[Updated 3:10 p.m. EDT]
Despite negative speculation surrounding the teaser silhouette of the pending tween Dora the Explorer doll, a newly released image shows a wholesome -- if girly -- version of the outdoorsy Nickelodeon character.
Parents were up in arms about the teaser image of the matured Dora because it failed to reveal the leggings that she wears under her very short dress. While critics can still contest that Dora's new super-slim body image falls into the stereotypical, Barbie-like dolls that are criticized for body-image issues, the image as revealed could quell much of the concern.
Still, the lipsticked-looking lips and frilly, bow-laden image seem to suggest that fashion and accessories are more important than outdoors adventures, solving mysteries, and being bilingual. Replacing her crocodile-hunter hiking boots with fashionable ballet slippers, the doubt that the once-stocky Dora will be exploring any jungles is understandable.
However, the proof will be in the pudding when Tween Dora hits shelves fall of 2009.
New Dora Still Explorer, Says Mattel
The new, more mature Dora the Explorer doll is no fashion and boy-loving Barbie replica, says Mattel. According to the toy giant, Dora's "Explorer Girls" will be just as adventurous and bilingual as toddler Dora, but is just trading the jungle locale for school in a big city.
The Web site that interacts with the $60 USB doll will attempt to keep essence of Dora the adventurer. However, now she'll be exploring community service, beach clean-ups, and even mysteries.
The doll is designed for girls 5-8 years old, the age group graduating from preschool and looking for a school-smart and "age appropriate" doll as a role model. Despite her paragons of community service, by next Halloween we should know if purple tights and flower tunics are the latest Dora-inspired hit.
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