The Spectacular Evolution Of Barbie Since 1959

Barbie through its popular tagline ‘You can be anything’ represents the fact that a woman has limitless potential to be anything she likes.

The iconic doll has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years since 1959. Let us now have a glimpse at the spectacular evolution of Barbie through the years.

Debut as a teenage model

Barbie debuted in 1959 as a teenage fashion model mimicking the glamour of Hollywood icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. The cost of the doll was $3 and in the first year, 300,000 Barbies were sold. The doll was designed to empower and inspire a new generation of young women and girls.

Christie Barbie

Christie Barbie was more than just a toy. She mirrored cultural evolution since 1968 and is perceived as the first black doll. Christie with her bubble-cut hairstyle and mod look has undergone incredible transformation decade after decade, showcasing various style and cultural trends.

African-American Barbie

The Barbie collection had other African-American dolls like Christie, but in 1980 the official African-American Barbie was created alongside a Latina Barbie. In the same year, more than 40 international Barbies were released to celebrate cultural diversity.

Day to Night Barbie

Five years after 1980, Barbie broke out of the glass ceiling as a briefcase-carrying power executive by day, and ready for date-night by night. The Day to Night Barbie was on a mission to make a giant leap, and there has never been a ‘stay-at-home’ Barbie.

The year of Ken

Ken Carson, Barbie’s on-again, off-again longtime boyfriend. Ken was introduced as Barbie’s boyfriend in 1961, and his younger brother Tommy was introduced in 1997. The doll is named after Ruth Handler’s (official creator of Barbie) son Kenneth Handler.

Bob Mackie Gold Barbie

To this day, Barbies designed by Bob Mackie, the American fashion designer, are some of the most sought-after collectibles. The Bob Mackie Gold Barbie featured in a golden apparel with 5,000 hand-sewn sequins and it started the collectible Barbie craze.

Raquelle Barbie of Asian descent

Raquelle was introduced in the 2010s as a brunette frenemy of Barbie with wavy brown-black hair and is of Asian descent. She is represented as an entrepreneur and her signature outfit is a shiny golden jacket and frilly black skirt.

Barbie goes historic

In 2018 a new collection “Inspiring Women” was launched to feature three ground-breaking, history-making women, Katherine Johnson, Amelia Earhart, and Frida Kahlo.

Mattel in 2019 released a new body type for Barbie with a less defined waist, and smaller bust to feature a wide array of body shapes. So, which one is your favorite Barbie?

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