Coming up to Christmas, toy stores are stocking up their inventory to make sure that all wishes can be fulfilled. The Barbie doll, one of the most famous toys in American history was designed by Ruth Handler, women inventor and co-founder of Mattel.
When Ruth watched her daughters play with their paper dolls, she noticed that the children used their dolls to act out the future more than the present and they would act like the dolls were adults. So Ruth decided to invent an adult three dimensional doll that would help the girls act out their dreams and imaginations. This doll was often criticized to have unrealistic body proportions but shortly became an icon of American culture.
Ruth named the doll after her daughter’s nickname Barbie. The male counterpart doll which soon followed was called Ken, after her son.
In 1959, the Barbie doll was presented for the first time at a toy fair in New York City and was an instant hit. But Barbie also had a full name, Barbie Millicent Roberts, and was from Willows, Wisconsin. She started to be a teenage fashion model. However, it is said that over the years, Barbie had approximately 125 different jobs.
The first Barbie was sold at $ 3.00, additional clothing cost $ 1.00 – $ 5.00. Her clothes had been designed by 170 different designers. Barbie remains Mattel’s best-selling product to date.
Barbie and Ken just turned 50 this year. Here is to many more.