Last year, Disney Princess toys Tiana and Ariel had a major growth spurt. They grew 6-inches, making them now 18-inches tall! Walt Disney Co. made the dolls bigger because they (and other toy makers) believe it’s the secret to keeping little girls playing with their dolls longer.
It seems girls are ditching their dolls at a younger age now than ever before. Manufacturers say little girls today may end up ditching their dolls by age 7!
To keep up with the rising times companies like Disney and MGA Entertainment are coming out with dolls at heights of 13- to 21-inches tall this holiday season. The dolls are being designed to look like pre-teens, not babies or adults. They’re meant to be played with as companions or best friends, to give today’s young girls a few more years of imaginative child play.
Vice president of Toys ‘R’ Us Lisa Harnisch says, “Our research showed us that girls see large-sized dolls as someone they can relate to and identify with, to go shopping with and live out adventures with.” Toys ‘R’ Us has launched its own line of 18-inch dolls called Journey Girls which are described as “best friends with special talents who like to share their travel adventures.”
Companies are aiming the big dolls at 5- to 11-year-olds, with features designed to resemble their potential owners’. They say these dolls will fill the void that comes when girls grow out of baby dolls. For that reason, child-development experts welcome dollmakers’ push to appeal to older girls.
“For children, play is the equivalent of work,” says Susan J. Schwartz, senior director of The Child Mind Institute in New York. Doll-play, she says, helps girls to act out social situations, develop relationships and even learn how to manage conflict in a safe way. “The longer they have the opportunity to do that, the better,” she says.
Girls are in such a hurry to grow up these days, it’s really kind of sad! If there’s a way to buy even just one extra year of childhood, isn’t it worth it? We think so.
Toys ‘R’ Us expects Lalaloopsy, the new line of 13-inch dolls from MGA Entertainment to be one of the hottest toys this Christmas! These adorable girls come complete with button eyes and cool fashion outfits. You can get your hands on one of our favorites, the plush nighttime Lalaloopsy Pillow Featherbed doll (at one of the lowest prices we’ve seen by far) and beat the shopping rush at Amazon.
Remember putting your baby doll to bed, or dressing up your favorite Barbie for a night out on the town with Ken? Oh, how time flies! Do you even remember the last time you played with dolls!?