The History of Barbie

1 January 2017

Let me begin by telling a story. A young girl meets a boy and they fall in love. The girl graduates from high school. She had visions of a great career success in the real world. She wanted to go to college anyways because her parents thought traditional. The girl went to college and married the boy too. They raised two children, Barbie and Ken. They are the creators of the company Mattel and the makers of Barbie, Ruth and Elliot Handler. The reason of me telling you this story is because I am fascinated with Barbie and I’m a Holiday Barbie collector.

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Barbie was designed after a famous cartoon character in the West German Newsletter named Bild Lilli. Bild Lilli was first sold in Germany of 1955. In March of 1959, Barbie made her way to the New York Toy Show. Once the demand of Barbie caught up, the public purchased $500 million worth of Barbie products. The first Barbie made had a black and white striped swimsuit with a signature topknot ponytail. The dolls were only made in blonde and brunette. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, and the clothes were hand stitched by Japanese home workers. Barbie was the first doll to be marketed on television marketing.

Barbie had a fictional biography. Her full name was Barbara Millicent Roberts. In the series of Random House in the 1960’s, her parents George and Margaret from Willows, Wisconsin. She attended Willows High School and has an on and off relationship with her boyfriend, Ken Carson. A news release from Mattel in February 2004 announced the break-up of Barbie and Ken. After the breakup, Ken was suppose to have a makeover, Barbie had over 40 pets , owned wide variety of vehicles, held different roles in life. Barbie held different types of jobs from an Aerobics instructor to a Wedding stylist.

While on Barbie’s adventurous journeys she met a range of ethnic companions such as family and friends. In the book, Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll, explains the impact on baby boomers in 1959. Barbie was invented to teach women what’s expected of them. The author who is a first generation Barbie owner shows her readers how she hopes to change how the world perceives the doll. . In June of 2001, the beginning of Bratz dolls came to surface. Bratz outsold Barbie in the British market. Against Bratz, Barbie fell thirty percent in the United States and eighteen percent worldwide.

The 50th Anniversary was a once in a lifetime celebration. Barbie doll 50TH Anniversary sparkles brightly with a dazzling commemorative doll. The epitome of glamour, the radiant doll glitters beautifully. From Barbie’s popularity came with controversies. Even though Barbie was introduced as a woman who is able to do anything a man does still stirred up problems. From Barbie’s companions to Barbie’s weight had the worst controversies and lawsuits. Back in 1967, the “Colored” Francie, was the first African American that had white features and lacked African American characteristics. In 1968, Christie made her debut.

In 1997, Mattel remade Barbie’s waist because of kids began to think it was okay to be that size. A collection of Black Barbie was launched in 1980 until Mattel introduced the “So in Style” range of barbies in September 2009. That specific collection was intended to create a more realistic depiction of black people than the previous dolls. Mattel and Nabisco had joined forces in 1997, to launch a promotion of Barbie with Oreo cookies. “Oreo Fun Barbie” was marketed as someone with whom little girls could play and share America’s favorite cookie. Mattel manufactured both white and black version.

Critics argued that Oreo is a derogatory term meaning that the person is “black on the outside and white on the inside” in the African American community. This doll was unsuccessful and was recalled the unsold stock, making it sought after by collectors. Mattel had filed a lawsuit against MGA Entertainment and Carter Bryant concerning of a supposedly former designer for Mattel claiming that the company secrets was stolen by MGA There are over 100,000 collectors mostly women. They spend up to $1000 a year. The vintage Barbie dolls from the early years are the most valuable at auction.

It is three Barbie dolls sold every 3 seconds. The original Barbie was sold for $3. 00 in 1959. A mint boxed Barbie from 1959 sold for $3552. 50 on EBay in October 2004. The collector’s edition dolls depicting Barbie dolls with a range of different ethnic identities. Share a Smile Becky is one of a rare collectible. She is the first fashion doll designed in a wheelchair. It is also a series called Dolls of the World, which features the dolls from different countries with costumes. Other collectibles are the series that featured the collections of premiere Hollywood couturiers, Givenchy,

Dolce& Gabbana, Gucci, Versace, and Vera Wang. In the book, “Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls and collectibles”, assist collectors who collect vintage Barbies. The book contains information and prices from the first Barbie starting from 1957 to 1976. This book is informative to collectors. With humble beginnings as a teenage fashion model, Barbie doll has transformed into a best friend, confidante, and a fearless adventurer. While the dolls’ next adventure continues to unfold, the most collectible doll in the world has cemented her place in pop culture history yesterday, today and tomorrow.

My father started my journey of collecting in 1986, my first Holiday Barbie. Every Christmas under the Christmas tree another one is added to the collection. I look at Barbie as a role model because as a child I learned that she can do anything. For twenty five years, my father has continued on this tradition and showed me discipline on collecting. Hopefully in the future, they will be worth at least half a million.

In her fifty year history, Barbie influenced generations. The author, Tanya Lee Stone, explains at how Barbie became the icon that she is and the impact that she had on our culture. The book features anecdotes and memories from a range of girls and women, a foreword by Meg Court, and original color photographs. Stone, Tonya Lee. The Good, The Bad, and The Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us. Viking Juvenile, 2010. Print. This book contains a cultural analysis of a women’s idealized perception of the Barbie doll, and the construction of the Barbie doll image through marketing.

It provides a emphasis on the ability of respect. It focuses on the creation in 1959, and the current practices of representations in 1999. Weissman, Kristin Noelle. Barbie: The Icon, the Image, the Idea: An Analytical Interpretation of the Barbie Doll in Popular Culture. Universal Publishing, 1999. Print. In 1959, Barbie’s impact on baby boomers was revolutionary. It explains how Barbie was invented to teach women what’s expected of them. The cultural critic and investigative journalist, M. G. Lord, who is a first generation Barbie owner wrote a provocative book that hoes to change how the world looks at the doll.

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The History of Barbie. (2017, Jan 03). Retrieved February 23, 2019, from
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