So, what do you think of tween Dora?


Have you been following the hubbub surrounding Dora the Explorer 2.0? Mattel and Nickolodeon recently announced that they are introducing a tween Dora. From the press release:

The cornerstone of the entire line is the Dora Links fashion doll. By plugging the doll into the computer, girls can access Dora’s brand-new interactive online world. This exciting innovation in computer-connected play offers girls a unique interactive experience: as girls are playing online they can customize their doll and watch as she magically transforms right before their eyes. For example, by changing Dora’s hair length, jewelry, and eye color on screen, the Dora doll magically changes as well.

The online world will include descriptions and biographies of Dora’s Explorer Girls™ and an immersive online world that will be tied into the complete collection of toys. Online, girls can explore Dora’s world, talk to the characters, earn currency, and help Dora solve mysteries which will be uploaded on a regular basis. As girls explore and solve mysteries online, the doll’s speech will change to correspond with their play. In addition, Dora Links features a magical alert system that lets the doll know when new mysteries are being uploaded to the Dora site. Even when the child is away from the computer playing with the doll, she will let girls know what new things are happening in the online world.

Adding to the play value of the line will be a wide range of accessories (sold separately) as well as the Dora’s Seaside School playset that will work with Dora Links to expand traditional offline fashion doll play as well as to expand the online experience. Girls can download new speech, music, and mysteries into the locker, and also will enter a huge new portion of the online world, which is Dora’s school. Read more…

This announcement, which was accompanied by a mysterious silhouette of the made-over character sparked a furor among those worried that Mattel and Nickolodeon would, at worse, ”sex up” the beloved bilingual adventurer, and at best, turn what is an empowering character for young girls into a stereotypical hearts, ponies and lipstick gender stereotype. (Here’s a good overview of the concerns about new Dora)

Now that new Dora has been revealed. What do you think?

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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