an aDORAble new look!

The Christmas shopping season is upon us once again. I do 98% of my shopping online, because I only get 45 seconds a day to do it, and that wouldn’t get me past my apartment building’s lobby if I were going the brick-and-mortar route.

In past years, Santa has only had to worry about two boys at our house. This year, we have a girl in the mix for the first time; and while she is still too young to be interested in anything but the pattern on her crib bumper, our boys would be confused if Santa didn’t bring her anything. So yesterday, for the first time, I clicked on a fuschia “All She Wants for Christmas!” popup.

And that’s when I saw this:
Sparkle and Twirl Mermaid Dora

and this:

Rainbow Sparkle Dora

My first thought was, who the heck is this? Dora doesn’t have long hair. Dora isn’t a mermaid. Dora doesn’t dress like Charo. Dora doesn’t sparkle and twirl.

Dora doesn’t ride in an Under the Sea Carriage or sit on a Styling Sea Throne! She’s an adventutrix! She makes friends with Senor Toucan and saves the tiny Estrella from the clutches of Swiper! She outwits the Grumpy Old Troll and his riddles-that-are-not-riddles! She yells everything she says, as if her companion, Boots, were on another continent!

But, apparently, the toy Dora has another sort of personality entirely:

* Sparkle and Twirl Mermaid Dora transforms from Beach Dora to Mermaid Dora
* When girls place Dora into her magic seashell – Dora sings!
* As she spins around and raises her arms, her skirt grows into a mermaid’s tail
* At the end of the transformation Dora will shimmy back and forth during the remainder of the song
* Dora can be removed from the base to be played with as Mermaid Dora or Beach Dora

I don’t know who “Beach Dora” is exactly, but I fear she’d be “shimmying back and forth” in a thong.

Are girls not bombarded with the whole Princess thing enough already? Must Dora become a princess or a mermaid too? I actually imagine Dora to be the type of kid who would have no room in her backpack for this stuff. I think the real Dora, the one I’ve gotten to know by the hundreds of airings of each episode in my house over the past five years, would have nothing but scorn for this:

Dora Let’s Get Ready Vanity

Apparently, when little girls use the included hairdryer and curling iron, the Let’s Get Ready Dora Head will “magically recognize” which grooming implement they have chosen. “LAS TENAZAS! THE CRIMPER!” she will shout. And then “little girls can join Dora on exciting dress-up adventures!”

I think Dora would vomit at the very notion of a “dress-up adventure.” She is a young lady on a mission to make the world a better place. She would have no time for passive princess play. My sons have always loved Dora, and (of course) they wouldn’t touch any of this stuff, either. So why must all the Dora toys sparkle and twirl? Why do the toy companies assume girls wouldn’t play with a Dora who wears shorts and kicks ass? Isn’t that what kids LIKE about her?

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