We caught a glimpse of Barbie Video Girl late last month at Pepcom NYC. Though she's been on store shelves since July, we were intrigued by the idea of implanting a camera into Barbie rather than just producing a pink, Barbie-branded camera.
Embedded in Barbie's back is a tiny LCD, which displays video being shot by the discreet camera hidden in Barbie's necklace. Batteries to power the device are housed in Barbie's legs and a USB port is implanted in her lower-back. With 30 minutes of recording time, your daughter won't be able to make a feature length movie of her doll's tea party, but she will be able to add music and visual effects thanks to some free video-editing software on Barbie.com.
Unfortunately, the FBI fears that this toy may pose a risk to children because the camera is so discreet. In a file sent to its Sacramento Field Office, the Bureau lists Barbie Video Girl as a possible method for the production of child pornography. Though the FBI concedes that there is no way to stream Barbie Video Girl footage to the internet, the notice warns that footage can be streamed to a computer and copied to computers via USB.
When contacted for comment, Mattel told us that despite the warning, the FBI is not saying that anything untoward has happened.
"The FBI is not reporting that anything has happened," said Rebecca Scoto in an emailed statement. "Steve Dupre from the FBI Sacramento field office has confirmed there have been no incidents of this doll being used as anything other than as intended," she added.
The company famous for producing Barbie dolls went on to say that it designs all products with children and their best interests in mind.
"Many of Mattel’s employees are parents themselves and we understand the importance of child safety – it is our number one priority."
Still, if you're against the idea of Barbie Video Girl, you could always join the boycott group that's been set up on Facebook. 'Get Rid of Barbie Video Girl currently has 54 members.