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09

Mar

On this day in 1959, the Barbie doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Its original purchase price was $3.00.
“The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette…The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers.”
A few more Barbie facts:
"Barbie’s appearance has been changed many times, most notably in 1971 when the doll’s eyes were adjusted to look forwards rather than having the demure sideways glance of the original model.
Mattel claim[s] that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. In a series of novels published by Random House in the 1960s, her parents’ names are given as George and Margaret Roberts from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
She has an on-off romantic relationship with her boyfriend Ken (Ken Carson), who first appeared in 1961. A news release from Mattel in February 2004 announced that Barbie and Ken had decided to split up, but in February 2006 they were hoping to rekindle their relationship after Ken had a makeover.
'Colored Francie' made her debut in 1967, and she is sometimes described as the first African American Barbie doll. However, she was produced using the existing head molds for the white Francie doll and lacked African characteristics other than a dark skin.
In July 1992, Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including ‘Will we ever have enough clothes?’, ‘I love shopping!’, and ‘Wanna have a pizza party?’ Each doll was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so that no two dolls were likely to be the same. One of these 270 phrases was ‘Math class is tough!’ (often misquoted as ‘Math is hard’). Although only about 1.5% of all the dolls sold said the phrase, it led to criticism from the American Association of University Women. In October 1992 Mattel announced that Teen Talk Barbie would no longer say the phrase, and offered a swap to anyone who owned a doll that did.”

On this day in 1959, the Barbie doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York. Its original purchase price was $3.00.

The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette…The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers.”

A few more Barbie facts:

  • "Barbie’s appearance has been changed many times, most notably in 1971 when the doll’s eyes were adjusted to look forwards rather than having the demure sideways glance of the original model.
  • Mattel claim[s] that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
  • Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. In a series of novels published by Random House in the 1960s, her parents’ names are given as George and Margaret Roberts from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.
  • She has an on-off romantic relationship with her boyfriend Ken (Ken Carson), who first appeared in 1961. A news release from Mattel in February 2004 announced that Barbie and Ken had decided to split up, but in February 2006 they were hoping to rekindle their relationship after Ken had a makeover.
  • 'Colored Francie' made her debut in 1967, and she is sometimes described as the first African American Barbie doll. However, she was produced using the existing head molds for the white Francie doll and lacked African characteristics other than a dark skin.
  • In July 1992, Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including ‘Will we ever have enough clothes?’, ‘I love shopping!’, and ‘Wanna have a pizza party?’ Each doll was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so that no two dolls were likely to be the same. One of these 270 phrases was ‘Math class is tough!’ (often misquoted as ‘Math is hard’). Although only about 1.5% of all the dolls sold said the phrase, it led to criticism from the American Association of University Women. In October 1992 Mattel announced that Teen Talk Barbie would no longer say the phrase, and offered a swap to anyone who owned a doll that did.”
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