The History of Barbie
The first Barbie Doll was launched back in March 1959 by Ruth Handler. To this day over one billion barbies have been sold!
Ruth’s daughter, Barbara, enjoyed playing with paper dolls, giving them adult roles. as opposed to the baby dolls girls her age would play with. Elliot, Barbara’s husband and co-founder of Mattel wasn’t too keen on the idea.
A German toy doll called Bild Lilli caught Ruth’s eye while on a trip to Germany with the kids. This doll looked like an adult – something Barbara wanted to play with. Bild was a blonde bombshell, a working girl who knew what she wanted. First sold in Germany in 1955 to adults, it soon became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in different outfits that could be purchased separately.
Redesigned and renamed this doll, Barbie was a BIG hit!
The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail – either blonde or brunette. Barbie was a “Teen-age Fashion Model” with hand-stitched clothing by Japanese homeworkers.
My Love For Barbie Dolls!
Bringing it Back…Way Back!
I had to get the “Dana” Barbie doll when it came out…to have a Barbie with your name. Dana was part of the band, Barbie and the Rockers.
Why Barbie was Influential For Me
I never looked at Barbie as having off-proportioned bodily dimensions. I looked to her as the doll that could do anything. She could be a doctor, fashion designer, teacher…you name it!
Skipper was her younger, adventurous sister (like my sister and I!), with a super cute male friend – Ken.
Did you grow up with Barbie Dolls? If so, which one was your favorite?