Toy Maker Tries to Calm Dora Uproar

Tween Dora the Explorer

"See? No mini skirt," says Mattel and Nickelodeon as they soothe fears over Tween Dora.

Here she is, the new Tween Dora -- probably a little sooner than Nickelodeon and Mattel planned. But as I see it, a good PR move in light of the droves of moms who went ballistic on the two companies after news last month that the beloved adventurer, Dora the Explorer, is taking on a second identity -- that of fashion-loving, jewelry wearing, girly-girl tween.

Some of them were our own CafeMoms:

"What, little girls don't have enough fashion-obsessed trash idols?"

"I think its okay to make an older Dora, but I hope they don't 'hookify' her and make her look like a Bratz doll. Gag."


"Dora is a nice image for girls and I like that she is a tom boy. In reality, she would probably have stayed the same as she grew up. Girls today start doing make-up and nails and big girl stuff way too early -- at age 7 and younger now. My sister is 14 and is one of the only girls her age that aren't showing off what they have. She does not own a dress or a short skirt that doesn't come with pants. Dora is one of the last things that little girls have."

"What's next? Caillou growing up and getting a job in an office to pull in an adult audience?"

Of course, the companies could have avoided all the hubbub by just releasing this image instead of the blacked-out Dora sillouette.The new Dora, which is actually an interactive toy for girls ages 5 and up and not a television show character (the preschool Dora is not going anywhere), is set to hit the market in the fall.

I don't know if this changes my mind about the need for a second version of Dora in the first place, but this is a lot better than the image I conjured up.

Some clarifications about the new Dora:

She's around 10.

She does not wear a dress, but a tunic and leggings.

She doesn't wear makeup.

Boots, Backpack, and The Map are not coming along for this ride.


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girls toys