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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn some art- and design-related vocabulary as they work to earn different awards. They'll experiment with patterns and colors, matching and coordinating and expressing themselves creatively. Barbie Fashion Design Maker is designed more for entertainment than education, but, with some focus and discussion, kids can learn through play. Parents will need to explain some of the terms -- such as "silhouette," "gallery," and "elements" -- and talk with kids about matching and coordinating to boost learning.
Ease of Play
Dragging and dropping color and pattern changes into place is easy and intuitive, but printing designs requires special equipment.
Products & Purchases
The app works with the Barbie Fashion Design Maker toy that retails for $49.99 and enables kids to print their designs on special fabric, peel it off, and stick them on their Barbies. The toy is advertised in the app but is not linked to a retail site. Barbie is a commercial character and part of a franchise that offers many products and content.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
BARBIE FASHION DESIGN MAKER is very limited compared to other design apps, but that's simply because it's designed to match up with the printable outfit available with the toy. The options for patterns, colors, and accessories -- and the option to create your own pattern -- allow for a surprising number of fun design options, but there's no way to remove the pink necklace Barbie is wearing. Diversity is not limited to the outfit choice; although kids have the option of choosing a white or an African-America Barbie, the two look exactly alike, shape and feature-wise, with only differently colored skin, eyes, and hair.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.