Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Of Barbie Dolls and Others

Last weekend, I gave in to an urge to do some gallivanting, so decided to visit One Utama in Damansara. "One U" for short, is one of Kuala Lumpur's many shopping malls. The anchor tenants here are Jaya Jusco (Aeon) and Parkson. It was my first visit since they added the new wing to the complex and since IKEA moved out.

Being the weekend, there were a number of product promotions in the concourse areas. First up, saw lots of people lining up at the balcony on every floor. On looking down, realised it was a Barbie promotion. The show started off with a number of dance schools performing. I was on the second floor so just managed to get a few faraway non-sharp shots - sorry. Here is one. Looks like there were more adults than children. Did you know that Barbie first made its appearance on March 9, 1959? Also, Mattel, the toy producer, estimates that there are well over 100,000 avid Barbie collectors. Ninety percent are women, at an average age of 40, purchasing more than 20 Barbie dolls each year.

Vintage Barbie dolls from the early years are the most valuable at auction, and while the original Barbie sold for $3.00 in 1959, a mint boxed Barbie from 1959 sold for $3552.50 on eBay in October 2004. On September 26, 2006, a Barbie doll set a world record at auction of 9,000 pounds sterling (US $17,000) at Christie's in London.

There was also an OSIM promo. The products promoted were in the form of massage chairs and the like. It drew a good crowd trying out their massage chairs. (Another dark aerial shot.)

BMW and Mercedes Benz were also strutting their stuff. I have no pictures for this one. There were too many sales personnel around so I was rather embarrassed to take any shots. Lots of people milling about the show-units too.

Going through the annexe that joins the old wing to the new, I saw this mural on the wall. It is a mural of tiles and mosaics, whose artwork was contributed by children in the "Green Friends" project - something to do with the environment. Look at the painted tiles up-close. They are very pretty and meaningful and some have the artist's name and age on them too.

The external facade of some of the shops caught my attention. I noticed just one outlet with a Christmas display. Surprising. Surely there should be more decorations by now. I like this huge display of Nicole Kidman for Chanel No. 5. Made me wonder (again) what that couch-jumper was thinking.

I like this one too - GUESS. Big is beautiful, I guess.

And this one, an airy and pleasing-to-the-eye outlet - the clever use of glass. Nice.

What about this? An eye-catching nook. I did not check out what it was though. Notice it says PLAYBOY on top? There were colourfully-painted footprints on a floor of black leading up to the stairs. Anyone knows what this place is? A club? A boutique? I remember seeing a clothes outlet directly one floor up. Perhaps the staircase leads to that outlet above?

I also took pictures of some food outlets but they did not turn out well. One was of a Japanese restaurant illuminated inside by lots of longish red lanterns. The decor looked nice and cosy. Another fascinating outlet is one that sells Chinese herbal drinks. What was fascinating about that place are the huge urns and a gigantic teapot or cauldron-like container holding the herbal drinks.

It was fun, playing tourist, but all too soon, it was time for home. I must say, that was a good trigger-happy outing.


  1. My fave mall.... even though The Curve & Co is slowing overtaking it...

  2. Well, wasn't that fun? That looks like a nice mall to run around in (but dangerous if you actually bring money or credit cards).

    My aunt is one of those avid Barbie collectors. Now in her 70s, she still has an extra bedroom in her house that is the museum for her ever-changing collection. She used to hit me up to get things for her, such as limited-edition dolls sold only in Japan, but she got to be so obnoxious about it that I'm no longer willing even to take any such requests.

    Yes, Barbie is truly a phenomenon...and a testimony to humankind's obsession with fashion and impossible female figures.

    Can you understand it at all?
    Zen and the Art of Barbie Doll!
    Ogle at her G-size,
    Waist and legs, sparkly eyes,
    Let's just say our culture's doomed to fall...

  3. it's really been ages since I last went to OneU... I haven't even seen the "garden" inside the mall!

    Speaking of Barbie, I just remembered the only Barbie I have ever had is a tanned Barbie at the beach. It costed RM19.99 but at that time I could only get that cheapest model. I loved it very much though. Now it went missing... :-(

  4. Nice...

    Wow... christmas display already in November?

    hehehe.. I bet it was fun playing as a tourist :D

  5. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Wow... so many things around eh
    I must go have a look soon too

  6. LB, my fave too though I've not been to The Curve. Will have to check it out one of these days.

  7. Barbies are the fancy dolls of most ladies, are you the one of them? At least, I am.

    Suddenly, a Barbie song (Barbie Girl – by Agua) comes up to my mind:

    OH!!! Let's sing together :-)
    I am a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world,

    Hi Barbie - Hi Ken - You wanna go for a ride - Sure Ken - Jump in!

    I am a Barbie girl - in a Barbie world - life in plastic - it fantastic
    You can brush my hair - undress me everywhere - imagination - life is your creation

    Come on Barbie - let go party


    I a blond bimbo girl in a fantasy world
    Dress me up- make it tight - I your dolly

    Youe my doll - ock and roll?- feel the glamour in pink
    Kiss me here, touch me there - hanky panky

    You can touch - you can play - if you say - I always yours


    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party
    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party

    Make me walk - make me talk - do whatever you please
    I can act like a star - I can beg on my knees

    Come jump in - bimbo friend - let us do it again
    Hit the town - fool around - let go party

    You can touch - you can play - If you say - I always yours
    You can touch - you can play - If you say - I always yours

    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party
    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party


    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party
    Come on Barbie - let go party - Come on Barbie - let go party

    Oh I having so much fun - Well Barbie wee just getting started -

    Oh I love you Ken

  8. MM, yeah, that was quite fun and you're right, a dangerous playground. Was really tempted to part with my money but saved by the thought of having too many clothes, too many shoes, too many books, too many non-essentials waiting patiently at home.

    Interesting about your aunt's hobby and collection. Wow! That must be a grand collection.

    Yes, it's hard to imagine
    Dresses for a body so thin.
    Join in. Mattel would be glad
    Ken, the boyfriend will show you the fad
    Happily with Barbie enjoying gin.

  9. YD, One U is really a nice place - easy to navigate and lots of opportunities to lighten your wallet. LOL!

    Oh, sorry about that Barbie of yours. Never too late to start a new collection though.

  10. Hi Selba, welcome, welcome.

    Is it too early for Xmas decorations? And I thought they are late. Perhaps you are right as I still see the lit-up decoration Hari Raya ketupats are still around. Do you celebrate Hari Raya? If so, let me wish you a Selamat Hari Raya or Aidil Fitri.

    Yes, playing tourist was rather fun. You can play dumb and get away with silliness. haha..

  11. Z, yes, an interesting mall. Check out that Playboy outlet for me?

  12. PP, what an appropriate song for the post. Thank you very much. I have posted the lyrics in my Lyrics blog here. Did you know I have a Lyrics blog? It's not fanciful but meets my needs. Check it out when you get time.

  13. OMG! LOL! I had forgotten the Barbie Song until now!!!!

  14. OMG! LOL! I had forgotten the Barbie Song until now!!!!

  15. oops! too excited. sorrry....

  16. Oh.. thanks for the welcome and the wish but I don't really celebrate Hari Raya, only celebrate in the part of eating the ketupat, hehehe :)

  17. LB, yeah, me too. LOL! Good of PP to remind us.

    Selba, you are welcome. Ketupat is nice with the right satay kuah.