New Barbie the Center of Controversy

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Child advocate organizations are up in arms about the new Barbie being introduced this fall to toy stores nationwide. The doll is interactive, encouraging children to talk to it in a revolutionary two-way conversation. This version of Barbie records the child’s voice, uploads it to a cloud server, and uses AI to respond appropriately.

“Kids using ‘Hello Barbie’ aren’t only talking to a doll, they are talking directly to a toy conglomerate whose only interest in them is financial,” said Susan Linn, the executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. She describes Mattel’s creation as “creepy” and “dangerous.”

Creepy? Depends on how you look at it. Dangerous? Perhaps, but it’s always easier to jump to conclusions based on the worst scenario your mind can imagine. When your organization’s sole purpose is to reduce corporate propaganda, you can’t very well pass up a softball like this. But just because advocates are upset doesn’t mean there’s actually anything wrong. You saw the same kind of hand-wringing when Teddy Ruxpin was introduced, and again when the Furby became a hit. People are scared of new things, and that will probably be the case until the end of time.

Not that there’s anything wrong with pressuring a company to cease production on a product you believe will harm children. Boycotts are as American a concept as you can come up with, and it’s far preferable to the government’s iron fist.

But if child advocates are so concerned about propaganda reaching the ears of little teapots, why do they so rarely complain about the kind found in movies, TV shows, and even school classrooms? Could it be because that type of propaganda fits too well with their own view of the world?

The Happy Feet series used a cute story about a misfit penguin to preach an environmental, global-warming message at unsuspecting children without the slightest murmur of objection from non-conservative groups. Why? Because they see the climate change issue as a matter of fact. Cars 2 built on its massively successful original by making the oil industry the bad guy, promoting a liberal viewpoint that can be hard to shake when you’re first exposed to it before you’re even out of diapers. Other Hollywood hits have used the U.S. military, Christianity, and traditional gender roles as their primary ideological villains.

Worse still, this biased view of the world has begun to creep into our classrooms without apology. Children are taught that the Second Amendment includes a clause about background checks, that our rights are granted to us by the government, that Islam is beyond reproach, and that something as benign as “God bless you” is a violation of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

Maybe parents should be cautious about buying a Barbie doll that will hold real conversations with their children. I would be. But there are more insidious ideas getting into our childrens’ heads than those dreamed up by Mattel. Let’s worry about those with the same passion we take towards corporate advertising.

83 Comments
  1. Ray Schneider, P.E., Ph.D. says

    Until we have some “conversations” to inspect this smacks of fear mongering. The propaganda from the left is intense and never ending. Maybe what we need is some serious thought creatively injected into the national debate in a fun way. Maybe Barbie is a Conservative. Wouldn’t that be a riot?

    1. lildebrarae says

      Thank you! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      If the parents think that way about any toy; the answer of course, is not to buy it in the first place.

      1. Michael Dennewitz says

        That would be far too simple fir them. Besides that, they wouldn’t have anything to continuously bitch about..

        1. OSAMA OBAMA says

          Love it!!!

        2. ward says

          libtard removal is the real answer for all U.S. Citizens benefit & Freedom …!

    2. PayTheMan says

      Well stated. But would you not agree that the propaganda fm the right is equally intense? Point in case, this very site that deftly lures and baits and catalyzes any sort of right leanin response. Fox news with their conspicuous and ubiquitous talking points de jour. the nation has become a hotbed of propaganda pushing the minions to the poles… The conversation you want (and i want) is exactly what the two parties want to avoid… Afraid we all might find more common ground that would serve their needs

      1. Peatro Giorgio says

        So you decry fox as a right leaning news source .? Where have you been.? Fox news has as many lefties as they do those on the right. Fact is Fox news as many whom you consider righties I would consider Neocons otherwise now known as rinos. Bill O’reilly for example,he by and far is what many Conservatives would describe as a Neocon. Eric Bolin, Greg Gutfeld. Sure they also have Shawn Hannity. I would consider shawn to be more neocon the a true conservative,after all he swings from whatever is politically popular at times. He Does Not appear to have a solid fundamental foundation of principles Be honest ! You are utilizing left fring talking points. So much for fairness or a balanced approach from you. When you refer to common ground what you are actually saying is it is okay for the federal government to encroach, remove individual liberties or individual Rights .Or do you not understand that is what common ground has become.

