Friday, August 28, 2009

"C'mon, Barbie, let's go party!"

I spent the late-90's listening to popular music, so I'm pretty familiar with Aqua's 1997 hit Barbie Girl. 

It is a fun tongue-in-cheek song. (Who doesn't smirk at such lyrics as "You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere"?) 

But Mattel certainly didn't see the fun in it. The company sued Aqua's label for trademark and copyright infringement, but did not win. In 2002 a judge ruled the song is a parody. The ruling actually contained this sentence: "The parties are advised to chill." Ha!

And, according to a New York Times article, Mattel apparently has chilled. The company is using a revised version of Barbie Girl (and a new dance called "The Barbie") in an upcoming advertising campaign for Barbie Fashionista dolls, which feature 12 points of movement. 

Mattel's updated version has removed the quasi-naughty lyrics and replaced them with inspirational ones, such as "You can be a star, no matter who you are." 

See for yourself: Here's Aqua's version, and here's "The Barbie."

Personally, I find the mix of dolls and humans in the Barbie video a little terrifying. And that dance. Yikes.

Oh, and just for fun: Here's Aqua's original Barbie Girl lyrics as posted by PureLyrics.com.

Aqua
Aquarium (1997)
Barbie Girl

- Hi Barbie! 
- Hi Ken! 
- You Wanna Go For A Ride? 
- Sure, Ken! 
- Jump In! 
- Ha Ha Ha Ha! 

I'm A Barbie Girl In The Barbie World 
Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic 
You Can Brush My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere 
Imagination, Life Is Your Creation 

Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party 

I'm A Barbie Girl In The Barbie World 
Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic 
You Can Brush My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere 
Imagination, Life Is Your Creation 

I'm A Blonde Single Girl In The Fantasy World 
Dress Me Up, Take Your Time, I'm Your Dollie 
You're My Doll, Rock And Roll, Feel The Glamour And Pain 
Kiss Me Here, Touch Me There, Hanky-Panky 

You Can Touch, You Can Play 
You Can Say I'm Always Yours, Oooh Whoa 

I'm A Barbie Girl In The Barbie World 
Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic 
You Can Brush My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere 
Imagination, Life Is Your Creation 

Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 

Make Me Walk, Make Me Talk, Do Whatever You Please 
I Can Act Like A Star, I Can Beg On My Knees 
Come Jump In, Be My Friend, Let Us Do It Again 
Hit The Town, Fool Around, Let's Go Party 

You Can Touch, You Can Play 
You Can Say I'm Always Yours 
You Can Touch, You Can Play 
You Can Say I'm Always Yours 

Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 

I'm A Barbie Girl In The Barbie World 
Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic 
You Can Brush My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere 
Imagination, Life Is Your Creation 

I'm A Barbie Girl In The Barbie World 
Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic 
You Can Brush My Hair, Undress Me Everywhere 
Imagination, Life Is Your Creation 

Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Ha Ha Ha, Yeah 
Come On, Barbie, Let's Go Party, Oooh, Oooh 

- Oh, I'm Having So Much Fun! 
- Well, Barbie, We're Just Getting Started! 
- Oh, I Love You Ken!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

House of Barbie

Anyone planning a trip to Shanghai? If so, I suggest a quick visit to Mattel's flagship Barbie store.

It's five floors of Barbie, people. That's 35,000 sq. ft. of space. 

Highlights include a winding staircase that houses 800 dolls encased in plastic boxes hung on stainless steel ropes, an area for shopper makeovers, a whole floor for the dolls themselves and lots and lots of pink paint.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Denied

It looks like Madonna won't be getting a Barbie mini-me version of herself anytime soon.

In the words of Nelson Muntz, "Haw-Haw."

(My snarkiness mostly is coming from the "Madonna is used to getting what she wants" quip. Well, that and I believe Barbie should remain Barbie.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Spooky in Pink


Christmas in July? No, it's Halloween in August -- or at least it is in Target's Barbie aisle, where I found Pink Halloween Barbie.

She certainly lives up to her name: There's a lot of pink, from her witch hat to much of her dress. There's even pink streaks in her hair.

Even if there is a bit of pink-overload, she's better some past Halloween designs, such as this dubious orange-and-purple combo. Yikes. (Who am I kidding? I buy all the Halloween dolls. I love 'em, weird designs and all.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tweet, Tweet



Did you know Barbie tweets?

She's got her own Twitter page where she updates fans in 140 characters or less. Most of her tweets refer followers back to her blog, but a few reference other events (like Heidi Klum's appearence on Conan).

Not on Twitter? Barbie's on Facebook, too.

It doesn't seem that Barbie's breaking any big news on the sites or speaking to hard-core collectors directly. And there appears to be little need to follow both web outlets faithfully, because it looks like they contain mostly the same information and links (that mostly point to her blog).

Why bother at all? Because, heck, don't you want Barbie to be YOUR Facebook "friend"?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Dickson

Rickard Dickson, general manager of the Barbie franchise, is working to turn around the brand, which has suffered in recent years becaues of changing consumer interest and intense competition (Bratz!).

He is responsible for streamlining the brand and focusing it. (There's now only one "Barbie" pink allowed: Pantone No. 219.) He also is responsible for many of the too-cool marketing schemes surrounding Barbie's 50th birthday, such as the "real" Barbie dream house in Malibu and the Barbie Fashion Week runway collection.

Read more about his efforts with the Barbie brand here.