Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls, and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles.At the time, most children's toy dolls were representations of infants.The standard dolls are approximately 11½ inches tall.
Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance, and early market research showed that some parents were unhappy about the doll's chest, which had distinct breasts.
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.
1961: First introduced at the American International Toy Fair as Barbie doll’s boyfriend on March 11, 1961 Ken doll was 12 inches tall, had “molded” plastic hair (blond and brunette) and came dressed in red bathing suit trunks with a yellow towel and sandals.1973: Moving from his plastic molded hair to a more “natural” style, Mod Hair Ken doll introduced his first ever rooted hair style.
The doll came with either straight or curly hair as well as additional facial hair pieces including a mustache, beard and/or sideburns.1984: Dream Date Ken (shown here) was the perfect arm candy for Barbie.
Lilli was a blonde bombshell, a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it.
The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately.
The doll was marketed as a "Teen-age Fashion Model," with her clothes created by Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson.
The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers.
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Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.
During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth, Ruth Handler came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli.