Barbie Girl Device as a High-Tech Barbie Doll
The Barbie Girl devices are highly customizable. Each device can have a face plate (literally the face of the Barbie), hair, a back plate, a shirt and pants (or a dress), shoes, a purse and even a small pet. You can make her glitter with stick-on gems. There are even accessory kits with beads and bangles for decorating the headphones. The hair, face and back are relatively easy to snap on, but some of the clothes and accessories are a bit tricky, especially for small hands. The pets and purses don’t seem to sit firmly on the Barbie, so expect these to be easily lost.
The kid testers were excited about all of the different accessories, so plan on purchasing at least one accessory pack right away if it’s in your budget. I’d recommend one of the packs that includes a pet since those seemed very popular.
I would have like to have seen slightly bigger pieces for the accessories. Some of the pieces are so small that they’re difficult to add and remove. Expect a few lost shoes, shirts, pets and purses.
Barbie Girl Device as an MP3 Player
I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the device. It’s about 4 inches tall and weighs very little (2.2 ounces, according to manufacturer specs). The exterior is created entirely out of plastic and didn’t give me a lot of confidence as an MP3 player. I downloaded a couple of favorite songs through the Barbie Girl base and was pleasantly surprised. The sound quality was reasonably good. The device controls feel flimsy, but they do the trick.
The Barbie Girl device comes with some small earbud-style headphones and a couple of earbud covers in different sizes. Once again, they don’t seem to be all that high-quality, but I had no problems with them.
Downloading songs into the MP3 player is very simple. The software that comes with the device can handle it for you, but I simply dragged the files onto the temporary drive icon (under My Computer in Windows). Either way, it’s easy to do. One important note: the device does not play music in ITunes format.
Barbie Girl Device as a Key to BarbieGirls.com
The access to special features on BarbieGirls.com didn’t impress me all that much. Of course, I’m not a 10 year old girl, and the kid testers felt that it was a strong point. There are a few things that are unlocked with the device, most notable being additional virtual items (clothes, hairdos, etc). Even more things can be unlocked with accessory packs purchased separately.
Two girls who both have Barbie Girl devices can use a special type of chat on the BarbieGirls.com website. After the girls plug their device into their friend’s computer, they become “best friends” and can chat with fewer filters in place. I think it seems like a lot of work to go through to chat with someone you already know.
The Bottom Line
The Barbie Girl device makes a nice customizable MP3 player for young girls. They’ll appreciate the accessories and the extra perks on the website. I would not necessarily choose it over another available MP3 device for a similar price, but if you’ve got a big Barbie fan in the house, it might be the best choice.
Technical Specifications from Manufacturer
- 512MB on-board memory (120 MP3 songs, 240 WMA songs)
- Expandable miniSD slot that holds up to 2GB additional memory (miniSD card sold separately)
- Built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery with up to 10 hours of battery life per charge
- Rechargeable through included USB base
- Compatible with Windows XP/Vista
- Not compatible with Mac OS