March 29, 2009

Dora the Explorer - The Controversy

Out with the old... and in with the new...

Or is it?

Everywhere I've turned the past couple of weeks, someone somewhere has been complaining about the new 'sexed-up' Dora. People are aghast that Nickelodeon would have the nerve to 'do away' with the cute and sometimes annoying original. But if you read the statements from Mattel, you'll find that there is absolutely no intention of getting rid of the old Dora to replace her with the 'tween version. The original Dora will still remain, and will still be doing her shows and adventures with Boots. That part is not changing.

The 'new' Dora is not going to be in cartoon form, not going to be a show, not replacing the original show, but rather is going to be in the form of a doll and possibly other toys geared towards 5-8 year olds. My question is what age is considered 'tween'? I was always under the impression it's the age of 8-12...

The 'new' Dora is meant to continue interest in young girls for Dora in general - a lot of 5-8 year olds tend to think they're too 'old' for Dora. From Mattel's statement:

"...But the new version is a significant switch from the Dora many preschoolers have known, aging her so the kids who tend to drop Dora once they hit kindergarten and first grade remain connected to the new character, who has a new group of girlfriends to go exploring with (Sorry, but Boots, the Map, Swiper and other characters from the show didn't make the transition).

The doll, which comes with a USB port and is compatible with online story lines that take Dora and four friends on new adventures involving the environment, social action and more, still has, as Sirard called it, the "Dora DNA."

"What would Dora be if she grew up? You'd have what you'd have before you: a very sweet, wholesome adventurous. ... She's a perfect role model in that regard."..."

The Princess Nagger has even mentioned on occasion that she's too 'old' for Dora - at just barely 6. So I can see why Mattel wanted to do something to keep the interest going for another few years. She loves playing a lot of the Nickelodeon games as well as the Barbie ones online - she'd probably love the interactive adventures with the new Dora doll. If I were given a choice between the 'new' Dora in a doll form, or Bratz - my choice would be the Dora doll hands down. Would you rather have your daughter playing with a doll that looks like this:
Or one of these:

I personally think the Bratz dolls look way more 'sexed up' than the new Dora - she still looks wholesome to me, and the fact that she's not replacing the original Dora is even better. I think the new Dora will be a hit - and do exactly what Nickelodeon and Mattel are hoping for - expanding the age group of little girls that adore Dora...and yes, become another money maker for Mattel.


49 Random Sassy Comments:

Yaya said...

Hmmm....true. But I don't know, I just think the overall message is wrong. You have to change your appearance to be liked. Poor Dora...caught up in the controversary of inner and outer beauty. ;)

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

Wow.. I didnt even know there was a new Dora ( my youngest is 7) but we have had the Bratz Dolls here in my house and I would totally go with the new Dora! Thanks

Kelly said...

eew! those bratz dolls make me want to vomit!

Upstatemomof3 said...

I HATE the bratz dolls and my daughter will not get one. I swear. :) I have no problem with the new Dora - I am glad the old Dora will still be on Nickelodeon. I have to say the thing I find the most amusing is that Dora's clothes match. Go Dora!!! You finally learned how to drss yourself. :)

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Wonderful, just wonderful...

raquel roysdon said...

Mattel is so clever. Did they think they would get so much "chatter" about the new Dora.

Firefly@www.firefly-shop.org said...

I like new Dora :) Bratz...well not my favorite but I'll admit we have two, but they are Baby Bratz LOL

Kelly said...

I am so glad that the "doll/Dora" stage is well behind me...In fact we missed the Dora boat altogether! I feel so old! I guess I have grandbabies to look forward to?

Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with the aged Dora. She's cute.

Justine/Justiney/Tiney said...

I have to say, I disagree. I think this new, older Dora is going to fall flat on her ass. Once a kid around the age of 5 or 6 gives up on a character, that's it. Gone. Finito. Unless they make a show out of it. Then, maybe she'd stand a chance. My 7 year old would never lower herself to the level of Dora the Explorer these days. LOL! And although I hate everything that Barbies and Bratz dolls stand for, both my girls went through a phase, thankfully over.

Justine :O )

Farmer*swife said...

I have a severe dislike of the Bratz dolls. Although, they have had issues of their own over pattens and all.

I think they are totally over the top for small Gals learning to love "themselves." The new Dora, is a beautiful version of a post toddler. She looks happy, well dressed and healthy -- without make-up (or, GASP, botox! LOL)

Although, I wouldn't mind an updated show in addition to the original Dora of a seven year old Dora sharing adventures and the love of languages.

