The media announced the arrival of a new kind of doll called Snapstars, and the whole world is conflicted. It certainly is innovative, no one could disagree there. These dolls are marketed as a group of social media influencer friends who are “united by our love of fashion, style, food, music and traveling.” Their tagline is “do cool things, take cool photos.”
The kicker: these trendy girls come with their own green screen and phone app that will customize kids’ photos of them with any background they want. Their bodies are also extra-jointed, so they can be posed in a multitude of influencer-type poses.
The “play” model for these dolls include dressing, posing, and photographing them with their phone, then changing the green screen to their desired background, then posting them on their social media (I’m sure hashtagging #Snapstar is suggested). The company’s Co-President Jochem van Rijn says, “We believe kids are consuming media in a completely different manner from five to 10 years ago.”
So what exactly are people unsure about? Is it the target demographic and unrealistic body proportions? Assuming this age will have a phone/social media account? Setting up social media habits too early? Or are we all just being fuddy duddies? Should we be sheltering children from early social media habits, or should we be encouraging early adoption of technologies?
Certainly there’s a gray area here, and not everyone will agree. We at Flint Avenue aren’t quite sure either, but we do know that this company branded themselves as a trendy, innovative, up and coming, and diverse company, and they succeeded. They’ve also succeeded at getting a lot of free press, from these conversations as well as the dolls’ newest social posts.
All I know is that we’ll see this on some recap of the 2000-teens one day and say to each other, “oh man, remember those? Wow.”