eeek!) Nanea was trademarked at the end of July, which could very well make her next summer's historical release. (If there is indeed going to be a historical release next summer.)
Nanea is a Hawaiian name, which considering the popularity of the 2011 GOTY, Kanani, should absolutely thrill people! Depending on what baby name site you look on "they" will tell you that it means either "beautiful" or "fascinating", (though I also found sites saying that the Hawaiian word nanea means wave/surf) and behindthename.com claims that it was in the top 100 names for girls in Hawaii in 2005. Nothing I have found ranks it in the top 1,000 names nation wide anywhere between 1900 and today, so there are really no hints as to what time period Nanea might be from if she is even a historical doll to begin with. (And that is a pretty big "if")
Of course the surname Mitchell is more historically Scottish...so do what you will with that bit of information.
Keep in mind that, even if AG does decide to do away with the Girl of the Year dolls, that does not mean that the line will not continue on with a different name. Nanea could simply be the first girl in their "new and improved" GOTY line. I don't imagine that we'll find out any time soon, but it's fun to speculate. In the mean time, we can watch people argue about whether or not Logan Everett is going to be another girl doll or the first ever American BOY. (Watching grown women throw temper tantrums about how an 18 inch boy doll would "ruin everything American Girl is supposed to stand for" has been both amusing and disturbing.)
What do you think? Nanea Mitchell: Girl of the Year or new BeForever doll?