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Barbieland: Celebrate 50 years with our favourite doll
1. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. She was born on March 9, 1959, in Willows, Wis., and she’s the top-selling toy in the world.
2. Barbie is for fashion play first (more than one billion fashion items have been created for her and her friends), followed closely by hair play. Girls always want to style, cut or curl her hair. (Tip: To restyle Barbie’s hair, spritz it with water, then comb it through using a slicker-type pet brush with fine bristles. To create curls, use a clean mascara wand.)
3. Barbie’s homes are designed with “smile factors” in mind: a curling iron in the bathroom, an elevator that transports the doll to the second floor, a canopy bed and a doorbell sound. Unofficially, these items are called “girl bait.”
4. Barbie clothes for real-life women are hot sellers in Japan, where they are considered high-end fashion.
5. The Barbie brand has 45 categories of partnership — including golf clubs, electronics manufacturers, home decor, pet accessories and fragrance — which account for half the revenue.
6. Fifty designers are partnering with Barbie for her 50th birthday, including Christian Louboutin, Tommy Hilfiger, Moschino, Jonathan Adler, David Dixon and Jeremy Scott.
7. A 3,250-square-metre Barbie boutique has just opened in Shanghai, China. It includes a spa offering cotton-candy manicures, a skin-care line named Plastic Smooth and a cosmetics line called All Doll’d Up. There will be runway fashion shows, a design centre allowing guests to create their own Barbie and a restaurant called the Pink Room, as well as a desserts-only café.