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Mattel Reveals New “Dora Links” Doll
Girl Power: Jay Cochran - 2009.09.29
After months of anticipation, Mattel, Inc. revealed the new Dora Links doll today for girls ages 5 – 8, as the complete line of Dora’s Explorer Girls dolls and accessories hits store shelves. The new age-appropriate, 13-inch doll, featuring Dora as an older girl, is an exciting addition to the existing Dora the Explorer preschool TV program and product lines — and is infused with the Dora the Explorer ‘difference:’ adventure, friendship, learning, empowerment and teamwork. Now Dora and her four new friends solve mysteries and work together in their online world at www.doralinks.com.

“We’re thrilled to present the new Dora Links doll,” says Mattel vice president, marketing, Gina Sirard. “The entire Dora’s Explorer Girls collection speaks to the way older girls want to play today, while including all the cool, empowering attributes that have made Dora such a global and groundbreaking phenomenon.”

Dora Links, the cornerstone of the new Dora’s Explorer Girls collection, is an interactive, computer-compatible doll. Dora and her four best friends — Naiya, Emma, Kate and Alana live in the robust online world of Puerto Verde, a fictional beachside city, where the girls go to school, get involved in their community, help friends, and work together to keep their home clean and green.

Dora Links offers an exciting innovation in computer-connected play — appealing to a new generation of technologically savvy kids. As girls play online, they can customize their doll and watch as she magically transforms right before their eyes.

Dora Links Exclusive Online Features:

The interaction starts when girls plug the Dora Links doll into the computer (via USB) to access her online world. As girls explore and solve the online mysteries, there are opportunities to have Dora assume a variety of disguises. They can change her speech, hair length, eye color and jewelry color to correspond with their play. Mattel enhances the play with an innovative twist on this kind of computer interaction:

* When they make a change online, the doll, itself actually changes, too. So, for instance, when girls change Dora’s hair length online, with a click of the mouse… the doll’s hair magically grows, too.
* The Dora Links doll also has a unique alert system; she knows when new mysteries are being added to DoraLinks.com. Even when the doll is disconnected from a computer, it will let girls know what new things are happening in Puerto Verde.

The interactivity allows girls to directly influence Dora’s adventures as they help her solve the online mysteries that prominently feature relatable pro-social themes — like volunteerism, water conservation and planting trees to help the environment. Whether Dora and her friends are organizing a beach clean-up, volunteering at the neighborhood animal shelter, or taking part in a city-wide flower-planting day, they need kids’ help to make their city a better place!

New mysteries will be uploaded to DoraLinks.com on a regular basis. In one such mystery – Ghost in the Park – Dora and her friends volunteer to clean up the park after a windstorm left the park in shambles. Dora meets her friend Naiya at the park where she tells Dora about a spooky noise heard while the neighbors were cleaning up the park. Dora calls together all of the Explorer Girls to help solve the mystery of this spooky noise. Each girl heads off to a different part of town to uncover clues. The girls regroup to put the pieces of the mystery together and determine that the sound really isn’t a ghost, but instead came from the wind blowing across a hollow bamboo stalk. With the mystery solved, the girls return to help with Park Clean-Up Day.

Throughout the mystery and game play, Dora imparts her unique observations in both English and Spanish. All the dialogue is voiced by the characters and the matching text appears on screen throughout the activities.

The Dora’s Explorer Girls online world is completely closed to ensure a safe environment, free of social networking, for girls to enjoy Dora’s new adventures.

Dora Links Doll and Collection Features:

The Dora’s Explorer Girls collection features playsets, accessories, and a total of five dolls. The dolls in the collection include the interactive Dora Links doll and her four best friends:

* Naiya, a math and science wiz who has a real passion for studying the stars
* Emma, an accomplished musician in the school band who takes time to help out younger musicians
* Kate, a voracious reader with a vivid imagination who loves to write plays and perform in them
* Alana, an athletic, confident soccer player who loves animals and loves helping her friends

The collection will feature a wide range of offerings including accessory and fashion packs (sold separately), as well as the interactive Puerto Verde School. Each item in the collection will include an online code that girls can download to unlock new areas in Dora’s online world including new activities, games and mysteries.

The Dora Links doll, available nationwide at stores today and online at Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Target, amazon.com and more, will retail for approximately $59.99. Accessories and additional dolls will range in price from $7.99 - $34.99.

Dora’s Explorer Girls Development and Research:

The Dora Links doll takes the core essence of the original preschool Dora character - the love of adventure and learning, the empowerment and self-esteem - and matches the way 5 - 8 year old girls traditionally play with dolls (hair, pretend play, dress up) to an interest in social interaction and customization through online activities.

The Dora Links doll and the Dora’s Explorer Girls collection were created directly out of extensive consumer research conducted to see what parents were looking for in appropriate dolls for their daughters. The Dora’s Explorer Girls collection was created as an answer to parents’ requests for a way that the beloved preschool Dora character can grow and engage with their children as they grow older.
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