Pros: Fashionable, removable feet are clever, my daughter enjoys them
Cons: Some parents might think they present a not so innocent image
My 11 year old daughter?s Barbies have been packed away for some time now. They just don?t interest her. For a while she played with her Diva Starz doll, Alexa. Then I found her stuffed in a corner with her hair a matted mess. It seems Tia tried to put her hair in tiny braids and gave up trying to get out all the knots. I ended up fixing her hair and hoping she would be played with again.
But in the meantime, she took an interest in a new doll, one that many of her friends have also been collecting. These are called Bratz dolls from MGM Entertainment and are hip cool teenagers with fun wardrobes and feet that pop off when you change her shoes. Diva Starz dolls have a similar style but Bratz dolls more closely resemble Barbies with their 10? size.
My daughter received Chloe, as her doll is named, in an Easter basket from her friend?s grandmother. Somehow they ended up with an extra basket from an auction and thought Tia would like the blue-eyed blond doll. She did, and it was the first time I had really seen a Bratz doll up close. She played with it a lot at first, bringing her to her friend?s house where she had another one of the dolls in the collection. They represent many ethnic groups; African-American, Asian, Caucasian and Hispanic. They have names like Sasha, Jade, Yasmin and, of course, Chloe. Lately she seems to be confined to a desk in the bedroom while my daughter spends her days swimming, riding bikes and doing other summer activities. But I?m sure she?ll be taken out again, perhaps to summer camp.
What Sort Of Message Do They Send?
I know for a fact that there are parents who don?t appreciate the made up faces and un-Barbie-like fashions of the Bratz dolls. I don?t find them particularly offensive though. The mini skirt on Chloe is no shorter than a pair of shorts or mini skirt that you would see on a real teenager. They are not overly buxom like Barbie and don?t wear low cut clothing. The clothes look like the ones my daughter and her friends admire from the Limited Too.
Yes, her makeup is slightly Pam Anderson, but then again, she?s no more made up than many dolls, Barbie included. Basically, she looks no different than the average 14 or 15 year old I see at the mall or amusement park on a regular basis. I don?t have any fear that my 11 year old will try to imitate her makeup or fashions right now. She shows no signs of it.
Chloe?s face wears a rather bored looking expression. She?s not plastered with a fake smile. Her very full lips are lined and colored a frosted cotton candy pink. Her eyes are lined and have long lashes and a bit of pale blue shadow. Her arched brows complete her face. She has very long platinum blond hair that is of a great quality. It can withstand lots of handling without matting up. It?s very soft and silky. Her bust appears to be about a 34B.
Her arms and legs are made of a more rubbery material than her rigid plastic torso. Her arms are more bendable than her legs. They can be moved in different positions, too, either above her head, straight out or reaching forward. Her legs can be positioned to stay together or spread slightly and she will be able to stand upright either way. Unlike Barbie and her tiny little stilettos, Chloe and her friends wear big chunky shoes with platform heels. And the shoes won?t get lost all over the house either because you don?t just remove her shoes, you remove her entire foot to change them! She comes with a pair of light blue platform sandals and brown and white boots. When her shoes are removed there is a tiny ball at the end of her leg where her foot should be. The shoes are much larger than most doll shoes.
Her wardrobe is as follows:
Flare sparkle jeans with built in blue belt
Light blue cropped sleeveless top with silver studs and the word ?Angel?
Leopard print mini skirt with attached white panties
Removable blue head band with elastic
White backpack with side strap and leopard trim
The clothes all have Velcro clothing. They are fairly simple to change.
The Bratz doll sets come in a package with the following:
2 pairs oversize shoes
2 bottoms (skirt or jeans)
Hair accessory (like a headband)
11 x 17? poster of the Bratzpack
Price, Age Recommendation, Etc
The dolls are normally priced at $14.99 but are often on sale for $12.99. I?ve seen them in nearly all toy departments and toy stores like Toys ?R Us.
The manufacturer?s recommended age is 4 and up. A baby could put one of the shoes in their mouth and choke so it should be kept away from young siblings. In my opinion the best age range for this doll would be 9-12. Younger girls can go a few more years playing with baby dolls and dolls that don?t represent teenagers.
I don?t find Bratz dolls overly sexy or presenting a particularly bad attitude. Girls in my daughter?s age range really seem to like them and I feel it?s better they?re still playing with dolls than moving on to more mature activities. I would absolutely add another one to her collection if she asks.