Monday, March 16, 2009

It's time for Dora to explore... the mall.

Mattel is adding a new iteration to their juggernaut Dora the Explorer franchise, Adorable tomboy moppet Dora:

Is going to be marketed to the Tween set in this new guise:Frankly Mattel's efforts to "Soothe Mothers and Ally Fears" leave me a little cynical:

“The doll really taps into a tween’s love of fashion and empowers girls to influence and change the ‘lives’ of Dora and her friends,” explains Ms. Sirard. “The instant gratification that girls receive as they change Dora online and watch as the doll magically transforms right before their eyes is groundbreaking in today’s toy market. What’s more, parents can feel comfortable knowing that Dora’s online world provides a safe and wholesome play experience for their children.” -from this article

Must Dora grow up and stop exploring to reach the Tweens? really? we all know that girls automatically stop enjoying butterflies, adventure and the outdoors as soon as they're old enough to reach the kitchen counter.

But what do we expect from the Dora franchise, Diego does far more of the heavy lifting than Dora did in earlier seasons, and there are many examples of off-message Dora the Explorer toys that somewhat diminish the aspirational messages of the original concept. How many interior design sets does she need? What's wrong with binoculars and a compass? I don't even mind if they're pink.

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