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Christmas Gift Guide
Tech Industry

Barbie, Hot Wheels PC delivery lags in holiday crunch

Delivery of ballyhooed Barbie- and Hot Wheels-branded computers no longer is being guaranteed for Christmas, the latest disappointment to consumers who were counting on these popular products for the holidays.

Barbie and Hot Wheels PCs Delivery of ballyhooed Barbie- and Hot Wheels-branded computers no longer is being guaranteed for Christmas, the latest disappointment to consumers who were counting on these popular products for the holidays.

This summer toy giant Mattel and PC maker Patriot Computers teamed up to offer $599 PCs with Barbie and Hot Wheels themes, another example of the trend toward merging low-cost computers with more compelling designs. They registered the URLs "Barbiepc.com" and "Hotwheelspc.com" to sell and promote the products. Many consumers jumped at the opportunity, but now they are sorry.

"I ordered one weeks ago and on two separate occasions was guaranteed delivery by Christmas," one user told CNET News.com in an email. "Last night, I called to see if my computer had been shipped, and they said the computer wouldn't come after all. Now my daughter has nothing for Christmas. It's very late to find this out."

A message on the Barbiepc.com and Hotwheelspc.com Web sites now reads: "At this time we are unable to guarantee delivery before Christmas due to the overwhelming response, but we will still ship computers as quickly as we can right into the New Year!"

A phone call to a toll-free number to inquire about the products was repeatedly busy.

Other popular products that consumers tried to buy online, such as Pokeman, were in short supply or sold out at online toy stories such as Amazon.com and KBkids.com.