Barbie Photo Designer - Box

Barbie Photo Designer
Ages 6 and up

I want more of the techno toys! First off, it's great to have a digital camera for seventy bucks when regular ones cost from four to six hundred. Besides putting a relatively new technology in a girl's hands, she is also exposed to battery insertion, how to do a 9-pin computer hook-up for the camera, and how to do uploads and special effects. Way to go girl!

The camera takes and stores six pictures without being tethered to the computer. With the computer hook-up you can take up to twenty before you have to save. Once in the computer the images can be manipulated, inserted into a Barbie scene (we can think of better things to do than that), or made into a flip book animation and shown on-screen with appropriate music. Focusing is automatic and background clean-up is a little primitive, so you are cautioned to choose simple, evenly lit backgrounds. Images can be converted to BMP or JPEG formats for use in other programs.

There are some minor annoyances that could have been solved by expending more resources which would make it a truly wiz-bang product. The flip book option is a little awkward to use because of the long time delay between taking pictures, so it's hard to do smooth animations. But, if you're willing to work on it, it can be done.

The multiple informational sounds are confusing. There is a shutter sound, a two tone note played three times after two minutes to remind you that the camera is on, a memory full sound, a memory clear sound and an error sound. But, there is a much needed help file so you can familiarize yourself with the different sounds.

The manual could have been made better with the addition of a little color and better graphics. But the hardest thing to put up with is the picture resolution of 320x240, which immediately becomes noticeable when you print the pictures. The suggested age range for users of this product can really be extended to teens except that they might want to re-cover the Barbie pink with an Urban Ore color.

Warning! Use of this camera may result in a desire for the four hundred dollar model.

Reviewed by Genevieve

  • Barbie (R) Photo Designer $49.95
  • © 1998 Mattel Inc.
  • CD-Rom Windows 95; Digital Camera, PC Adapter Cable