March 09, 2008

Midlife Crisis: Can Barbie Hide Her Past?

Barbie is 49 years old! On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair.

Barbie was modeled on a German doll based on a comic strip character. The Lilli doll was marketed as a racy gag gift
for adult men. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, named Barbie for the daughter of the doll's creator.

Mattel released a boyfriend for Barbie named Ken in 1961, named for the dollmaker's son, and other characters later. Since 1959 more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family have been sold around the world.


deborah wilson said...

I't hard to believe that Barbie is that old. My sister and I had so many Barbie dolls when we were growing up. Some of them are now worth some money. I wish I still had mine but my sister seemed to want to give them all a haircut.

I think Barbie will survive although now she is facing a lot of competition - mainly the Bratz dolls.

I use to also like the Dawn dolls that were popular in the 60's. I've been thinking about buying one on ebay just for old times sake.

rosemary said...

I think Barbie has had some work done over the years....and I wonder if she will ever marry Ken.

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