We have not been able to escape the wave of pink caused by the release of Barbie. Japan, as is often the case, gets a later release date of August 11, though we can already get in on the fun with a series of Japan-only collaborations and pop-ups featuring limited edition goodies countrywide.

MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ BARBIE, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. | Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Barbie’s First Time in Japan

Japan has been familiar with the concept of Barbie since the 1960s, when it was launched here by Mattel. It was a huge flop — mainly because the doll was too independent. She was shown roller skating in mini skirts with bold kohl eyeliner. Barbie was, of course, blonde. At the time, any blonde person walking through Tokyo would have drawn stares. To compete directly with Barbie, Takara launched a more Japanese-centric doll, Licca-chan, which was much better received.

In the 1990s, however, an increasingly Americanized Japan embraced Mattel’s Barbie relaunch. It remains a popular toy among Japanese children today.

Barbie Collabs in Japan

To celebrate the release of the highly anticipated Greta Gerwig movie, there has been an influx of collaborations with brands across the globe. This includes the likes of Burger King, with its pink burger sauce, and Airbnb, which opened a real-life Barbie house in Malibu. A country that loves a limited-edition product, unsurprisingly, Japan has also jumped on the bandwagon.

Lumine Tokyo Barbie Box Photo Booth

Two Lumine shopping complexes — in Yurakucho and Ikebukuro — are having their very own Barbie-themed photo booths until the end of August. Shaped like the classic doll box, visitors have the chance to step inside and become Barbie. There’s also a dedicated space for Ken.

At Lumine Shinjuku on August 19 and 20, there will be a special Barbie exhibition. Check out some items from the movie and get your nails done in the style of Barbie herself by licensed technicians. Alternatively, pick up one of the limited edition goods available for purchase. There will also be an art window, with Barbie-themed artwork by two local artists.

Plaza’s Special Barbie Goods

Popular variety store Plaza launched its Barbie range at the end of June, which features a range of travel goods, including a sunglasses case, an AirPod case, a neck pillow and more.

Peach’s Mysterious Airline Tickets

​Mattel has also teamed up with Japan’s low-cost airline carrier, Peach, to offer ¥5,000 tickets to exciting unknown destinations. Head to a participating store — Yurakucho Lumine and Osaka Parco — to spin the dial and grab a destination out of the Barbie-pink vending machine. If you plan to use the deal or not, watch the frankly hilarious promo movie the brand has produced, which sees airline staff act out key movie scenes.

Barbie Sweets at W Osaka

Luxury lifestyle hotel W Osaka is producing a range of Barbie-themed edibles at its Barbie collaboration café, including Barbie-inspired desserts, burgers and afternoon tea. The Barbie parfait with lime cream, lemongrass and peach sounds especially delicious. The café is open until September 15.

Barbie is scheduled to screen in movie theaters around Japan from August 11.