In any colour, as long as it’s fluorescent pink

As you would naturally expect, Shanghai is home to the world’s only Barbie Superstore, housed in this seemingly innocuous 6 storey building on Huaihai Road, Shanghai’s premier fashion street.

Inside, it’s a world of pink.  Really bright, eye-burning pink.

Shelves and shelves of every Barbie model known to man … um, woman.

Not to mention, clothes and shoes (for adults, mind you), a bubble-tea cafe that has a catwalk for fashion shows, a Barbie restaurant on the top floor and a Barbie salon where you can model yourself around your favourite Barbie.

Or, if you are short on time (but not in stature), you can make yourself into Barbie in an instant.  Actually, you can only be one of her sidekicks.  Only Barbie can be Barbie.

You can also purchase the new Barbie VideoGirl, exclusive to Shanghai and perfect for any crusty old man who wants to get a video camera into a young girl’s bedroom.  Classy.

Pride of place is the central staircase, spiralling 3 stories high and surrounded by a hundreds of Barbies encased in perspex boxes.  Just like Barbie herself, it’s the perfect representation of female liberation, is it not?

Anyway, maybe she deserves it … turns out that Barbie is a fur hag.

It does seem odd that Mattel are making a big push into China.  Barbie is tall, blond and has big bazoongas … three traits that Chinese girls may have trouble identifying with.  But I guess Barbie has always been about dreams, about believing that “I can be…” even if genetics and economics and social circumstance are fighting against you.

It will be interesting to see how long the bright lights of the Barbie Mansion stay switched on.

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9 Responses to In any colour, as long as it’s fluorescent pink

  1. Adina West says:

    Hey, if Mattel can succeed anywhere in China it’ll definitely be in the ultimate aspirational city: Shanghai. But it does seem odd – why not have a brunette brown-eyed Barbie for China? They could still keep the completely unrealistic body proportions, so all would be peachy in Barbie-land.

    That video-Barbie is a scary thought. I agree, I cannot think of an innocuous, non-suspect use for such an object.

  2. bitbot says:

    Wow, thank you for Girls’ Generation!
    – they are fascinating.
    And they do wink a lot.
    They are helpfully wearing numbers in the video, since they are all exactly equally adorable.

  3. aline says:

    I heard they were closing down the store, is that true? Can’t believe we didn’t get to visit it…

  4. vee says:

    can’t believe i missed out on seeing this…i would have been in heaven!

  5. Angela says:

    Bummer it closed down. Did they keep the pink facade? What is it now?

  6. @vee: it’s a reminder to always seize the day. 🙂
    @angela: the lights have dimmed, so it is pink no more. no-one has moved in yet, but i’ll keep an eye-out.

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