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Happy Birthday Barbie!

Posted on March 09, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

Happy Birthday Barbie!

On March 9th, 1959, the first ever Barbie doll was premiered at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Before Barbie, most children’s dolls were babies but one day Ruth Handler noticed her daughter Barbara playing with her dolls, giving them adult roles – and the idea for the Barbie doll was born.

The first Barbie doll was produced in a blonde and a brunette version, marketed as a “teenage fashion model” with her clothes hand-stiched by home workers in Japan. In the first year of production, 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold. Since then, over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries. Mattel claims one Barbie is sold every three seconds.

These days, it’s not just Barbie you can buy but Ken, an extended family and all sorts of home and leisure equipment for them all.

Here are a few fun facts about the world’s favourite doll:

  • Her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  • Her parents were named George and Margaret Roberts and featured in a series of Barbie books ┬áin the 1960s.
  • Her on-off boyfriend, first appearing in 1961, is Ken Carson.
  • In 2004, Barbie and Ken split up, but apparently decided to rekindle their relationship in 2006 after Ken had a makeover… this according to the Mattel press office.
  • In her 56 years, Barbie has had pets including a panda, a lion and a zebra.
  • Barbie has a pilot license.
  • In 1965 Mattel released as Miss Astronaut Barbie.
  • The original Barbie in 1959 cost $3.00; in October 2004 a 1959 Barbie in a mint condition box sold for $3552.50!



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