Dora’s make-over

doras-make-over-002Dora is getting a make-over.  Who cares most of you are thinking right?  I think the “new” Dora is just as cute as can be.  I love the new look of her.  But it doesn’t seem like it’s really her.  I mean, she didn’t even “grow.”  She just seemed to age overnight.  

I like Dora and I’m glad she was her old self when Trinity was little. Even Bailey and Christopher liked to watch her show.  I’m not sure it was even just a “girls” show.  I think boys liked all her “exploring” and adventures also.  All I know is we’ve had everything Dora. From shoes, and dinnerware, pajama’s and clothes, dolls and toys and coloring books. If it had Dora on it, I bought it.

I know they do this on soap opera’s and tv shows too.  They just age a character or replace them all together.  I’m not a big fan of change and I’ll be the first to admit that but I wonder how you change a character like this who’s so “big.”  

I showed this clipping to Trinity thinking she’d be sad about it but to my surprise, she was very happy. She loved her hair and the slight bit of make-up and she loved her clothes and shoes.  Shows you how much I know.  I asked her if she felt bad that “little girls” wouldn’t get to know the old Dora and who would they want to play with now without her?  She promptly told me that there are “little Dora” toys that they could play with.  I told her no, that Dora was going to change and even “small” toys would the the new her.  I’m not exactly sure what she was thinking or what she meant.  I think she thought that only “big” toys (whatever that means) would be the new her.

A Nickelodeon spokesman said “the inspiration for this doll came from speaking to more than 2,000 parents about what they would want most in a doll for girls between the ages of 5-8 and the new Dora is “9.”

Okay, this is all fine and good but I’m thinking why fix something that’s not broken?   Couldn’t they have made Dora have a cousin or an older sister who was suddenly “found” after being kidnapped or something?  Why age the original Dora?  Now what will toddlers have?  Someone has to cover that market.  I liked Dora because she’s not all fluffy and air-headed.  She did real things and conquered all. Don’t get me wrong, I like Barbie and all those types of dolls but they aren’t for toddlers.  A toddler can’t work all the clothes and small clasps and things that Barbie has but the Dora toys were bigger and easy to change.  I’m thinking keep the old Dora the same and make her a relative and make money on both.

I’m not really buying the whole “there’s nothing for girls between 5-8 year old age range” thinking. Just walk the isles of any toy store. There are Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, dolls of every age from birth to potty training.  There are Barbies and dress up clothes.  I’m not sure what they mean when they say there is nothing for girls of this age group to play with.  Personally, I think this new Dora might not even make it.  Maybe in the future it will when girls of this age no longer remember her but I think the girls who grew up with Dora younger, will still think to themselves that Dora is for “babies.” What do you think?  There is such a hurry to grow up and I just don’t think this will fly.

If you have toddlers or a young child, who does your child like to play with?  I’m wondering now if they’ll end up changing Diego as well.  Bailey and Christopher never really got into Diego like Trinity did with Dora but that could just be these two boys.  If your child likes Dora, do you think they will still want her if she’s older?  Who would you replace her with and do you think Nickelodeon is on to something or do you think they are making a mistake?

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24 Responses to Dora’s make-over

  1. SKL says:

    I have to admit I prefer the new Dora. The old one has a very weird shape. The one you posted here looks more like what my little ones (they are Hispanic) can hope to look like as they grow. At least she isn’t dressed in risque clothes or wearing mascara.

    I have to say that Dora drives me crazy. It’s great that she has adventures, but if you are stuck actually watching them, you’ll find that they are all exactly the same except for a couple details. And she repeats herself (and asks viewers to repeat) 99 times to get one infantile point across. My kids are 2 and they get restless with the slow pace and excessive repetition. Maybe the new Dora will give kids a little more credit. We can hope!

    My kids do have a fair amount of Dora stuff. One of the biggest hits when I brought them home was a Dora storybook puppet. Dora is one of the few readily-available dolls with brown skin like my daughters, so we have several Dora dolls and various books and accessories. But she doesn’t dominate in our house. I’m really not a fan of merchandizing childhood. It’s just that most stores only give you 2 choices for girls – Dora or the fair, mostly blond princess theme – so I tend to go with the one my kids can better relate to.

