US TOY FAIR 09: New look Dora planned

Mattel and Nickelodeon to launch online Dora brand for girls aged five and up.
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Mattel and Nickelodeon are working together on a new brand extension for Dora the Explorer, which will see the character recreated online for girls aged five and upwards.

The new look for the 'tweenage' Dora will be unveiled in the autumn, with Mattel planning fashion dolls and accessories to back it up.

"For nearly ten years, Dora the Explorer has had such a strong following among pre-schoolers, catapulting it into the number one pre-school show on commercial television," said Gina Sirard, VP of marketing for Mattel.

"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. The brand captures girls' existing love of Dora and marries it with the fashion doll play and online experiences older girls enjoy."

Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of NVCP, added: "Dora the Explorer has been one of the most successful properties for nearly a decade, with an average of 21.1 million viewers, including six million pre-schoolers, tuning into the television show each month.

"We are thrilled to partner with Mattel to develop this brand extension that will enable girls to continue to learn and interact with their Latina heroione, Dora, as they grow up together."

As a tweenager, Dora has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look. Adding to the play value, Dora's online world is also interactive with the new doll line.

The cornerstone of the line will be the Dora Links fashion doll, which plugs into a computer to enable girls to access the online world. As they are playing online, girls can customise their doll and watch as it transforms.

There will also be a wide range of accessories, as well as Dora's Seaside School playset, which will work with Dora Links to expand traditional offline fashion doll play, as well as to expand the online experience. Girls can download new speech, music and mysteries, also entering a new portion of the online world.

"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," explained Mattel's Sirard. "The instant gratification that girls receive as they change Dora online and watch as the doll magically transforms right before their eyes is groundbreaking in today's toy market."

Dora Links will retail for around $59.99.

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