I have a confession to make: I am about as green as Santa Claus. Seriously. Yes, I cloth diaper, but that is mainly for the money I save. Yes, I avoid unnecessary chemicals on or around my children, but that is mainly because I used to work in the PR industry and I reviewed too many scary things that involved my clients in the chemical industry, so I am concerned for the overall health of my kids. Rarely am I considering my carbon footprint or saving the planet when I avoid products with chemicals or cloth diaper my infant. I wish my motivations were more noble and far-reaching, like saving the oceans so future generations can enjoy them, when I originally made these choices for our family, but, regrettably, they weren’t. That being said, I have an almost eight-year-old (Ms. K) that is VERY concerned about the planet and keeping it clean and enjoyable for animals and humans. When I say “VERY” I mean that she lectures her friends at the bus stop about not littering and not stepping on bugs because “we need to take care of the planet so that we all can enjoy its beauty”. Actual quote, no joke. They are very impassioned lectures. So, imagine K’s excitement when her Zeenie Dollz came in the mail for us to review!
The first thing K, who is a total intellectual, does when she gets a new toy is to read every word on the packaging, so this time was no different. She was ridiculously excited to see that these dolls are made from recycled plastic (“Look mom! They took all the trash plastic and reused it to make this doll so that it won’t be in a landfill somewhere and ruining the earth!” Once again, actual quote…), and that the whole point behind these dolls is to raise money and awareness for various campaigns to preserve nature. She also enjoyed the fact that each Zeenie Dollz comes with her own portion of the Zeenie Dollz Web site, which allows parents and their children to learn about various ecosystems and what we can do to protect them from deterioration. The first time we logged on K spent nearly an hour reading about what she could do at home to lessen her footprint on the earth, answering questions about various ecosystems, and doing crossword puzzles. She was thrilled and told me that she learned a lot of stuff that she was going to teach kids in her class about the next day (more power to ya, kid!). Stamp of approval from my almost eight-year-old!
The look and feel of this doll is very much like the trendy Monster High dolls (large head, big eyes, lots of hair), and very different from the classic Barbie Doll look. I wondered if this would be a turn off to my girls who love the traditional Barbie look and tend to shy away from the Monster High dolls when we see them at the store. It didn’t seem to be an issue, though; no one turned up their nose at the appearance of the doll. In fact, my five, going on 20, year old (Ms. M) thought this doll’s hair was “the most beautiful ever” and loved how “beautiful and huge” her eyes were. M had some serious doll envy going on; completely heartbroken when she learned these dolls are for kids 8-11 years. Apparently being little stinks, but I digress. These dolls are about the same size, overall, as a Barbie doll, and have features that Barbie lacks such as bendable leg, arm, and wrist joints, which I like. As a kid I always hated how my dolls could never actually hold the baby or pet accessories they came with…very unrealistic. So, it’s nice that our doll can actually hold the polar bear that she came with!
The major selling point of these dolls is definitely the fact that they are earth friendly. They are a bit pricey compared with other dolls on the market ($39.99 per doll versus the typical $20 per doll one might spend on a Barbie or a Monster High doll), so consumers are paying for a toy that supports a cause versus just one that is simply for play. For parents who are concerned about how they can help save their oceans, rescue pets, or decrease global warming, among other things, these toys are the perfect gift idea! They definitely earned an A+ from my little green kiddo!