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Mattel Announces the Future of Barbie Girls™, Including its Move to Subscription in May 2008


This morning, Mattel will deliver the Keynote Address of the 2nd Annual Virtual Worlds Conference, speaking about the success of its Barbie Girls™ virtual world and announcing plans to shift the site to a subscription business model. Since its launch in April 2007, has registered 11.2 million girls worldwide and has been referred to among industry press as the “fastest growing virtual world.” During the keynote, Mattel’s Chuck Scothon, SVP and GM of the Girls Business, and Chief Barbie Girl Rosie O’Neill will share insights as to how and why the Barbie Girls™ virtual world has grown in popularity, how it fits within the overall Barbie® brand portfolio as a new type of “toy,” and Mattel’s positioning on the “rules of engagement” within the rapidly evolving playground of virtual worlds.

“Online content is the new toy and virtual worlds are the new playgrounds,” said Scothon. “While play patterns remain the same among kids, they now want to experience play in new ways. With Barbie Girls™, we deliver all their favorite elements of experiencing the Barbie brand - fashion play, creativity, socialization and friendship - in a format relevant to today’s tech-savvy girls.”

“We believe that, with online content as the new ’toy’, quality online content has a value - and to us, that value is subscription,” continued Scothon. “We are pleased to continue to give girls yet another high quality, fun experience that they’ve come to expect from the Barbie brand with the launch of the ’Barbie Girls™ V.I.P. membership next month, and we anticipate that girls will be thrilled with all the new content and exclusive experiences that a subscription will bring.”

In the keynote, Scothon and O’Neill will also unveil’s plans to bridge the “virtual” information gap between parents and kids by introducing a platform to EDUCATE and EMPOWER parents and kids about online safety, with the ultimate goal to ENGAGE parents and kids in a mutual conversation about family “rules” surrounding online play.

“After witnessing unprecedented growth in just one year, it was imperative to have Mattel share insights on what’s next in the evolving landscape of kids virtual worlds,” said Christopher Sherman, Executive Director of the Virtual Worlds Management. “More than ever, the toy industry is playing an instrumental role in developing virtual worlds and our attendees will benefit from Mattel’s thought leadership, as shared in the keynote address.”


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