Lifestyle & Belief

Barbie café opens in Taiwan (VIDEO)


Barbie has officially been pulled from Tehran's shelves, as Iran's religious leaders attempt to quash Western cultural influences.


Miguel Villagran

Home to the first Hello Kitty café and Hello Kitty airplanes, it was only logical that Taiwan would open the first Barbie café too.

With hot pink sofas, high-heel-shaped table and chairs covered in tutus, the iconic doll-themed café opened in Taipei on Wednesday for fans of the famous blonde, reported Agence France-Presse.

According to CNN, the café's pink and magenta design cost TW$50 million (US$1.7 million). It has a giant Barbie box where customers can step in and feel like a doll for a day, while waitresses wear tutus and tiaras, and their male colleagues try — in vain — to look like Barbie's boy-toy Ken.

US toymaker Mattel licensed Taiwan's restaurant group Sinlaku to run the Barbie café in hopes its location in a bustling Taipei shopping district will help promote Barbie as a fashion brand.

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"We picked Taiwan because theme restaurants are very popular and successful here. We are very confident that the Barbie café can promote our brand image," said Iggy Yip, a senior manager in Mattel's consumer products division in Greater China.

And because Barbie's unnaturally slim figure might put people off eating, the restaurant menu has been designed by professional nutritionists, and has a calorie chart on its first page, along with a calorie count listed for each item.

"My child and I both love Barbie and this lovely and cute place is like a dream come true for us," Jessica Ho, an office worker in Taipei who has a five-year-old daughter, told AFP. "I will take her here to celebrate her next birthday."