Thursday, December 6, 2012


Today I came across this age-enhanced Barbie, and it got me to thinking.  How old is Barbie?

Barbie was invented by co-founder of Mattel; Ruth Handler, who named the doll after her own daughter Barbara, on March 9, 1959.  So - that would make Barbie 53 - right?  In 2009 the world celebrated the 50th birthday of Barbie.  BUT - Barbie was introduced in 1959 - and her existence in the marketplace has been 50 years ... but Barbie was not born in 1959.  When she came out she was in her late teenage years, as a 'teenage fashion doll'.

So if we say Barbie was introduced to us when she was 17 - that would make her 70 years of age.

If we think about all Barbie has been through, heck, we have Doctor Barbie, Lawyer Barbie, Nurse Barbie, Mommy Barbie, Surfer, Tennis and Camper Barbie.  She has led quite the full life!!  Several lives in fact!!

I have many fond memories of playing with Barbie as a child.  I would lug out all of Barbie's paraphernalia - and all of her friends... taking over the living room floor for hours on end.  My mom use to knit and crocheted clothing for my dolls, to add to all of the store-bought accessories I already had. They were really quite fabulous. I remember a hand-knit, ribbed yellow pencil skirt and crop jacket ... quite remarkable - really!

Barbie was enjoyed for many years my my self, my sisters and my daughter!  And she has never looked better!

A few facts about Barbie:

* The full name of the first Barbie was Barbie Millicent Roberts, from Willows Wisconsin.

* Barbie's job was a Teenage Fashion Model.

* Through the years, Barbie has had 125 careers.

* Original Barbie came in blonde or brunette.  Red headed Barbie was introduced in 1961.

* Ken was invented in 1961 and named after Ruth's own son.

* The first Black and Hispanic Barbie's were not introduced until 1980, however Barbie had an African American friend named Christie - introduced in 1969.

* The first Barbie was sold for $3.

* If Barbie were human, her measurements would be an impossible 38/18/38.

* Barbie and Ken earned Mattel over $100 million in sales by 1965.

* Barbie was first introduced at an Annual Toy Fair in New York in February 1959.

So, as we can see, Barbie has enjoyed many decades of love through playtime with little girls around the world.  Twinkling eyes would sparkle as Christmas wrapping paper was torn from the brightly colored pink boxes. Little girls became elated, knowing that she had hundreds of hours ahead to enjoy quality play time, as she imagined and acted out how fabulous life could be through the life of her Barbie.