24 July 2023

Don't have a cow about the Barbie and Ken movie - have two

| Zoe Cartwright
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roadside plastic cow and bull display

Bovine Barbie and bullock Ken adorn the side of the Princes Highway near Jaspers Brush. Photo: Supplied.

Moo-ve over, Barbie, Jaspers Brush has its own fantastic plastic heroes.

The Turfco cows by the Princes Highway just south of Berry have had a wardrobe change to celebrate the Australian release of the new Barbie movie, starring Australian actor Margot Robbie and American Ryan Gosling.

The udderly fabulous beasts have been painted in classic Barbie pink and Ken blue, and displayed in extravagant boxes reminiscent of the iconic fashion dolls.

The Turfco cows have been an entrenched part of the scenery between Nowra and Berry for more than a decade, and are regularly redecorated to celebrate everything from Christmas to the State of Origin rugby league series.

Artist Scott Parker is the creative mind behind the unofficial mascots, which have become extremely popular on social media for their changing displays.

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In a post, Turfco said the Barbie-inspired display was some of Parker’s best work yet – but until last week he had no idea about the movie.

“Everyone at work puts ideas on the calendar, and it was looking a bit slow until spring,” he said.

“The girls in the office said there’s a movie coming out on Thursday, Barbie and Ken, and could we do something, so we talked about ideas and decided to put Barbie and Ken in a box.

“It took me about five straight days of work to get them out on time.”

Parker said the effort had been well worth it, and he’d seen plenty of people out taking selfies with the cows, including an older couple dressed in matching Barbie pink and Ken blue.

“It’s rewarding when you see people enjoy it,” he said.

“And this is one of our better ones – although we got more likes on social media for our NAIDOC display. That got 1.2 million, but this has had more comments and shares.”

painted plastic cow display

Scott Parker decorated one of the cows to mark NAIDOC Week 2023. Photo: Turfco.

A butcher by trade, Parker says if someone had told him 20 years ago he’d be painting cows for a living, he would have told them they were mad.

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Now he wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Barbie movie arrived in Australian cinemas on July 20, following a $110 million opening in the US.

The film follows Barbie and Ken as they travel from matriarchal Barbieland to the real world on the hunt for Barbie’s owner.

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