    As far as phasing out the old Dora, I haven’t seen it so far. Maybe the will keep it as the “baby Dora” line, like they created a “baby Sesame Street” line some years ago. But I really won’t mind seeing it go away all together, if the new one looks more human-like.

  2. Karen Joy says:

    The new Dora doesnt look like she”ll be out exploring.Gosh shouldnt she have at least kept her sneakers on for that!Granted the new Dora looks cute and not to “over-done” but now she doesnt look like the back packing type.

  3. San says:

    Dora is new to me and sadly I’ve never seen her “old” look, can’t say I much like the idea of make up on a kids character… what’s next? Sexy skirts that just cover??? Anything that sells right…

    • Grandmother Spyder says:

      San stated:
      “Dora is new to me and sadly I’ve never seen her “old” look, can’t say I much like the idea of make up on a kids character… what’s next? Sexy skirts that just cover??? Anything that sells right…”

      No not exactly. Go out on the internet and search Dora the Explorer and you will see her old look. I think they are crazy to totally ditch the old look or the “young Dora”. The need to package and market the “young Dora” stuff as a retrospective and keep on marketing her as “Young Dora” then this new look becomes “Tween Dora” and eventually she can grow up to become “Teen Dora”. Keeping in mind that she is still Dora with all her values and morals. I would love to see a three tiered marketing approach with both Dora and Diego. The issue about “tween” girls needing a positive role model and major toy is very true. Bratz toys carry gang culture messages and many astute parents who realized this abandoned Bratz very quickly. The other options are Hannah Montana but that is going to be going away now that the show is ending. And last but not least we could offer them the disproportioned nowhere near “normal” anorexic beauty queen Barbie or one of the “happily ever after” Disney Princesses who only ever have to face evil queens and stepmothers and rugged princes always come to their rescue. Love always overcomes evil and there is no injustice that isn’t rebuffed by a knight on a white horse or an Ogre from a swamp. Frogs get to be Kings and fairies can prevent death. Somehow in a world where women are gunned down in the streets of Tehran for speaking out and thrown in jail for being journalists in the wrong place at the wrong time I don’t thing the Disney Princesses are relevant any more. Somehow I actually think they perpetuate the stereotype of the “helpless woman” that somehow in our world today is not what we need to spoon feed to our “tween girls” and their very impressionable minds. Give me “tween Dora” and a “”tween Diego” for my older kids and young Dora and young Diego for the little kids. I think they are crazy if they don’t market both.

  4. holeycheese says:

    Our kids love Dora.. they watch it all the time.

    The new Dora is cute.. and she is not too much teenager and she isn’t wearing anything that a kid wouldn’t wear. So I have no problem with that part. It’s not like they made her into a sexy barbie doll.
    Kids wouldn’t think about that she’s wearing makeup.. I don’t think so. She looks natural that way.

    But what I wonder about here is why they try to transform her into something that older kids would like better. The show is intended for toddlers.. learning to count, learning colors, the shapes etc.. nothing that a normal five-year-old doesn’t know. So why do they have to change her so the toys will be more appropriate for older kids who think the show itself is boring… I don’t really get that.
    And also for the toddlers who love the old Dora it will be confusing with the two different looks..

    Btw. In the Hebrew and Swedish Dora of course they don’t learn Spanish.. but English!

    • Joy says:

      That’s what I mean Holey. Dora is for toddlers and I don’t see why they want to, or feel the need to change her. Once kids start kindergarten, they seem to outgrow Dora and it’s all about Barbies or the more elaborate doll type toys. It seems to me that the 6-9 or 10 age group is well covered but it leaves nothing for toddlers and like you say, she teaches number and colors and finding shapes. What will the new Dora “do?”

  5. Laura (LS) says:

    1. I shouldn’t be allowed to comment because I have a little boy who has no clue who Dora is.

    2. of COURSE I’m going to comment, because I have something to say about EVERYTHING.

    While I think that the new Dora is cute, I have to ask… what was wrong with the old one? From what I see of “little girl” toys, she is the only one that is willing to get down and dirty. Even My Little Pony characters carry purses and wear makeup. What the heck? I’ve met a LOT of ponies in my life, and not a single one would rather carry a purse than have a good roll in the dirt. And I’ve met plenty of little girls who feel the same way.

