If you’re a school-age female who is breezing through your math lessons, the folks at the Lands’ End catalog would like to remind you that your lack of a Y chromosome apparently means you should be struggling to keep up in the class. [More]
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says products that were already recalled from Meijer stores where they were sold exclusively were then sold at discount retailers, dollar stores, liquidation forms, flea markets and thrift stores around the country. Yikes. [More]
While toy makers around the world are hoping they’ll be considered among the best toys of the year, the folks at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood are calling out a handful of toys as nominees in their worst-of 2011 contest. [More]
Mattel and MGA Entertainment have long been locked up in a bitter court battle over the Bratz line of urban-themed dolls. In the latest swing of the pendulum, a federal judge ordered Mattel to pay $310 million in damages and various fees. [More]
Last week, Ken broke up with Barbie after finding out some of the paper in her packaging comes from a Singapore company, Asian Pulp & Paper (APP), they accuse of clearcutting rain forests and destroying endangered tiger habitats. In the animated video put out by Greenpeace, he shrieks after seeing video of Barbie chainsawing the forest and laughing like a mad woman, and shouts, “It’s over!” before punching the camera. Later, activists rappelled down the side of Mattel’s headquarters to unfurl a banner announcing the breakup, and Barbie herself showed up in her bright pink “Dream Dozer” before the cops arrested her. Now in response to the campaign, Mattel announced they’re cutting APP out of their supply chain. [More]
The FBI is downplaying a leaked internal memo that reminded field agents that “Barbie Video Girl”, which has a video camera embedded in her necklace, could be used by pervs to produce child pornography. [More]
Before allowing your kids to play with toys relatives give them during the holidays, it’s a good idea to make sure they aren’t known death traps. The Better Business Bureau sent in some suggestions on how to make sure your toys haven’t been recalled, and what to if you find out they have been summoned to toy hell. [More]
Apparently aiming to become the Toyota of the kiddie products industry, Fisher-Price has issued four different recalls today, covering dozens of products and millions of units. So if you have a young kid, you’ll probably want to at least scan the list. [More]
Yesterday we talked about Bratz, so it’s only fair that we give Barbie some space today. Especially this Barbie, the Video Girl Doll. While this piece of plastic looks like any other Barbie doll, it harbors a secret: a hidden camera in a pendant around her neck, which can record up to 30 minutes of video.
Mattel gushes over the spy-doll:
Budding filmmakers, take note: BarbieÂ® doll now doubles as a video camera! Girls can record and play back clips with this multi-tasking doll, which has a video camera built right in. Capture everything from a doll’s-eye-view, then watch it instantly or upload to your computer. There’s an LCD screen on BarbieÂ® doll’s back, and a camera lens hidden discreetly in her necklace. Talk about making movies in style!
After a 2008 court ruling found that the creator of the Bratz line of dolls had stolen the idea from Mattel (or rather, from himself, when he was working for Mattel), all Bratz products were supposed to be destroyed, and Mattel had the right to take over the brand and do whatever it wanted with it. A judge put the mass annihilation on hold, and today an appeals court overturned the initial ruling, meaning your local toy store may soon be carrying the next generation of the once-popular dolls. [More]
Have you always wanted to use an Internet-enabled collar and a Twitter feed to keep up with what your dog is up to when you’re out of view? Me either, but Mattel thinks that there might be a market for this sort of thing, and will bring Puppy Tweets to market this summer. [More]
Over the last five decades, the vaguely human-shaped fashion doll Barbie has had a lot of careers. Barbie’s jobs have changed over time along with perceptions of what the little girls who played with her could grow up to become. She was a nurse in 1961, then a surgeon in 1973. She was a student teacher in 1965, and President of the United States and a Starfleet officer in 2000. Now, Mattel is hopping on the geek chick bandwagon with Computer Engineer Barbie. [More]
Mattel’s new “beautronics” device aimed at tween girls, the Barbie Nail Printer, is a glorified inkjet printer that customizes and prints designs on your fingernails. Neat idea in theory, though a bit pricey at $180. However, Mattel has apparently overlooked an essential part of the inkjet printer business model: selling new and overpriced cartridges. The problem, reader Richard writes, is that the company refuses to take orders for new cartridges, saying that they won’t be available until next year. But I want pink leopard print fingernails now! [More]
Shopping for toys at Target, Anthony noticed an interesting change in a small, inexpensive doll that his daughter enjoys. The princesses have been affected by a toy shrink ray–the dolls are smaller, the mold used to make them is different, and they come with fewer accessories–for the same price, naturally. [More]
This holiday season’s inexplicably hot toy, Zhu Zhu Pets, may be hazardous to your health. And not just because many parents stood outside in the cold for hours to get one. No, according to green ratings guide GoodGuide.com, the cuddly robot toys contain high levels of the substance antimony, which could be hazardous. [More]
Playing “Madoff investors” just got a little easier thanks to Mattel’s “Palm Beach Sugar Daddy” Ken doll, which will be released in April of 2010.