Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker, is expanding its already large assortment of tech-enhanced toys with help from a Markham, Ontario firm. Mattel has teamed up with Patriot Computers, a direct marketer of computers, to develop and market Barbie PC and Hot Wheels PC, which will be offered for sale beginning in September through two Web sites, or over the phone. They will not be sold in stores.
The computers are packaged with a customized tower, monitor, keyboard and speakers. Barbie PC comes in silver and pink, while Hot Wheels PC comes in blue and gold. The kiddie PCs run on a 333MHz Intel Celeron processor and are equipped with 32MB of SDRAM, 3GB hard drive, 32X CD-ROM drive, 56Kbps modem, external speakers, and Windows 98. Both are priced at US$599.
The Barbie PC also comes with a Barbie Digital Camera, while Hot Wheels PC comes with a Hot Wheel Steering wheel. Both versions are preloaded with 20 software titles from The Learning Company, which Mattel acquired last year.