Just like when they did Scooby Doo and went back to the childhood ages.

Great post and great place over here! Love the look!

Oh, and thanks for following me!

Stephanie said...

Dora sure changes a lot as she gets older . . .
Personally, young Dora drives me nuts. I want to yank her shirt down so she's not showing her stomach. I know it's not sexual, but I want to do everything to keep little kiddos covered.

Young Momma said...

I agree with everything you said!!! I love that they aren't replacing her, because my lil boys and my niece love Dora (and Diego!) but I think it's a great idea to market her to the older girls. I think a cartoon of the new Dora on Noggin (or something other than Nick Jr) would even be a good idea!!! I'm in total agreement of the Bratz dolls too - I can't stand those things!!

Tash said...

thanks for visiting my blog I like your site! yeah she does look older and I had no idea since we dont have tv...um I have a post bout dora from last year....its a bit funny heres the link

http://oysterblogger.blogspot.com/2008/02/lack-of-adoration.html

I personally keep my daughter super far away from the bratz doll cuz they look like brats sort of selfcentered into thwo they look and way to slutty for little girls..
Anyway cool post!

pam said...

Thanks for clearing that up! I think we will be sticking with pre-school Dora for a while yet:)

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

Honestly I like the new Dora a billion times better than the chubby Latino with the ghetto belly shirt and bad haircut. She looks like a cute, petite little Latino girl and I like her. Bratz are totally strippers in the making...sick. My girls will never have one and I will hide all knowledge that they exist!!!!

Julie said...

The new Dora is definitely better than the Bratz. Sluts :P
Too bad Swiper didn't get to come along too..he was my fave!

mrsbear said...

There's nothing "sexed-up" about the new Dora, seriously, people are just looking for something to get worked up about. I think it makes sense and for Mattel it's all about keeping the Dora franchise alive. My girls are too old for either Dora, so I don't have to worry about it, but I watched plenty when they were younger. It was always a sweet, entertaining show. Bratz on the other hand, ugh, there's something to get worked up about.

Fiona said...

Well hmmm... the younger Dora has her belly showing, that would never fly with our school dress code. The older Dora looks adorable and is well clothed. I think Mattel could have introduced her with better PR to head off all the fuss. I'm not too bothered by it all. My daughter wants a Diego birthday party...

I hate the Bratz doll...

Kristen said...

Hmm. A dora blow-up doll?

Betty said...

I agree I am not a big fan of the Bratz dolls. I had no idea they changed Dora.

Chris said...

my little girl loves Dora... and i showed her the new Dora and she asked me? what happened to Dora???

anyway, i think its only okay as long as they remove the old Dora :) that way they will still identify her with the old Dora image...

blueviolet said...

Maybe I've been out of the doll years for too long now but I really can't understand what the big problem is with Dora growing up. She's not skanky in the least. Of course, it's all a marketing ploy designed to make more money but the concept of her look isn't remotely offensive to me.

Jenni said...

Those Bratz dolls scare me.

The Daily Blonde said...

The new Dora hardly looks "sexed up". Stylish, yes. I have three daughters and the Bratz dolls are just plain scary. Even the name Bratz is questionable.

The older Dora is cute. 8-12 year olds don't look like little Dora anymore so I think this would be a cute doll for my almost 9 yr old daughter--the clothing isn't racy or sexed up. Where do people get these ideas?

Mrs Cooper said...

A "sexed-up" Dora. That one had me craking up. Girl you are crazy.. Anyway, don't have to worry about this anymore but Dora does have to grow up. I think they need to tone it down though for the age category. This looks more like a young teenager from 12 to 15. I think a tween Dora could still look the same but just make her tall er and make the hair longer but still keep the big eyes.

I always categorized tween as 10 to 12 which is what my daugther is. It's so hard to find decent clothing for her let alone her 13yo sister. Why does it have to be so complicated for girls?

AMH615 said...

I don't have a girl, so I didn't even know that Dora was growing up. But, I don't think she looks too sexy, she just looks older to me. I agree, I'd definitely pick her over the Bratz!

CTgirlinKS said...

Wow... did you hit a great topic or what?!
I, myself, would much rather my girls stay w/ Dora than getting the Bratz for a gift. I doubt my 7yo will go back, but my 5yo would stay... she's already on the bubble of leaving Dora behind.
I think the original bent out of shape mommies saw only the shadow of the older Dora and the silhouette was slightly racy... seeing her now, she's cute. And I'd rather my girl on the computer instead of continuing to be in front of the tv. Maybe a movie to watch to introduce her?
btw... when my girls walk by the Bratz in the toy aisles, they look at me and say, "I know Mommy, we can't have these in our house." I don't even have to say a word anymore. : )

Mya said...

