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MAIN Arrow to Toy ReviewsToy Reviews Arrow to Toys for BoysToys for Girls Arrow to Ty GirlzTy Girlz

Ty Girlz

Ty GirlzTY Girlz, manufactured by Ty Inc.; Recomended age 3+, handmade in China, average retail price $10.99.

The 14", soft-sculpt Ty Girlz are next in line behind the widely popular Webkins, Shining Stars, and their own Beanie Babies 2.0.

A real positive is the fact that Ty believes a child's toy, be it pal or pet, should never expire. Kudos to Ty for not ending the online interactive experience in a year, like other online interactive plush toys.

They have also tried to maintain a reasonable price; allowing kids the opportunity to purchase the products with their own money. Ty, Inc., a leader in plush toys, was founded in 1986 by Ty Warner, creator of the widely popular Beanie Babies.

Ty, Inc.'s goal here was to create an incomparable, one-of-a-kind doll without using plastic, vinyl or injection molds. The plush are said to be 100% handmade with super-soft fabric. Ty Warner, Chairman and CEO, believes that what makes these Girlz even more extraordinary is the virtual world that has been developed for them to interact safely with others from around the world.

Each doll comes with an individual scratch-off secret code which enables the child to unlock the 3-D virtual world . Here girls can chat, play games, listen to music and just "hang out" in a forum that's both fun and safe for kids. As with other online interactive plush toys you can earn virtual currency to buy things for your doll. While online the girls can travel the world from Rome to Cairo, in search of more clothes. I would love if somewhere along the way they stopped and read a book.

Ty Girlz are dressed in, what is said to be, the latest trend-setting fashions; I am not sure that these are outfits most moms would like their young girls to wish for. The clothes can be mixed and matched, and additional outfits purchased. Each "accessory pack" comes with a scratch off code so that the doll can wear that particular outfit online as well as in real life, a nice touch. Each outfit is completed with complimentary earrings, necklaces and bracelets, lots of large, brash bling.

Ty Girlz have soft, easy to brush hair that can be styled into different looks; it's long enough for pony tails or braids. Each doll's clothes, hair and makeup are coordinated in its own monochromatic signature color; yes purple hair and makeup.

Ty Warner has again proven that he is a marketing genius by tapping into this very lucrative market and adding a twist. He has also shown time and again that giving back is smart business for the soul as well as the bank account. These dolls, however well intended, just send the absolute wrong message to our future female leaders. Young, impressionable tweens should be given the option to travel, explore, and learn, as well as shop, talk on the phone, and "get more stuff".

The target age is tween girls but as is often the case it is the younger than tween scene who really want them, the 6, 7, 8, and 9 year olds. With their shocking, unnatural color hair and provocative outfits, they aren't exactly a visually wholesome plaything. Some moms may think the dolls look a bit too Bratz-like, although the online interactive versions of the dolls tone down the exaggerated eyes and lips a bit.

It is hard for even the most accepting Mom to get past the belly button bling, too short skirts, barely there tops, extremely high heels, and names like …well…Sizzlin' Sue, Lovely Lola, and Sassy Star; to name a few. Lest we forget that they have the added bonus of hand sewn cleavage.

Children of all ages learn through imaginary play. The question is what are they learning? What is the message of expectation for the potential of the young women who will nurture the modern world? There are better options out there. What about promoting dolls for smart girls of substance with a knack for style? That would be a toy that kids and moms could feel good about and have fun with.

Toy Guru Toy & Game ReviewsAbout the Author: Mary Rose is a Mommy, a writer and an early childhood educator who believes in learning through play and the value of good toys.



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