It has been nearly 2 years since Mattel first unveiled their Barbie Video Girl doll. Barbie Video Girl made quite the splash, because it was the first Barbie to come with a built in video camera along with an LCD on her chest. Nearly two years later, Mattel has introduced the Barbie Photo Fashion Doll. There is no question about it, Barbie Photo Fashion Doll has Barbie Video Girl heritage, bit it’s also a very different doll. This time around Mattel has opted to remove the video recharging feature in Barbie altogether. Instead, Barbie Photo Fashion Doll can only snap photos. Furthermore, Barbie’s LCD has been relocated from her back to her chest.
We have a theory that Mattel must have run into some privacy issues with the original Barbie Video Girl doll, and that is why they have opted to not include the video recording capability. The fact that the LCD screen is now on the front of Barbie also leans towards the fact that they are trying to make it clear that Barbie Photo Fashion doll is a more transparent toy, and that it more obviously has a camera inside.
“If you can picture it, Barbie can wear it”
When it comes to snapping photos, you’ll need to use Barbie’s belt to maneuver her built-in digital camera. The camera doesn’t only take regular snaps but it also lets kids customize photos with over 30 filters, frames, and stamps. Some of these filters are a bit like a filter you would find in Photoshop, while most of the frames and stamps are cute and Barbie themed.
The camera’s shutter actually snaps photos quite quickly. And after you’re done taking a snap, you can view your images, complete with their filters, right on Barbie’s LCD in slideshow mode. Unfortunately, the LCD is extremely low res with poor colors. And while the kids who
played with tested Barbie Photo Fashion Doll thought it was a lot of fun, they were less than impressed with Barbie’s LCD. But all in all the system is easy to navigate on Barbie, and kids should have no problems using it.
Barbie has 4MB of memory inside her which means she can hold a little over 200 shots. She also comes with a pink mini-USB cable which attaches to the back of her belt for when you want to transfer off photos on to the computer. Barbie Photo Fashion Doll is capable of snapping .3 megapixel photos, which translates to a VGA resolution of 640 x 480. That is nothing to write home about, but it is better than the original Barbie Video Girl doll’s video resolution of 420×320. Unfortunately, when we pulled photos off of Barbie via USB we only found photos which were a resolution of 128 x 128. All in all, photo quality is quite poor to say the least. But then again, this is not at all meant to be a serious camera tool. Barbie Photo Fashion software is also preloaded on Barbie. This software, which is both PC and Mac compatible offers a bit more customization for the photos that you put on Barbie’s T-Shirt.
Barbie Photo Fashion Doll is not a drastic revolution of its predecessor, but it’s still a fun and unique Barbie Doll. Also, it’s important to have clear expectations when purchasing this doll. Because this is really not a “first” digital camera for kids, but it’s a doll that is about fashion that has been inspired by photos. Barbie Photo Fashion Doll can be found for as low as $39.99 on Amazon.
The Good: Barbie is a Real Working Camera! A clever and unique barbie doll and included software is both PC & Mac compatible.
The Bad: Barbie’s built-in LCD is low res and photos are also poor and low res.