        1. PayTheMan says

          i have seen the heavy set guy in that program with four talking heads debating and if he is a left leaning person (i have never heard him say anything that resembles a well thought out progressive position) he is the classic strawman making vacuous arguments that are anecddotal and often ludicrous. that is like me taking a left leaning panel, putting on a sputtering nasty righty who can barely put a sentence together spewing ridiculous notions no righty would support… and saying we are balanced. true, i do not see many of the fox programs so may have mispoken but fox clearly has talking points that every program champions for the day/week…. i do not see news there… i see agenda.

          but, please don’t confuse the claim of balance with further manipulation. if you want a sincere discussion or even debate, we have to go elsewhere… and, now that i search for where to go… i wonder if our nation has stepped off the cliff and such truly balanced debate is not currently possible. thanks for the tour of fox tho… i do appreciate it.

          1. Nick Johnston says

            How come FOX NEWS IS # 1 on cable news????????????????????????????
            You with the eye, why are you hiding behind your liberal idiocy?
            Show us your face or are you afraid?

          2. PayTheMan says

            by that logic, obama won two presidential elections because he is a great president. most of the nation agreed with you and many still do. to speak the conservative party line on THIS site is hardly bold nick. presenting the other half of the nation’s more progressive views on this site is, with or without faces and names, is a bolder posture. so, as with the #1 status and names/faces, not all that is on the surface is what truly lies beneath. that is the critical thinking mindset that provides the source of most of my world views.

      2. Ray Schneider, P.E., Ph.D. says

        You’re projecting — propaganda is what leftists do. What conservatives do is try to cut through the propaganda to the facts. That’s often difficult since the left is so short of supporting fact that they create false facts faster than they can be debunked. It is far easier to lie than to do the research to discover the truth. That gives the left an advantage.

        1. PayTheMan says

          what is most fascinating about your comment for me is that i could write the very same comment… word for word… with the replacement of “lefties” for “righties” (speaking of the more vehement sorts exclusively). as a scientist… one who relies upon facts … hard earned, replicated and deeply scrutinized facts to help me navigate into the unknowns of our world… i consider myself deeply skeptical (in a healthful, intellectual way… not a kneejerk easily manipulated way) of all sources, all data etc. before drawing any preliminary conclusions. so, take climate change data as one case in point. removing all the politicians and all the lay folk from the discussion… and JUST focusing on the biogeochemical data… one draws some rather compelling patterns and preliminary conclusions. the right (now, we must bring back the polticized folks as the scientists if they are doing their jobs are neither right nor left) manipulates the facts far more than the left (who just tend to accept the data uncritically as facts). the right is twisting those data (because it suits their pro big oil and status quo agenda) far more than the left (because it suites their progressive green technology agenda). in that case in point, you are reversed. i believe i could cite many such examples on BOTH sides of the isle… and that was precisely my point. fascinating ray… give our similar levels of education… that we can see the world so differently.

      3. Mark Clemens says

        Barbie’s point of view, would be that of who’s on the other end of the connection. I think that this is impressive technology, if the toy/spy device is directly linked to a specific person. Will it have a GPS to keep up with the family, on vacations or what have you? You know part of the craft of spying, is tricking your subject they AREN’T being spyed on. What is more innocent looking than a child’s toy……….?

        1. PayTheMan says

          amen to that… brilliant and devious and i hope they get burried in so much boring data as fluffy the dog takes barbie out into the backyard and back that they drop their shinanigans.

          1. Mark Clemens says

            Instead of useless data, I hope nobody buys this spy device. Let Matell get burned in the wallet. I use to have a Major Matt Mason, and all of his space gear. Walker and all. Plus it all works!!!! Back then we had to use something called IMAGINATION to make the toys work. You know who the most famous talking doll is………? CHUCKY, do y’all want that in your house?????? Not me!!!!

      4. taliesin319 says

        Intense it well may be but by and large they are not spewing Marxist dialectic with every breath they draw, nor do they espouse the cause of our muslim enemies displaying a level of anti-seminism that would make Dr. Joe Mengeles proud.

        1. PayTheMan says

          naturally, each side has its own “brand” of propaganda. the right has its version of the specifics you present. but i would note that we are not in a holy war (at least i hope not) between muslims and christians as millions of them live peacefully and moderately together. we are in a war against fundamentalism and extremism… as the extremist muslims have in little in common with the moderate ones as neo nazi and kkk have with your average church-going family from the midwest. but i do agree it is intense.

          1. taliesin319 says

            Any ideology that espouses lying as a tenet of their religion and exhorts their members to lie, cheat, steal, enslave, burn, pillage, behead etc and then to feel perfectly justified in doing so as long as Islam benefits, and who have had 1400 yeards to destroy the jihadis among them,
            have a vested interest in the status quo. They may indeed be good but since they, like the oh so good Germans, are not calling the shots their presence is of no earthly use to the infidels all over this planet with crescent targets on their backs. Many of those good muslims will become good jihadis as soon as their lack of ferver for the cause is commented on by one or more of their more pious brethren as
            we have come to know much to our loss and sorrow. While they may not actively participate in the dance macabre they are contributing to it in every way that they are required to do financially and in many other aspects that their Mosques support.

    3. cvxxx says

      I agree except fro one thing. Anything said is recorded and sent to the cloud. That means the There would be many interested parties who would use the conversations for their own agenda from as benign as sales of Barbie accessories to business rivals gaining info,to government. Possibly because the big business knows no bounds in search of your wallet.

      1. Ray Schneider, P.E., Ph.D. says

        That is an excellent point. It isn’t clear to me how the doll connects to the cloud as you suggest. However, if it does connect to the cloud in other than a voluntary and intentional connection then you have a good point.

        If it can connect independently then it is potentially a spy in your house since there is no reason to believe that the microphone is turned off when you are not using the doll. But on the other hand the batteries would wear out.

        We obviously need more information.

        1. cvxxx says

          From what I read it is a wiFi point. I do not think it has a turn off. Yes, it is a spy in your house that does not need a warrant. After all, it could be argued one by purchasing has allowed it into your home.

          1. Yadja says

            Good point they went over and under and around the fence with O care, we already know they are listening and cell phones even worse, the net now and would be the perfect tool. It has to be listening all the time which means every conversation in the house is monitored.

            Children take these dolls everywhere. Even if it has a turn off switch how do you know it is off. Between this and drones coming soon to everyone we have eyes in the sky, on the net and now ears in the house.

          2. taliesin319 says

            Oh, spare us a doll who might answer a simple question like ” is it snowing ?”
            Yes Janie, and Polar bear cubs are dying because of Climate Change. Remember
            Good St Algore protects them. Mum finds Janie hysterical. It sounds like that doll
            from one of the episodes of the twilight zone that killed off a little girl’s evil stepfather after first driving him round the twist. Only in America, and only in the last generation have we been this dense.

          3. Terry Hamblin says

            Hey Yadja, I see that you got to the point as usual. Your comment is well taken. I was commenting on another thread and a mother was railing against Common Core, (which I also find to be intrusive and very probably a form of brainwashing), stating that when her kid started school, he already knew the multiplication tables and how to multiply and divide. He is now struggling with math! She also pointed out that the forms that the kids have to fill out pry into absolutely everything as long as the kid continues to fill them out. You appear to be absolutely right that the doll is just another microphone in your house.

