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Barbie Dream House a nightmare for Vice

Writer visits Mattel's life-size Barbie house in Sunrise

July 18, 2013 04:00PM

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Barbie Dream House Experience (Credit: Marc Serota/Mattel)

The 10,000-square-foot Barbie Dream House Experience, which opened in May at the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, is terrifying, a writer for Vice magazine said in a column.

Writer Mitchell Sunderland paid a visit to the house, in which he encountered a life-size doll box called a “Glitterizer”; pink rooms of varying sizes; touchscreens that create digital cupcakes; a giant refrigerator with no food and a flat-screen TV playing Barbie webisodes.

“I want to say that Barbie’s Dream House was a feminist inspiration, that behind the pink there was a core of inner beauty, but it was really just an interactive advertisement for internet videos and souvenirs, like an EDM fest for tween girls,” Sunderland wrote. “It wasn’t even pop culture. It was just pop — a plastic pink promotion for a plastic doll that told girls they had to be plastic too.”

Barbie’s manufacturer Mattel and EMS Entertainment developed the house, which took less than a year to build, the Daily Mail said. The house is largely a replica of the doll’s fictional Malibu beach house.

Trulia listed the then-nonexistent dream house in February for $25 million as part of a Mattel marketing campaign, as previously reported. The Florida location is the first life-size one on the tour, though a Mattel official said New York City could be next. [Vice]Mark Maurer

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