The Future of Dolls

October 9, 2009

Remember the days when you played outside, never got tired and were engaged by toys like my little pony, easy bake ovens or action figures? Today’s toys are much different from the ones we used to be entertained by; some of which are a little questionable or maybe considered unbelievably advanced for youth.

Not too long ago, pregnant Barbie dawned the shelves of stores around the nation and left some parents in a state of rage. This toy, that many considered inappropriate, allowed the child to play with a doll that was visibly pregnant and considerably happy. When the “big day” came, which was determined by the child playing with it, they could open up the stomach and pull out a baby. Needless to say, this was taken off the shelves in many stores. This event was the first trigger for my question, what are dolls coming to?

Now, the newest advanced toy is a tween aged version of Dora the Explorer that includes a type of interactivity and technology. Dora Links, created by the well-known toy company Mattel, offers the person playing with the doll the opportunity to customize it to their hearts content.

With USB connectors, the Dora Links doll can hook up to the computer and your Internet connection. Children will sign up for a specific program or site that was created for this toy, and can alter the image of Dora. Whatever changes are made online will actually modify the physical appearance of their doll. So if they decided they wanted to change her eye color, they would sign on and adjust the doll’s eyes from green to blue, and then the doll’s eye color would change physically along with the online model. The doll is $50 and available in many stores across the U.S.

Although this form of interactivity is neat to see progress and evolve, I am wondering what the direction of toy making is going. Will children, even ones at a really young age, eventually be playing with just technology? Will majority of the toys created in the future be connected online at the very least? What do you think?

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