Barbie announced the launch of the Fan Bing Bing Celebrity Specialty doll. The globally renowned actress made a special appearance to launch the doll alongside Robert Best, Barbie's chief designer for the Barbie Specialty line. Ms. Fan has the illustrious honor of being the very first actress from China to be invited to join the Barbie global celebrity Hall of Fame. Her collaboration with Barbie will give purpose and meaning to play and help ignite the spark inside girls across China to "Shine Your Way."
Numerous famous celebrities from across the globe have had their shining moments captured into Barbie Hall of Fame. Cher in her iconic 70s disco gown, Elizabeth Taylor in her famous nigh gown decorated with a rare diamond necklace,Audrey Hepburn classical look in 'Roman Holiday', and Marilyn Monroe in her signature floating red dress with her famous red lips.
Fan Bing Bing is the latest celebrity to be added to the celebrity Hall of Fame. Born in 1981, in the coastal city of Qingdao, China, she began her acting career in 1996. She established her own studio in 2007 and since then has gone on to have an eclectic career as an actress, producer, entrepreneur, principle of an arts school, and continues her endeavors in many philanthropic projects. Ms. Fan gained international stardom and recognition with her Dragon Robe red carpet debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. The dress, co-designed by Chinese designer Laurence Hsu and Ms. Fan, featured two leaping dragons, crashing waves on the hem, and an elegant bright yellow that was exclusively used by emperors in ancient China.
At the launch event, Ms. Fan took time out to sign two of her Celebrity Specialty dolls, and the dolls were presented to Mattel and also its long-term strategic partner Toys R Us as a token of appreciation for support and also to commemorate this unique shining moment.
It was this emotive design that laid the foundation for an extraordinary collaboration between the star and Barbie Specialty line chief designer Robert Best.
Robert Best, Barbie Specialty line chief designer:
"When I first heard I had the chance to work with Fan Bing Bing I instantly thought of the moment she walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. Her Dragon Robe debut really struck me. The styling was perfect and it allowed her personality to break through – graceful, elegant, but with a confidence of knowing this is her moment to shine," he commented.
"As I started to design for her I realized this look was perfect for her iconic doll. Not only is it globally recognized but is the absolute embodiment of all the things that make Barbie special. That rare ability to give girls across the globe confidence to allow their inner beauty to shine for everyone to see."
Ms. Fan also had the opportunity to visit Mattel headquarters in the US earlier in the year, offering her thoughts to Robert Best and his design team.
Fan Bing Bing, Actress:
"My first impression when I looked at the doll was "wow, it looks so extraordinarily pretty!" I am very honored to be given this opportunity to join the Barbie family alongside many celebrities that I respect so highly. Barbie has such an important and irreplaceable place in the hearts of millions of girls – including myself as well. She really gives girls the strength to have belief in who they are and what they can achieve. She has helped me do that and I sincerely hope that with this Fan Bing Bing doll I can help encourage girls across China, and from around the world, to also find out what their talents are and let them shine in every way imaginable. This is truly a very special moment to me."
The launch of the Fan Bing Bing doll is a fitting reminder of Mattel's commitment to delivering their key high quality brands to children across China, ensuring that they have many memorable moments and experiences that help with their well-rounded development. General Manager of Mattel Greater China, Jeff Wang, has used his personal experience of raising a daughter as well as this principle of aiding well-rounded child development to ensure that this collaboration inspires girls across China to shine.
Jeff Wang, General Manager of Mattel Greater China:
"At Mattel we believe in being a strong partner with parents, in doing so we can have a deeper understanding and stronger affinity with the development of our children. Barbie is central to this. Barbie grows up with the girls. In many ways she is like a friend, a sister, and a companion all in one, not just for the girls but the mothers also.
As a parent myself, I believe there are tremendous opportunities for our girls here in China. We must encourage them to express their talent, demonstrate their passion, capture opportunities, cherish special moments and above all we must give them a platform to shine. This is what is at the heart of Barbie's "Shine Your Way."
We feel that this Barbie is perfect for China because she encourages girls to do exactly this, realize their dreams and shine in their own way. And here today is an exceptionally talented, homegrown lady, who exemplifies this core idea – 'Shine Your Way'."
The Barbie Fan Bing Bing doll, featuring the star in her famous Dragon Robe, will debut globally during the exhibition and showcase at the Grand Gateway complex in Shanghai on May 31st. Soon after, it will be available in stores across China, as well as selected stores overseas. Thirty dolls as autographed by Fan Bing Bing will be exclusively for sale at the Barbie T-Mall online store.
The launch of the new doll coincides with a three-week long Barbie 'Shine Your Way' exhibition, which will run from May 28st through to June 17st at the Grand Gateway in Shanghai. "Shine Your Way" is part of the Barbie commitment giving play purpose and meaning and affording all girls across China the chance to shine in their own way.