Does the name Stardoll mean anything to you? I wager it doesn’t ring a bell for a good supply of readers, despite the fact that the site has been spotlighted in our feed in the past. Three times, in fact. First in 2006, and twice in 2007.
If you haven’t been fortunate to familiarize yourself yet with Stardoll, I’ll give you brief tour: Virtual dolls plus virtual brand-name attire. Yep, that’s pretty much the extent of it. Oh, and there’s some kind of social element to it. Something about club chats.
Why do I mention this “Barbie-2.0” invention? The reason he’s pinned up the site for all (who have no paid it heed already) to see: it’s grown a lot since it first broke onto the scene.
As I said several lines above, Star doll has all the makings of a digital Barbie-like universe. Only…devoid of the Barbie reference entirely. And though it may have yet to achieve the ubiquity that the figurine franchise of historic renown has accomplished, I say give it time.
What is most astonishing about Stardoll is its ability to base its entire business model on consumerism. Completely intangible consumerism at that. Users can spend “earned” Stardollars, or convert real, costly credit to Stardolls, and whatever means member employ to finance their fascination with fashion (too much alliteration, I know), the ends are the same: more Stardollars for more colored pixels. And that’s basically the extent of the site framework. Yes, there’s the social component, and it’s got a virtual mall vibe that attracts the young teen demographic that makes up the bulk of the membership (average age, 13.8), but the core value of the business is, in short, buying stuff.