Not sure about cable news but online Hello Barbie was a major story. Here is the quick run down of the story, Mattel wants to continue to eat off of Barbie even though sells are low. Some genius figured out Barbie should be talk back to little girls. The girls ask questions and or just have little small talk and Barbie listens and responds while keeping the conversation on a cloud device to make the conversation with that little girl personal. Not getting into the creepy stuff those at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood or The Christian Science Monitor have already touched on, I’m going with common sense. First off Mattel missed the boat on this along time ago, When Teddy Ruxpin was first introduced this talking doll should have been introduced. Back then Barbie still had a hold on little girls. It’s 2015, it’s odd seeing little girls with dolls now. Maybe dolls are still given to little girls who also have tea parties and dress up as princesses. Barbie is not important to children, she is like Tonka trucks, Hot Wheel cars, action figures and many other childish toys. Outside of Legos and Play doh, nothing really has a chance in the toy world. Toys are now the new pairs of socks of gift giving. Remember you’d get the toys you wanted and a few you were sorta into and then some socks? Well now you get the electronics and a toy for the fact the parents want you to be a kid. If Mattel was smart they would have come up with an app that costs a little money that does what Siri does but for little girls. Mattel doesn’t want that yet they do. They want that connection but also want young girls to have dolls in their hands.
The real story is how girls shouldn’t need a doll to talk to and interact with, they need people. If you’re a parent who feels worried about Hello Barbie you may want to look at your child’s life if she needs a toy to be her BFF, Mattel isn’t the problem. It’s not just parents but us as a society, with all the complaints with Hello Barbie the biggest one staring us in our faces is the one no one is speaking on. How anti social have we become that we are allowing children to have a device to talk to instead of real people or that we have a toy company thinking that a toy would be better than human interaction? Once you give Hello Barbie to your daughter you’re saying talking to real people is useless or isn’t as important and teaches your child she is too good to talk to other girls. You’re saying no longer use your imagination and think of wonderful stories to play out as all children do. Those should be the concerns, that someone is encouraging us as adults to isolate our children from the world and depend on a toy for companionship. Someone is teaching our children to deal with a device instead of people. As an adult I’m like everyone else glued to a device to communicate with people but I also remember the bonds made with friends as a child. Talking about whatever and hanging out with them doing whatever kids do. Hello Barbie can’t give anyone that. Mattel isn’t concerned about that, it does feel like a far reach to keep Barbie relevant and it’s not a good look. This is only a story because as much as people hate Barbie she is still apart of America, it’s like Hot Dogs, guns and racism. Barbie was a status symbol for parents who bought them for their daughters back in the day. It said something if you were a little girl during a certain time in America and you didn’t have Barbie or the houses and cars. Times have changed Barbie isn’t something girls want to have as a toy. The reason Hello Barbie made news is because she is toy royalty, it’s been around since 1959, there are no other toys that are still around from back then. This is just one of the new looks that may have crossed the line. Give it a few months and there will be traditional Barbie again and then a newer version adapting to what’s the new thing again.