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Star lover
March 9th, 2018, 08:31 AM
On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll goes on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City.

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Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. After seeing her young daughter ignore her baby dolls to play make-believe with paper dolls of adult women, Handler realized there was an important niche in the market for a toy that allowed little girls to imagine the future.

Barbie’s appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Originally marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops, the Lilli doll later became extremely popular with children.

150937. Lilli Doll, 1955

Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Handler named after her daughter, Barbara. With its sponsorship of the “Mickey Mouse Club” TV program in 1955, Mattel became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children. They used this medium to promote their new toy, and by 1961, the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to release a boyfriend for Barbie. Handler named him Ken, after her son. Barbie’s best friend, Midge, came out in 1963; her little sister, Skipper, debuted the following year.

Sales of Barbie-related merchandise soared, topping 1 billion dollars annually by 1993. Since 1959, more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family have been sold around the world and Barbie is now a bona fide global icon.



I got Barbie and Ken for Christmas one year......my mom HATED Barbie. I had the dolls and all the accessories, including the case. We had a basement flood and all that survived are the dolls themselves and some clothes (what could be washed and cleaned). The case was cardboard covered vinyl.

auntstuff
March 9th, 2018, 10:17 AM
I never owned a Barbie doll, never wanted one. But then, I never cared for dolls in general. But I DID collect all the horses I could get my hands on.

Star lover
March 9th, 2018, 10:24 AM
I never owned a Barbie doll, never wanted one. But then, I never cared for dolls in general. But I DID collect all the horses I could get my hands on.

Funny, I don't like dolls today. I really didn't like Barbie then, but my mom hated her, so I wanted her......rotten little kid. I only keep them now, hoping they'll be worth something and I can sell them!......hope, but probably not gonna happen.

Astatoo
March 9th, 2018, 10:32 AM
My Mom gave me a Barbie for my birthday when I was 7, I didn't want one but Mom thought I would because my cousin was "die-ing" for one. I never played with it but I did learn to sew by making clothes for her and giving the clothes to my cousin and her friends.

Vonnie
March 9th, 2018, 11:50 AM
I will admit I played with them when I was a kid. I had Barbie, Ken, Skip and Scooter. Back then G.I. Joe was the same height as Ken but more muscular. I used to get mad at my brother because he would raid Ken's closet for clothes then steal Barbie away for a date with Joe! And Joe did not even care that he stretched out Ken's sweaters! That Rat!

My brother and I stole some of my father's bandanas and made parachutes with them and put the parachutes on the dolls and through them off the roof.

One year my vicious poodle Fluffy murdered Barbie. He chewed her head, hands and feet right off!

wildernessquilter
March 9th, 2018, 12:23 PM
I never owned a Barbie doll. I guess she came out at the end of my playing dolls age. I had a Ginny doll. It was shorter and built more like a child than Barbie. Then I had boys so as close as they got to dolls was GI Joe.

laura44
March 9th, 2018, 12:26 PM
I still have an original Midge. My older sister took all the Barbie's and clothes
when she moved out. I have a few original cases, not worth much, as everyone
owned one.

jjkaiser
March 9th, 2018, 12:40 PM
I had two Barbies, boy I thought that was something special having more than one! I had a ton of clothes. My sister and I played with them all the time. Nowadays if girls play with Barbies instead of getting just new outfits they get another doll. I think that is so crazy. My 5 yo gd has about 20 dolls and she hardly ever plays with any of them. I don't even know what happened to all my original stuff. My brother (the hoarder) probably has them squirreled away someplace bc his favorite expression is "That's gonna be worth something someday!"

Nwmnteacher
March 9th, 2018, 01:44 PM
I loved Barbie as a kid. Back then, girls played with dolls for a longer time... I remember still playing with Barbies into 6th and 7th grade. Now, the girls get them at a younger age, and are done with them earlier. I learned to sew making clothes for her; made them all by hand. My mom also sewed clothes for her. I still have my Barbie, Ken, and all their clothes.

Jeanne

CraftyJnet
March 9th, 2018, 05:24 PM
I had a talking Barbie - she had a string that I pulled. But like Vonnie, my lab named Bella chewed Barbie up one time when we were gone on vacation.

Navy Wife
March 9th, 2018, 06:45 PM
My DD had a Barbie and Ken and lots of clothes. She decided to give them to the girl across the street when she was tired of them. I wish I had stopped that gift!

SuzyQue
March 9th, 2018, 06:51 PM
I have an original Barbie, but she was played with and loved to pieces....literally! Probably not worth much. I have a later Barbie and Scooter in the original box. My mom made lots of clothes. My daughter only loved and played with baby dolls. She was never interested in Barbie, although her grandmother bought her so many. She gave them all away while she was still young, but we have many of her baby dolls still.

Cokie
March 9th, 2018, 06:55 PM
I had Barbie, Ken, and Skipper. My Barbie had short blonde hair. My brother used to take Barbie to ride with GI Joe in his GI Joe jeep, too! And he cut Skipper's hair off. I got Barbie's dream house for Christmas one year. It was just cardboard but you could unfold it different ways to make walls of different rooms in the house. I had cases for the and a bed for Barbie too - I think it was a canopy bed, if I remember correctly. My mom saved all of my dolls for me except my Barbie dolls - she sold those at a garage sale! And I had two boys so my dolls are in a box in my storage closet.

chelea
March 10th, 2018, 03:27 AM
My mom knit clothes for my Barbie with those itty bitty double point needles...they had beautiful details. I'm the eldest of 6 kids so I don't know how she found the time or had the patience.

bubba
March 10th, 2018, 04:42 AM
I did not own Barbie either, however, I did own her cousin Midge...the redhead with the flip hairdo and freckles! I still have her.

My oldest sister had one of the originals, complete with that black and white swimsuit. She asked her husband to clean the closets when he was on vacation. Yes, it ended up at the Goodwill never to be seen again!