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Barbie Turns 60 this Year: A Glimpse of Her Intriguing Journey in the Toy World

Ever wondered what a childhood would be like without Barbie?

For many of the young girls, yearning reaches another level in the Barbie universe, coupled with thousands of fantasy worlds that they have imagined with Barbie dolls in their hands.

A Barbie doll is & will always be young girls’ favorite until the end of time. From brunette to blonde, from slender to curvy, from black to white, this exemplary doll has evolved to keep up with the times over decades.

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The Barbie will be 60 this year & during this duration Barbie gave children the power to create their own sphere, away from fetid rules & perceptions that mature adults have built around them. In these 6 decades, Barbie doll has reign as a global artistic icon & its creator, Mattel has strived to revamp Barbie to keep her relevant with the ever-changing times.

History of a Barbie doll

Barbie, the globally renowned fashion doll, was invented in 1959 by American businesswoman Ruth Handler, who named it after her daughter Barbara. It was manufactured by the American toy company Mattel & introduced to world at the American Toy Fair in New York City on 3rdMarch 1959.  In the first year (1959), Barbie Mattel toys sold around 300,000 Barbie & have sold around a billion Barbie dolls do far.

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The Barbie doll was made with the motive of empowering young girls & making them believe they have a choice. This thought was splendidly radical for its time back in 1959.

The First Barbie

The name of the first doll was Barbie Millicent Roberts & she was associated with a fictional town Willows, Wisconsin. It was named after Barbara Millicent Roberts, Ruth Handler’s daughter.

Fictional Name of Barbie’s parents were Margaret & George Roberts & her on-&-off boyfriend was named Ken.

Initially, Barbie’s job was a juvenile fashion model; however the doll was later made into several versions covering almost 125 distinct careers, including US President.

First Outfit of Barbie

The first Barbie seen at 1959 American International Toy Fair in New was seen sporting a zebra-striped swimsuit and ponytail with both, blonde & brunette hair. Barbie’s clothes were designed by Charlotte Johnson & hand-stitched in Japan.

Legacy & Influence of Barbie

Barbie Doll has significantly impacted social values by radiating strong characteristics of female independence. The multitude of accessories conveys an idealized life-style that can be shared with opulent friends.

The ground-breaking careers opted by Barbie through 6 decades include a registered nurse (1961), Astronaut (1965), Baby Doctor (1995), Fire-fighter (1995), Pilot (1999), Director (2015), Scientist (2015), Game developer (2016) & President (2016).

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Barbie, the cultural icon of Mattel toys has been awarded with honors that are rare in the world of toys. A section of Times Square, New York City was renamed as Barbie Boulevard for a week in year 1974. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris organized a Barbie exhibit in Year 2016 that incorporated around 700 Barbie dolls on two floors. It also featured works of contemporary artists, newspapers that scrutinize & contextualize Barbie.

Media Franchise of Barbie Dolls

The Barbie doll completely revamped the toy business in communities with deep pockets by becoming a medium for the sale of associated merchandise (accessories & clothes etc).

The Barbie products however, are not limited to range of dolls with clothes & accessories but also an exclusive range of Barbie branded goods such as stationeries, apparels, cosmetics & video games.

Barbie Media Franchise

It was in the Year 1987 that Barbie expanded into a media franchise that brought forth Barbie girl songs, Barbie movies, Barbie games & television series. By year 2006, around 27 million units of Barbie movies were sold across the globe.

The two special Barbie television series include Barbie and the Rockers: out of This World and the Sensations: Rockin’ Back to Earth.

Glimpse of upcoming Barbie Dolls

Year 2019 is not just to celebrate anniversary of 60 years old Barbie, however the 20th series of Barbie Fashion Model Collection will hit the runway too! BFMC has galvanized Barbie’s attire with the timeless elegance of classic tailored clothes from past & a contemporary twist.

  1. Proudly Pink Barbie: This 60th Anniversary, Barbie doll will be bolder than ever in her signature color, Pink. The Barbie will be adorned with a hot pink faille top, logo print skirt, pale pink logo print purse, pink gloves, pink stretch stiletto boots and a rhinestone logo brooch, bubblegum pink hair styled in a chic up-do. Robert Best is the designer of this posable silk-stone bodied & gorgeous vintage face sculpted Barbie.Barbie temp42. Repro Busy gal Barbie Doll: This Repro Busy Gal Barbie is reproduced from the exemplary design of Barbie from 1960s that is sure to dazzle Barbie fans & collectors. The Barbie doll wears a vintage fashion featuring a striped blouse under a red-colored suit, classic accessories & has a gorgeous face sculpt.

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A billion of Barbie dolls have been sold since 1959 & around 58 million dolls are sold each year. Over these 60 decades, Mattel Toys has given a whopping 180 different careers to Barbie & since year 2016 they are manufacturing Barbie dolls in 7 different skin tones, 22 eye-shades & 24 hair-styles.

Richard Dickson, Mattel’s President and Chief Operating Officer said in a statement that Barbie’s propensity to advance with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is the key reason why Barbie is the leading fashion doll in the world.



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