the first global virtual world designed for girls, celebrates 4 million registered users, making it the fastest growing virtual world online

    Highly Anticipated Barbie Girl(TM) Device Arrives in Stores This Week,
    Allowing Fans to Discover Even More Online Features
    and Experience Summer's Hottest Tech Toy

    TORONTO, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Within just three months of its launch, ( has become the fastest growing virtual
world, touting 4 million registered users to-date and growing by an average of
45,000 girls per day. Canadian girls now have access to the same features and
content at This week, looks to build on this
unprecedented growth with the highly anticipated debut of the Barbie Girl(TM)
device. Rolling into stores now, with a suggested retail price of $74.99
(CAN), the multi-functional Barbie Girl(TM) device will be one of the most
exciting tech gadgets introduced for girls this year, functioning as a
portable music/MP3 player, next generation fashion doll and a "key" to unlock
trillions of exclusive play features and trillions of character and room
combinations on the popular website. The portable,
doll-inspired Barbie Girl(TM) device connects to a girl's computer via a
USB-enabled docking station and allows girls on to adopt pets,
such as a puppy, bunny or monkey; enter exclusive hangout spots within the
world; "buy" or "gift" special fashions, including everything from a tiara to
a cowboy hat; and decorate their rooms with girl-favourites such as an
aquarium, tiki hut, and even a juke box that plays music.
    In addition to unlocking trillions times more play on (on
top of what is already a robust play experience for non-Barbie Girl(TM) Device
owners), the sleek, handheld 4 1/2-inch Barbie Girl(TM) device is a music
player for MP3 and WMA-file songs. Not only a music player but also the next
generation of fashion doll play, the Barbie Girl(TM) device features a range
of snap-on, mix-n-match fashions and accessories, so girls can customize and
style out their Barbie Girl(TM) device, while also making a fashion statement
of their own with clip-on earrings and beads for the device's earphones.
    "Barbie continues to lead and evolve as the way girls play evolves, and
Barbie Girls has proven to directly deliver against what today's girl wants,
combining the perfect trio of fashion, music and an online virtual world,"
said Chuck Scothon, general manager and senior vice president, Girls, Mattel
Brands. "We are thrilled to be the first global, virtual online world designed
exclusively for girls and offer girls an unparalleled online/offline hybrid
play experience."

    Barbie Girls(TM) - "Biggest Bit of News in the Online World..."

    In late April, the beta version of launched globally,
providing girls with "virtually" everything they could want online, including
giving girls the opportunity to create a highly personalized avatar and "move"
it throughout the Barbie Girls(TM) world, design their own rooms, shop with B
Bucks (virtual currency) that girls can also earn, play games, watch videos
and have real-time chats with other girls online. With 4 million users
registered to-date, the site has been a runaway success in its beta phase and
is scheduled to come out of beta in late August, receiving notice by industry
    "The biggest bit of news in the online world industry didn't come from E3
in Los the first 60 days of its existence, the new online virtual
world Barbie Girls has signed up three million members, and they're adding new
ones at the rate of 50,000 a day," said Wagner James Au, GigaOM. "This is
staggering growth by any standard, but even more so because Mattel's MMO is
still in Beta."

    In addition to being a favourite among girls, moms alike will endorse, as it is designed to be a safe place for girls to play and
interact online. The site features a four-pronged safety approach:

    1.  Chatting on prevents the exchange of personal
        information between users who do not know each other in real life,
        and prevents inappropriate, hurtful or offensive language.

    2.  Easy-to-use safety features give a girl the ability to lock or open
        her room to other characters, the ability to block users and prevent
        them from contacting her on the site, and the ability to report other
        users for inappropriate behaviour.

    3.  Robust moderation tools provide administrators with
        the ability to monitor chat that occurs in the environment, track and
        monitor reported users, and ban users who attempt objectionable

    4.  Finally, later this summer, parental controls will be implemented,
        which will require parental permission via e-mail for girls to
        register on Additional parental permission will be
        required to access certain chat functionality.

    Parents are also encouraged to spend time online with their children to
monitor their online use, and "Valuable Tips for Girls" and a "Message To
Parents" are featured on the site.
    On August 13, Barbie Girls websites will go live in five additional
languages including:

    French: (France)
    Spanish: (Latin America)
    Italian: (Italy)
    German: (Germany)
    Portuguese: (Brazil)

    Barbie Girl(TM) Device - Tech Specs and Availability

    The Barbie Girl(TM) device has 512 MB of on-board memory to hold up to
120 MP3 or 240 WMA-file songs, and it has an expandable miniSD slot that holds
a memory card up to 2 GB (available at retailers nationwide). The Barbie
Girl(TM) device is available beginning now for a suggested retail price of
$74.99 (CAN) at major retailers across Canada. It can play any
non-DRM-encrypted MP3 or WMA files, comes with Windows(R) Media Player 11 and
has a built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery that charges via the USB
port. Recommended system requirements include: broadband Internet connection;
Windows XP or Windows Vista(TM); DirectX 9.0 or above; Pentium(R) III 800 MHz
or above (or equivalent processor); 512 MB RAM; 200 MB free hard drive space;
Internet Explorer 6.0 or later with SP1 and Macromedia Flash Plug In; CD-ROM
drive and a USB 2.0 Port.
    A belt clip, adjustable-sized earbuds and durable storage case are
included with the Barbie Girl(TM) device. Accessory packs are sold separately
for $9.99 (CAN) and include various fashions, accessories and pets, as well as
additional, exclusive content that comes to life online.

    About Mattel

    Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:   MAT, is the worldwide leader in the
design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel
family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(R), the most popular
fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R),
Radica:(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(R) brands, including
Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired
toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy U.S.
Companies by Forbes Magazine and is ranked among the 100 Best Corporate
Citizens by CRO Magazine. Committed to ethical manufacturing practices, Mattel
marks a 10-year milestone in 2007 for its ever-evolving Global Manufacturing
Principles and focus on sustainable business practices. With global
headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in
43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations.
Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands -- today and tomorrow.

For further information:

For further information: Felicia Yukich, (416) 486-7224,

Organization Profile

Mattel Canada, Inc.

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