A 6-year-old Utah girl’s sneaky Barbie spending spree has become an internet sensation, and an unexpected windfall for Primary Children’s Hospital.
Catherine Lunt had ordered one Barbie — a purple Barbie Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Fairy Doll, specifically — for her daughter Katelyn, a reward for doing extra chores around the house. When she gave Katelyn permission to check on the order’s status on Amazon.com, Katelyn “went crazy” and ordered what she later called a “Barbie collection.”
Lunt didn’t notice until the next day when she was checking on a different order and saw a long list of Barbie dolls and accessories she didn’t order — like the Barbie Dolphin Magic Transforming Mermaid Doll, which comes with a water-squirting dolphin and costs $18.77.
The toys totaled close to $400. Some items Lunt was able to cancel, but many were already shipped.
The following day, a delivery van showed up at the Lunts’ home in Pleasant View, north of Ogden, with a stack of boxes nearly as tall as Katelyn, who turned 6 on Aug. 2.
“It was hilarious so we had to take pictures,” Lunt said in an email. “Her face pretty much says it all.”
The photos were sent to Katelyn’s cousin, Ria Diyaolu, in Scottsdale, Ariz., who posted them on Twitter last Saturday.
“Next thing you know, she’s getting all kinds of hits on Twitter,” Lunt said. “It was a little crazy, and very surprising.”
The tweet, in which Diyaolu calls Katelyn “my badass little cousin” and includes a photo of the girl standing by the Amazon packages and grinning devilishly, got more than 26,000 retweets and nearly 79,000 likes.
The Lunts considered sending the packages back but decided instead to donate the excess Barbie dolls and accessories to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where Katelyn spent a week when she was born in 2012. A hospital spokeswoman said the Lunts brought the packages to Primary on Tuesday.
“I guess we used it more as a teaching moment than a time for punishment,” Lunt said.