Pi Attitude Zone: Self-Fulfilment

Doll, You’re Unreal

A new generation of Americans is growing up on computers, and the race is intensifying to be little kids’ online destination of choice.

Now nine-year-olds can dress up dolls in cyberspace, picking out the little moppets’ clothes, hairstyles and accessories online. If you don’t like the dolls at Cartoon Doll Emporium, you could always click over to Cyworld, Habbo Hotel, Webkinz or WeeWorld. Even mighty Mattel Corp. got in on the act, with BarbieGirls.com. Sites enjoying 3 or 4 million visits a month soon went beyond free access policies, and added  ‘premium services’ for a monthly fee.

At Webkinz, buying a toy at the toy store allows children to enter a secret code from their sales tag at webkinz.com. This activates a ‘virtual replica’ of the toy, which the owner can then control at the click of a mouse, walking the cybertoy through virtual environments, building it a house, and so on.

Kids “want a say in the script”, say industry observers. Most site visitors are female, with many ranging in age up to 16 and older.

Wait, sixteen?  Seriously?  It seems that, hiding behind the most sophisticated teenage exterior, there’s sometimes a little girl who wants to play with dolls.

Zone: Self-Fulfilment Country: USA / North America Product – Consumer Products