That's 49 years ago, fans.
In her honor, we will share some Barbie Fun Facts:
- The businesswoman Ruth Handler is regarded as the creator of Barbie, and the doll's design was inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli.
- During a trip in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth came across a German doll called Bild Lilli. The Lilli doll was based on a popular character appearing in a comic strip drawn by Reinhard Beuthin for the newspaper Die Bild-Zeitung.
- Lilli was a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. The Lilli doll was initially sold to adults.
- Mattel acquired the rights to Bild Lilli in 1964 and production of Lilli was stopped.
- Handler reworked the design of the doll (with help from engineer Jack Ryan) and the doll was given a new name, Barbie, after Handler's daughter Barbara.
- It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
- Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
- In a series of novels published by Randon House, her parents' names are given as George and Margaret Roberts from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
- Barbie reportedly attended Willows High School and Manhattan International High School in New York City, based on Stuyvesant High School.
- She holds a pilot's license, and operates commercial airliners in addition to serving as a flight attendant.
- Careers are designed to show that women can take on a variety of roles in life, and the doll has been sold with a wide range of titles including Miss Astronaut Barbie (1965), Doctor Barbie (1988) and the infamous Nascar Barbie (1998)
- Rumors have started that Motelier Barbie is in the works for the 50th Anniversary.