Photo by Steph Ash
(This review is from Iris, age seven, who is late to dress because she was compelled to show a trick she learned on the playground. She is finally ready.)
On her necklace choice—a long string of fake pearls: Do you see how I did this necklace? Do you see?! You aren’t listening! This is not how I did it last time but it looks the same.
On her hair: My hair is staying like this! Fine. I will brush it a little.
(The ride to the Mall of America takes longer than expected as Iris has an urgent need for a Dairy Queen Blizzard.)
On Barbie dolls: I have, like, 2,000 of them. (Editor's note: She has around 25.) I gave my friend Meredith this Ariel salon where you can do hair and salon things, and also a shirt, and then she gave me her Barbie Dreamhouse.
On what she can expect: How big is it? Will it have levels? Barbie has a deck on top of her Dreamhouse and she has a bedroom level with a bathroom and an eating room on the bottom level and also a kitchen. Will this have that?
On how to address her: My name is Cottage Cheese. My mom is an apple and my dad was a pie. So...
(Passing the Barbie Volkswagen Beetle parked inside the MOA, and upon entering the lobby area of Barbie—The Dreamhouse Experience, Iris is gobsmacked into silence. It only lasts a few seconds.)
On the lobby and merchandise shop: Wow! I don’t get how how they made all these decorations! Someone really had to paint this place. Do I get to keep this bracelet? OmigoshlookatalltheseBarbies!
On choosing an avatar: You don’t know Teresa? You must not watch Barbie, Life in the Dreamhouse. I am Teresa because I have brown hair.
In the elevator: Why are we on this elevator? Is this elevator really going up?
In the kitchen: I want to go in the freezer! (Iris is confronted with walls and walls of Barbies) Oh, wow! I like this one and this one but not this one but I do like that cape. I like all these but not that one because of the hat.
On making a digital cupcake: What? You only get one little thing of sprinkles? Fine. Hit “save”. Where does it come out? It’s in this bracelet? How can it be in there—it doesn’t show anything!
While sitting in the sleigh: Don’t touch that button! Oh, wait. It turned on a show. No, it’s a trailer. There is Chelsea with the dog she met in the winter! Okay, let’s go. Oh, wait! I’m a snow queen! Okay, let’s go.
On Barbie’s balcony: This is at the beach! This is soooo cool! You can see things in here, like pictures. Ohmigoshlook! When I press this button these flowers grow! Oh, look! If you move this thing there are different pictures! There’s me because I’m Teresa!
At Barbie’s piano (while Barbie’s show plays): In this one she wanted to be a musketeer because her dad was a musketeer and her cat wanted to be a mus-CAT-teer. Get it? She is on her way to Paris. I don’t know what happened to her dad. Maybe he died.
On playing Barbies with friends: My friend Maria has light brown hair in real life but she plays the girl with the dark brown hair on the show. The girl in the mirror who sings is my friend Sully. We are never the evil one. We are always the good ones. There’s another level? The bedroom? I want to see Barbie’s bedroom!
In Barbie’s bedroom: She has a huge bed! I want to be Barbie! The ballerina on that music box has a big hand. That doll over there is the kind that you do the hair on only you can’t here, I guess. If only you could…
On the vintage Barbies: This Barbie is my favorite but I like this dress and this dress and this dress….
While “trying on” Barbie’s clothes: I’m shaking my hands! I’m shaking my hands! All right, let’s go now. Oh, wait! Shoes!
In Barbie’s shoe closet: When I pull this lever the song plays. (Editor's note: The song is “Everybody Needs a Ken”.) Now where are we going? Entertainment World?
In the elevator: It almost goes on forever. Oh, wait. This isn’t an elevator. It’s an airplane!
In the Barbie van: In this episode of the show they are in the sewer, I mean the plumbing, because Ken connected the aquarium to the plumbing. Ken is not very smart. Oh! That guy likes Barbie. I think his name is Brian. (Editor's note: His name is Ryan.) OhmigoshtheEiffelTower!
At the catwalk: I gotta do this! (Editor's note: Iris catwalks many times.)
At the coloring table: I’ll just take one home. Put it in your bag, mom.
On Barbie shown in various careers: She goes to the moon, she’s a police officer, she’s a smart tech girl… She probably went to college.
At the salon: It’s cool that you can do Barbie’s hair here. I was worried. You like my lip gloss? I just got it done. It has sparkles on, like the song. (Editor's note: The song is “Get Your Sparkle On.”) OhmigoshBarbie’smotorcycle! I gotta ride it!
On Barbie’s motorcycle: I’m thirsty. How do we get out of here?
Upon leaving: So you get to keep the ring, the necklace, and the bracelet? How do I get the things I made off the bracelet? You have to pay for that? Oh.
On the ride home: I want to go there 200 more times. I get why people wouldn’t like Barbie but I don’t get why they wouldn’t like that. You guys, I think we were on the same level the whole time—those elevators weren’t real! You didn’t know that? You are not very smart. I like my bow ring better than your Barbie head ring. It looks like Barbie’s head was chopped off, but you can still hear her tiny little peeps on sparkly sunny days when people are swimming, screaming, “Barbie! Barbie!”
I’m finished talking now. I want cupcakes for my birthday, but not chocolate. There’s a boy in my class who doesn’t like chocolate.