Learn curious facts about the most famous doll in the world, which celebrates 59 years on March 9
“My whole Barbie philosophy was that, through the doll, the girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie has always represented the fact that women have choices. ” Ruth Handler
1. Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, a visionary mother and entrepreneur, whose inspiration came from watching her daughter play with paper dolls, imagining being an adult.
2. Barbie was born in 1959 in Willows, Wisconsin (USA).
3. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Robert, the same name as the daughter of Mattel’s founders, Ruth and Elliot Handler.
4. The doll was launched on March 9 at a toy fair in New York City.
5. Barbie first appeared wearing the famous black and white striped swimsuit. In addition, it was accompanied by kitten-style sunglasses, clog and hoop earrings.
6. Barbie has three sisters: Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea.
7. The characteristic color of Barbie is pink (PMS 219).
8. Barbie’s first boyfriend, Ken, appeared two years after the doll’s release in 1961.
9. Ken’s name is a tribute to the son of Mattel’s founders, Ruth and Elliot Handler.
10. Barbie and Ken broke up on Valentine’s Day 2004, after having been together for over 43 years.
11. Barbie and Ken resumed their romance and announced their return on Valentine’s Day 2011, after seven years apart.
12. Barbie’s first pet was a horse called Dancer.
13. Barbie has had over 40 animals, including dogs, horses, ponies, cats, a chimpanzee, a panda, a lion, a giraffe and a zebra.
14. The Barbie doll arrived on the European market in 1961.
15. Barbie’s best friend is called Midge and they have been friends since 1963.
16. Barbie went into space for the first time in 1965, four years before the first man stepped on the moon.
17. Barbie has had more than 180 careers, including doctor, astronaut, police officer, game developer, chef, dancer, airplane pilot, teacher, among others.
18. In 1975, Barbie entered the world of sports as an Olympic athlete.
19. Barbie has already represented five continents and 40 countries.
20. Barbie ran for president of the United States for the first time in 1992. She ran for president six times, but never won an election.
21. The best-selling Barbie to date was the Barbie Super Long Hair (Totally Hair), launched in 1992 and which had hair up to her feet.
22. Barbie has been dressed by more than 75 different designers, including Oscar de La Renta, Moschino, Vera Wang, Christian Dior, Zuhair Murad, Ralph Lauren, among others.
23. The Barbie doll is 29 cm tall.
24. To create a Barbie doll, more than 100 professionals are involved, such as fashion designers, makeup artists, dressmakers, etc.
25. Barbie has been a muse for many artists over the past 5 decades – including Andy Warhol and Peter Max.
26. Barbie’s Instagram account, @BarbieStyle, was launched in 2014 and quickly reached 1.9 million followers.
27. With more than 14 million likes on Facebook, Barbie is the only doll that has such a liked page on social networks.
28. In 2015, Barbie released her first vlog on YouTube and she remains an influential blogger on social media.
29. To date, Barbie has acted on more than 30 DVDs and played a variety of roles, from superheroine to rockstar.
30. The Barbie campaign video “Imagine the Possibilities”, released in 2015, was considered one of the most iconic ads of the year, based on the YouTube ad ranking table.
31. Barbie is the most popular fashion doll ever produced and the brand continues to dominate sales in this segment.
32. A Barbie doll is sold every three seconds in the world.
33. The Barbie doll has already paid homage to more than 80 famous movie characters, such as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
34. Barbie is sold in 150 countries.
35. In 2014, Barbie honored Karl Lagerfeld by making a doll inspired by him.
36. In 2016, Barbie gained three new body types (Petite, Curvy and Tall, in addition to the Classic), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and new accessories inspired by fashion trends.
37. Barbie and Ken participated in the movie Toy Story 3.
38. In 2016, Barbie won a version of Wonder Woman inspired by Gal Gadot, an actress who plays the iconic Justice League character.
39. In 2017, Barbie wore a hijab for the first time in an edition made for the Barbie Shero collection, which honors women around the world. This doll was a gift for the fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic medalist in 2016 by the United States.
40. Barbie has already sailed on the high seas with Royal Caribbean International, bringing a unique brand experience to the fleet of 21 ships around the world.
41. The most expensive Barbie of all time was created in partnership with Australian jewelry designer Stefano Canturi, with the goal of raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The doll was sold for $ 302,500.00 at auction in 2010.
