Who was Barbie? Her origin story


Photo by Sandra Gabriel on Unsplash

Barbies came about ages ago but has continued to come back!

Yaniece Walker, Staff writer

Barbie is an iconic fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. It was created by Ruth Handler, an American businesswoman, and launched in March of 1959, but it wasn’t a completely original idea.
Ms. Handler was inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli, who was eliminated in 1964 when Mattel bought the copyright. That allowed them to market their own Barbie doll products.
The name Barbie came from Barbara Millicent Roberts. Her name first developed from the name of the daughter of the creator and her husband, Elliot Handler. The Handlers also had a son named Ken, a name they used for the male counterpart of the Barbie series.
Mattel has sold billions of Barbie dolls since the launch in 1959, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line (https://tinyurl.com/BarbieOrigin).

Accessories, Friends, Family, and more…
Barbie had many friends and family members, such as her husband (or boyfriend) Ken; her sisters Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea; her best friend Midge; her friends Christie, Teresa, Nikki, and Grace; and her frenemy Raquelle. She even has an Australian ex-boyfriend, Blaine.

Christie, who is African-American, and Teresa, who is Hispanic, helped bring diversity to the Barbie community early in its development, although it wasn’t always accepted.
While Christie had been around since 1968 and Teresa was introduced in 1988, many of the most recent changes have created diversity that reflects the modern society and message of inclusion (https://tinyurl.com/BarbieDiversity).
Although Barbie has been the #1 fashion doll in the United States, since Mattel introduced new skin tones and hair textures in 2015, the purchase rate has grown tremendously. Diversity has also been applied through various socio-economic levels, careers and disabilities.
Accessories include pets, vehicles, wardrobes, and housing supplies and more, all of which allow the person playing with the doll to giving them an experience that mirrors life.
There are very rare collectible Barbie dolls that sell for a lot of money and there are those that come only in limited quantities intentionally. Most of the dolls, however, are the same body with different hairstyles, skin tones and clothing, depicting their unique style or occupation.

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