          4. Yadja says

            Thank you. I belong to a survey program on the net. They ask questions on everything from economics to what we buy to politics. They get very personal at times. Wanting to know if I have a bank acct., savings, investments, bonds etc. They may even ask how much money I make and I always just click off and don’t take the survey.

            I also refused to answer the questions on the last census, too personal, I threw it in the trash. We don’t have much in the way of privacy anymore. The children and school is an easy way to get information from a child. The personal questions etc.

            I am sorry for my children and their children because I really don’t know what America is going to be very soon. We got a rogue president making deals with people who want us dead and ignoring our allies. The Middle East in uproar. That filthy O now saying he will side with the UN against Israel and force them to give up land and to have a two State solution. How absurd would America do that? No, nobody would force us to give up land. It is insane. Not only that the UN is not governing the world yet and who cares what they demand. Israel and other countries have Sovereignty.

            Then I hear we might all be forced to have cars that drive themselves because we have too many accidents. Now O has signed new Executive Orders on EPA rules and gases etc. The man is running a muck like a Dictator on Steroids and the boobs in Congress forget when he gets to where he wants to be he will disband them and the Supreme Court.

            It is a flustercluck.

        2. April Bozone says

          Good point about the batteries, but “they” could be smart enough to put some “other” type of battery in there to keep enough juice running so that the doll records whatever, whenever. I know, it sounds too “conspiracy theorist” doesn’t it, lol! I’m just saying though!

      2. sweetolbob says

        So the kid comes in and asks, Mommy, what’s a %@##$! ? Did Barbie say a bad word ?
        Whoops ! Somebody hacked the cloud !

        1. cvxxx says

          A good point!!

        2. sox83cubs84 says

          Is the bad word “obama” or “liberal”?

          1. Nick Johnston says

            BOTH!!

          2. sox83cubs84 says

            Agreed.

        3. April Bozone says

          ROTFLOL! That’s sad, but hilarious!

      3. glock 19 fan says

        I would imagine that a more effective spy-doll might be a “Victoria’s Secret Barbie.” That would sell like hot cakes. 🙂

    4. Laurence Almand says

      I suppose it is only a matter of time until the dolls ask the kids, “Is there a gun in your house? Do your parents drink?” etc.

      1. Roger_T73 says

        This is a BIG BIG DANGER!!!

        1. Nick Johnston says

          Is Obama an a**hole?

          1. ladyem says

            yes!!

    5. Kent2012 says

      Ray it would be hilarious, and it would take about 6 and a half minutes from that discovery to the screams in all of the phoney news media about how “this abomination” can not be allowed to infect our children…they know that when the kids get to kindergarten that the indoctrination is turned on…they can not afford to have some children show up as strong conservatives..!!

    6. Rattlerjake says

      I wonder if I get one and talk dirty to her, will she respond seductively back? This might be the cheap answer for all the dirty old men or even lesbians instead of calling for phone sex! LOL.

    7. daledor says

      The politically correct Barbie would be Muslim with a head cover. Ken would look like Obama or her mate would be another woman.

    8. Busdriver Bill says

      How many parents are going to bother to find out just what the “Barbie” presence signifies? Can you count to zero?

  2. MILES E DRAKE says

    This bears the closest watching by anyone concerned with freedom, as children are already under a constant barrage of indoctrination and we are led if not ruled by an oligarchy committed to radical restructuring of our society, our economy and our culture on the basis of the ideas of the evil Saul Alinsky. Interactive toys feeding children the regime line would make Sesame Street look like Hayek and von Mises.

  3. juneausr says

    It’s just a doll! Don’t we have more important things to deal with?????

