NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT) and Nickelodeon/Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), announced today that Dora the Explorer™ is growing up! The companies have introduced a whole new way to look at Dora for girls five years and up. This groundbreaking initiative, featuring fashion dolls and accessories, is a completely new brand extension that empowers girls to influence and change the lives of Dora and her new friends. It’s innovative, diverse, wholesome, bi-lingual and entertaining.
“For nearly ten years, Dora the Explorer has had such a strong following among preschoolers, catapulting it into the number one preschool show on commercial television,” says Gina Sirard, vice president 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.”
“Dora the Explorer has been one of the most successful properties for nearly a decade, with an average of 21.1 million viewers, including 6 million preschoolers, tuning into the television show each month,” explained Leigh Anne Brodsky, president, NVCP. “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 heroine, Dora, as they grow up together.”
As tweenage Dora, our heroine has moved to the big city, attends middle school and has a whole new fashionable look. What’s more, she now has a rich online world in which girls can explore, play games, customize, and most importantly solve mysteries with Dora and her new friends. Adding to the play value, Dora’s online world is interactive with the new doll line.
“Dora’s Explorer Girls™ is a unique, innovative product line that the toy industry has not previously seen,” says Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of TimetoPlayMag.com. “It is very exciting to see such a popular brand expanding upon its key fan base, while at the same time incorporating cutting-edge fashion doll play with a fun online experience.”
Dora Magically Transforms Before Girls’ Eyes
The cornerstone of the entire line is the Dora Links fashion doll. By plugging the doll into the computer, girls can access Dora’s brand-new interactive online world. This exciting innovation in computer-connected play offers girls a unique interactive experience: as girls are playing online they can customize their doll and watch as she magically transforms right before their eyes. For example, by changing Dora’s hair length, jewelry, and eye color on screen, the Dora doll magically changes as well.
The online world will include descriptions and biographies of Dora’s Explorer Girls™ and an immersive online world that will be tied into the complete collection of toys. Online, girls can explore Dora’s world, talk to the characters, earn currency, and help Dora solve mysteries which will be uploaded on a regular basis. As girls explore and solve mysteries online, the doll’s speech will change to correspond with their play. In addition, Dora Links features a magical alert system that lets the doll know when new mysteries are being uploaded to the Dora site. Even when the child is away from the computer playing with the doll, she will let girls know what new things are happening in the online world.
Adding to the play value of the line will be a wide range of accessories (sold separately) as well as the Dora’s Seaside School playset that 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 into the locker, and also will enter a huge new portion of the online world, which is Dora’s school.
“Typically, children ‘grow out’ of favorite characters,” says Chris Byrne, content director for TimetoPlayMag.com aka The Toy Guy®. “Now Dora has been designed to grow up with her fans, opening the door to extended play that is age appropriate, allowing kids to stay involved with a favorite character and maintaining the core values of Dora the Explorer that children love.”
New Look To Be Revealed in Fall
The marketing teams conducted an unprecedented amount of focus-group research and found that girls love the mystery aspect, the technology of the doll, and above all, were very excited to see what a more grown up Dora would look like. In keeping with this excitement, Nickelodeon and Mattel plan to keep Dora’s new look a secret until the brand launch in Fall 2009.
“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,” explains Ms. 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. What’s more, parents can feel comfortable knowing that Dora’s online world provides a safe and wholesome play experience for their children.”
The Dora Links fashion doll, for children five years and up, will retail for approximately $59.99.
About Mattel, Inc.
Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, Matchbox®, American Girl®, Radica® and Tyco® R/C, as well as Fisher-Price® brands, including Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2009's "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands—today and tomorrow.
About Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products
Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products manages the world's third largest licensing business, representing leading properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, and managing merchandising for Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTVN International, and Spike TV.
Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 98 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for more than 14 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).