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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

First Barbie-themed restaurant opens in Taiwan

AFP  Taipei, January 30, 2013
First Published: 16:04 IST(30/1/2013) | Last Updated: 16:47 IST(30/1/2013)

With hot pink sofas, high heels-shaped tables and chairs decorated with tutus, the first Barbie-themed restaurant opened in Taiwan on Wednesday catering to fans of the iconic doll.


US toymaker Mattel has licensed Taiwan's restaurant group Sinlaku to operate the Barbie Cafe and hopes that the new establishment in a bustling shopping district in the capital Taipei will help promote Barbie as a fashion brand.

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

Besides dolls, Mattel retails garments, accessories and furniture in Taiwan and some select products will be available in the cafe, she said.

Yip is hopeful that the restaurant will also attract Barbie fans from China, Hong Kong and Japan, which are among the biggest sources of tourists to Taiwan.

Jessica Ho, an office worker in Taipei who has a five-year-old daughter, gave her thumbs-up to the Barbie Cafe.

A waitresses poses as she displays a cup of macarcons during the opening ceremony of a Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei on January 30, 2013. With hot pink sofas, high heels-shaped tables and chairs decorated with tutus, the first Barbie-themed restaurant opened in Taiwan on January 30 catering to fans of the iconic doll. Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh

Waitresses wave in front of a Barbie poster during the opening ceremony of a Barbie-themed restaurant in Taipei on January 30, 2013. With hot pink sofas, high heels-shaped tables and chairs decorated with tutus, the first Barbie-themed restaurant opened in Taiwan on January 30 catering to fans of the iconic doll. Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh

"My child and I both love Barbie and this lovely and cute place is like a dream come true for us. I will take her here to celebrate her next birthday," she said.

Taiwan has a long history with Barbie as it used to be a manufacturing centre for the dolls until Mattel relocated its production lines to China and elsewhere to lower costs in the late 1980s.

Mattel had launched a Barbie concept store in China in 2009, as it celebrated the doll's 50th birthday, but it was closed down after two years amid reports the outlet failed to get off the ground.

A view shows chairs during the media preview of a Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei January 30, 2013. The 660-square-metre "Barbie Cafe", fashioned with Mattel's barbie dolls themed decor and food dishes, will open January 31 along Taipei's Zhongxiao Dunhua shopping belt. Reuters/Pichi Chuang


Employees serve customers during the media preview of a Barbie-themed cafe in Taipei January 30, 2013. The 660-square-metre "Barbie Cafe", fashioned with Mattel's barbie dolls themed decor and food dishes, will open January 31 along Taipei's Zhongxiao Dunhua shopping belt. Reuters/Pichi Chuang

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