Last Updated on December 23, 2019 by Danielle
Welcome to a Futuristic World of Barbie. Barbie goes high-tech with a new Holographic toy.
The next Barbie toy revealed at the New York Toy Fair 2017 was not what most would expect. Mattel unveiled the newest addition to the world of Barbie. It’s called Hello Barbie Hologram and it features Barbie as a holographic virtual character that can walk around and talk to girls. This truly is like something from the far distant future but it is here now!
Hello Barbie Hologram is an entirely new way for girls, ages 6 and older, to experience and interact with Barbie. This new version of the popular doll is powered by artificial intelligence, making it seem ‘smart’. Barbie features speech recognition tech and it essentially serves as a nightstand version for girls.
Barbie will be able to provide girls with weather reports, alarms, night lights, and even daily reminders. Essentially, Barbie is like a personal assistant for girls. It even features a Bluetooth speaker and girls will be able to choreograph Barbie’s dance moves.
Pricing information has yet to be disclosed on the new holographic Barbie toy. Barbie is slated for release in late 2017.
What has prompted Mattel to add tech features to the iconic doll? According to Mattel, that is part of their long-term vision for Barbie. Artificial intelligence (AI) is anticipated to be a major trend this year and Hello Barbie Hologram will be one of the high-profile toys incorporating this technology as a trend-setter.
Given Barbie’s history this is actually not surprising. In fact, we’ve seen a talking Hello Barbie (2015), a ‘smart’ Barbie Dreamhouse, and Barbie with a built-in camera. Hello Barbie raised some privacy concerns. Mattel is attempting to embrace technology when it makes sense for toys. You may also recall when companies were pushing app-based play into every toy imaginable, often with mixed or poor results. Mattel and others have certainly learned from this mistake.
At CES 2017, Mattel unveiled a smart baby monitor named Aristotle. Interestingly, this innovation has come at a pivotal point where Barbie’s performance has started turning around after four years of sales declines. In fact, Barbie’s sales increased by 7% to $972 million worldwide.
The Barbie brand has been rescued due to Mattel’s focus on innovation. In 2015, Mattel introduced a diverse collection of Barbies with African-American, Asian, and mixed race features. And last year in 2016, it introduced four new body types for Barbie. All of these efforts have served to make Barbie more inclusive and relevant to families and girls today.