Barbie Shanghai

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I unwittingly visited Barbie Shanghai on her last day in business, before the big pink patterned doors closed for good.

Having discovered we lived in the same city as the world’s largest Barbie store, my friend Meri and I decided to pay her a visit.

Facing derision from most of the people we mentioned our plans to, we were determined to enjoy the day – every sugar-coated minute of it.

Drawn to it by the appropriate name, we began the day with some interesting iced teas at Babydoll in Xujiahui. The cafe/restaurant lived up to its cutesy name – the place was decked out with chandeliers, red heart-shaped seats and flowers inside glass panels on the tables.

We stopped off for some hearty lunch at Element Fresh before heading to the Barbie store. We were not disappointed. The place was more like a museum than a shop. There was a display of world Barbies – impossibly glamorous little ladies hailing from everywhere from Ghana to Japan – as well as a range of special edition and vintage Barbies. The vintage ones were my favourites, ranging from Barbie’s ‘birth’ as a fully grown busty young lady in the late 50s to more recent creations.

I particularly loved the 60s-era Barbies and was more than a bit excited when I saw reproductions of them for sale with 70% off. I got the 1964 one for 150RMB (about £15). She comes with a RECORD PLAYER.

There was also a Barbie cafe serving predominantly pink food and drinks, as well as a spa, a make-over counter and an area where little girls could dress as Barbie and get their photos taken.

Back at work on Monday, someone mentioned they’d heard Barbie Shanghai had closed down after only two years in business. Surely not, we were just there yesterday… Turns out we had visited Barbie on her last day in town. Bloody good timing and I’m so glad I bought Swing Ponytail Barbie while I had the chance.

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  1. […] were Barbies of everything (which didn’t surprise me too much having visited Barbie Shanghai in 2011) including Elizabeth Taylor and Twilight’s Bella and […]



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