Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What a Doll! Barbie Still Reigns Little Girls, Mothers Line Up at New Store to Take Peek

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

What a Doll! Barbie Still Reigns Little Girls, Mothers Line Up at New Store to Take Peek

Article excerpt

HUNDREDS OF HER tiny high heels - pink, purple, yellow, orange - float inside twin glass columns crowned with lucite flowers. Hidden bubblers sweep the shoes in hypnotic, tidal motion. The shoes drift and rise, drift and rise, drift and . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

You will wear sequins and gold lurex.

You will wear aquamarine eye shadow.

You do want Barbie.

You do, you do - admit it, you do.

She's back, girls, bigger and glitzier than ever. Two weeks ago, Barbie opened her own boutique, a Pepto-Bismol pink wing of the expanded FAO Schwarz toy store at the Saint Louis Galleria.

"Barbie is extremely HOT," said store manager Bernadette Mayer. "I can't explain it."

If you haven't heard about it yet, you probably are not the mother of the Average American Girl between the ages of 3 and 11. Ninety-five percent of such girls own Barbie dolls, and they average seven Barbies each, according to Mattel, Barbie's manufacturer.

Ten minutes before the Barbie Shop opened Monday, a small crowd of mothers and little girls gathered outside, noses pressed against the glass. In the window, a very white, very blonde Barbie wearing a white tulle dress dripping with beads and pearls revolved on a mirrored stand.

Behind her, Barbie products stretched out of sight. Frilly dresses and nighties with matching outfits for real little girls. International Barbies in native dress. A My Size Barbie ($122.99) as tall as a 3-year-old, with clothes the child and the doll can share. (Guess who looks better in the ballgown?)

The shop also carries Barbie's white Ferrari, her pink cabin cruiser, her Golden Dream motor home, perfume, lipstick, doormat, Ken and other accessories. There is a Satin Dreams Barbie in sexy lingerie, and an Angel Lights Barbie whose skirt "Lights Up Your Home Beautifully."

A pregnant, blue-eyed blonde with red nail polish and matching lipstick stared at the Jackie Kennedy Barbie, wearing a red coat and matching pillbox hat.

"I have a 3 1/2-year-old old boy," she sighed. "But we're expecting our first girl in January. …

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