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Barbie gets a Beetle and a 500 for her 50th

By Samantha Stevens, 13 Mar 2009 Opinion

Barbie gets a Beetle and a 500 for her 50th

Only in America - Barbie doll's 50th birthday presents include two pink automotive abominations.

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.