Barbie is 50, but apparently refuses to age gracefully.


The pink, pretty Mattel stalwart celebrated 'her' golden birthday yesterday at the life-sized 3,500-square-foot Malibu Dream House in California. And amongst the mound of fluffy, frilly prezzies was a gooey pink gift from German manufacturer Volkswagen and Italian carmaker Fiat.

The Fiat's metallic pink was achieved by layering lacquer over a unique fine aluminium bodyshell. Crystals in the shape of Barbie's silhouette are stuck to the pillars, more are crammed onto the hubcaps and window frames; even the antenna.

Inside, silver Alcantara is matched with silk and sleek viscose. The glove compartment is a mini-make-up box, matched to a high-powered LED vanity mirror that could burn the retina with prolonged exposure.

Not to be out-pinked, the customised Beetle Cabrio is fitted with a white custom leather interior and soft-top, with pink quilted leather lined doors and floor mats. To top off the over-the-top interior, about three kilos of rhinestones are scattered through the cabin in a pattern reminiscent of a deranged patient let loose with a BeDazzler.

There is an automated vanity set in the trunk, and the oil dipstick is shaped like a pink lipstick. Five shades of paint went into the lurid hot-pink paint job.

"Like the New Beetle, Barbie has made a remarkable impact on pop culture history, and still remains a cultural icon today," said General Manager of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Laura Soave. Hmmm.

What's the bet Paris Hilton has one of each by the end of the week.