I'm a mom to a 5 year old daughter..and I was anti Barbie when she was a lil bitty baby. But I, myself played with Barbies..and I didn't buy my daughter, Katelin her first Barbie either..my Grandma did. What was I supposta do..not let her play with it..? No, I gave in..promising myself not to let her play with slutty looking dolls. LOL I felt like Bratz where too mature for her. But after shopping around for one for her 5th bday (lol) I noticed they aren't that bad! So seeing this 'new Dora' isn't a big deal to me. She's not showing off cleavage or wearing a tight mini skirt and heels or wearing anything too grown up. Oh let me add..I make sure when Katelin DOES get a Barbie, Bratz or whatever that it's not dressed 'too mature'

Well, that's my 2 cents. Ha!

Elle said...

I'm with you! There's nothing sexy about new Dora. I think she looks cute. And I really hate Bratz dolls. We don't have any at our house. I showed the new Dora picture to our 6 year old son and his comment was "She looks even creepier". But that's a 6 year old boy for you!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

I've totally missed out on the Dora controversy. Although, she still looks pretty wholesome to me.

Now, those Bratz dolls...

jewelryandgiftsbyrebecca said...

My girly girls KNOW that Bratz are NOT allowed in this house. They even hurry past them in the store. I think they are afraid I start a scene or that my head will spin off or something???

Bonnie said...

I also don't have any girls of my own, but I do have nieces. I personally like the look of the newer Dora. I think she's cute but not sexy. I never liked those Bratz dolls or the look of them. They all have that come up and see me sometime look.

nikkicrumpet said...

I guess as kids grow up their toys need to grow up with them. I think the new Dora doll is still cute and totally wholesome looking. Hey at least she's not wearing fish net stockings like the Bratz dolls.

lmt1073 said...

I agree and while my oldest is way too old for Dora and my youngest is way too young, people are overreacting... let Dora stay... and grow up some!

The Blonde Duck said...

I hate those Bratz dolls. Bleah!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Who knew Dora could cause such a stir? Next thing we know she'll have a sex tape...you just wait.

Diane said...

My daughter's nearly 10 and I still wouldn't let her play with the Bratz dolls (if she wanted to... thankfully, she doesn't now, though she did a couple of years ago). I hate what's marketed at little girls... the clothes, the toys, etc. It's getting harder and harder to let kids stay kids.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

I don't see anything wrong with allowing Dora to grow with the little girls who adore her, and I think she is just adorable in the new form!

Minxy Mimi said...

The new Dora is very pretty, but not sexy, IMO. Those bratyz are ghetto...what doll for girls should be wearing fishnets?
*I* personally think some people just want to kick up a fuss and make noise... to me, its a bit stupid. JMHO

carma said...

Is it me, or does it seem that boy stuff is just soooooo much easier. Luckily I will be spared ever having to deal with the "new" or "old" Dora :D
carma

Louise said...

That's a relief. When i first started reading I thought Dora was no more. And yes I much prefer her to Bratz.

Kristen Andrews said...

I like the new Dora. The Bratz dolls I think were pulled off the shelves there was a lawsuit, they were accused of copying the Barbie dolls, basically a bunch of trade secret stuff that a employee took.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Great post! I have read about the "Dora Controversary," but your summary was by far the most entertaining that I have come across.

Did you notice that something has been missing from your blog? It might have appeared around the time I stopped commenting? I’m sorry about all that. I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere, but I couldn’t stay away too long. After a break, I had to come by again and see what you’ve been up to.

Glad that I did.

-Francesca

PS: Thanks for the birthday love!

K said...

Wow. I hadn't heard of this before.

I agree that the new dora doesn't look too sexed up. I have issues with Bratz and some of the other dolls though.

Lizzie said...

i agree with you here. my daughter would probably like both. she never has liked Bratz (thank God!)

Jaime said...

i couldn't handle 2+ hours of shopping. i HATE shopping

Casey said...

Thanks for clarifying, I had wondered if they were phasing out the young Dora. Bratz dolls are skanks. Yuck. I don't even plan on buying Barbie around here but I'm a freak like that.

Past Expiry said...

Check out this cartoon about Dora the Explorer!
http://pastexpiry.blogspot.com/2009/04/cartoon-tween-dora-explorer.html
*CARTOON*
Feel free to post on your blog or "tweet"

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