Sunday, March 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary

On March 8, 1959, Barbie made her debut at the American Toy Fair in New York City.
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.

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