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In case you haven’t heard, Barbie turns 50 today. America’s top selling doll made her debut at the New York Toy Fair back in 1959. To throw her a birthday party in style, Mattel has rented a beach pad in Malibu and turned it into a real life Barbie Dream House. The company is rolling out the “pink carpet” with event planner Colin Cowie handling the star-studded soiree tonight. Decorator Jonathan Adler supervised the interior design.
Mattel is also releasing a new version called Bathing Suit Barbie that will sell for a limited time for just $3—the 1959 price. The new version of the old gal has gotten some umm—plastic surgery—including a thinner jaw, more almond-shaped eyes and fuller lips.
You also might have heard about this salacious new book “Toy Monster: The Big, Bad World of Mattel” which claims that Barbie’s chief designer, Jack Ryan, was a 70s swinger. He was formerly married to Zsa Zsa Gabor. The moral of this story from a real estate perspective: Little about Malibu seems have changed in 50 years, except of course the prices.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.