Five facts about Barbie through the ages

Barbie has come a long way since the doll first went on sale at the American Toy Fair in New York City, on 9 March 1959.

Five facts about Barbie through the ages (public domain)

Here are five facts about the iconic, bestselling doll…

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1

CAREER GAL

Barbie has had over 150 jobs in her professional career, including scuba diver, palaeontologist and news anchor. Her first job was as a teenage fashion model.

2

LOVE AND MARRIAGE

Barbie and Ken first got together in 1961 and, despite numerous wedding editions of both dolls, they’ve never actually gone through with the ceremony. The plastic duo famously split between 2004 and 2011, during which time Barbie had a two-year fling with an Australian surfer named Blaine.

3

DIVERSITY MATTERS

The first black Barbie appeared in 1967, with the arrival of ‘Colored Francie’, however, as the manufacturers had used the same mold as for Barbie, the doll lacked African-American features. In the 2015 Fashionista range, Mattel’s dolls came in eight different skin tones, with 14 different facial molds, 18 eye colours and 23 hair colours.

4

BAD BOOKS

One of Mattel’s most controversial dolls was the 1965 Slumber Party Barbie. It came with a diet book for the toy entitled ‘How To Lose Weight’ – the only advice it contained was: ‘Don’t Eat’. She also came with a scale set to 110lbs, or 7st 9lbs. At an estimated 5’ 9”, that makes Barbie 2st 12lbs underweight.

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5

PRESIDENT BARBIE

In 1992, Presidential Candidate Barbie became the first woman to run for office. She’s since run a further five times.

This article was first published in the March 2016 issue of History Revealed.