90s nostalgia | Throwback 70s | Retro 80s | Vintage

What Was the Most Popular Barbie Doll the Year You Were Born?

Good Housekeeping

Like us, Barbie has changed over the years. From eyeliner of the 1960's to 1980's hair, she has been in tune with every trend each of the decades has had to offer.

The pressure to stay relevant as children turn more to technology for fun, Mattel has changed the doll's style from hair colors, to eyes, and body types to keep up with the changing toy scene.

So what was popular the year you were born? From colorful clothes to crimped hair, Barbie managed to stay on top of all the popular trends year after year.

Barbie was the brainchild of Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel in her garage with her husband Elliot Handler. The tiny waist, slim hipped and large busted doll first debuted at the New York Toy Fair in 1959. It was a hit selling 300,000 dolls in its debut year.

1959- Barbie makes her official debut in a one-piece, as Teenage Fashion Barbie.

In the 60's Barbie got a new hairstyle, and a new boyfriend. Ken, a doll with "molded" plastic hair and clad red swimming trunks was introduced to the Barbie scene. Barbie and Ken would go on to date for 43 years before taking a brief break in 2004, to then get back together in 2011.

In 1960, Mattel also became a publicly traded company.

1960- A sassy hat and her portfolio, Fashion Designer Barbie hits the scene.

1961- Barbie Solo In The Spotlight has become one of the more glamorous dolls ever.

1962- Barbie Red Flair debuts a new hairdo: an on-trend bubble style with volume that will rival her future '80s looks.

1963- Barbie was showing off her Career Girl look and her stylish office life. Back then there were no casual Fridays or causal any days.

1964- Barbie shows through the years that the little black dress never goes out of style.

1965- This out-of-this-world Barbie shows off her Astronaut career this year.

1966- Color Magic Barbie is fashionable in a romper with bold hues.

1967- Barbie Twist N Turn experiments with bangs during this era, as most of us did.

1968: Talking Barbie practically comes to life when you pull the string on her back to allow her to speak.

1969- Barbie's new friend Christie is introduced with a '60 swirling print cover up.

Continue to the next page for Barbies from the 1970's.

Over the span of her lifetime, Barbie has had over 150 careers. She broke the plastic ceiling and went to the moon in 1965, 4 years before Neil Armstrong. Since then she has been everything from a doctor, to a rock-star and a politician.

During the 70's Barbie changed her look again to fit with the style of the times. Her perfectly coiffed hair became long and straight in 1971 when Malibu Barbie was introduced. For the first time ever, her eyes faced forward as part of the feminist movement.

Barbie also wore the popular maxi skirt instead of the mod mini skirt of the 60's.

1970- Part of the Twist N Turn series this Barbie has the perfect hair

1971- You remember the beachy doll we all loved. Malibu Barbie makes her appearance.

1972- What could be more '70s than Smashin' Satin Francine in hot pants.

1973- Barbie is taking on a new career as a surgeon.

1974- We are surprised it took this long, but this was the year Barbie took the crown for Miss America.

1975- It's time to hit the slopes! Olympic Skier Barbie makes ski-gear look fantastic that we all don't mind bundling up.

1976- Ballerina Barbie became the inspiration for many ballet classes as she dressed in a white bodysuit and tutu.

1977- Barbie is clearly a model, but this year Fashion Model Barbie stuck a pose with her colorful ensemble.

1978- Barbie was a superstar this year standing next to her velvet and satin clad Ken.

1979- This year the hot couple is in matching outfits as they head to the beach.

You will not believe some of the Barbies that came out the the '80s. Turn to the next page to see them.

The 80's brought a variety of exercise and glamour outfits. In response to criticism about her leisurely lifestyle in the 70's, Mattel introduced a number of career-themed dolls including an astronaut and veterinarian.

The 1980's was also the beginning of a more diverse Barbie universe. Mattel introduced it's first African-American doll.

In 1988, Mattel sold 20 million Barbie dolls and her friends, which crushed the competition and caused several rivals to stop producing their own Barbie-like lines.

1980- What better way to welcome the glamorous '80s than with African-American Barbie in a bold red dress with cut-out sleeves.

1981- Golden Dream Barbie takes her outfit in a metallic direction, that brings together a strapless jumpsuit, opera length globes, as well as a sheer capelet and overskirt.

1982- Angel Face Barbie is a much more subtle look with a high-necked lace blouse.

1983- Puffy sleeves are the highlight of this Loving You Barbie gown.

1984- Dream Date Barbie meets her match with Ken in a stylish tuxedo.

1985- Day to Night Barbie has a practical outfit planned that will take her from the office to an evening date in no time. It's all about layers and stylish hats. We could take a lesson or two from her.

1986- Barbie debuts her new band, Barbie and the Rockers. From her big hair to the shoulder pads, wide belt and slouchy boots her outfit is the most arguably 80's yet.

1987- Bopsy is the newest addition to Barbie's band. Wonder what instrument she plays? Check out her jacket for the answer.

1988- I think everyone from the 80's can recognize Fashion Magic Barbie's outfit.

1989- Superstar Barbie sends the 80's out in style, with her voluminous hair, sequins, sparkles, tulle and a faux fur wrap.

Are you a 90's kid? See the Barbies that came out the year you were born on the next page.

Barbie embraced the 1990's with long crimped hair and leggings. 1999, however marked the first time in more than a decade that the doll would finish the year on a sales downturn.

Barbie started to face some stiff competition from MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls which came to the scene in 2001.

1990- This decade Barbie brought new designer collaborations to the collection including this one by Bob Mackie.

1991- It's time to add to her resume again with Air Force pilot Barbie.

1992- What reminds you more of the 90's than floor length crimped hair and a colorful jersey dress? Totally Hair Barbie became the best-selling Barbie in Mattel history.

1993- Barbie shows off her badge in the year she tried a career as a police officer.

1994- It's not just careers she likes to try, she takes up new exciting hobbies too! Scuba Barbie explores the depths of the ocean in her new activity.

1995- After she loved helping the community as a police officer, she joins the fire department. Firefighter Barbie is dressed to impress in her new uniform.

1996- Watch Gymnast Barbie go for the gold in her very patriotic ensemble.

1997- With perfect hair and blue heels, Dentist Barbie cares for everyone's teeth in her new job role.

1998- Barbie's rock-star nature is back with her 90's spin on rock-and-roll. Lead Singer Barbie is dressed with high-necked mesh-sleeved mini and thigh-high boots.

1999- Barbie is entering the workforce yet again! Working Woman Barbie is ready to climb the corporate ladder with a mobile phone, work-bag and a short skirt with a long jacket.

2000- The millennium is upon us, and what better way to ring in a new decade than with Barbie as a Presidential Candidate. With her camera-ready hair and an outfit that matches from head to toe, she is ready to win the hearts of America.

How many of these Barbie dolls to you remember seeing as you grew up? Share with us in the comments!

Sources: Good Housekeeping / LA Times / Complete Set