In 1993, American Girl set out to introduce its first black character. All she had to do was represent the entire history of black America. [more inside]
America’s biggest toy company is changing the most famous body in the world. Classic, curvy, tall and petite; 7 skin tones; 22 eye colours; 24 hairstyles; 8 hair colours: meet the new Barbie Fashionistas.
The princess business disappears on Jan. 1, when Disney packs up its glass slippers and takes them to Mattel’s biggest rival, Hasbro.
Barbiephonic, an audio experiment from mhoye
Of the six attempts [to listen to the whole file] I’m aware of, four were called off when the death threats started, one due to the near-breakup of the couple making the attempt, and one person drinking themselves to unconsciousness at about the 90 minute mark. I’m not saying that to make a joke. I’m telling you because this is real and it’s an SCP-grade psychic biohazard. No highly esteemed deed was committed here; this is not a place of honour.[more inside]
DC is partnering with Mattel, Lego, Random House and others to launch DC Super Hero Girls universe for girls. Here's seven things CBR hopes they can acheive.
Collectors Weekly, a resource for vintage and antique collectors, examines the gender politics of the Easy-Bake Oven, the toy industry’s gender divide, and why ordinary things go pink. (Don't miss the Dumbest Products Made 'For Her' slideshow at the bottom of the "pink" article.)
Almost 30 years after original sale, some 80's toys are sought after for their less than pleasant odour. If you can get hold of one today, you'll discover that the He-Man villains Stinkor and Moss Man still cling to their particular [pungent] aroma. [more inside]
"You might remember artist Nickolay Lamm for his work removing doll's makeup to show that they looked just as lovely without that extra layer. Now, as promised, he's created a "normal"-sized Barbie, made to show us more realistic proportions of American women." (also via)
Christmas and Toy Catalogs: 1942-1992 (Warning: heinousness inside). But wait, there's more vintage Christmas advertising.
They'er ugly! They're weird! They're tiny! They're terrible! And they're pink! They're Kinkeshi, er MUSCLE Things!
"As a child, there was nothing to me more fantastic than than the M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. I don't know if it's just my love for the weird, or the fact that I like pro-wrestling that makes it so special to me, but there's something about a guy from outer space with a fin on his head who would fight against a walking, talking urinal. That's right, a urinal." In the US, they were known as Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, or M.U.S.C.L.E., but they were basically bendable plastic duplicates of Kinkeshi, a line of collectable erasers from Japan. More than peachy-salmon colored minifigs, they were based on the world of Kinnikuman, which started as manga in 1979, then an anime series, and more, and more, and more... [more inside]
Dora Grows Up. Nickelodeon and Mattel have introduced a whole new look for beloved cartoon Dora the Explorer. But the new look has people asking, Is Dora too sexy? Nick and Mattel try to smooth things over.
While US sales declined steadily in recent years, worldwide Barbie sales have been on the rise. So what better way to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday and increase worldwide sales than by giving her her very own flagship store in Shanghai [Flash, sound]. [more inside]
The Mattel toy company insists that their Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls do not utter the phrase "Islam is the light." You be the judge.
Toymakers Hasbro and Mattel claim that the popular online game Scrabulous (available on Facebook) infringes on the trademark for the board game Scrabble. They have not yet filed suit, but have asked Facebook to desist in its alleged infringement. Scrabulous is one of the top ten plug-ins on the site, developed by brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla in Calcutta, India. "There has been speculation that the challenge to Scrabulous had been launched as Hasbro and Mattel prepare their own online version of Scrabble." Electronic Arts holds the license to the electronic rights to Scrabble. Facebook users are rallying to save the game. [more inside]
Barbie Recalled. Mattel recalled one of their Barbie products today, a sweet little toy to teach kids responsibility called Barbie and Tanner. But watching that commercial closely one must wonder, if those magnets are coming out of Tanner so easily, surely they won't stay in your kid. Perhaps the design flaw had nothing to do with magnets but rather such an ill-conceived product. So, after Tanner poops out the magnet, you do what with it?
"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file)
"If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong. ... The parties are advised to chill." (PDF file) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is at it again. Aqua's hit song "Barbie Girl" is judged not to be a violation of Mattel's trademark, but to be a parody protected by free speech. And all laboured judgely joshing aside, the decision offers a nice summary of trademark law. Get a plain HTML news story from CNN here. (The chorus is running through your brain now, right? And it's going to be there all day, too. *snicker*)
Barbie creator, Mattel founder Handler dies More than one billion Barbies have been sold in 150 countries and has inspired love from girls everywhere and pure hatred from feminists everywhere. "The impossibly well-endowed doll -- her original figure would be about 39-18-33 if she were human -- has infuriated feminists, inspired artists and intrigued academics around the world. Barbie even was placed in the official "America's Time Capsule" buried in 1976." Can you think of any other toy who has brought about as much ferver as Barbie???
Barbie's Hot! Though they claim they have no interest in mass production, I can say right now that I'd buy this Barbie. Woo!
When Barbie meets ballet...? Mattel are shelling out £85,000 to sponsor the ENO's traditional Christmas run of the Nutcracker, which coincidentally starts just as Barbie in the Nutcracker hits the cinemas. A good way to "interest young girls in the ballet", or a head-on crash between two questionable influences on their body image? (more inside...)
Ken, of Barbie and Ken has turned 40. To mark the occasion, Mattel is releasing a hot, young, 20 year old secretary, that Ken is having an affair with, and a Porsche 911. (to complete the whole midlife crisis thing you see.)
A triumph for art and free speech over commercialism. Or something like that. A photographer can't be prevented (by Mattel) from shooting pornographically posed Barbie dolls and selling the pictures as post cards. I wonder what they looked like. Hey, hot mama! (Courtesy of Firing Squad)
Buy your kid a new doll you cheap bastards! - Apparently barbie dolls and other plastic toys made in the 1950's have recently been found to secrete a sticky chemical film that could cause developmental problems in children.
This is just sick and wrong. Convention Barbie? Do you really want to support a party with lame merchandising tie-ins like this? Sidenote: does this make Bush pro-Mattel and anti-Matt L?
The original programmer of the Broderbund/Mattel "spyware" explains that it's actually NOT spyware. This topic was originally discussed on MeFi in this thread.
What in the hell is it going to take? Broderbund/Mattel puts spyware in kids reading programs... [/.]
Another victim falls to the tyranny of Mattel. What's really strange about this is that, to my knowledge, Barbie is a name. If someone names their kid Barbie, will they too receive a C&D from Mattel? Hmm...
Well, if you want to read the C&D its here.
Well, if you want to read the C&D its here.
The good guys can win, but it's not cheap. If Clue.com can beat Hasbro, surely Mattl has a case against Mattel. As if we didn't already know that.
Unbelievable news nugget of the day: my friend Matt Lavallee has been slapped with a cease-and-desist order from the Mattel Toy Corporation for his personal domain, mattl.com. I guess no one with a name that sounds like a misspelled company is allowed to buy domains from now on? Something needs to be done, corporations do not own the web.
Cyber Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar < I made my political point and just don't want further annoyance... ...Mattel initiated legal action in e-mail subpoenas in mid-March and Skala and Jansson removed cphack from their sites, but not before urging computer activists to copy and distribute it.... ...Nevertheless, some mirror site operators think open source software protections make the issue moot. The court cannot impose an Internet ban because cphack was released under the GNU General Public License... > perhaps you've seen this--the final decision will be interesting with repect to free speech and the GNU GPL. something to watch anyhow.