"Barbie" was introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959 by Ruth and Elliot Handler, who were co-founders of Mattel Toys in 1945. She was inspired by a ‘Lilli’ doll bought by Ruth Handler in Switzerland.
The first Barbie sold for $3.00 and received mixed reviews on release, as she was so unlike any other dolls produced before. However, the public grew to love her and, from 1960s, her popularity became assured.
Looking at the features of a doll help to date it. For example, if she has ‘bubble cut’ hair, she dates from 1961 – 1967. Barbies with ‘pony tail’ hairstyles were produced between 1959 and 1964 and are highly sought after with around six different types available.
Barbie is marked on her buttocks, with the marks helping to date and identify her. The date shown is not the date she was made, but more...
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