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Mattel to Boot Up Barbie

Mattel is going interactive. The company's new Mattel Media division will develop and market products and software that revolve around its popular toy lines such as Barbie, Match Box Cars, and Cabbage Patch dolls.

Mattel officials say the company has formed a new division, Mattel Media, to develop and market products and software. The company will focus on titles tied to its perennial top sellers such as Barbie, Match Box Cars, and Cabbage Patch dolls, company officials say.

A Mattel spokesman told Computer Retail Week that one of the software titles the company is working on is Barbie Fashion Designer. The program will reportedly allow users to design doll clothes and print the pattern on special fabric that can be loaded into a PC's printer in place of paper.

The move is part of a continuing effort to link the company's traditional toy offerings with the electronic age. In August, the company announced that its Fisher-Price subsidiary and Compaq had agreed to team up on developing multimedia educational and entertainment products for young children.

Until the Barbie software is available, there's plenty of online Barbie fun to be had. Check out Jennifer Warf's Internet Barbie Collection, The Plastic Princess Page, and Barbie at FAO Schwarz.