Hasbro introduces new Disney doll that allows you to program her dance routines with companion app. Parents will be glad to know that this doll can sing, dance, and say over 100 phrases (Photo via Hasbro)


With a live-action remake of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast on the way, you can expect a new line of toys to come with it. Hasbro revealed a new Belle doll to tie in with the film ahead of Toy Fair 2017. It talks, moves, and dances all on her own, making it stand out from all the others Belle dolls. But it also does something else, teaches your kids how to code. In another attempt to take advantage of the code learning craze Hasbro’s newest doll lets kids create their own dance routines for Belle using a basic programming app. While they’re creating the dances, they’re also getting the hang of the basics of coding.


The doll is meant to appeal to all ages. There’s a connect the dots mode for younger kids where they create dance patterns by dragging their finger across the screen. If they press various shapes that appear on the screen, they can add some extra pizzazz to the routine. Older kids can take advantage of the more advanced block coding mode. Here, dance routines are manually created by dragging and dropping moves and commands into a long sequence.  Once the routine is done, it can be synched to the doll, which runs on batteries, over a Bluetooth connection.


As an added bonus, Belle can also say over 100 different phrases and even sings four songs from the original movie, like “Be Our Guest.” The doll will be officially available in fall right in time for the holiday season and will run you $120. This is one doll you want the kids to ruin or tire of after only two days.


All things considered, the doll sounds pretty cool, but will it actually get kids interested in coding? That remains to be seen. Many people believe the future of the job market relies on programming, so it’s understandable why you’d want to foster these skills at a young age. But it could also discourage them, especially if they have no interest in programming in the long run. This trend of apps, toys, websites, etc that want to teach kids coding may burn them out in the end. How many of you were forced to learn a skill as a kid? Did you enjoy it and continue practicing it? Probably not. What’s wrong with having regular toys that allow kids to be imaginative? On the other hand, it could play a role in encouraging girls to get interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields, which is always a good thing.


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