Barbie is on the move. Yes, after years of entertaining millions with her plastic assets, Mattel's pink mascot has put her home on the market.
The Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse, according to its listing on Trulia , "the dreamiest of all dreamhouses", went up for sale this week. The "totally glam, contemporary home" spans three storeys to offer 8,500 square feet of "fab" living space to its diminutive owner.
The sparkling surfaces and hardwood floors are all painted in the custom Pantone 219C shade of pink, while the elevator doors are emblazoned with the Barbie signature head – "a feature than can be easily customised to any occupant's initial or monogram".
The colourful furnishings don't stop there, though: the mansion also includes a shower (with heated pink marble flooring) and a custom closet with enough space for all of your shiny, waterproof accessories and shoes (sold separately).
But while investors will be impressed by the diamond-encrusted accents, the crystal chandeliers and the "voluminous 199-centimetre ceilings", the most impressive feature is in the living room: indeed, Barblie's Malibu Dreamhouse is the only home in the Malibu area with a fireplace that crackles, even when it's not on.
Why would Barbie sell her iconic piece of real estate? Is she sick of the Poliform kitchen and inedible food? Is one bedroom and one bathroom not enough for the queen of bachelorettes? Has she grown tired of the "unobstructed panoramic view of the ocean" – because the house only has three walls?
Keeping up with the Jones'
It turns out that California's most famous resident's decision is the latest in a string of innovative marketing campaigns by Mattel, from a social media drive to reunite Barbie and Ken after a seven-year separation to a series of web videos called "Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse". It is all part of Barbie's attempts to keep up-to-date with modern society.
Last year, the doll's new career as an architect was bashed heavily by architecture critic Alexandra Lange, highlighting her "outdated hot-pink blueprint tube" as a gender-specific idea that would only narrow girls' expectations.
An eight year old joined in the backlash: "If you're going to send a girl an Architect Barbie," Olivia Steger emailed Dwell magazine , "then you should send something about architecture with it so that she knows what that doll means… Also you could send the girl a link to the Frank Lloyd Wright Architect Studio 3D, so she could build a house in 3-D. I myself like books about Frank Lloyd Wright, but that might not encourage other girls because, after all, [Frank] was a man."
One year on, the former architect/aerobics instructor/dentist/doctor/paratrooper/firefighter/astronaut/cheerleader/air stewardess/US President has enlisted reality TV star and celebrity estate agent Josh Altman to help her sell her property. She has also hired a team of designers to re-imagine her home for the 21st Century.
Altman told The New York Times he was pleased to be on board and would help Barbie to view homes "anywhere on the planet" because "she speaks God knows how many languages."
A time for house hunting
Barbie's extravagant house hunting may have rubbed Americans up the wrong way a few years ago, while the country's economy was still struggling with recession. But with US house prices steadily rising – seeing the biggest increase since 2006 in December – and demand pushing property sales to the highest level in five years , Barbie couldn't have picked a better time to move home.
The price for Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse? $25 million, according to Mattel's valuation.
Just don't try to use the toilet.
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