I want to start out by saying I’m a highly educated woman. I have a BA from Dartmouth College in Mathematics, and an MBA from Berkeley. I’m an accomplished woman who is happy with her career. I believe girls can be whatever they want to be, and I hate the pink trend going on now, where every toy company feels like toys are only for one gender, and all girls toys must be pink.
That being said, I grew up one of only two girls, and my mother had no such qualms as I do. We had doll everything and loved Barbies. My sister still has a large collection of collectable Barbies. So imagine my delight when I found out they had Barbie Stores in Buenos Aires. That’s right, not one, but several stores dedicated to Barbie. They had barbie clothing, dolls, shoes, everything. And…they had a fashion area to get your make-up done, some had a cafe, and they all had a play area, where you could play with barbies, doll houses, the barbie car, etc.
I have a daughter so I had an excuse. Putting aside my pseudo-feminist feelings and indulging my inner child, I decided that I was going. I told my son there were Barbie cars he could play with so he would come. I was so excited.
One our first day out an about in the Recoleta area, we accidentally found one store. My son was asleep at the time, but my daughter wasn’t so we went in. As I walked my daughter up to the play area, the store attendant told me it was closed. I was disappointed, but didn’t think anything of it.
On our third day I made a conscious effort and planned for it. I found it on the map, figured out how to get there, and we made our way there after lunch. The trip involved a melt down, a harrowing ride on a crowded bus on a super hot day, and a compass to figure out what way we needed to go on the map. But we made it to Casa Barbie in Palermo, the biggest Barbie store.
We went in, well the kids ran in excited as I tried to corral them so I could find the play area. I found it, but they told me we needed a pass. I went to buy the pass and discovered something not on the website. It’s a parent free play area, you actually drop off your kids for an hour. And you have to be 3 years old to go in. They wouldn’t let me bring in my daughter. To make matters worse, they wouldn’t even let me buy a pass for my son. They said there was nothing in there for boys. Guess they don’t believe boys can play with anything they want just like girls.
Disappointed, it was at least air conditioned, so we decided to eat at the cafe. The kids enjoyed sitting at their own kids table and sharing a muffin. We shared the same muffin, but not their enthusiasm for the taste. I was terribly disappointed, more so after I paid the high price for the bad food at the cafe.
I did a quick glance around the store and was surprised to see it sold more clothing than toys. The clothing starts at size 4, so I couldn’t even find anything for my daughter. I was going to at least buy her a Barbie so the trip wasn’t a waste, but when the kids (who were nice and sugared up at this point) started running around the store, we left buying nothing and escaping to a nice playground near by so they could run off the energy.
I’m sure if your little girl is 3 or older and loves Barbie, they would enjoy this store. But if you have younger children, or boys who like Barbie, don’t bother coming. It’s a waste of a trip. 😦
- Palermo, Monday – Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM, Sundays and Holidays: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM
- Recoleta, Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
* Photo taken by Atma Photography