    1. Mark Clemens says

      1. Iran getting nuclear weapons?
      2. Create some REAL PAYING LONG TERM JOBS?
      3. Secret Service driving and crashing drunk?
      4. ISIS and Boko Haram teaming up?
      5. Congress, President are worthless?
      6. Term Limits?
      7. Corrupt police agencies? Policing for Profit?
      (I don’t think this is limited to Ferguson)
      8. The President might not be “One of us”
      9. Hilliary Clinton or Jeb Bush might be next President
      10. A toy company might be in the Spy Biz
      11. Cops are shooting people, People are shooting cops
      By

  4. headonstraight says

    Tell us, just where do you find that, ” Children are taught that the Second Amendment includes a clause about background checks”? That is a pretty bold thing to assert without any documentation to back it up!

    1. Frank W Brown says

      Check out common core!

      1. headonstraight says

        That vague answer doesn’t cut it, Frank. If you really know where any such instruction as I have described is actually found, then put it up. I know–you can’t do that. Instead you drag in Common Core as though that were some kind of answer,. which it decidedly is not. You are just another loony wackadoodle who can’t put up the goods.

        1. Frank W Brown says

          Check out common core, IDIOT!

          1. GreatGrandma says

            could you please quote us the section of Common Core that has that? I can’t find it.

          2. headonstraight says

            And you won’t find it there GreatGrandma, since the jerk who says it is there is just blowing smoke!

  5. papa doug says

    OMG this doll may cause the child’s parents to interact with their child a little more and provide a few minutes of guidance! This is bad because… because… This is bad because WHY!

    1. Joni Nicodemus says

      Papa have you looked at that doll? With all the sexualization of our children this fits right in and its the Prince of the power of the airwaves yapping (WHAT!) to the children. Exactly, parents spend time & love w/ your children. Get rid of the digital Hypnotizing NOW television, I believe God hates it! Psalms 106:29

  6. Bishop Robert Paris says

    The real question here is who is at the controls of the dialog. When government controls are put in place over parental controls society loses, and remember Matel “toy” company is in bed with the Government, they even made the stock for the infamous M-16.

  7. sweetolbob says

    Concealed Carry Barbie ! I’d buy one for my niece ! How about LBGT– whatever :Barbie ? And Lusious Looting Barbie for those civil uprisings. and Manic Muslim Barbie, with the glued on burkha but removable explosive belt.
    The possibilities are endless. And they could all speak back to the child in the same vein.

    1. Mark Clemens says

      My favorite Barbie is:
      Trailer Trash Barbie. She comes w/an interactive meth pipe………

    2. ladyem says

      How about a Catholic nun Barbie that prays with the child and quote from the Holy Bible?

  8. Carol Cantell Moorby says

    BIG brother watching you. warning…….Be careful….privacy invaded…..from cradle to grave ( common core) ….connect the dots!

  9. Spark1845 says

    Let’s hope they haven’t ruined an iconic piece of children’s toys.Investigate first, make decisions later. Always a great idea.

  10. CrazyAuntJane says

    I find this creepy and a possible privacy concern but my biggest objection is that kids are not allowed to grow, use their imagination and just be kids! I’m not to sure all the electronic gadgets is healthy. Nothing wrong with them playing on a computer or with a talking doll but not 24/7! I’d like to see them read books, make dams in a local stream, build a playhouse, run and play chase with their dog and play kick ball! FIND WAYS TO TEACH THEM TO THINK AND REASON!!!!!

  11. Kevin f says

    There are many out here who do worry about those exact things. About Care Bears and Teenage mutant ninja Turtles promoting new age spiritualism. About how TV has presented Fathers as idiots and incapable of making a wise decision without mom, and many of us have taken our children out of public school to send them to private schools and home schooling to get them away from that propaganda. But I agree with the parents that done want corporate American having unfettered access to our children’s mind. It’s why I have no cable and no internet in my home. I am careful about what movies my children watch. What music they listen to and what they read. I am also careful to spend allot of quality time with my children to influence their lives with what I believe are important.

  12. OSAMA OBAMA says

    It’s a matter of time before Ken, Barbies boyfriend is made an African American.

    1. Mark Clemens says

      I’m almost sure there are black Barbies and Kens. I wonder if Ken will soon be talking. I bet his first questions will be:
      “Wheres my Junk”?
      “Wheres Barbie’s nipples”?
      “How does Barbie have a Vet, Malibu Beach house, no job, and I’m homeless”?

