Barbie Designable Hair extensions and doll pictures hands-on

Do you groan at the thought of your daughter playing with Barbie and her millions of add-ons and accessories come Christmas? What if we said we could give you a reason to be excited about the plastic hot-chick yourself?

Up steps Barbie Designable Hair extensions and Doll, a new spin on the classic model that gives you reason to spend some time in front of your computer. Other than the obvious one, of course.

You see, Barbie Designable Hair extensions and Doll is what the name suggests, a Barbie with hair extensions that you can style to your own designs. But, rather than getting out some felt tips or crayons, Mattel has made the process high tech, allowing you to spend hours in front of your PC or Mac designing, before pressing the print button and seeing your digital work materialise.

Keen to see this in action [we're always thinking of you, dear reader], we fired up our browser and typed in www.barbie.com/designablehair. That takes you a dedicated Flash site that is both colourful and interactive, where you can create your new masterpiece. There is no software to install.

Here, you can set and change the colour, add a pattern or mess around with around 100 different clip art designs. If that sounds limiting then it shouldn’t. You can also import your own images, and once you do, resize or rotate them into position. You can also add text.

Once you’re done with all that, you then move to a printing preview page where you can test out your creation on screen to see what it looks like either on Barbie, or a picture of yourself you've uploaded.

Our hands-on experience ended with a hair extension with the Pocket-lint logo (of course) and some fun patterns picked from the many on the site.

Everything is simple, everything is drag and drop, and your daughter is going to love it.

Once you’ve printed the design on to one of the specially designed template pages in the box (you get 15), you can then either opt for your new Barbie (wearing pink leggings, no less) to wear your new design or you can wear it yourself.

Our test subject, 5-year-old Miss Pocket-lint, loved it, although Mrs Pocket-lint wasn’t so sure, insisting that it was a bit stiff and needed a bit of a comb first.

With the option to buy more extension template pages early next year, we can see the girls in our life going giddy over designing new extensions for Barbie.



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