Barbie is 60 today!
The Barbie Doll is 60 today! She has been an astronaut, news reader, surgeon and president. Back in 1959 when she launched at the New York Book Fair she was just a doll in a swimsuit with a ponytail holding a pair of white sunglasses in her hand.
Six decades later 100 dolls are sold every minute, which is a total of 58 million a year.
The first black Barbie was released in 1967.
Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, who owned the toy company Mattel with her husband Elliot. She was inspired by the paper dolls her daughter Barbara played with, as well as a German doll named Bild Lilli (which was based on a naughty cartoon, and intended as an adult gift.)
In 2016 Mattel introduced 33 new Barbies, available for the first time in three additional body shapes: tall, petite and curvy.
The new range of Barbies also had seven skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 types of hairstyles. The following year saw the first hijabi Barbie, as the doll based on Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad was added to the ’Shero’ collection.
For International Women's Day 2018, Mattel released new dolls based on NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, aviator Amelia Earhart and artist Frida Kahlo (we sold three of these rare dolls here on Lovely’s Vintage Emporium website.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARBIE!