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With the success of physical toys related to online content (such as the Webkinz phenomenon), Mattel has unlocked a whole new world for Barbie fans.  A New York Times article describes the latest Barbie product: a doll shaped Mp3 player that opens up online content such as games, shops, and chatting capabilities when plugged into a docking station. 

Though research has shown benefits of using the Internet such as the ability to express one’s identity and connect with others, it has also shown that Internet safety concerns like online sexual predators and privacy are a reality.  Toys created to drive children to a company’s website encourage kids at younger and younger ages to begin using the Internet regularly, exposing them to both the benefits and disadvantages of Internet use. 

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