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Barbie Is One Of The Biggest Toys Of All Time, But How Did She Get Made?


Barbie Is One Of The Biggest Toys Of All Time, But How Did She Get Made?

source: Getty Images

Barbie, the iconic doll that has captured the hearts of generations of children, has been one of the most popular toys of all time. With her signature blonde hair, blue eyes, and a slender figure, Barbie has been a source of inspiration and fascination for millions of young girls around the world.

What Was The Inspiration Behind The Creation Of This Iconic Toy And How Did Barbie Get Made?

The story of Barbie begins in the late 1950s, when Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, noticed that her daughter Barbara was playing with paper dolls and imagining different adult roles for them. At the time, most dolls were infant or childlike, and Handler saw an opportunity to create a doll that would inspire girls to imagine themselves as adults with exciting careers and possibilities. She approached the designer Jack Ryan and asked him to create a prototype for a new type of doll, one that would be inspired by the German doll Bild Lilli, which was popular at the time.

Photo by Susan Stern – © Bernal Beach Films LLC

The first Barbie doll was introduced at the American International Toy Fair in New York in 1959, and it was an instant hit. The doll’s signature look was inspired by a popular 1950s pin-up girl named Betty Grable, and she was named after Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara. The doll’s original outfit was a black and white striped swimsuit, high-heeled shoes, and a gold hoop earring. It was a departure from the infant and childlike dolls of the time and created a sensation among young girls who saw in Barbie a reflection of their own hopes and dreams.

Source: Etsy

How Has Barbie Even Evolved Over Time?

Over the years, Barbie has evolved and changed with the times. In the 1960s, she took on different careers and personalities, including astronaut, doctor, and nurse. She also had a boyfriend, Ken, who was introduced in 1961. In the 1970s, Barbie became more diverse, with the introduction of African American and Hispanic dolls. In the 1980s, Barbie became a pop culture icon, with her own animated TV series and a line of Barbie-inspired fashion.

Source : Flickr

In the 1990s, Barbie faced criticism from some feminist groups who saw her as promoting an unrealistic and harmful standard of beauty. The criticism led Mattel to introduce new body types for Barbie, including tall, curvy, and petite. The company also introduced a wider range of skin tones, hairstyles, and outfits, reflecting the diversity of its young customers.

Source : Flickr

So, what is the secret of Barbie’s success?

  • One factor is undoubtedly her versatility. With her wide range of careers, interests, and personalities, Barbie has something to offer every young girl. Whether she wants to be an astronaut or a fashion designer, a doctor or a ballerina, Barbie has a doll that reflects her dreams and aspirations.
  • Another factor is Barbie’s aspirational quality. By embodying the image of a successful, beautiful, and independent woman, Barbie has inspired generations of young girls to imagine themselves in similar roles. Barbie has become a symbol of empowerment, encouraging girls to believe in themselves and pursue their goals with confidence.
Source : Etsy

Barbie Is One Of The Biggest Toys Of All Time

Finally, Barbie’s enduring popularity is due to the fact that she has remained relevant and adaptable over the years. From her early days as a blonde bombshell to her more recent iterations as a diverse and inclusive doll, Barbie has evolved and changed with the times. She has remained a source of inspiration and fascination for young girls, no matter what the cultural or social context.

In conclusion, Barbie is one of the biggest toys of all time, and her enduring popularity is a testament to her ability to inspire young girls to dream big and pursue their passions. From her humble beginnings as a prototype in the late 1950s to her current status as a cultural icon, Barbie has been a source of joy and empowerment for generations of children. As she continues to evolve and change with the times, Barbie will undoubtedly remain a beloved and inspiring figure for many years to come.

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