• cakes.jpgBarbie is 50 on March 9, 2009

This March, Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday with special events all over the country.

Mattel is introducing a new website – Barbie Style – that will announce special events, provide shopping links and give Barbie buddies a way to keep in touch through social networking.

On February 14th Barbie will participate in the Fashion Week runway show on the tent stage in Bryant Park. Over 50 of the hottest contemporary designers will be creating Barbie tribute designs.

Bloomingdales is celebrating Barbie from February 11-22, with 10 of its famous store windows devoted to scenes of Barbie then and now. Life-sized Barbie mannequins are dressed in the latest fashions and a 60 showcase display of 5 decades of Barbie awaits Bloomingdales shoppers on the 3rd floor.

History of Barbie

The first Barbie doll was available from Mattel in 1959. She had long hair pulled back in a ponytail and was wearing this now-famous black and white striped bathing suit. Her first accessories were a pair of sunglasses and a straw handbag. She was wearing beach friendly open-toed black high heel pumps. She sold for $3.00.

See the first Barbie commercial below.

Cool Barbie Facts

  • Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows, Wisconsin, and went to Willows High School.
  • Barbie was named after the daughter of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler. Their son’s name is: Ken.
  • The first Barbie doll sold for $3.
  • The first Black, and Hispanic Barbie dolls were introduced in 1980.
  • Barbie’s first career was as a teenage fashion model. She has since had other careers including astronaut, rock star, paleontologist, presidential candidate, and Olympic ice skater, as well as many others.
  • Barbie introduced a rap group in 1990 called “Barbie, and the Beats.”
  • More than 105 million yards of fabric have gone into making the fashions of Barbie, and her friends, making Mattel one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world.
  • Placed head to toe, Barbie dolls, and her friends sold since 1959 would circle the earth more than seven times.
  • Every second, three Barbie dolls are sold somewhere in the world.
Source: Mattel