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Feb 17, 2010

Geek Barbie, Courtesy of You!

By Tami Deedrick

My very most favorite and most memorable toys from my childhood were Barbie dolls. I think it had something to do with my vivid imagination. I’d make up entire storylines for my lineup of Barbies (and that included a couple of Kens) that were probably worthy of a soap opera.

It was the ’70s and I had some wacky outfits for these dolls. My grandmother also made some Barbie clothes for me. These girls were fashion forward.

It used to be a change of clothes was all Barbie needed. But then Mattel, the Barbie maker, started releasing special edition Barbies. I remember the holiday ones the best. Now there are more than I can tell you—ethnic Barbies, Barbies as movie and television characters, Barbies for specific fashion designers, even Barbie as Heidi Klum. (Mattel says there are 100,000 avid Barbie collectors.)

One of the Barbie collector lines is Career Barbie and Mattel just announced her 126th career. New to the line—and the reason I’m blogging about it to this audience—is Computer Engineer Barbie.


This interests me for two reasons: first, that we now have a geek Barbie—albeit in pretty pastels—and second, that this Barbie career was the product of a social media vote. Mattel asked the public to vote via Twitter and Facebook on the new Barbie career. Her computer engineer career won the popular vote and will debut this winter. It was the first time ever that Mattel asked the world to help select Barbie’s next career.

Mattel says it worked closely with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to develop the Computer Engineer Barbie’s wardrobe and accessories. She’s wearing a binary code patterned T-shirt and carries a smart phone with Bluetooth and a laptop bag.

Now, if I were a kid again, would Computer Engineer Barbie make me want to get involved in a tech career like Mattel says is part of its goal? I’m not sure. But it’s possible that this Barbie is the ultimate geeky girl toy, and she can be had for only $12.99. 

Long live social media and Computer Engineer Barbie!





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