"I think she likes Dora because Dora is a nice little kid" said Ginger Dearwant, whose young daughter loves Dora. "I like Dora because Dora is bilingual."
But, controversy looms on the Dora the Explorer horizon. Mattel plans to unveil a new, more grown-up Dora "tween" doll this fall, and gave parents a hint at what she'll look like in a press release: a silhouette with long flowing hair and long legs. Mattel also says the tweenaged Dora doll has "moved to the big city" and "has a new fashionable look."
That worries some bloggers who say Dora will soon be "Bratzed" out, sexualized like the Bratz dolls, and become "obsessed with boys" like Barbie. Others are organizing petition drives-- urging "no makeover for Dora."
Barbie Turns 50
The St. Petersburg-Times' parenting blog, Whoa!Momma, is demanding doll-maker Mattel listen to their concerns.
"They they want a doll that doesn't just isn't concerned about the physical beauty you know, the concerns folks have always had about Barbie," said Sherry Robinson, who runs the Whoa!Momma blog.
Mattel and Nickelodeon are listening, and want to assure parents that Tween Dora does not remotely resemble Barbie. In fact, she's the anti-Barbie.
"The reason we did this is to offer an alternative doll to moms who want their little girls to stay younger longer," said Nickelodeon's Leigh Anne Brodsky.
Mattel says Tween Dora will still use her brains, but, as an older girl she'll use her adventurous spirit to solve mysteries with her new friends.
"It's not about the fashionista Dora," explained Mattel's Gina Sirard. "It's about Dora being able to go incognito so she can solve mysteries."
How will she do that? Well, your child can hook up the Dora Tween doll to a computer- and take Dora into a virtual world where she can change her appearance to solve those Nancy Drew-type mysteries.
The doll will be unveiled this fall.