42. Every year, since 2011, Barbie gains a new profession that represents women in the job market, as a computer engineer, architect, businesswoman and film director.
43. The craze for collecting Barbie dolls was consecrated in the 1990s, thanks to the advent of eBay and Barbie designers who went on to create collectible and special dolls like Barbie Bob Mackie Gold, who had a dress of 5,000 gold sequins sewn the hand.
44. Barbie became a business executive in 1985.
45. Fifty of the most famous fashion designers in the fashion world created looks for Barbie’s first fashion show, in celebration of the doll’s 50th birthday.
46. The Barbie doll arrived in India in 1987.
47. Considered a pop culture icon, Barbie is in more than 45 categories of consumer products.
48. Barbie came face to face with celebrities in People magazine, in the famous “Who Wore It Best?” Section. She was also the subject of a “Project Runway” challenge and inspired a competition on the Food Network’s channel reality show “Guerra dos Cupcakes”.
49. Supermodel Twiggy was the first celebrity to become part of the Barbie family and win a doll in 1967. Since then, the list has only grown to include other famous faces like Barbra Streisand, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez and, more recently, Ava DuVernay.
50. Many of the well-known celebrities today began their careers doing Barbie commercials, such as Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate and Maureen McCormick.
51. The first stylist to partner with Barbie was Oscar de la Renta, in the mid-1980s.
52. Barbie won from the Coach brand a line of mini leather bags designed especially for her and which were sold online on the brand’s website.
53. In 2014, designer Sophia Webster created a line of sneakers inspired by the fact that Barbie can now wear them, since she has won articulated ankles.
54. Barbie inspired the Spring 2015 collection of the Moschino brand, designed by Jeremy Scott, and launched an exclusive Barbie Moschino doll.
55. Barbie made her debut as a presidential candidate in 1992, known as the “Year of Women” in politics, as 24 women were elected to the US House of Representatives.
56. In 1986, Barbie formed her own band “Barbie and the Rockers”, rocking the 80’s scene with the famous voluminous hair and shoulder pads of the time.
57. In 1971, Barbie Malibu debuted with a new face, which included an open smile with pearly white teeth.
58. In 1960, Barbie got more natural makeup, a less arched eyebrow and blue eyes for the first time. In addition, Barbie also won a third hair color called “Titian”, a popular term of the time to define red hair (1961).
59. Barbie’s style evolved quickly, as did the fashion world in the 60s. From the famous short, rounded haircut, like that of First Lady Jackie Kennedy, to straight and elegant hair, which was combined with multicolored prints of the time.
About Mattel do Brasil
Installed in the country since 1998, Mattel do Brasil operates in the development of children’s brands, leaders in almost all the segments in which they are inserted. Its portfolio includes well-known names such as Fisher-Price, Barbie, Polly, Monster High, Uno, Hot Wheels and Max Steel. Known for working in the development, manufacture, sale of toys and accessories, constant investments in innovation, media, promotions and for the close partnership with its customers, Mattel is one of the main companies in the sector. Present in more than 25 thousand points of sale, it contributes to the generation of jobs in retail, in the logistics sector and in the service area throughout Brazil. Brand licensing is another important focus of the company’s operations in the country. Currently, more than 80% of the articles licensed under the Barbie, Polly, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and Max Steel brands are produced locally, through a network of more than 60 companies from different segments.
Barbie was created in 1959 by the American Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, who realized that her daughter Barbara, or Barbie, as she was nicknamed, liked to play with paper dolls that changed clothes. Until then, all the dolls had the appearance of babies and the paper doll was one of the only ones that had the face closest to that of a teenager. When launched, the doll was defined as the “teenager model dressed in the latest fashion”. Today, Barbie is recognized as one of the strongest brands of all time and a worldwide fashion icon. Like any diva, from the 90s famous designers such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace, Givenchy, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani and Alexandre Herchcovitch have dressed her on several occasions. Movie, theater and TV classics also won Barbie dolls featuring their most famous characters, among them: Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz and Star Trek, as well as muses such as: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh and Grace Kelly. For more than five decades, the doll has inspired girls of all ages to dream, “travel” and discover that, by playing, they can be anything they want. The doll’s lifestyle, which has already become a personality, has always made it popular with children and adults. In 55 years, she has had over 150 professions, all portraying aspects of the culture and society of her times. Some emblematic examples are: Barbie astronaut (1965); Barbie medical surgeon (1973); Barbie President of the USA (1992).