Posted by: Chuck | September 3, 2013

‘Crazy obsession’: The Singaporean man with 6,000 Barbie dolls

Barbie Jaguar

Barbie Jaguar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The white exterior and spartan grey staircase of Jian Yang’s tidy row house give no hint of the shock that lies within – a pink living room floor and his collection of more than 6,000 Barbie dolls. The 33-year-old Singaporean favors minimalist decor but the Barbies and 3,000 dolls of other kinds dominate three sides of the main room and spill over to fill nine mirrored cabinets in his dressing room and the shelves of his study. Yang has a professional interest in toys and consumer trends as director of strategy at Omicom Media Group. But his Barbie collection began at age 13 when he bought the “Great Shape” model in a turquoise Spandex gym outfit and striped leg warmers. ” His boyhood interest turned into a “crazy obsession” that his friends support and his family has come to accept. The self-described “toy nerd” reckons he has spent at least S$500,000 ($392,000) over the last 20 years on his collection, which also features hundreds and hundreds of dolls from the Bratz Girls, Monster High and Jem and the Holograms lines.

Barbie, launched in 1959 wearing a zebra-pattern swimsuit, has sold more than 1 billion dolls. But for Mattel Inc, the toy giant that makes her, sales of the dolls and related products fell 12 percent in the April to June period of this year – the fourth straight quarter of decline – as tastes shift. Yang said Barbie was an icon that still had a future but “the relevance is waning” as princesses and ballerinas give way to the ghoulish imagery and stories popularized by vampire movies such as “Twilight” and “New Moon.” Source: Reuters News 9/3/13)



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