Those days are gone as local toymakers worldwide are being phased out by an avalanche of plastic Barbie dolls.
Stores offering a decent selection of dolls clothed in Iranian national attire are few and far between with only a couple of such outlets in downtown Tehran having survived the onslaught.
One of these stores, owned by Javad Karimi, has on offer the Khatu – the domestic version of a Chinese copy of a Barbie doll. The problem is that Iranian Barbies cost a bit more.
“The Khatun dolls are selling well, especially ahead of Shab-e yalda and Nouruz holidays, Javad Karimi told Sputnik.
عروسکهای باربی چینی را با لباسهای اقوام ایرانی، به اسم عروسکهای محلی- سنتی ایرانی 20 هزار تومان میفروشند./ ايسنا pic.twitter.com/tRrQ1P9qv1— امیر کلهر (@AmirrKalhor) 29 февраля 2016 г.
When asked why they are using Chinese Barbies to make their own dolls, Javad said that the easier it is to make a doll’s dress the cheaper the final price tag becomes.
“The more time you spend making a doll the higher the price and the harder it is to sell it. As a result, the sales are going down,” Karimi complained.
In 2002 Iran introduced its own dolls – twins Dara and Sara, designed to promote traditional values with modest clothing and pro-family values – but those proved unable to stem the Barbie tide.