Hot Wheels are always fun. This year the big track of the season is the relaunch of a classic…the Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash Track (Mattel). This closed, clover leaf track is an opportunity to crash your favorite Hot Wheels. Watch our video from Toy Fair. Now if you’re really old school, you’ll remember that the fun of Hot Wheels was making your track as long as possible…down the staircase was always the best. There were a few loops – but making your own system was the point. Closed tracks are a novelty – since there isn’t much to do besides watch the cars go. This track is a little better in this department since you are always feeding the system with new cars. Stay tuned. We’ll have a complete review at www.toyportfolio.com once we receive a set
Last year we’d have to say that Mattel’s Matchbox Rocky pretty much ran over Hasbro’s Tonka’s Talkin’ Chuck. Rocky just did so much more. (Watch the video of these two head to head.) This year we’ll have to see how the new Tonka Rumblin’ Chuck- who promises to do many more tricks (including moving side to side as if he’s ready to line dance)…will compare to the farting Stinky Garbage Truck from Mattel. We’ll be interested to test both of these interactive trucks when they arrive..for now you can check out their prototypes from Toy Fair. Click here to watch Rumblin’ Chuck.
Here’s Stinky…to watch him in action, click here to view our video.
When they first brought us around the corner at the Mattel showroom to look at Barbie Video Camera, I looked around thinking perhaps we were being punked. No, it’s real. Barbie is a Video Camera.
Barbie’s video camera is in her chest. Maybe this was inspired by Ironman?
Now you don’t have to be a teenage boy to see the humor of this placement. While we had just been taken through all of Barbie’s careers-it seemed to be balanced by the location of this camera. While we tell men to look at a woman’s eyes, not her chest…here you really do want to look at the chest to get the best video.
Barbie has a LCD screen in her back and will plug into both PCs and MACs. I do think watching the world from Barbie’s point of view could be fun and kids will probably enjoy the $50 video camera interacting with their other dolls. I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall when they came up with this one and the Glitterizer. It does almost seem as if it’s an episode of Seinfeld…where one of them would suggest an outrageous idea – and some unsuspecting executive would say “yes!!”
Happily there are more multi-cultural choices in the world of Barbie. I have a sense that the Barbie Basic line is more for adult collectors (all shown in a little black dress) than for kids…but there are a whole range of dolls available in this line. The dolls were part of a fun ebay auction when real designers came up with their own version’s of LBD for Barbie.
Here’s another grouping…
One of favorite collections from last year, So In Style Barbie, is also continuing. Created by Mattel designer, Stacey McBride, these dolls celebrate our diversity by featuring dolls of color. You can see Ms. McBride talk about the series on this video. I love that she also made mentoring part of the line. The first sets all included a big doll and a little doll (big sister/little sister). Bravo to Ms. McBride! Below, some of this year’s new collection. I’ve been trying to interview Ms. McBride about the collection–I hope we get a chance to talk soon.
Now before we get carried away with all of Barbie’s professional aspirations, you have to take a look at this toy, it’s called the Barbie Glitterizer. You place decals on your Barbie…they have a sticky surface that attracts the glitter. Place your Barbie in the chamber and glitterize. Don’t you wonder what the aha moment was for this product…did someone dream of Barbie in a phone booth, she had just come from the craft store, there was an opened bag of glitter…there was a gust of wind.
In any case, this is one of the funniest Barbie activity kits ever. Watch the video.
I really love that the big push for Barbie this year has been her professions over the years. Yes, I think they could have used the word pediatrician instead of kid doctor and veterinarian instead of pet doctor…but in general we’ve always been big fans of Barbie when she’s not just stylish but using her brains!
So this year Barbie had a contest- for fans to pick her 125th profession. The winner:
Anchorwoman Barbie. Love it. I just thought it was funny that they put her in a similar pink (Chanel inspired) jacket as Nicole Kidman’s character in Time to Kill-where she aspires to be a tv anchorwoman. Both are sporting bangs. Take a look.
There was apparently a HUGE push on-line to make the profession Computer Engineer…so being the smart marketers that they are…the 126th profession (coming out this year as well) is Computer Engineer Barbie. Love her glasses!
Barbie in Mermaid Tale brings back some oldie but goodie technology…water temperature induced changes.
Here, Barbie begins just as your ordinary Barbie around the pool–in her little hoodie cover up. Ever so short and Barbie-esque. But here, as if on a makeover segment on the Today Show, we see that the hoodie is so much more than a hoodie. It transforms Barbie into a mermaid. No joke.
Take a look:
I got boxes of Barbies today–celebrating Barbie’s occupations throughout the years–as well as her new jobs (more on that later). When I got to 1965′s Student Teacher Barbie I was struck how much she looked like Debbie Mazar (Entourage).
Seriously, take a closer look.
Simple, chic & elegant…just right for the new year.