By Jackie Burrell
Friday, March 6th, 2009 at 10:34 am in Kids & Tweens.
And to think we once joked about making a new, teen version of Winnie the Pooh, with a whole lot of attitude and an unhealthy fascination with taking honey pots of a different sort into the Hundred Acre Wood. ‘Twasn’t a joke. Well, the Winnie the Pooh part was. But the Tween Dora the Explorer, a cusp-of-teenhood fashionista extraordinaire, is no joke. And she looks nothing like the sweet beanie baby version pictured here. Our friends over at StrollerDerby encountered her at the big New York City toy fair last month and shared their hilarious and deeply perturbed take online.
It’s not just Dora, either. Strawberry Shortcake has gotten a sexy little makeover too. The Care Bears have gone on a diet, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were sent to anger management class, and even Mickey Mouse is getting tweaked. Hey, if that mouse gets tats, we are through.
These “makeovers” of fictitious, plastic characters are a bid, of course, to rev up the toy market but, the New York Times notes, “Reinventing these beloved characters without inflicting indelible damage is one of the entertainment industryâ€™s trickiest maneuvers. Go too far, as Mattel did in 1993 when it gave Ken a purple mesh T-shirt, a pierced ear and the name ‘Earring Magic Ken,’ and it can set off a brand crisis on a global scale.”
Earring Magic Ken! We’d forgotten all about him! That was a worse misstep than New Coke. No, wait. New Coke was the worst marketing blunder of all time. But a shopping obsessed Dora and a Forest of Feelings populated by skinny Care Bears makes us want to cry. Is it just us? Click “comments” and share your thoughts too.