After nearly six years as a parent it’s difficult for me to get excited about kids’ toys. With a house over-run by toddler plastic, My Little Pony tat and every fancy dress outfit on the planet, I’m pretty much over toys. Especially as, even with all the toys they have, both my girls would probably rather play with a wooden spoon or dance around to music in the living room than play with their toys.
Occasionally though, I come across a toy that actually peaks my interest. A toy that promises to engage my kids and teach them something at the same time. The holy grail of toys: something that entertains and imparts some valuable lessons, something that won’t inevitably be consigned to the toy cemetary just a few days after it arrives.
The Project Mc2 dolls are such a toy.
Project Mc2 is a Netflix original series that my five year old already loves. It has everything she looks for in a TV show: teenage girls being cool doing cool things and wearing cool clothes. Teenage girls bossing it like no other and overcoming adversaries without the help of boys. Teenage girls being friends and hanging out in a gang of like-minded teenage girls. Yep, my five year old LOVES teenage girls. Five going on fifteen.
Anyway, the Project Mc2 show is billed as “where science meets style and everyone knows it’s cool to be smart”. As a mum that’s definitely something I can get on board with. I’d far rather my five year old aspire to be “cool smart” than simply “cool pretty” or “cool with lots of clothes” (which is one of my main issues with the whole Barbie gang).
As well as the whole “geek chic” thing going on with the Project Mc2 dolls though, they have an extra offering. They’re not just fashion dolls with quirky glasses and stylish trainers. They come with activities that kids can make and create themselves, all based on science, coding, engineering and technology.
We were sent the Camryn doll to review, which comes with a blueprint and the tools needed to make her own doll-sized skateboard. Known for her high IQ, we’re told Camryn’s real genius comes out in the garage – especially when it comes to her “souped up” skateboard. Way to crush those gender stereotypes there.
Frog took on this activity when she was being looked after by my parents last weekend. My dad sat with her while she put the skateboard together and tells me she did it all by herself. She painted water on the “top secret” blueprint in order for the instructions to magically appear, before setting to work with her tools. Making the skateboard was an activity all on its own, before she even got to work playing with the doll itself.
As well as the activity offering of the doll, I really like the fact she comes dressed in the kind of clothes my five year old wears herself. No towering high heels and mini dresses here. Instead, she comes wearing leggings and trainers, which is a nice change in a world of fashion dolls dressed as if they’re hitting the local nightspot on a Saturday night.
My only reservation about these dolls is the whole body image thing. It would be lovely to see a bit more variety on that front, with perhaps a curvier doll, a shorter doll etc. To be honest, it would be nice to see this reflected in the TV show too. Still, at least they’re having a go at making a change with the smashing of gender stereotypes (even though – if I’m being really picky – I’d love it even more if the dolls weren’t so obviously aimed at just girls).
As a toy, they doll is well made and hasn’t buckled from the enthusiastic play she’s been put through. In fact, even Baby Girl got in on the action (always wants what her big sister’s playing with – what’s up with that?!) and the doll didn’t break. Kudos to the doll for withstanding a ten minute play session with my toddler without snapping in half or crumbling from the repeated bashing!
If you’re looking for a doll with a bit of a difference, to encourage some learning along the way and spark an interest in science, then this could be the one for you. The dolls retail at £24.99 and, of course, there’s a free app (the Project Mc2 Case Files) which accompanies them.
We were sent the Camryn Project Mc2 doll for the purpose of this review. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.
Nominations for the MAD Blog Awards are now open. I’d love a nomination in the Lifestyle Blog category! You can nominate here – and while you’re at it, my other blog Roost (a collaborative interiors site) would look mighty fine in the Best New Blog category!
Pin it for later…