    So the only conclusion I can come to is this… Dora must have been losing money/market share in the last few years. Otherwise, her creators, marketers, etc., wouldn’t be messing with her. Toddlers will gravitate to whatever their parents present to them. Younger girls, in that 5-8 target range, however, are starting to make their preferences known. They know if they want a backpacker or a purse-carrier. And apparently they’re gravitating toward the purses.

    It’s all about the bottom line, and nothing else. No matter how diverse we’d like them to be (and SKL has an excellent point…. as much as people talk about diversity, there are precious few dolls out there – except for those ghastly Bratz abominations – that have something other than ivory skin and blue eyes) it’s the profit margin and market share that’s going to drive the production, not the features that we’d prefer.

    • Joy says:

      I agree it’s all about the bottom line. I also agree that with toddlers, it’s about what they see and what we chose for them. Once they get a little older, it’s harder for “us” to pick their stuff for them. Once they leave the nest, they will want what everyone else has. As much as we’d like them to always do what we want, they don’t. Dora always taught things and it wasn’t just about make up and purses.

  6. Doraz says:

    I do not know about Dora. I do know about change. If she wants to do it, GREAT! Go for it, Dora!

    • Joy says:

      If you had a daughter or granddaughter, you’d know Dora. But it’s not “Dora” who wants the “change.” It’s like an evil Frankenstein preforming it on her. I think she wants to stay the same. LOL!

  7. Just a Mom says:

    I have a 9 year old and Dora is “not cool” in any shape or form, old or new. my daughter was into Dora when she was 4 and 5 and that was it. Now it is all Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers and I Carly.
    I agree they should have left Dora alone or aged her just slightly and maybe give her a baby sister.

    • Joy says:

      Trinity is the same way JAM. The more Hannah Montana, the better. I’ve tried talking to her and I don’t think she grasps the concept of the new Dora “replacing” the old. She thinks that somehow, there will be 2 Dora’s. But I do think she’s outgrown this kind of “hero” or “idol” or whatever you want to call it “toy.” It may be the “cartoon” issue now. She’ll be 9 and is really getting out of cartoons. The only one she really ever wants to watch anymore is SpongeBog but she’ll pick Little House or The Parent Trap type movie’s over cartoons. Dora will still be a cartoon and kids this age are branching out and starting to back off. Cartoons just aren’t cool.

    • Grandmother Spyder says:

      Hannah Montana is going away…….

      The show is only running for one more season and that was only at Mylie’s request because she wants to have a plotted ending to the show. When the marketing pulls out what is going to be left in its place. “Ah…. Look Girls while you were off exploring Hannah Montana, like you, Dora grew up.” Now she is into the same things you are into.

      Oh BTW she has a little brother and a little sister that was introduced on the show. A set of twins actually. So the could open up marketing the twins to the younger kids and the older Dora to the “tweens”

      As I stated earlier I think they need to market both looks based on the age of the toy. The young Dora on the younger toys and the older Dora on “tween” appropriate toys. I just hope they age Diego too.
      My “tween” son will be thrilled if Diego gets to grow up too and my teenager(15) will be able to openly admit that he likes watching the show with his younger brother (8).

      My teen loves watching both Dora and Diego but he can’t admit that in his peer group. he likes his age appropriate shows too but when I tell him to put on a “kid friendly” video and watch his little brother and sister for me it is ALWAYS a Dora or Diego Video and he ALWAYS watches it to the point that he sometimes forgets to watch the real kids. I was cooking dinner and had this little person under my feet when the teenager was supposed to be watching them. I found him and the other little one watching the video and so totally engrossed that neither were aware that the little one had wandered off. Luckily it was my youngest that wandered because she will ALWAYS come find me or her dad. The other one would have wandered outside. BTW the little ones are both Autistic so we have to keep them under close supervision all the time. Dora and Diego are not uncool unless the peer group says they are uncool. The right kind of marketing can change that in a heartbeat.
      With Hannah Montana going away there will be a gap there and if the marketing people do their job Tween Dora will fill that gap. If they don’t then NICK has just shot themselves in the foot.
      Only Time Will Tell…..

  8. Gary says:

    My son likes to watch “Dora” and her male cousin “Diego”. I agree with you Joy, why change her? Maybe they should have learned something from the creators of “The Simpson’s”. They have never aged and look how sucsessful that show has been. Why change a good thing?

