The dolls, which are marketed at the ‘tweenager’ market, are based on four girls who feature in an accompanying Netflix original series. The characters – McKeyla McAlister (MC2), Adrienne Attoms (A2), Bryden Bandweth (B2) and Camryn Coyle (C2) – combine a sassy attitude with fierce intelligence, and have the motto ‘smart is the new cool’.
The episodes see the girls recruited to a spy organisation called NOV8 – headed up by the Quail, played by real-life mathematician Danica McKellar – where they each get to use their unique skills in science and technology to solve secret missions.
The dolls come complete with instructions and accessories for carrying out simple science experiments, such as making a lava lamp or a glowstick. At a time when toys are coming under fire for playing to gender stereotypes, it’s refreshing to see a line of dolls that turns away from the ‘pink princess’ route.
“It’s really aspirational,” says executive producer Shauna Phelan. “It shows you can be smart and cool. You can be smart and funny. You can be smart and stylish and those things are not mutually exclusive in an individual.”