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National Barbie Day

March 9 is National Barbie day, and here are ten fun facts about the Mattel Barbie doll that you may not know:

  1. Barbie was born on March 9, 1959 – which makes today her 63rd birthday. Her birthday represents her public debut at the 1959 New York Toy Fair.
  2. Barbie was named after Barbara Handler, daughter of Ruth Handler, the Mattel co-founder and creator of Barbie. And even though we’re here to talk about Barbie…Ken was named after…you guessed it, her son Kenneth.
  3. When Barbie made her debut she was instantly recognizable as the only toy in the doll aisle that wasn’t modeled as a baby or a little kid. Having a grown woman as a toy for children was an entirely new concept in 1959.
  4. One thing Barbie didn’t have at first? A belly button. That was added to her design more than 40 years later, in 2000.
  5. The first Barbie was available as a blonde or a brunette. However, according for Forbes, “the blonde doll sold so much better.”
  6. The original Barbie had pursed lips, making her look quite serious. In 1971, Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie, the first version of the doll with a smile.
  7. The first Barbie dolls sold for $3 each. Today, an original Barbie in mint condition would likely auction for $25,000.
  8. The most expensive Barbie sold for $302,500! Designed by Stefano Canturi, this Barbie has an actual diamond necklace featuring an Australian pink diamond, and it was auctioned to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
  9. Barbie’s signature color is pink. In fact, it’s Pantone color PMS 219C.
  10. TV commercials were a new sales tactic for toys in 1959, and Mattel is largely credited with being the first company to direct commercials at children (see the first Barbie commercial). Barbie commercials aired during The Mickey Mouse Club, making Barbie a hit.

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Progressive Marketing Group, Inc. (PMG) pioneered the concept of a Strategic Marketing Organization (SMO) in 1977 as a client-centric strategic marketing resource with broad tactical capabilities. As a strategic thought leader dedicated to the proliferation of the client’s business, every PMG program and project is created without partiality and adheres to the developed strategy, from Positioning and Messaging through Branding.

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