Tag Archives: games

Happy 60th Birthday, Barbie!

Happy 60th birthday to Barbie!

Launched at the New York Toy Fair at a price of $3.00 way back in 1959, today’s Barbie dolls have taken new shapes, sizes, colors, and careers into their stride. While Barbie has often been criticized, the original vision for Barbie – to encourage girls to think about their futures – still holds today. The doll’s original figure (tall, busty, Caucasian) is also still around, but it has also been broadened and diversified to fit today’s girls and society.

Today’s Barbie dolls include four different body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and an extensive wardrobe of clothes, accessories, houses, and cars. Barbie has had dozens of careers. She is not only a fashionista, she embraces careers such as actress, politicians, doctors, athletes,  artists, journalists, mountaineers, activists, astronauts, teachers, and more. There simply is no limit to what Barbie – and girls – can accomplish. Barbie is equally at home in a robotics lab as she is on a farm.

And now Barbie is also taking on gender gap in The Dream Gap Project. Beginning at age five, many girls develop limiting beliefs about themselves and what they can accomplish. By age seven, girls are more likely to think that boys are smarter than girls. Barbie is taking this on by showing role model dolls who illustrate what is possible.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the product life cycle.
  2. Where does Barbie fit in the life cycle?
  3. How does the toy remain relevant?
  4. Show video of Barbie history: https://youtu.be/DXFVaYTI3uQ
  5. Show Barbie Web site: https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html?icid=home_body-2_module_role-models_p1
  6. Show the Dream Gap Project site: https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/dream-gap.html
  7. Divide students into team. What else can Mattel do with Barbie?

Source: Klara, R. (25 February 2019). Here’s how much Barbie has changed since her debut almost 60 years ago.

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Toddler Bike Racing

It’s summertime and the weather is hot – perfect for riding bikes, and for competitive racing, too. Now, even toddlers can get in on the action at the Strider Cup balance bike races.

The Strider Cup is a series of four races, ending with a World Championship event. The festival also includes adventure zones for playing and test riding the balance bikes. It is focused on positive aspects of sports competitions for toddlers, and more importantly, teaches them how to easily learn to ride a bike.

In case you are not familiar with Strider and balance bikes, the company started when the founder wanted to share his love of adventure and riding with his 2-year old son. But, traditional tricycles and training wheel bikes didn’t offer the same adventure and off-road riding ability. What resulted was a kid’s bike without pedals or chains. Essentially, it is a light-weight, simple to ride bike where riders can keep their feet on the ground as they learn to balance and glide.

Strider is the leader in balance bikes, selling more than 1.6 million bikes in 70 different countries since 2007. There are several models of bikes, ranging from classic ($99.99) to pro ($169.99), and also offers special needs bikes for all abilities (up to $219.99).

Come on – let’s go for a ride!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  3. Show Strider balance bikes Web site: https://www.striderbikes.com/
  4. Videos of the Strider Cup and the cute toddler racers: https://youtu.be/nwyDKv_v0P0
  5. For balance bikes, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  6. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  7. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.

Source:  Outside magazine   


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Update: Pokémon Go


When Pokémon Go debuted in July, it instantly gathered millions of fans. In just over two months, roughly 500 million people downloaded the mobile game, beating out records set by Candy Crush and Angry Birds. A big part of the attraction for users was the way in which the game incorporated augmented reality to blend the real world with a virtual world. It got millions of people up and outside to play the game, sometimes leading to surprises such as huge crowds gathering together spontaneously.

But, the party may be ending. After being the top-grossing U.S. iPhone app for 74 days, it is now losing the top position to new games. However, estimates are that 1 in 10 smartphone owners are still laying in the U.S., but in Japan the number of players are 1 in 4. The 30-day retention rate is the second best in the Google Play store and it has earned as estimated $500 million in only a few months.

New features allow players to pair up with a Pokémon to earn game currency. There is also a new Apple Watch app along with a wearable device, named Pokémon Go Plus, which lights up and vibrates when the player gets near a Pokestop or a new Pokémon.

The question now facing the company is how to keep the game alive and on social networking.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who has played Pokémon Go? Who is still playing it?
  2. Show the Web site and note the product/country updates: http://pokemongo.nianticlabs.com/en/
  3. For fun, show a video of hundreds of people converging on a park to capture Pokémon: https://youtu.be/p-XnTDcQZjY
  4. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  5. Where does Pokémon Go fit in the product life cycle? Why?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various other gaming products and services into each stage.
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise Pokémon Go so that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Associated Press  

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