Face it, Turkey Day is done, and the dreaded shopping countdown has begun. In years past your pre-Yule procrastination has blossomed into full what-shall-I-get panic. Well, EW’s Multimedia Group is here to help you, with high-tech-gift recommendations for the entire family.
For the girl who, in spite of everything, still lives in a Barbie world: TALK WITH ME BARBIE (Mattel, $89, 888-MATTEL9). The 38-year-old plastic diva has never looked better, and now she actually talks back, thanks to an infrared sensor that lets the kid download customizable Barbie-esque phrases like ”Suzie, you look great in pink!”
For the teen brother who thinks Prodigy is only the name of a band: The MTV PAGER (Motorola, $79-89, http://www.mtvpager.com) connects your at-home 10 Spot junkie to the latest happenings on the music channel — via pager updates several times each month and promo giveaways from the MTV Pager Network (monthly service $7.95-9.95).
For Luke and Laura, who prefer cerebral videogames: CREATURES (Mindscape, for PC and Mac, $40, 800-234-3088), a virtual habitat for breeding gremlins; SMART GAMES 2 (Smart Games, for PC, $29.95, 888-4BRAINY), a vexing puzzle collection; INTELLIGENT QUBE (Sony, for PlayStation, $39.95, http://www.playstation.com), a strategy game that rewards quick reflexes and forethought; and MONOPOLY STAR WARS (Hasbro Interactive, for PC, $39.95, http://www.hasbro.com), a game in which Donald Trump, not Darth Vader, is the real Jedi master.
For the scraped-knees tyke who thinks Tamagotchis are for sissies: BANDAI’S DIGIMON (Bandai America, $15, www. bandai.com) lets Bobby raise monsters that kick virtual butt; TETRIS JR. (Square Soft, $9.95-12.95, http://www.tetris.com) allows for discreet key-chain gaming in math class; and for his gal pal, THE LITTLE MERMAID GIGAPETS (Tiger, $9.99-12.99, 888-LUV-GIGA) digitizes Disney’s aquamaid — sans potty function, natch.
For the family jock who’s reveling in the latest hockey, football, and basketball action: NBA LIVE 98 (EA Sports, for PC, PlayStation, and Saturn, $49.95, http://www.easports.com) and NHL FACEOFF ’98 (Sony, for PlayStation, $39-49, www. playstation.com); the stats, sounds, and sights of NFL CYBRCARDS (CybrCard L.P., for PC and Mac, $19.95, 888-292-7147) are his chance to dream the dream while playing and replaying the feats of his favorite pigskin heroes.
MOM AND DAD For the parental units, the keys to a gleaming COMPAQ PRESARIO 2200 (Compaq, 800-345-1518). At $999, this intelligent household slave comes cheap and plays hard. It’s a fun-ready, plug-and-play multimedia ‘puter.
MOESHA For the teen sis who’s considering going blond: COSMOPOLITAN VIRTUAL MAKEOVER (SegaSoft, for PC and Mac, $39.99, 888-SEGASOFT) lets Mo’ try various looks without touching that bottle of bleach.