The Karito Kids - New Line of Vinyl Play Dolls
The Karito Kids, a new line of large vinyl play dolls, enters the market this month, and it really seems that these dolls do have it all. Marketed with the tag line "open her world, her mind, her heart," the Karito Kids join play and giving in a new way.
With Each Purchase, A Donation To Plan USA
Created by KidsGive LLC, each time a Karito Kids doll is purchased, a percentage of the sales price is donated to Plan USA, a global children's charity. The child enters a unique code from each Karito Kids product at KaritoKids.com, and can at that time chose one of four charitable causes (growing up healthy, learning, habitat or livelihood) to make their donation to. KidsGive hopes that by making this giving process interactive it will teach children about giving in a meaningful way.
Five Dolls from Five Lands
Of course, if that was all there was to the dolls, they might come off as a bit...well...preachy. Knowing children, and how children react to something that is only "good for them" or "educational," I'm happy to report that there is much more to the Karito Kids. First of all, the five Karito Kids dolls are well-sculpted and pretty, with individually created features. The characters in the initial line are Gia from Florence, Italy; Zoe from New York, New York; LuLu from Nairobi, Kenya; Pita from Mexico City, Mexico; and Wan Ling from Shanghai, China. The dolls stand 21" tall, with jointed limbs and a soft torso (much like the American Girl dolls, although these dolls are 2 inches taller). The dolls are made to represent 11 year old girls. Karito Kids clothing is styled for today, without being trashy or inappropriate.
Each doll with her related book has a suggested retail of $99.99.
Mystery Adventure Books
There is also a series of books about the dolls. Each book is an adventure mystery that takes place in the home country of the dolls. The books are written at the fifth grade reading level and are chapter books. Each book concludes with an 8 page journal that has real facts about the doll's country and culture, and which is written in the character voice of the dolls.
O Magazine and Brooke Shields
The Karito Kids have garnered major media attention which has included "In Style" magazine's coverage of a tea party with Brooke Shields and the Karito Kids, and also in Oprah's "O" magazine. Later this year, additional clothing and accessories will also be released.
Will They Have The Elusive "It" Factor?
Everything looks great on paper, but none of this--the giving, the media coverage, the great design--will matter if kids and parents don't end up loving the Karito Kids, if the Kids don't have that "it" factor that makes a doll a hit. As a long time doll collector, commentator and parent, I think that the Kids do have that elusive "it" factor, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they are received by parents, children and doll collectors alike this month.