15 Fun Facts you didn’t know about Barbie
Since her iconic 1959 debut, Barbie has dominated the toy industry like no other doll before or since. Blonde locks have become her trademark, and with unlimited Barbie clothes and accessories, she confidently remains one of the most sought-after toys of all time.
However, while many of us grew up with Barbie, most are still unaware of the story behind the doll – and the recent Barbie movie has left us wondering just how far the American bombshell has come since her debut white swimsuit, blonde ponytail, and red lipstick look.
Whether you’re a Barbie doll collector or are caught up with the recent pink obsession, read on for everything you didn’t know about Barbie!
Table of contents
- 15 fun facts you didn’t know about Barbie
- Who invented Barbie?
- When was the first Barbie made?
- How much is the original Barbie doll worth?
- The Barbie movie
- Shop Barbie toys at Toys for a Pound
15 fun facts you didn’t know about Barbie
Barbie has been a household name since her launch, spending decades flying off toy shelves worldwide. Even if you consider yourself a Barbie doll fan, we’re confident something on this list will surprise you!
- Barbie’s name isn’t just Barbie.
Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she was named after her creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler’s daughter.
- Barbie and Ken are named after siblings
Like Barbie, Ken was inspired by his creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler’s son, Kenneth.
- Barbie was born on 9th March 1959
Barbie’s birthday coincides with her public launch at the 1959 American International Toy Fair in New York. Donning her iconic black and white one-piece, she instantly stood out from the crowd as a doll not modelled on children. She was an entirely new concept and could be anything she wanted to be!
- Barbie was born in the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
While many believe Barbie lives in Malibu, true fans know she was born and raised in Willows, Wisconsin.
- She was inspired by paper dolls
After watching her daughter play with paper dolls, Barbie’s creator, Ruth, was inspired to create the first Barbie doll. Barbara was pretending her dolls were students!
- Barbie's first career was as a teen model, but…
Barbie has had more than 200 careers over the years – and we’re still counting. To date, Barbie has been a flight attendant, a surgeon, an astronaut, a teacher, a SCUBA diver, a police officer, and a pilot, to name a few.
- Barbie has run for president six times
Her message is clear and simple: You can be anything you want to be!
- She is the most popular doll in the world
And with the recent Barbie obsession, this is unlikely ever to change. The blonde American fashion doll is currently sold in over 150 countries.
- The 1992 Totally Hair Barbie doll was the most popular Barbie ever
Over ten million Totally Hair Barbie dolls were sold worldwide, and you can pick a pretty penny for a well-kept edition today!
- The Barbie DreamHouse is the best-selling Barbie toy
Debuted in 1962, the Barbie DreamHouse remains one of the most popular Barbie toys ever created.
- Ken wasn’t introduced until 1961
Though Ken made a delayed entrance, he quickly became one of the most successful Barbie toys.
- Barbie and Ken broke up in 2004…
But the break-up did not last forever! On Valentine's Day in 2011, Barbie proudly announced on Facebook that the toy industry’s favourite couple was finally back together.
- Barbie’s first car was an Austin-Healey
In classic Barbie glamour, the first Barbie car was a sports car. It was launched in 1962 along with the first Barbie DreamHouse.
- Bettina Dorfmann holds the biggest Barbie collection in the world
In 2005, Bettina was recognised as the proud owner of the biggest Barbie doll collection to date, earning a Guinness World Record. Her collection has continued to grow since then, and she is reported to own almost 20,000 Barbie dolls today.
- The original Barbie wasn’t just blonde…
Barbie was originally available as either blonde or brunette. However, the long golden locks were quickly proven the biggest hit, leading to Barbie’s signature blonde hairstyle.
Who invented Barbie?
Barbie was invented by American businesswoman Ruth Marianna Handler in 1959. She is manufactured by Mattel, an American toy company.
When was the first Barbie made?
The first Barbie was made on March 9th, 1959. She made her debut wearing a black and white one-piece swimsuit, which Margot Robbie sports in the latest Barbie movie.
How much is the original Barbie doll worth?
It is reported that a first edition 1959 Barbie doll is worth over £20,000 in pristine condition, which reflects the original doll’s rarity. The 1959 Barbie doll is the rarest and considered the number 1 Barbie of all time.
The Barbie movie
The Barbie movie was released on 21st July 2023. It is directed by Greta Gerwig and based on the Barbie dolls by Mattel. It also marks the first live-action Barbie movie in history after years of the animated Barbie series.
The film follows Barbie and Ken, played by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, as they navigate a crisis in Barbie Land. So far, it is the highest-grossing movie of 2023.
Shop Barbie toys at Toys for a Pound
From the iconic Barbie wardrobe to Barbie’s DreamHouse and car, Barbie offers children a whole world of creativity to explore. And with the recent Barbie movie, we can’t wait to see what adventure Barbie will embark on next.
At Toys for a Pound, we’re proud to embrace the Barbie obsession with Barbie dolls, playsets, and activities for various ages, so we’re confident you’ll find the perfect Barbie toy! Shop our collection today for cheap Barbie toys that don’t compromise quality.
Looking for more dolls and playsets? We also stock Disney toys for all ages, including Disney princesses and figurines! Shop our collections and find the best quality toys at cheap prices at Toys for a Pound.