Barbie Leaves Malibu to Search for New Dreamhouse (Or So Says Mattel)

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Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Girls getting dressed up for the catwalk - PHOTO COURTESY MATTEL/RENE MACURA
  • Photo courtesy Mattel/Rene Macura
  • Girls getting dressed up for the catwalk
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Without a change of scenery, life can get a little monotonous -- even for Barbie. After 41 years in her Malibu mansion, what Barbie is apparently craving even more than a new pair of shoes is a different view.

Or so says Mattel. The El Segundo-based company kicked off its "Barbie Is Moving" tour at the Grove Saturday, allowing Barbie fans of all ages to participate in doll-themed fun while generating buzz for the company's summer 2013 release of a new Barbie Dreamhouse.

Part of the shtick is that Barbie is scouring the continent for what might be her new home, with a 13-week tour making stops in 13 cities, including the expected New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle and Chicago. But Barbie's not just interested in U.S. cities: The all-American girl is making two Canadian stops, in Vancouver and Toronto. There's also a three-day visit to Bentonville, Arkansas, which surely has nothing to do with the Walmart shareholders' meetings scheduled for the same week. What Malibu gal hasn't dreamed of settling down in Razorback country?

click to enlarge The Barbie motorcade - PHOTO COURTESY MATTEL/RENE MACURA
  • Photo courtesy Mattel/Rene Macura
  • The Barbie motorcade

In classic Barbie fashion, the doll made her way from Malibu to the Grove in her head-turning pink motorcade of a Corvette, Fiat, Volkswagen bug and moving truck. Even more mouth-watering than the cars? The chauffeurs manning the wheel. While Barbie's longtime boyfriend Ken did not be accompany her on the road, she had a beefcake look-alike in each car's driver seat.

Barbie has done some remodeling since she first moved to Malibu in 1960. For instance, her home made the transition from cardboard to plastic in 1979, and she added a third floor to her previously two-story pad in 2012. But we're told this is the first time she's contemplated a new neighborhood.

And so, in pursuit of buzz, Mattel has put the Malibu house on the market. Barbie even enlisted celebrity realtor Josh Altman, known for selling houses on the Bravo show Million Dollar Listing, to help bring in the big bucks for her fuchsia home. We're guessing Barbie would have better luck reaching the $25 million asking price if the house weren't made of pink plastic, but Altman has done his part by flawlessly marketing the house on Trulia.com, highlighting its "diamond-encrusted accents," "pink elevator" and "doll-lightful custom closet," while downplaying that the house is two and a half feet tall.

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