July 28, 2023
SINGAPORE – It is Barbie’s world and we are just living in it.
In the lead-up to the highly anticipated movie Barbie – starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and opening in Singapore cinemas on Thursday – toy company Mattel’s crown jewel has secured wide-ranging collaborations that will appeal to any fan eager for a pink-themed piece of the action.
From a Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse listing on vacation rental app Airbnb to driving the iconic doll’s baby pink 1956 Corvette in the Xbox game Forza Horizon 5, there is something for everyone.
Even doughnuts in the Philippines have been Barbie-fied – the tie-up with Krispy Kreme Philippines gave birth to a limited-edition, glitter-glazed Barbie Doughnut.
With the marketing machine on overdrive, Barbie is not just a childhood phase any more, but fast becoming a plastic-fantastic lifestyle.
What to watch:
Fans’ Extravagance: Barbie The Movie
Boost your Barbie movie experience at this fan event and screening on Saturday at Golden Village Bugis+ ($26 for Golden Village members and $28 for non-members).
Moviegoers get a door gift worth $35 that includes a Creme Maison Bakery cupcake, a Scent Concept hand sanitiser and a Rooki Beauty Superfood Saviour Creme Mini.
The first 50 participants will also enjoy a lip makeover by MAC Cosmetics, while a selected eight can dress life-size mannequins with apparel from local fashion label The Closet Lover to win goodie bags.
Lastly, the top three winners of the Best Dressed Contest will each get a set of rose champagne and white wine worth more than $100.
When: Saturday, 7pm
Where: Golden Village Bugis+, 05-01, 201 Victoria Street
Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge
Hosted by American model Ashley Graham, this four-part home-makeover reality competition features eight teams of HGTV design and renovation stars – including Married To Real Estate (2022 to present) couple Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson, and Luxe For Less’ (2022) Anthony Elle – as they transform a 4,500 sq ft Southern California home into a life-size, fully functional Barbie Dreamhouse.
Each renovated space is inspired by a decade in the 60-year history of the Dreamhouse. The winning team with the dreamiest design will have a donation made to the charity of their choice, and one passionate Barbie fan will win a once-in-a-lifetime sleepover staycation in the completed home.
Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge is airing on HGTV (Singtel TV Channel 250) on Mondays at 10pm.
What to buy:
Barbie The Movie Dolls
How can a Barbie movie not have its very own Barbie dolls?
In June, Mattel dropped a collection of fabulous figurines based on the film, with Barbie and Ken dolls modelled after Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu from memorable scenes, such as a dazzling disco-style Margot Robbie Barbie dancing with a tracksuit-clad Simu Liu Ken (both priced at $109.99).
They are available from Toys “R” Us outlets and www.toysrus.com.sg.
Barbie Movie x Typo
Barbie-fy your life with Australian gift and stationery brand Typo.
Some bestsellers of its Barbie collection include the Florence Pencil Case ($19.99, available in four bright colourways) and the Barbie Daily Mug ($11.99), reminding you that today is the best day ever.
Get them at Typo outlets islandwide and cottonon.com/SG/typo/new-trending/typo-collab/typo-barbie.
What to listen to:
Barbie The Album
The highly anticipated official soundtrack album is helmed by superstar producer Mark Ronson and spans a wide range of genres – from K-pop (Fifty Fifty) to Latin pop (Karol G) to a ballad from Billie Eilish.
Although a string of singles from the album – such as Dua Lipa’s Dance The Night and Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s Barbie World – have come out in quick succession since May, perhaps the most surprising addition is Sam Smith’s Man I Am. A track written from Ken’s perspective, it will be released as a single on Friday, the same day of the album release (wmsg.lnk.to/barbiethealbum).
Barbie The Album will also be available in Barbie’s signature hot pink in vinyl (US$24.98 or S$33), cassette tape (US$14.98) and CD (US$14.98) from www.barbiethealbum.com.
Barbie Girl – Aqua
There is no better time than now to revisit the 1997 earworm from Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua.
The ubiquitous third single from the quartet’s debut album Aquarium (1997), Barbie Girl soared to the top of the charts in more than 10 countries, and debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 at a time when few Scandinavian pop acts broke into the United States.
Their biggest hit was born after band member Soren Rasted saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Copenhagen, Denmark, featuring Barbie dolls, which inspired the famous lyric “Life in plastic, it’s fantastic”.
Within five months of Barbie Girl’s release, Mattel sued MCA Records, Aqua’s North American record label, claiming that the song infringed its copyrights and trademarks on the doll.
The case dragged on until 2002, when it was eventually dismissed. The judge ruled in Aqua’s favour, citing that the song, a parody, was protected under freedom of speech. In 2009, Mattel released a series of advertisements and a promotional music video of Barbie Girl with modified lyrics as part of a marketing strategy to revive sales.
Even though the original song does not feature in the Barbie movie, its legacy lives on through its sampling on the Nicki Minaj-Ice Spice remake Barbie World.