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DORA the (Tween) Explorer

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 11:20 am in Kids & Tweens.

Dora the (Tween) Explorer (Courtesy Nickelodeon) There’s been considerable concern in the parenting blogosphere over the new tween version of Dora the Explorer — particularly after Nickelodeon released an apparently mini-skirted silhouette of what the new Dora would look like a few weeks ago. Bloggers who attended the Toy Fair in NYC and got a sneak peek griped that Dora’s online world was shopping-centric, which didn’t fit with the adventurous, spunky preschooler we’ve come to know and love.

So we were vastly relieved to get this brand new image from Nickelodeon this morning — kinda adorable, don’t you think? And she’s wearing a tunic and leggings, not a Paris Hilton style mini skirt.

Here’s what Nick had to say: First, preschool Dora isn’t going away. “Dora has become an important role model to many. The Latina heroine has connected with a generation of young boys and girls all around the world through her courageousness and sense of adventure… None of that is changing.”

But she’ll be joined this fall
by an older version of herself as part of a new line of dolls – “Dora’s Explorer Girls” – designed for girls 5-8, which, as Nickelodeon points out, quite correctly, is an underserved demographic when it comes to age-appropriate dolls. The new Dora, the publicist says, “is an alternative (for) moms who want their daughters to stay little girls, a little longer.” The new Dora will look like the image above, but she’ll have a USB port so kids can plug her in and access an “online world” and solve mysteries involving school book drives, a save the dolphin auction, a rain forest charity concert, and so on.

OK, color us relieved … although we suspect there’s still a shopping element, otherwise what did our buddies over at StrollerDerby see at the Toy Fair? What are your thoughts?

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