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Mattel’s New Barbie is Listening to You

Hello Barbie is a data-collecting monster.

The most outrageous thing about Mattel’s new Hello Barbie—besides the $74.99 price tag and the Eurocentric beauty standards it represents—is that the doll won’t just “listen” to your children—it will also record conversations and pass them along to ToyTalk, the company that builds the voice recognition software inside the doll. Hello Barbie is equipped with a microphone and Wifi connectivity, allowing it to save and archive information it gathers from exchanges it has with your children.

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Queens Of Africa Dolls Outsell Barbie In Nigeria

The homegrown toys gave young African kids characters that look like them. Unsurprisingly, they became extremely popular.

Image via Queens of Africa.

When Taofick Okoya’s daughter told him that she wished she was white, the Nigerian entrepreneur decided to help her fall in love with her natural black beauty. Sensing that her fair-skin worship was due to all of her favorite storybook, cartoon, and toy characters being white, Okoya began to imagine a world where Nigerian girls played with and looked up to black characters.

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Barbie Gets Crucified in Germany

Would you want to visit the Barbie Dreamhouse or are you glad people are out protesting?


In Berlin, it's hard to miss the massive pink structure that has sprouted up seemingly over night in the middle of town. Emblazoned with the words Barbie, The Dreamhouse Experience, it is a 50,000 square foot replica of the plastic doll's Malibu mansion. Inside, visitors can see over 350 Barbies, try on the petite doll's outfits using a "digital mirror,"and virtually bake cupcakes in a the Dreamhouse kitchen. Fans of the toy can live out this slice of domesticity through August 25.

But some people, namely the "sexstremists" in FEMEN, are not happy about the pink playhouse, arguing that Barbie is a symbol of repression and sends the wrong message to young girls about what their role in society should be. During the opening of the "experience" yesterday, topless women and men in drag took over the entryway carrying signs that read, "I will free you from the horror house" and "Stop Sexism." One woman, with "Life in plastic is not fantastic" scrawled across her stomach, stood in the massive high heel water fountain and burned a Barbie tied to a crucifix. According to the feminist group:

Ritual Barbie'cue with fried meat of the plastic idol was made to demonstrate the true meaning of the history of commercial monster Mattel. They have turned a piece of plastic into a god for millions of girls from all over the world who now seek only to imitate plastic shapes and stupidity and absurdity of conduct. The nazi ideology of Mattel purposefully creates the image of a female doll dictating not only the appearance of new generations, and that the worst social role of reckless beauty finding a reason to exist in the continuous care of their appearance and the house. FEMEN urges mercilessly burn the idols! A woman is not a Barbie! A woman is a revolution!

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