f.a.m.p.s. is basically a tricked out, but more limited version of Facebook geared towards teens, that has caught on with some quirky adults. Unlike Facebook, Mattel’s world of f.a.m.p.s. (which stands for feelings, attitudes, moods, and personalities) lets you portray your mood online through a f.a.m.p.s. figurine. It works like this: each f.a.m.p.s. starter kit comes complete with a RFID reader and a figurine to depict an individuals moods or emotions online. You can buy additional figurines to better reflect your mood as it changes. Too much sugar today? Throw the “hyper” f.a.m.p.s. into the RFID reader and all your friends will see what kind of mood you’re in through the f.a.m.p.s. virtual space. Every time your mood changes, you can switch your f.a.m.p.s. personality and unlock a whole new set of games and activities.
Downloading f.a.m.p.s. from the CD was easy, although it did take something like 15 minutes to completely install. Once my computer recognized the game, I had to agree to terms of service and then open up f.a.m.p.s. The game works on PCs and MACs.
I was feeling saucy so I chose the “creative” f.a.m.p.s., Drew. An accurate portrayal of my alter ego (pink hair and a paint splotched dress), I put little Drew in the RFID reader. f.a.m.p.s. opened up a virtual online space where I could send e-mails, make pictures, upload my own pictures, interact with friends, send e-cards, etc. Drew’s world was a cotton candy pink oasis and included a game where I could create my own f.a.m.p.s.; customize her hair, outfit, accessories, etc. with the option to save it or e-mail it to my friends when my masterpiece was finished. For games and sending e-mails, it’s pretty cool. Definitely an upgrade from boring old G-mail.
There are a bunch of other f.a.m.p.s. to choose from, some of which include: Bliss the Happy f.a.m.p.s., Blue the Sad f.a.m.p.s., Hyde the Scared f.a.m.p.s., Pepa the Hyper f.a.m.p.s., and Wink the Sassy f.a.m.p.s.. There are a total of 12 f.a.m.p.s. to choose from to reflect the spectrum of common emotions.
My main problem with f.a.m.p.s is that when I entered the virtual space, there was no one there! You have to create your own social network. You can’t find or search for friends, you have to invite your own existing friends via e-mail to join f.a.m.p.s. Since this game is geared towards younger teens, the idea behind this is to keep them from interacting with strangers, for safety and anonymity purposes. Great for beginners to the social networking scene, this game would appeal primarily to young tweens. If you’re happy with a pretty limited social network of only your most intimate friends, then f.a.m.p.s is great for you. If you want a dynamic space that is more than just chatting, sharing pictures, and interacting with pre-existing friends, then f.a.m.p.s will bore you pretty quickly.
What’s cool about f.a.m.p.s is that it integrates with applications like chat and instant message. I can send enhanced e-mails with personalized messages, girly graphics and emoticons to share my mood with friends. f.a.m.p.s lets you express yourself and interact with friends through these super cute figurines. Let your f.a.m.p.s avatar be your face in this social networking world because, hey, I’ve always secretly wanted pink hair. The f.a.m.p.s Starter Kit retails for $16.99.
The Good: Both Mac and PC compatible, appeals to both kids and quirky adults. Super tricked out design, which makes sending e-mails or e-cards way more interesting.
The Bad: Hard to create a “friends” list because you can’t search for friends like you can on Facebook. You have to invite your own friends.