'World of Barbie' experience brings iconic doll into the real world

AFP / Frazer Harrison

From the first blonde-haired Barbie created by Mattel in 1959 to the upcoming "Barbie" film, the iconic doll with small feet continues to make a large impression on generations of fans at the new "World of Barbie" immersive experience in Los Angeles.

This trip is not just for young girls, said Lucy Treadway, producer for Kilburn Live, which built the life-sized version of Barbie's Dreamhouse.

"It's for grownups, too," Treadway said in an interview. "To see people's faces when they walk in, it really is fun. I mean, their jaws hit the ground, all ages."

She noted that both little girls and boys scream with excitement when they arrive.

Guests can explore rooms in the 20,000-square-foot attraction dedicated to Barbie's careers and hobbies and an assortment of doll selections that celebrate diversity.

"The message is you can be anything, and it's such a huge value for kids when they can walk into a room and see astronaut Barbie and all the different careers that would never dawn on a child, that they could be something," Treadway said.

She added that the dolls have come to represent inclusivity over the years with the message that children, no matter their background, can be anything.

Fans are encouraged to express their own style in the "World of Barbie" through the viral "Barbiecore" fashion trend of girly pink outfits and accessories.

The craze took off in 2022 when celebrities, including "Barbie" star Margot Robbie, Zendaya, Lizzo, Florence Pugh and Anne Hathaway, began sporting themed outfits at events ahead of the "Barbie" live-action film opening in July.

Fans can also buy Barbies and Barbiecore accessories at the "World of Barbie," with plenty of options for customers to embrace their love for the Barbie world.

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