Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Earlier today, we wondered why the communications people over at Mattel hadn’t answered any questions about a book starring Barbie as a computer engineer. Barbie’s “engineering” job consisted of designing puppies while having male colleagues code the game and reboot her computer. This isn’t just sexist, but an inaccurate representation of what computer engineers do. Good news: Steven and Brian managed to get the virus off PR Barbie’s computer, and the book’s author has spoken up as well. UPDATE: Amazon also appears to have pulled the e-book version of this title. [More]

Barbie is stymied by this email thing.

We Guess Public Relations Barbie Can’t Use Email Any Better Than Computer Engineer Barbie

Yesterday we found out that Computer Engineer Barbie has no idea what computer engineering is, and can’t write code for a game she’s designing without men to do it for her, much less email or reboot her computer successfully. We reached out to Mattel’s media relations team to comment on the book all about Barbie’s brush with a computer virus and subsequent saving by her guy friends, but it would seem the PR team also has trouble using email. Better ask Steven and Brian for help. UPDATE: PR Barbie convinced the guys to boot up her computer, and responded to critics of this book. [More]

Computer Engineer Barbie Needs Men To Write Code, Can’t Reboot Computer

Computer Engineer Barbie Needs Men To Write Code, Can’t Reboot Computer

UPDATE: The real update is there has yet to be an update. We — and others — haven’t heard back from Mattel yet, despite increasing negative reviews of the book. SECOND UPDATE: Mattel has responded to the book’s critics. [More]

WTF or something else?

Is This Talking Barbie Saying “What The F**k?!”?

As one who has not played with Barbies in any serious kind of way for at least 20 years, I’m sure there are plenty of modern dolls doing all kinds of things I never dreamed of as a kid. And while yes, I would’ve liked a doll that trills out “what the f**k?!?” when my brothers would try to pull her head off, one mom of a young girl says she’s not too pleased that her daughter’s talking Barbie appears to have a potty mouth on her. [More]

Girl Scouts And Mattel Team Up For Barbie-Branded Activity And Patch

Girl Scouts And Mattel Team Up For Barbie-Branded Activity And Patch

The Girl Scouts: they stand for wholesome, educational, and fun childhood activities. Right? Generally, yes, and even without coating every visible surface with pink sparkles. A new set of Barbie-themed activities and patch for the Daisy and Brownie levels (kindergarten through third grade) has horrified some critics, who think that the toy-maker’s influence is bad for girls’ self-image. [More]

Mattel Strikes Mega $460 Million Deal To Buy Mega Bloks Manufacturer

Mattel Strikes Mega $460 Million Deal To Buy Mega Bloks Manufacturer

Could construction be underway for a new Barbie dream house? Mattel certainly has the building Bloks on hand after announcing plans to takeover a Canadian toy maker. [More]

All these are worth less than a popular messaging app.

27 Major Companies That Are Worth Less Than WhatsApp

Just how big of a deal is the $19 billion WhatsApp is getting from Facebook in the acquisition announced yesterday? It’s a pretty freaking big deal — especially when you consider that there are a whole lot of major companies –including many that produce physical goods you can reach out and touch — that have been around longer than WhatsApp and are worth a lot less. [More]

This will go over well...

Sports Illustrated To Feature Actual Barbie Doll On Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated will have a difficult time living down accusations that the models featured in its annual Swimsuit Issue are too plastic, after it was announced today that the magazine will include photos of an honest-to-goodness Barbie doll. [More]

What Is It About Elmo That Makes Him The Reigning King Of Holiday Toys?

What Is It About Elmo That Makes Him The Reigning King Of Holiday Toys?

Whether you want to hug him or not or buy him for any of the children in your life, Elmo has been the reigning king of holiday toys for nigh on 20 years. But what is it about the fuzzy red Sesame Street monster that keeps him so popular? And why does he like being tickled so much? [More]

Everyone Knows You Need All Of The Pieces To Make A Voltron… Except Mattel

Everyone Knows You Need All Of The Pieces To Make A Voltron… Except Mattel

Sure, Salem had a happy childhood in Dubai. But it lacked one crucial thing: a toy Voltron. He eventually moved to the United States for a decade, enjoying all that New York City has to offer: career opportunities, a variety of cultural experiences, and the ability to order special-edition Voltron subscriptions from Mattel that aren’t sold overseas. You know, important things. He subscribed to a five-toy collector’s series comprised of five lions that join to form a Voltron. He moved, and the blue lion (Voltron’s right leg) shipped to his old address in error. Mattel is happy to refund his money, but won’t send a replacement blue lion. It’s not about the money. The blue lion is sold out. [More]

Mattel Writes Back To Hot Wheels-Loving Little Girl, Sends Her Free Car Coupon

Mattel Writes Back To Hot Wheels-Loving Little Girl, Sends Her Free Car Coupon

Rick’s daughter had a question about her toys. She wanted to know why some Hot Wheels cars have drivers, and why some don’t. Instead of just making up an answer or saying that he didn’t know, he sent a quick e-mail to Hot Wheels maker Mattel. They sent her back what was probably a form e-mail, but still surprised and delighted Rick. There was another surprise, too. [More]

Ken Dumps Barbie After Learning She's Into Deforestation

Ken Dumps Barbie After Learning She's Into Deforestation

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]

FBI Warns Video Camera Barbie Could Be Used For Kiddie Porn

FBI Warns Video Camera Barbie Could Be Used For Kiddie Porn

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]

"Mad Men" Barbie Dolls Launch

"Mad Men" Barbie Dolls Launch

The cast of Mad Men just got Barbie Dollized. For only $74.95 a pop, you can have just as much fun toying with Don, Betty, Roger and Joan as they have toying with each other. Sorry, only G-rated accessories; they will not come with any cigarettes or martini glasses. However, fans will be glad to know that just like in the show, the characters will be trapped inside plastic coffins and their movements determined by powerful external forces. [More]

Does Geek Barbie Have Smaller Boobs?

Does Geek Barbie Have Smaller Boobs?

Does the new computer savvy Barbie have tinier tatas than her predecessors? Reader jgodsey says she noticed a discrepancy in this side-by-side profile on TV. Or is it just the angle and the bodice? Here’s Geek Barbie from another angle along with another Barbie friend so we can settle this argument. [More]

Disney Princess Shrink Ray Hits Mattel Dolls

Disney Princess Shrink Ray Hits Mattel Dolls

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]

Mattel To Release "Palm Beach Sugar Daddy" Ken Doll. Yes, Really.

Mattel To Release "Palm Beach Sugar Daddy" Ken Doll. Yes, Really.

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.

Mattel, Primary Reason For Toy Safety Law, Gets Exempted From It

Mattel, Primary Reason For Toy Safety Law, Gets Exempted From It

When the CPSIA—the toy safety law that requires independent lab tests on toys—was passed, a lot of smaller toy manufacturers complained that it was really a dirty trick by the big toy companies to increase overhead for the small ones. Now comes word that the government has secretly exempted Mattel from the law’s testing requirements—even though Mattel was responsible for 6 lead-tainted toy recalls in 2007.