The latest innovation in Barbie might please geeky parents just as much as kids. Last weekend at the New York Toy Fair, Mattel unveiled Hello Barbie Hologram, a more lively—if less tactile—version of 2015’s Hello Barbie doll.
Like an Amazon Echo that smiles, holo Barbie hangs out in her box and cheerfully answers questions … or dances on command to the music of your choice. With input from a mobile app, she can remember birthdays and her location (to provide the weather report), and even remind kids to brush their teeth.
Mattel hasn’t yet confirmed how vast the hologram’s repertoire of tricks will be, but it did say she’d be able to take reminders.
To change Barbie’s look, just say “Hello Barbie, change my Barbie,” and a different character will appear in the original’s place. These will vary by ethnicity, skin tone and body type, bringing to vivid life the dream we all had as kids—owning a custom Jiminy Cricket. (Unless you want a boy. Only female characters are available at this time, which is sad, because who doesn’t want a sweet-talking man-doll trapped in a box?)
Hello Barbie Hologram will likely roll out this fall. The price point has yet to be defined, but for parents balking at the wallet-hurt in advance, consider that the box also works as a Bluetooth speaker.
Maybe Barbie can read us The New York Times every morning. How the world has changed since Mom brought a Barbie styling head home!