You can create very own Barbie with a little help from the Web

November 09, 1998|By Knight Ridder/Tribune

Little girls can now take part in Barbie creator Ruth Handler's dream for just $39.99, plus shipping and handling.

Starting this week, Web users can log on to Mattel Inc.'s Barbie Web site ( and customize their own Barbie-like doll with the ethnicity, hair, eye color and outfits of their choice.

"We wanted to personalize it so that little girls will feel that it's special, that it belongs to them." said Nancie S. Martin, the director of online content for Barbie. There are roughly 15,000 different combinations of the doll, dubbed "My Design," that can be conceived, Martin said. The tailored profile, which includes the Barbie-lookalike's name, what she likes to do, her interests and the month of her birth date, makes her "one of a kind," said Martin.

For El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel, Barbie in her many incarnations is a $1.8 billion business.

Customized Barbies -- for double the price of most Barbies -- start with the traditional Barbie body. The dolls' eyes, hair and accessories are donned by hand, as with off-the-shelf models.

Inserts slipped into the front of the box will bear the doll's name and the name of the creator or owner.

Delivery takes six to eight weeks, though the company says it can't guarantee delivery by this holiday season.

Pub Date: 11/09/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.