Time never passes for Barbie and after so many years she is still the most loved and famous doll in the world. His story about her begins on March 9, 1959 and since that moment it has never ceased to arouse interest, in fact the curiosities about her have never been lacking.
Many know that Barbie was created by a woman Ruth Handler , wife of Mattel’s co-founder, Elliot Handler , and later president of the company herself.
It was originally made for Ruth’s daughter to play and she never expected this doll to become so famous and loved by all the girls on the planet.
Barbie has followed the fashions and trends of the time from the very beginning, immediately favoring the emancipation of women by “interpreting” many professions and it is estimated that up to now over a billion have been sold in at least 150 countries . But there are still so many things you surely don’t know!
Let ‘s find out 10 curiosities about Barbie that you never imagined:
1) The first Barbie
The first Barbie was 29.5 cm tall , and from the beginning she was a refined and elegant doll: she had neat eyebrows, bright red lips and nails, dark eyes and made up with well-marked eyeliner, curly bangs and hair gathered in a ponytail. Instead, the Barbie-Q was the first version to include accessories : apron, chef’s hat and small kitchen utensils.
2) The best-selling Barbie
At the beginning, in 1959, Barbie was sold in both blonde and brunette versions and over the years there have been countless those proposed to girls all over the world, but which has been the best-selling ever? The product of the most successful line was the Totally Hair Barbie , with long hair to be combed to the feet of the doll, marketed in 1992 .
3) The most expensive Barbie in history
When the Barbie was marketed, it sold for $ 3 , but now an original 1959 doll can fetch over $ 27,000. This happened in 2006 in a sale to Sandi Holder’s Attic. But the most expensive Barbie ever was the one created for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, in collaboration with Stefano Canturi , an Australian jewelry designer, for the fight against breast cancer, which sold for $ 302,500 in 2010 .
4) Barbie and female empowerment
Over the years, Barbie has always recreated characters who favored female emancipation . For example, in 1965, 4 years before the man arrived on the Moon, it was proposed in an astronaut version, in 2019 Mattel then produced a new version, this time having the appearance of a real woman astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti . , in 2019. In 1985 Mattel created the company director, in 2000 “was” also President of the United States of America .
5) The indicted talking Barbie
Perhaps not everyone knows that Mattel in July 1992 released a talking Barbie . This, programmed with various phrases, could pronounce only one of the 270 possible. One of them was “ Math is difficult! “, Which creates the disappointment of a university women’s association. Consequently, a few months later, Mattel had the offending sentence removed from the product and offered a new doll for the pieces already sold.
6) The most followed doll on social media
Gone are the times when this doll was made to make a little girl happy, because Barbie is one of the most popular games in the world and obviously very popular on social media . In fact, for some years Barbie has also been present on social networks and has over 14 million fans on Facebook, 268 thousand on Twitter and 1.6 million on Instagram and in 2014 her global gross turnover amounted to 1.01 billion dollars.
7) The Forbidden Barbie
While it is true that this doll is appreciated and famous all over the world, the sale of Barbie dolls would have been prohibited in Saudi Arabia since September 2003. In fact, it seems that in some Islamic countries Fulla is sold , a similar doll but with such characteristics. not to cause anyone’s disappointment.
8) Too thin? Here is Mattel’s answer
Barbie over the years lost and gained pounds. The weight loss occurred in 1997 and one of the accusations that was made several times against the company was that of propagating an image of the unreal woman and of pushing girls towards anorexia. For this reason, the top management of Mattel urged the designers to “put a few extra pounds on the doll”. In fact, in 2000 they made a Barbie with a wider waist .
9) Ken’s arrival
Ken arrived on the market in 1961 , to answer the demand of thousands of girls who wanted a male character to complement their Barbie. Initially , the versions offered for sale featured woolly brushed hair , blonde or black, which came off easily when wet . For this reason, the following year, Mattel decided to produce Ken with hair modeled in vinyl and painted.
10) A few numbers on Barbie
Have you ever wondered how many people work on making this fantastic doll? To create a single version, with clothes supplied, over 100 people are needed and the staff is made up of: expert stylists, high fashion tailors and make-up artists. Furthermore, we saw this doll with different animals, 38 : 6 cats, 21 dogs, 12 horses and 3 ponies, a lion cub, a giraffe, a zebra, a chimpanzee and a panda.