The Most Popular Fashion Doll Ever Produced
"Barbie is more than a doll, she is a pop culture icon"
In 1959, Handler created the Barbie doll, which she named after her daughter and which proved to be the most popular doll in America. Barbie’s official birthday is March 9, 1959—the day she was officially introduced to the world. Handler always saw Barbie as a reflection of the times, with the first doll mimicking the glamour of 1950s stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. In its first year, 300,000 Barbie dolls were sold. The first Barbie doll sold for $3.00, but a mint condition #1 doll can fetch more than $25,000 today.
Fabulous Glamorous Doll
Barbie Over Time
Over the past six decades, the iconic doll has changed hairstyles, facial expressions, and held more than 200 jobs. In addition Barbie has adapted to changing times with expanded career options, broader representation across race, nationality, and body type, and of course, the latest styles.
She’s taught girls everywhere to aim high and maximize their potential, with her huge catalog of careers and adventures. She’s been a princess, a doctor, an entomologist, and even a UNICEF ambassador, refusing to let traditional ideas of a woman’s role get in her way.
Nowadays, Mattel has started to launch dolls with more realistic body sizes and disabilities — to be more inclusive and representative of more identities. Not only does modern Barbie come in several body types and skin tones, but she can also have no hair, wear a hijab, have a prosthetic leg, have vitiligo, or use a wheelchair. Anyone can find themselves in a Barbie doll.