Barbie has been around since 1959 but the toys look a lot different than they used to look. Ruth Handler designed the dolls after watching her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls. Most of the dolls available were designed to look like children so Handler noticed that there was room for expansion.
She suggested to her husband Elliot, co-founder of Mattel, that these dolls would be a great idea and the whole company agreed.
The first Barbie doll came out on March 9, 1959 which means she has now been one of the most popular toys for young girls for 58 years! What did the first Barbie look like?
She was introduced with blonde hair and brunette hair.
Ruth used the German doll called Bild Lilli as inspiration, which is pretty clear once you see how it looks almost identical to the original Barbie design.
After Barbie was announced, production took off. Over 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold in the first year alone. They were sued for the similarities to the German doll, but it ended up getting settled out of court and resulted in Mattel buying the patent rights to the Bild Lilli dolls for $21, 600.
Barbie changed a lot over the years, one of the most notable is in 1971 when they changed her eyes to look forward instead of glancing off to the side. I'm not going to lie, I almost prefer sassy side-eye Barbie! She looks very sarcastic.
Barbie was sold for $3 back when she first came out, but if you still have yours it is worth quite the pretty penny! A mint condition Barbie is worth over $27,000!
Did you love Barbies when you were a kid?