  13. Yadja says

    I don’t know about this. Sort of sad that the child needs a doll to talk to and depend on the person on the other end to answer back. Could be a good indoctrination tool, what if the child asks questions about babies and the doll answers: “What frikken babies? We don’t want no frikken babies, abort, abort.” I mean you never know what a child in a room alone with a doll that can answer their questions might ask.

    Idle hands are the devils plaything and a talking Mattel Barbie might be the devil himself.

    1. Nick Johnston says

      So true!

      1. Yadja says

        My man has a degree in Technology and talks way over my head he says the Cloud is an APP set-up exclusively to answer these questions.

        Bad seed being planted in the minds of children and into the homes of the user.

  14. adrianvance says

    What? She isn’t black? Every doctor is on TV, for example.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for clarity.

  15. Larua says

    it time to put a hit out on barbie, she has gone to far.
    our children are off limits.,
    BOYCOTT ALL THINGS BARBIE

  16. Laurence Almand says

    Another example of programming people from childhood. I suppose when a child gives a “politically incorrect” answer the doll will chastise him or her. And just where are all these conversations being stored? And who has access to them? Is a copy being sent to the FBI? (Don’t laugh – stranger things have happened.)
    These spy dolls ought to be trashed – better yet, never purchased.

  17. juneausr says

    I don’t care about Barbie….I do care about my country.we need to stop fighting with each other or we will wake up one morning and be praying to Allah.

    1. Nick Johnston says

      I only pray to God and His son, Jesus!

  18. MrsTJNic@aol.com says

    Barbie is Catholic. I saw her nun habit, & Ken’s priest get up, in the Barbie Museum in Palo Alto, before the woman sold the museum. Her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

  19. MAHB001 says

    So Google, Yahoo, and Cisco, colluded with the Chinese Government and completely wiped out all knowledge of the Tank Man of Tiananmen square in China from Chinese History.

    With companies like that, we have nothing to worry about…….

    Holly Crap, did a Barbie just tell my kid that?

    1. MAHB001 says

      Google now works exclusively with 0bama and the Democrats on their campaigns.

  20. Katherine Gabriel says

    We’re all being manipulated all the time. Just be aware of both blatant and insidious and learn to think for yourself.

  21. Katherine Gabriel says

    The attempt to manipulate the populous has been going on for a long time; from advertising to editorials to supposedly objective news. It’s good to teach children to recognize it from an early age and to learn to think for themselves.

  22. greyfox says

    This is an important issue, unlike core education which is a good thing, We can’t have our children being indoctrinated by Mattel when the government does such great job. Let’s leave indoctrination and education
    and propaganda up to the government they are experts in the field, not only that, they are fair.

  23. ladyofperpetulmotion . says

    I expected to see Barbie in a Burka!

  24. ozwizard says

    If you don’t like it don’t buy it!

  25. Paul Kmf Tubbs says

    So they could also listen in on any private conversations in the background? Yep, that sounds like big brother to me.

  26. Busdriver Bill says

    What bothers most for me is that it is just one more distraction from parenting. The child now has a parent figure in cyberspace to talk to, and get advice from. Hey parents, that’s YOUR job, not the wonderful world of computers’. Turn off the gadgets, homeschool, and separate from the insidious world of collective influence. Educate yourselves, and teach the wonders of self reliance.

  27. adrianvance says

    How long before we have robot mothers? Then, women will really be free and irresponsible.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for clarity.

  28. KatRob says

    I agree, there are far worse things going on in the commie training camps we call schools. Our children are being taught outright lies about historical events and figures.

  29. Tiger says

    Oh my well ya know sad isn’t it that our children have to have conversations with programed dolls and programed by who.

    Anyone today who lets anything into their homes that talk to them or their children can only say “Let the Buyer beware” never a truer word spoken.

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