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Dora the Explorer Gets Extreme Makeover

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She's now a tweenager, goes to middle school, and has moved to the big city. Will she have acne, too?

dora the explorer

Mattel and Nickelodeon have announced that Dora the Explorer is growing up.

Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing for Mattel, says: "Girls really identify with Dora and we knew that girls would love to have their friend Dora grow up with them, and experience the new things that they were going through themselves."

As a tween, Dora has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look. She will also have a rich online world, a la Webkinz, in which girls can explore, play games, customize, and solve mysteries with Dora and her new friends.

Wanna see? Nickelodeon and Mattel plan to keep Dora's new look a secret until the brand launch in Fall 2009. And start saving those pennies: The Dora Links fashion doll, for children five years and up, will retail for approximately $59.99.

We're not sure what to think about this proposed new look. We like Dora just the way she is, and are not huge fans of cartoon makeovers in general. But a kindergartener we know recently rejected a Dora toy for being too "babyish" (this, from a five-year-old), so maybe they're onto something.

Are they seriously making Dora a TWEEN?! Sound off!

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112 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mom2two February 17, 2009, 4:26 PM

Personally, I think this is a stupid idea. Dora a tween? I think that is aging her a bit too much, technically she should be the same age as my daughter who will soon be 9. Of course girls are going to move on from Dora, but for every girl that does there is one that is just discovering Dora. I don’t think that they’ll be able to recapture/retain girls just because they are aging her. Not when there are other things to move on to like Hannah Montana, Barbie, HSM, etc. That is just the nature of growing up. Oh Well.

RPMom February 17, 2009, 4:42 PM

Makes no sense to me!! I agree with Mom2two — Dora as a tween? I just don’t see it. Will be interesting to see!

Anonymous February 17, 2009, 10:59 PM

Um my toddler LOVES Dora but I don’t think she is gonna like middle school Dora. We probably won’t be watching much Dora…unless it is reruns.

chris February 18, 2009, 12:35 AM

I predict the Gina Sirard will be unemployed by Christmas.

Barb February 18, 2009, 1:48 PM

You have to admit it’s a great marketing move. No other cartoon has ever done this, and it might be fun for our girls to see her grow as they grow. Let’s hope they keep her as the great role model she’s been for toddlers.

citymommy February 18, 2009, 2:28 PM

$60 for a doll?? Who will be buying this? They are trying to lure the tweens away from High School Musical and Hannah Montana? Good luck. If they hink it will be the “it” toy for Christmas I think they are deluding themselves.

kerri February 19, 2009, 10:33 PM

My daughter is 10,she use to love Dora, but now she also says Dora is to babyish. A tween Dora would be great. She finds Dora another fun way to learn Spanish besides the books that she already reads.
The $60.00 would not happen with me way to expensive for a toy.

Anonymous February 24, 2009, 6:32 PM

My 2 yr old loves Dora and inisists we read her the same book at least ten times before she will let us escape (it’s better than Barney, I was overdosed at 14, babysitting a 2 yr old). I think they should introduce an older sister as a tween and leave Dora for the little ones. This has a dual purpose of teaching family interaction between and older and younger sibling and keeping Dora for a new audience of young explorers.

Lazaro Fuentes February 25, 2009, 1:34 AM

The reality is that little girls are not going to want play with Dora in their Tween Years, because Dora for nine years has been a Preschool property.

Think about it… what tween-aged girl wants to be the one to hear from her friends the question “you play with Dora?”

When Nickelodeon realized they had a hit with Dora they wisely decided to develop a boy brand and cartoon, “Diego”.

They should have developed a new Tween cartoon, a sister, a cousin, something like our Cecilia {Ceci}; a Hip Chica on our virtual world that is a true Tween property with a green mission to Help Improve the Planet [HIP] and has a Tween Latina-theme and characters girls can embrace as their own.

Yes I am the CEO and creator of the Hip Chicas, but I am also the father of three Tween daughters and this attempt not only will not work, but as a Toy Company CEO recently told me, “it could do damage to the preschool Dora as well.”

I wish them the best, but i have no doubt that this ill conceived idea is destined to fail.

Disgusted March 4, 2009, 6:06 PM

Well, it seems only natural that the toy companies of America will influence young girls into putting jewelry, fashion, and shopping at the upper most regions of their little priority lists. It is absolutely ridiculous that they are going to “sex up” an educational icon.

Bering Straight March 6, 2009, 12:12 PM

I suspect, with her being a multi-cultural icon, it will be out of the question for grown-up Dora to model “western” virtues, like modesty and chastity.

Marybeth March 6, 2009, 5:33 PM

As I understand it, the young Dora is NOT going away, she’s still on the show and there will still be young Dora products.
I just read that the older Dora is connected to a web-program and she is being called a modern day Nancy Drew. She is still solving mysteries and speaks Spanish. I think this is a great idea - I’m happy that my 6 year old daughter will have a more wholesome choice!! Does anyone know when it will be in the stores?

Nan March 6, 2009, 9:06 PM

OMG, give me a break! A TWEEN Dora? She’s SO annoying to begin with. Stop shuving SPANISH down our mouths. This AMERICA!!!!

Tina March 6, 2009, 9:37 PM

My granddaughter is 15 mos and loves Dora just the way she is. I don’t think this is a good idea because the younger ones that are just discovering Dora will be disappointed that she’s not the same. Gracie absolutely adores this show, she lights up when it comes on. Please keep Dora just the way she is.

Michael March 6, 2009, 9:40 PM

This is crazy. I have young girls. Now what, my two year old is gonna want a training bra and a tampon and a boyfriend. Thanks for taking away my sweet innocent young daughters only joy on the TV…..Barney may prove to better than Dora in the long run. Whats next….Diego the drug dealer….

Will March 6, 2009, 9:59 PM

I totally agree with some of the statements with some of you have posted. For example, introduce a older sibling or relative in the cartoon so it appeals to older kids and keep dora for the little ones. It just shows how much tweens really rule the world now……

Bree March 6, 2009, 10:04 PM

I think it is absolutely insane to try to mature a cartoon! She is absolutely fine the way she is. Thats the problem with the world today… kids are growing up way too fast and the industry is encouraging it! Let kids be kids and retain their innocence for as long as they can. So some girls have outgrown Dora…there’s always the next generation that is just “discovering” her

Kid March 6, 2009, 10:11 PM

I guess with the economic storm at full force Mattel is becoming the “Pimp with a Limp” and putting Dora on high heals, lot’s of make up and skimpy clothes cause sex will sell…Ms.Gina Sirard a “Pinhead”.

shazzm March 6, 2009, 10:23 PM

Wht the f*ck. thts so dumb they made dora a hooker

Anonymous March 6, 2009, 10:31 PM

So what this is America… Spanish is a language I am sure u have said you wished you knew how to speak. Ignorant people usually wish they belonged to a better sophisticated group of people.

As for Dora as a tween.. I don’t think it is gonna take on as well. My daughters see Dora as more preschool than middle school and Dora will always be viewed as such. Gracias..

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