Last year KidsGive sent us the Gia doll from their Karito Kids doll collection. I liked the doll and what the company stands for so much that I requested the Lulu doll who is from Kenya because I want Anya to have a diverse crew of dolly friends. (Check out our review here.)She really enjoyed them, especially undressing them and having usredress them. But since I always knew that Anya was much younger thanthe targeted age, I was thrilled when they released their new Travel Charmers line.
Suitable for a younger age range (3+ instead of 6+), the Travel Charmers($20) are smaller, soft, lower cost versions of the five originalposeable dolls: Zoe from the US, Pita from Mexico, Lulu from Kenya, Giafrom Italy, and Wan Ling from China. Totally huggable and cute, theywill likely draw a comparison to Groovy Girls, like the original dollsare occasionally compared to American Girl dolls. While the Karito Kidsdolls’ stories center around drama in their native lands, the TravelCharmers visit other countries and are dressed in the local wear. Forexample, Gia, who hails from Italy, visits France and is decked out inooh-la-la Frenchy wear, including a fuschia and black striped top,black skirt, matching striped tights and shiny shoes, complete with aberet (mais oui!). While the original dolls come with hardcover books (also sold separately for $11) that let you delve inside the characters’ lives, the Travel Charmers each have blogs.
Anya loves her new Gia doll but refuses to let us call the doll "Gia"because Gia is the other doll! They can’t both be called Gia! Ofcourse, the rest of her dolls have the same name ("Baby Mama") but youcan’t reason with a three year old.
Each dolls comes with a Jibbitz-style charm (thus the name) that can be added to the corresponding bracelet($8) that can be purchased separately – they include charms depictingrecognizable icons from the dolls’ home country. For example, Giaincludes a diamond shoe, flower, and sunglasses, which are all part ofthe original dolls’ story. While I like how that ties the story to theoriginal doll, for a 3 year old who won’t be exposed to it for at leasta few years, it’s seems a little random and unrelated. (The otherdolls’ bracelets’ charms are a little more obvious, like New Yorker Zoewhose charms are an apple, cab and guitar.) Of course, like Jibbitz,the charms can also be worn on Crocs. Not aCrocs girl, Anya really liked the bracelet and wore it a few days in arow.
Rounding out the story of charity and philanthropy, like the KaritoKids, each doll comes with a code that can be redeemed online. Insteadof collecting points to buy more stuff, redeeming the code allows thechild to decide where 3% of the purchase price is to be donated viaPlan USA, a global children’s charity which helps distribute thedonations to the different causes or "projects." Since KidsGive wasfounded, these funds have bought 22,500 mosquito nets for 357 remotevillages in Kenya, 3,200 textbooks for 976 kids in Mali, 6,800 chickensand the eggs they produce for 976 kids in China, and built 19 housesfor Honduran families.