Barbie Dolls is the most famous name in doll collecting. The original Barbie Doll was introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City in February of 1959 by Ruth and Elliot Handler, founders of Mattel Toys.
Pictured right: The 2011 Barbie Fan Club exclusive doll Ekaterina
Ruth Handler thought that a doll with a woman’s figure would have considerable appeal but her initial proposal was refused.
In 1957 whilst visiting Germany, Ruth Handler purchased a Lilli Doll. The dolls were based on a cartoon strip in Das Bild. In the comic strip Lilli was portrayed as a sultry, sexual character aimed at men.
This was the complete opposite of the ideals Ruth wanted the doll to represent: purity and innocence. With a few changes to the heavy make-up, full lips and slight alterations Barbie was created.
“New for ’59, the BARBIE doll: A shapely teenage
fashion Model! Retail price $3.00…”
Over the years Barbie has changed and evolved reflecting the current time and fashions of the momeht. Barbie has always had top designers working on her wardrobe such as the original designer Charlotte Johnson and more recently Vera Wang and the very talented Bob Mackie.
With the growth in the collectors market over the last 10 years Barbie has unrivalled success in the doll market, with special collectors dolls, limited editions, store specials, TV & Movie tie-ins and Disney exclusives.
The values of the earliest Barbies continues to rise, especially for those in better condition, and even some recent limited and store editions are very sought after.
In the US there is The Official Barbie Fan Club which offers Barbie collectors lots of benefits and the option to buy collectors club only dolls. Other benefits include: Shop rewards, Sneak Peeks, Designing Barbie® articles, and exclusive Desktop Wallpapers, Barbie Bulletin Board and chat.
Related Barbie Features
Barbie Turns Fifty!
NOTICE – This site is not affiliated in any with Barbie® or Mattel TM.
It is intended to provide information to Barbie Doll collectors