Monday, March 9, 2009

Regular? Or Extra-Trampy?

Ooooo boy, that oughta bring in the pervs from their lonely, late-night Google searches.....

But I'm not talking about that (so move on PervBoys!, nothing to see here!).

I'm talking about Dora the Explorer.

For those of you wondering a giant "what the.....?," check out this article. Seems that the geniuses over at Mattel and Nickelodeon are re-vamping Dora. Here's the Before:
Here's the silhouette of the After:
Here's the thing. Dora is a third child in this house. I know that some parents find her insanely annoying. Lord knows that I have my days, too. But in an era that makes it impossible to block out The Massive Marketing Machine, it's the lesser of many evils. Best Namma Ever! and the Pink Power Ranger think I'm nuts, but I can't stand the Disney Princess crap (it leaks through though -- UK1 is grateful for the other adult women in her life). I'll take Dora over those I-Need-A-Man-To-Save-My-Sorry-Butt chicks anyday. Here are some of my rationalizations reasons: Dora dresses like a regular kid; she's always upbeat and positive, never snarky or precocious; she's procedural and self-reliant (huge plusses for me); and the Spanish part strokes me too. In fact, I went to spanishtoys.com and spent a few extra bucks for DVD's that allow for an all-Spanish option.

As a result, we have plenty of Dora stuff here. Urban Dad & I drew the line at bedding and clothing, but even then, a few things leaked through. But we have a doll, videos and tons of well-worn books. At one point, Urban Kid 1 was obsessed with all things Dora. And it made a trip through Target a minefield (Band-Aids, vitamins, you-name-it). And for a while, Best Namma Ever's! office assistant was named Dora. So after all day of "Dora! Dora! Dora!," I would call BNE!'s office and get, "BNE!'s office, Dora speaking." I grew suspicious if it was a giant plot of some kind with my sanity as its bullseye. One year, thanks to BNE!'s and PPR's coordinated senses of humor, it was The Dora Christmas (UK1 was sure that she'd been the best kid on the planet to deserve the honor).

Urban Kid 1 is growing up now and fading away from Dora, but U-Kid 2 is picking up where she is leaving off. And to be honest, it doesn't bother me much this time. I can see the bigger picture and shrug off this round. If she's into Dora, then she's not into a lot of other flat-out garbage that's out there. For that reason, I can ride the Dora train again.

So, of course, Nick Jr has put Dora into the "capable" hands of Mattel, the geniuses who brought us Bratz dolls.

See, here's the thing. Dora is a kid thing. A little kid thing. She's not meant to grow up. She's meant to stay as she is for the next round of little kids. As we grow up, we're supposed to leave behind our little-kid stuff and find big-kid stuff. That's the point of growing up. What next in the name of keeping up with a demographic that is growing up? Elmo becomes a sullen teenager? Bob the Builder gets laid off? Diego finds his dad's magazines? The Wonderpets experiment with grass?

I hear-tell that the plan is to keep the original Dora alongside her new doppelganger. I hope so.
Despite the dangerous trips to Target that this will still provide.

5 comments:

Mothership said...

AUGH!!! You have got to be kidding me! I just tried to get my daughter a kite--yeah, a cheapy little kite--and they were all slathered with trashy girls/dolls. I finally went with Elmo (she's nearly 8) just because I didn't want her flying the filth around. I completely agree with your assesment of the reason Dora is so popular. I'll bet the parents with rise up and maybe get them to change the "re-vamp" before it is released.

I hate the girl "they" want my girls to become. Ug.

kathy said...

Are they serious?!! We don't watch Dora any longer but we did when the boys were younger - I loved what they brought away from this cartoon. I have a new grandson and I was thinking of putting together a list of all our favorites for me to teach him with when he is here - I can't believe they are doing this - I'm not going to show him a character portrayed like this. Too sad

Next, they'll have Miss Piggy looking like Barbie

rita said...

My bet is the marketing geniuses will phase out the "old" Dora unless parents throw a fit.

This idea is right up there with WV Barbie; you know, the new one with the tattoes?

rita said...

"Tattooes", "tattoos", wtf. I can no longer think.

It's official. I've finally totally lost my mind.

p.s. Any Edward today? *hopeful leer look*

rita said...

Yeah. That didn't work like I thought it should.