    I suppose Diego will be getting a makeover soon then as well?

  9. Tony says:

    I’ve never watched Dora, but the new clothes look good

  10. nikki says:

    Why? That’s my question! They never changed Rainbow Brite, or Strawberry Shortcake! Little girls need stuff like that! I do like the new Dora, she’s very pretty and hip but she looks more like Dora’s older sister or something. Why couldn’t they do that! Keep Dora the same and give her a cousin or sister or something. Cartoons aren’t what they used to be, they feel like they have to keep up with the Jones or something. The Smurfs, Jetsons, Flintstones…they never changed. They just came out with more toys for each generation. When I saw the new Dora, I actually thought it was her cousin or something. Always out with the old and in with the new. OLD is good too!!!!! 🙂

  11. mssc54 says:

    I would like to see Dora with a fox fur coat, a new back pack and upgraded 007 tools in her backpack!

  12. Sue says:

    I like the new Dora look. Like someone said above, she looks more human now! I don’t think she’s wearing make-up; I’d hardly call pink lips make-up! I don’t know why they lightened her hair and just because a girl’s got a cute outfit on doesn’t mean she’s not going to explore and get dirty. Sure, the tennis shoes make more sense, but the ballet flats are what’s in. I don’t think they are going to reach the 7-9 year old girls anyway. They’ve lost them already and they’re not going back to Dora. Like JAM said, it’s Hannah Montana, I Carly and the Jonas Brothers they are in to. All I can think in my head is the theme song to Celebrity Apprentice…Money money money

  13. Otto Mann says:

    Huge mistake.

    There goes El Neighborhood-o.

  14. SKL says:

    I just read the small print in the inserted picture above, and does it say Dora is 7 years old? If so, then they should have made her look a little older from the get-go. The “old Dora” looks like a tot or young preschooler.

    I do think it’s important that they not let the clothes impede her adventurous personality. Maybe she’ll put on hiking boots when she needs to climb a mountain? Maybe she’ll have a backpack that she puts on and takes off like normal people. And maybe they’ll add a little variety in her challenges (oh, please?) so they aren’t limited to travels. There’s always room for improvement, right?

  15. Morocco says:

    She looks so cute as a tween! I guess her new look doesn’t bother me that much as we all change and evolve. However, I am a creature of habit and I am used to seeing her baby face, so I am partial to that look.

  16. Tosha says:

    My kids all loved dora when they were little.. But now..they are not interested in dora. No matter how old she “appears” to be now. Dora is for babies and is NOT cool! (Taylor’s words! and jewel nodded her agreement)

  17. JMz says:

    I would much rather have my little girl exposed to this newer Dora than Hannah Montana (which in my opinion the show is geared for 13+ NOT for any girls under that age). I have friends whose pre-k to 1st grade daughters watch Hannah Montana and it drives me nuts to expose girls that young to older girls in jr. high/ high school scenarios. I like the new Dora’s outfit and she looks like more little girls can relate to her. The young Dora’s design was awkward looking and her head looked like a football!! LOL… I agree w/ Grandmother Spyder, it would be nice to do a tiered system to watch Dora ‘grow up’ and i also agree w/ SKL. Being Hispanic myself, it is good to see more diversity and a role model that doesn’t have a ‘typical’ Spanish accent or wearing hoochie outfits… LOL Good luck to Nickelodeon…

  18. Chaela says:

    Well, I personally don’t see a problem with the new Dora.

    First off, as far as the new clothing goes, it isn’t risque at all. If you watch the Granimals commercials, there is a much younger girl, about the same age as the old Dora, wearing something similar…a tunic and leggings.

    Also, it is common to see characters change to grow with their audiences. For example, Harry Potter went from being a children’s book to one for young adults. Nickelodeon also did something similar with the Rugrats. However, they then had two shows…Rugrats and Rugrats “All Growed Up”. The new Dora simply appeals to an older age group, an age group where girls start wanting to look prettier and acting girlier. As long as Dora sticks to her adventuring, exploring style, then who is to say that the new look will discourage girls from adventuring and exploring?

    I think they would be better off dividing Dora’s audiences up…Keep old Dora for preschoolers and show the new Dora at a different time like right around the time that the new audiences get home from school.

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