(Disclosure: I was provided with a Project Mc2 doll for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are honest and my own, as always! This post contains affiliate links.)
Science is the new cool.
Seriously. I think it was made apparent in the remake of 21 Jump Street where the “cool kids” were actually the ones who worked hard and got good grades as opposed to the slackers who ditched class and didn’t care about schoolwork. A huge generational shift made possible by the fact that no, you are no longer guaranteed a pension and a picket fence just by graduating high school and moving up the corporate ladder.
These dolls are based on the Netflix Original series named Project Mc2. McKeyla McCallister is a teenaged secret agent on a super secret mission, and involuntarily recruits 3 of her new classmates who share her love for science and high tech.
While I watched the first 3 episodes of the show (look alive, Netflix Canada – I know there are 16 episodes!!) I’m reminded of Charlie’s Angels, Josie and the Pussycats, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. The show obviously targets Generation Z, although millennials (woop woop!) can enjoy seeing the Wonder Years’ Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) as the head of the super secret agency NOV8.
The Project MC2 Doll:
The dolls are part of a collection that embraces science and each come with their own experiments – a big step up from the Barbie dolls that I used to play with where the fun new feature was that her hair was CRIMPED, Y’ALL.
The McKeyla doll features an invisible ink experiment that uses ordinary household ingredients like baking soda and tea bags.
The doll herself has kind of given me a huge wake-up call as to how long it’s been since I’ve actually played with a doll. For one, she has joints that actually bend! Elbows! Knees! Wrists! Not just the hips like… oh, 20 years ago :-/
Mckeyla comes with a removable trench coat and can be dressed up with other doll clothes, provided they also have the same unattainable hourglass shape and supermodel-alien proportions that would actually tip over a person in real life. However this doll actually CAN stand up unassisted!
She comes with a comb shaped like an Erlenmeyer Flask, moustache-man disguise, lab bag, and twist-top “invisible ink” pen.
To make the pen work, all you need is 2 teaspoons of baking soda and a tablespoon of water. Mix it up and fill the pen, then write your super secret message!
It was dry after a few minutes, but I could still see my message in water-mark form, so I let it dry overnight.
Unfortunately, this top secret formula isn’t *completely* invisible, so you’ll just have to refrain yourself from creating those ultra confidential documents with the pen. 😉
Also, this is another fun science treat when you leave the baking soda mixture in the barrel overnight! Crystals!! Oh, science.
To reveal the message, I steeped (kind of) a tea bag in some cold water. It just needs to be “activated” so that the acidic nature of the tea will react with the basic pH of the baking soda.
Neat-o!!! (Probably something they would never say on the show.) The pen (actually, calling it a marker would be more appropriate) is really smooth and fun to write with. It leaks a little bit when it is first held upright (note the big drop to the left of the C), but it seems to be primed after that and has no splodgy or leaky problems.
The dolls are intended for ages 6+ but my 2-year-old started playing with it as soon as she spotted it on the table.
I love the concept of this collection and what they are trying to promote. A basic (pun intended) but effective chemistry experiment coupled with mainstream toys can get our young kids interested in the wonders of science at an early age and develop curiosities about the world we live in. With an ever increasing presence in science and technology, being surrounded in activities like this could be the catalyst to our children’s future success.