Barbie gets her own hardware with this month’s launch of Barbie and Hot Wheels branded PCs. Mattel Media has teamed up with Patriot Computers to produce US$599 stand-alones available only through Patriot. The units feature 15-inch monitors and a library of edutainment titles by The Learning Company and Mattel Media, including Barbie Riding Club and Hot Wheels Stunt Track Driver.
Pokémon makes its CD-ROM debut in November as a result of The Learning Company and Nintendo signing a deal to develop and publish worldwide edu-titles based on the collectible franchise. Priced at US$23.99 each, the products allow kids five and up to create 350 Pokémon items, like paper airplanes and personalized party invites.
On the heels of Ape Escape and Tarzan, primate mania continues as Monkey Magic makes the jump from the small screen to Sony PlayStation in October for US$49.99. L.A.-based B-Factory and Electro Source have teamed up to launch the game, based on the same-name animated TV series. Geared to ages three and up, the title is set 5,000 years ago in ancient China and centers around Kongo, a martial arts master monkey.
Hasbro Interactive has acquired Europress, the U.K.-based publisher of educational and lifestyle software brands FunSchool and Art Attack.
Montreal-based Ubi Soft has inked a deal with software publisher 3DO to adapt CD-ROM title Heroes of Might and Magic III to the Sega Dreamcast format. Ubi Soft is also teaming up with computer and data base installation company IMAT to take Tim 7, its line of academic software, to schools in Turkey. Lastly, the busy Canadian game company signed a licensing agreement with Sucker Punch Productions to publish Sprocket, a Nintendo 64 game about a unicycle-riding robot. The title is set to street in November for an estimated price of US$49.95.
New York-based Oxygen Media has acquired Girls On, a popular Web site that provides teens with book, music, film and TV reviews. The acquisition brings Oxygen’s Web site count up to six, including Thrive, Moms Online, Electra, ka-Ching and the Lab. Oxygen launches its women’s cable channel in February 2000.
Tim Robertson (son of U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson) and AT&T are launching an Internet company called FamilyClick.Com. This Internet service provider will allow parents to screen sites and e-mail by acting as a gateway. AT&T earmarked US$20 million for the venture.