Barbie Print ‘n Play
A couple years ago Mattel licensed Barbie to another company, who made a mediocre CD-ROM using the character. Now Mattel has realized the value of their brand name, and three new CD-ROMs prove they’re determined to take advantage of it. Barbie Fashion Designer, Barbie Storymaker, and Barbie Print ‘n Play (all from Mattel Media – ages 6 & up) showcase the original anti-feminist in run-of-the-mill programs that wouldn’t make a dent in the market if they didn’t feature the blonde bombshell herself. Storymaker and Print ‘n Play, in particular, are deserving of harsh criticism. These discs not only fail to break new ground, but fail to live up to the humblest industry standards for creativity tools. Storymaker is one of the lamest storybook makers we’ve ever seen. Limited choices, lousy art, and a stunning lack of originality guarantee that your little girl will learn to lower her expectations at a tender age. Print ‘n Play is a birthday card, calendar, coloring book, postcard, poster, and stationary maker that cuts corners wherever possible. For example: you can choose a sticker to add to your project, but once you drop it on the paper, you can’t move it again. We understand that the Barbie brand name is the main reason people will buy this, but sloppiness like that is inexcusable (the lesson Disney learned when they shipped a bum version of The Lion King CD-ROM).
– December 1996