New Barbie Girls sashay into view with MP-3

Updated: 2007-04-27 16:21

Mattel's new Barbie Girls MP3 player is displayed in New York April 26, 2007. [Reuters] 


But more importantly, Rice added: "I think parents are going to like the safe online portal."

To ensure girls' safety in public chats, Mattel devised a limited vocabulary of 2,000 words the girls can use on the site, designed to prevent use of sexual language, profanity or hurtful words such as "stupid" or "hate."

Filters also prevent users from giving out personal information including names, phone numbers or even the cities where they live. Only in private chats with a "best friend" can a girl divulge personal information.

Mattel said it ensures users are best friends by requiring one of them to physically connect their Barbie Girls MP3 player to a friend's computer.

Each element of Barbie Girls -- from safety to music -- is designed to help Barbie win back market share from the brash Bratz line, said independent toy industry consultant Christopher Byrne.

"After the implosion of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears," said Byrne, "Barbie seems like this wholesome, wonderful thing now. Bratz really got a lot of momentum from tying into those people."


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