Friday, August 22, 2008

Dora The Explorer To Get "Feminine" Makeover

Apparently Nickelodeon is working on a revamp of Dora the Explorer to make her appeal to preteen girls:

"Amid competition from older and racier rivals such as the Disney phenomenon Hannah Montana, Dora's TV bosses are reportedly in talks about re-designing some themed toys and merchandise to make the character more feminine."

If this is true, and they make her into another Hannah Montana/Barbie/Bratz clone, I will vomit my guts out.

If they want to make her older -- fine. But just make her "normal." Please please please don't glam her up.

You know what Dora does? She freakin' explores! With comfortable shoes!


  1. Anonymous12:36 PM

    I don't understand. The audience for Dora isn't preteen, it's preSCHOOL.

    My two year-old BOY loves Dora, but it was weird the last time we went to the toy store. All the Dora paraphrenalia was bubblegum pink in bubblegum pink boxes right next to the Barbie and Bratz stuff.

    I don't want to get into the whole "gender neutral toys" argument, but it was just weird. The show has never seemed to be written to be gender-specific, but ALL of the merchandising seems to be firmly and archetypically "girlie."

  2. Well, if they take this to the ultimate extreme, Dora can just end up morphing into Lara Croft.

    Oy, the insanity...

  3. greyman24 said -

    "All the Dora paraphrenalia was bubblegum pink in bubblegum pink boxes right next to the Barbie and Bratz stuff. "

    Yeah, this is the worst. I have two girls, 7 and 4. The 7 year-old has started to get into American Girl, which I'm actually really happy about. It's insanely expensive, but I like that they give the doll characters a lot of substance and really put positive messages into being a girl. The line definitely has more meaningful messages for her than the Barbie & Bratz stuff, which I think is crap for little girls who are developing and taking cues from everything around them.

  4. Nick did this once before, with Rugrats.

    Makes sense. As the original audience ages, you create another similar product which appeals to that audience, while a new audience is exposed to the original product.

    As for the girlie factor of Dora merchandise, well, what about Diego?

    Go look at the recent issue of Swindle Magazine. Apparently, betty Boop is a cholita. VERY popular in the latina community of Southern California.

    Oh... and then there are the female Bolivian wrestlers which were featured in National Geographic [sic].

  5. Anonymous1:49 PM


    Yeah. American Girls is a great franchise. I've heard that American Girl Place is amazing.

    One other general bit. I work in marketing. Now, I'm not an expert in market segmentation, nor children's programming, but it seems to me that Dora fits an entirely different demographic.

    Of course, "reportedly in talks" isn't "definitely gonna happen." Honestly, I think this is probably one or two idiots who know nothing about the actual content of Dora, but see an untapped market in the "tween" demographic. They're probably trying to make a very square peg fit into a tiny-sized brain...I mean hole.

  6. Uh... like I said in the wrong thread, my niece was very into Dora at one point. As she's gotten older- she's about 8 or 9 now- it's Hannah Montana. Yikes!

    Dora makes it cool to be casual and comfortable with who you are. I wondered sometimes if her interest in Dora was that there was a TV character who looks like her. She's very self-aware of this, and has been for a long time. Observant girl.

    But also a large part of it must be that Dora is capable and a girl. Her stories are about her, she's not windowdressing in someone else's story. She's not some boy's gal pal. She's herself.

    And merchandise aside, Dora herself isn't about consumerism or the latest looks.

    At least... she wasn't.

  7. Ewwwwww!!!

    Just shows the narrow "in the box" thinking marketers have.

    The Dora my 3 kids and I watched would have been at home in any of these playsets: