Mattel launches new Barbie world

Mattel is launching an ambitious new Barbie brand extension featuring online content and a handheld portable device.
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Launching globally this week, Barbie Girls first comes to life via www.BarbieGirls.com, which Mattel is pitching as the world’s first global online community designed exclusively for girls. At BarbieGirls.com, girls can create their own virtual character, design their own room, shop at the mall, play games, hang out and chat live with other girls. In July, Barbie Girls will take shape in the real world with a handheld portable device that can be used as a music player while also unlocking new content within BarbieGirls.com.

"The Barbie Girls experience is like no other because girls are in control at every level,” said Chuck Scothon, general manager and senior vice president, Girls, Mattel Brands. "We set out to create a platform that was truly revolutionary to transform how girls interact with music, fashion and the online world. Barbie Girls is the result of listening to what girls want, researching how they play and fusing it with the right technology to deliver a completely new experience."

When a girl registers on the BarbieGirls.com site, she can create a personalised virtual character, design her own room, shop with B Bucks (virtual money) that she earns, play games, watch videos and have real-time chats with other girls. Girls can create their own virtual characters by choosing from character combinations of fashions and accessories, as well as stylish faces, expressions and hairstyles. Personalisation also extends to each girl’s room with combinations of room colors, floors, backgrounds and furniture are offered to suit girls’ varied design styles. Customisation is limitless and profiles can be changed at every log-in. Girls can then chat live with other registered girls on the site.

In July Mattel will launch the second phase of Barbie Girls, the Barbie Girl device – a techy, doll-inspired MP3 player with a range of customisable fashions and accessories, delivering the next generation of fashion doll play. The Barbie Girl device gives girls a way to experience music and fashion in a new medium, while also acting as a “key” to unlock additional new pets, games, hangout spots, fashions, furniture and more on BarbieGirls.com.

The device will be available for an average retail price of £49.99. A belt clip, adjustable-sized earbuds and durable storage case are included. Accessory Packs are sold separately for £9.99 and include various fashions, accessories and pets, as well as additional, exclusive content that comes to life online.

"Girls today move seamlessly from screens – computers, television and video games – to real-life group and individual play, and then back again at any given moment," Scothon said.

"Barbie Girls merges these different parts of a girl’s world together for the first time, giving girls everywhere a hybrid play experience in both real and virtual worlds."

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