History of Barbie

Topics: Barbie, Bild Lilli doll, Fashion doll Pages: 3 (987 words) Published: June 2, 2012
I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. Life is plastic. It’s fantastic!

My name is Debbie Cooper, and I am a Barbie Collector.

What little girl didn’t grow up playing with a Barbie doll? Well many of you may not know that Barbie was, in fact, an actual person. The original Barbie’s name was Barbara Handler (nicknamed Barbie). One day Barbie’s mother, Ruth, watch her daughter & friends play with paper cutouts of women, which were very popular at the time. Ruth realized all the dolls on the market at the time were baby dolls. Ruth suggested the idea of an adult-bodied doll to her husband, Elliot, a co-founder of Mattel toy company. He wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea. Neither were Mattel’s directors.

It wasn’t until 1956, when Ruth took a trip to Europe with her children, Barbara & Kenneth, that she came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli. According to Wikipedia, the “Bild Lilli Doll was produced from 1950 to 1964, based on the comic-strip character Lilli.” This doll was exactly what Ruth had in mind, so she actually purchased 3 of them. She gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel.

When Ruth returned to the USA, she redesigned the doll with the help of an engineer friend and she was given a new name, Barbie. Mattel was astounded by how realistic the doll looked and finally decided to fund Ruth’s idea

On March 9, 1959, Barbie debuted at the American toy fair in New York. This is also used as her official birthday. The children went wild over Barbie. Mattel acquired the patent for Bild Lilli in 1964 and her production stopped. Each Barbie doll sold for $3.00, with 350,000 being sold the first year.

Today the Barbie doll has become the symbol of perfection, and friendship instilling fundamental morals into our young princesses. In her history, there have been numerous types of Barbies made since she was first introduced in 1959. Fashion Doll Guide.com, states that her body hasn’t changed much with rare...
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