University of Oulu

Mertala, P. (2020). How connectivity affects otherwise traditional toys? A functional analysis of Hello Barbie. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 25, 100186.

How connectivity affects otherwise traditional toys? : a functional analysis of Hello Barbie

Saved in:
Author: Mertala, Pekka1
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, KTK 323, 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-07-27


The current smart toy research has not fully acknowledged the existing research on traditional toys. Instead, the focus has been on the digital layer of smart toys. This study contributes to bridging the gap between traditional and smart toy research by applying the analytical model known as the functional manipulation potential of toys (FMP) to identify if and how smart features such as connectivity affect otherwise traditional toys. Based on purposeful sampling of informant-rich cases, this study uses FMP to analytically compare the digitally enhanced Hello Barbie doll to a traditional Barbie. The data, analyzed using abductive methods, comprises the tangible dolls and the 8,000 lines of dialogue dialog that Hello Barbie can speak. The results show that connectivity can notably change the FMP of an otherwise traditional toy. These changes took place in two forms: additions and amplifications. Additions mean that Hello Barbie contains functional elements a traditional Barbie does not. Amplifications refer to situations where already existing elements were augmented by the connectivity. Implications for future research are discussed.

see all

Series: International journal of child-computer interaction
ISSN: 2212-8689
ISSN-E: 2212-8697
ISSN-L: 2212-8689
Volume: 25
Article number: 100186
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2020.100186
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
516 Educational sciences
518 Media and communications
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier B.V. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license