Monday, March 9, 2009

Seriously, Mattel. Seriously!?

We hold two truths to be loudly lauded in this house: a) We are disappointed at how Pleasant Company could be so short sighted as to sell their product to Mattel, and b) Dora the Explorer can go straight to ... ahem. Pardon me.

Anyway, I just happened to come across this article and I honestly don't have any words that aren't frowned upon by the FCC, so maybe I shouldn't use them here, but my gut reaction starts with the words "What the-" and ends with something significantly more colorful.

So perfectly articulated by Eco Child's Play's Jamie Ervin, I can do little more than copy and paste. She voiced her disdain far better than I could:

"I’m outraged. Mattel has announced that they will be supplementing the preschool Dora line with a 'tween' doll. The new doll will sport a thin body, long hair and fashionable clothing. (Mattel will be keeping the doll secret until launch this Fall.)

“As tweenage Dora, our heroine, has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look,” Mattel said in a press release. Is this necessary, really? Evidently it is if corporate America is going to hold onto our childrens attention past age eight.

“The doll really taps into a tween’s love of fashion and empowers girls to influence and change the ‘lives’ of Dora and her friends”… Oh, and comes with a retail price of $59.99, because growing up means spending more money. Of course, there will be accessories available as well… because we are playing into (or rather, creating as consumerism always has) a tweenage girls love of fashion and thus, creating a larger consumer base.

My husband fully believes that girls products are significantly more expensive than their male counter parts because our society is busy training females to spend more. I notice these price discrepancies any time we go into a clothing store for the kids.

Obviously Viacom and Mattel are desperate to extend their target market, and concerned parents everywhere are left to cry, “why?”. We certainly don’t need any more Bratz dolls on the market and personally, I will not be allowing my older children to play with or watch a grown up Dora if there is any hint of sexuality. We allow the preschool Dora because its fun, benign, and (dare I say it?), educational. My four year old speaks more Spanish than I thanks to Dora and Diego.

We sit here pondering what’s next? A tween Diego with a dollar sign gold necklace and low riding, bump, bump Cadillac?

Mattel, maybe its time for you to grow up and stop marketing “sexy” to our children. My nine year old daughter won’t be sporting high heel shoes and neither will her dolls."

(Find the original article here.)

No comments: