Imagine going back to the apartment of one super crazed Barbie fan who claims to have spent $70,000 on her extensive Barbie collection.
Azusa Sakamoto, who prefers to be called Azusa Barbie, is literally a Barbie girl living in her pink Barbie world. The 34-year-old’s obsession apparently started at the young age of 15.
Since then she has collected thousands of Barbie items including dolls, handbags, shoes, perfume, clothes, stationary, kitchen appliances and artwork.
Her Los Angeles home is a Barbie shrine decked out in Barbie memorabilia.
Sakamoto also shares photos professing her love of Barbie with over 15,000 fans on her Instagram account. During an interview with Caters TV, Sakamoto said:
“Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I don’t care.”
Her valuable collection worth up to $70,000 include 145 dolls, 40 pairs of shoes and 60 bags.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“I always look for Barbie items on websites. Whenever I find them I buy them so it could be every week or everyday.”
One question that she gets asked a lot is whether she talks to her Barbie dolls. Sakamoto explained:
“So people ask me if I talk to Barbie, but I don’t. I don’t talk to barbie dolls, but she just shows me that she can be anything. Sometimes she’s a chef, a driver, a professor. She always shows me we can be anything.”
For Sakamoto and other fans, Barbie is a source of inspiration. She said:
“I’m not trying to be like her, but I appreciate when people call me Barbie because I love her so much.”
One conundrum that has puzzled Sakamoto is why Barbie doesn’t have her own exclusive nail artist. She wondered:
“So I was always thinking some celebrity people have exclusive nail artists and Barbie is the most famous girl in the world, but why does she not have an exclusive nail artist for herself. That’s why I started thinking about being barbies nail artist. I always make nail designs to match Barbie’s outfit.”
According to her site, Sakamoto is a California licensed nail artist who appears to have set up her own Barbie nail station based in Los Angeles.
This past summer, Sakamoto also attended the 2016 National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention where she got to meet the principal designer of Barbie, Bill Greening.
According to Sakamoto, she has met each member of the Barbie Dream Team except for one who she hopes to finally meet next year.
Sakamoto, who is originally from Japan, became infatuated with American culture after visiting the U.S. as an exchange student. She told Daily Mail:
“I remember when I was 15 I went into a shop which imported international goods and that’s when I saw a Barbie lunchbox […] Ever since that moment I’ve been Barbie and pink mad. I only ever buy the official Barbie brand though, and even the shade of pink has to be right. I’m actually really fussy, I won’t buy anything new unless the colour is pastel pink, Barbie pink or strawberry milkshake pink.”
For Sakamoto, Barbie isn’t just for kids. She plans to continue her collection for as long as she lives.