Mattel is launching its lifelike Miracle Moves Baby doll a year later than planned, after scaling down the toy’s robotic functions.
The toy giant went back to the drawing board after research showed children preferred a realistic-looking doll to a fully functioning robot.
Incorporating more sophisticated interactive functions would also have pushed up the price of the doll, which is expected to retail at about £35 when it goes on sale in the UK later this year.
“We discovered that while children wanted some element of technology, they were much more concerned that the doll looked life-like and had soft skin,” says a spokeswoman for Mattel.
The Miracle Moves Baby will be vying for little girls’ affection with Hasbro’s Robo-baby doll, which is also being launched this year.
While Mattel’s doll can blink her eyes, fall asleep and suck her thumb, Hasbro’s version looks more like a robot and crawls, coos, cries and even matures over time.
The American toy giants are already setting their sights on Christmas this year.
Both Mattel and Hasbro unveiled the line-up of toys at last week’s American International Toy Fair and hope they will have parents queuing up at stores across the UK over Christmas.
Among their offerings were interactive pets, traditional board-games as well as a host of toys and games based on forthcoming children’s films such as Harry Potter, Jurassic Park III and Monsters Inc.