Unbelievable! Get the Scoop on 37 Mind-Blowing Barbie Facts that’ll Blow Your Mind!

: The Untold Story – Unveiling Fascinating Facts About the Doll”

Barbie may look young, but the iconic doll actually turned 64 in 2023. And while she's one of the most iconic toys the world has ever seen, there are still many Barbie facts that are hardly common knowledge. She's lived a life in plastic that truly is fantastic. Keep reading to learn some interesting tidbits about the doll who's entertained generations of kids.

1. Barbie: Inspired by a German Gag
Barbie may seem as American as pie, but she was actually modeled after an R-rated German doll named Lilli. Originally a gag gift for adults based on a comic strip about a high-end call girl, Lilli caught the attention of Ruth Handler, Mattel's co-founder, while she was in Europe. Instantly recognizing the potential of an adult-shaped doll, Handler brought the idea back to the , leading to the creation of Barbie.

2. Paper Dolls: The Unexpected Influence
Barbara Handler, daughter of Ruth and Elliot Handler, played a significant role in Barbie's creation. As a child, Barbara preferred paper dolls over baby dolls, influencing Ruth's vision to create a 3D doll that could bring girls' dreams to life. It was this preference that ultimately led to the birth of Barbie.

3. Meet Barbara Millicent Roberts
In honor of her daughter, Handler named the doll Barbara Millicent Roberts, though she was known as Barbie for short. Ironically, the real Barbie was 17 years old when the doll debuted and wasn't particularly keen on being associated with a child's toy. Handler later admitted feeling strange about having a doll named after her.

4. The Influence of a Missile Engineer
Jack Ryan, a designer at Mattel, was assigned the task of creating the first Barbie doll. Before joining Mattel, Ryan had previously worked for an aerospace company and even contributed to the of government missile systems. His background in engineering played a crucial role in the development of Barbie.

5. The Controversial Relationship Between Barbie and Zsa Zsa Gabor
Years after designing Barbie, Jack Ryan married Hungarian actor Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1975. However, Ryan and Ruth Handler couldn't agree on who originally came up with the idea for the doll, leading to a strained relationship with Mattel. Ryan later sued the company for royalties, resulting in a settlement in 1980.

6. Legal Troubles from the Beginning
Barbie's introduction to the world in 1959 wasn't without its legal troubles. Greiner & Hausser, the company behind the Lilli dolls that inspired Barbie, accused Mattel of infringing on their doll's design features. The lawsuit was settled in 1963, with Mattel subsequently acquiring the rights to Lilli.

7. Barbie's Unexpected Hometown
Contrary to popular belief, Barbie is said to hail from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin, according to Mattel's official website. Even though it's not a real place, Wisconsin proudly claims Barbie as its native daughter, with an early version of the doll being displayed in the Wisconsin Historical Museum.

8. The Influence of Mickey Mouse
Mattel became the first year-round sponsor of The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, starting a trend of TV commercials aimed at kids. Barbie enjoyed significant exposure through these commercials, eventually leading to a high level of popularity.

9. Celebrities Before They Were Famous
Barbie's commercials have played a significant role in launching the careers of some celebrities. Stars such as Mila Kunis, Fergie, and Maureen McCormick, known for her role in The Brady Bunch, got their first breakthroughs through Barbie commercials.

10. Blondes Have More Fun
The original Barbie doll was sold with the option of being a blonde or a brunette. However, the blonde version proved to be much more popular, eventually overshadowing the brunette and pushing it to the back of store shelves.

11. A Smile That Took Time
It took 12 years for Barbie to sport a smile with her . Initially, the doll had pursed lips that conveyed a serious expression. It wasn't until 1971 that Mattel introduced Malibu Barbie, the first version of the doll to show off a radiant smile.

12. Ken, the Younger Boyfriend
Ken made his debut in 1961, two years after Barbie's introduction, making her a bit of a cougar. Barbie's male counterpart was named after Ruth Handler's son, Kenneth Handler, making their relationship slightly awkward, given their sibling namesakes.

13. The Bare-Chested Ken
The first Ken doll was sold shirtless, sporting only red swim trunks, sandals, and a towel. The following year, a slightly more modest Ken was introduced, donning a red-and-white striped shirt, albeit worn open.

14. The Break-up Heard Around the Toy World
In 2004, after 43 years together, Barbie and Ken shocked the world by taking a break. Just before Valentine's Day, Mattel announced that the famous couple would be spending some time apart. Barbie found comfort in the arms of a new interest named Blaine Gordon, while Ken disappeared from production for two years. However, they ultimately reconciled in 2006, and the couple has been going strong since then.

15. Barbie's Expanding Family
Aside from her well-known sister, Skipper, Barbie has had a revolving door of siblings over the years. Twin siblings Tutti and Todd were introduced in 1965, with Tutti being phased out in 1971 and replaced by Stacie. Barbie's family continues to expand, keeping up with the changing times and interests of worldwide.

3.8/5 - (13 votes)