Barbie PC makes computing kids' stuff

There's even a Hot Wheels PC for all you butch boy racers

All you action men get ready out there, toy maker Mattel is launching the Barbie PC. The customised machines, manufactured by Canadian-based Patriot Computers, will also include a Hot Wheels PC for the boys. The silver Barbie PC comes with pink flower mouse, floral monitor and speakers. The Hot Wheels version is blue and gold with the custom car flame logo and has a steering wheel accessory. Priced at $599, the computers are aimed at the niche, low-cost children’s market. Printers will also be available. The PCs will have a 333MHz Celeron chip, 15in monitor, 56Kbps modem and Windows 98. The Barbie bundle will also include a digital camera. Software such as Barbie Super Sports and Barbie Riding Club will be included. The boys will get Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver software. Mattel said the Barbie computer move was part of its goal "to create innovative, fun products that keep girls interested in the computer". "Children today are embracing technology at a much younger age," said David Haddad, president of Mattel media. "And we believe that it is extremely important to make computers accessible and affordable to the mass marketplace." The PCs will be available in the US from September through Canadian-based Patriot. There are no plans to bring the hardware to the UK just yet, said a Mattel representative. ®

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