Seattle-based virtual reality startup Peeka is tapping into the hype around Barbie and releasing a collection of storybooks featuring the famous toy via its immersive platform.
In a new partnership with Mattel, Peeka has created “Barbie: You Can Be a Fashion Designer VR.” The experience is based on a picture book by Becky Matheson and adapted by Lainee Gant, with art by Mattel and Susanna Amati.
Young readers can use VR to step into the interactive world of fashion design alongside Barbie characters Malibu and Brooklyn. Users will explore the intricacies of the fashion industry and learn to cut patterns, sew, and stitch in virtual reality.
Launched in 2016, Peeka’s focus is on complementing traditional reading with technology, taking children’s picture books and turning them into an immersive experiences with VR. A majority of the startup’s content deals with topics such as diversity, empathy, race, mindfulness, gender, and more.
Peeka was started by CEO Michael Wong, COO Alex Comfortes, and Hunter Stutsman, vice president of business development.
The Barbie toy first debuted in 1959. A live-action film this summer, starring Margot Robbie as the title character and Ryan Gosling as Ken, has grossed $1.4 billion at the box office — the biggest blockbuster of 2023 so far.