Image : http://www.flickr.com
The Barbie Doll, every young girl’s prized possession, was first introduced to the world by the co-founder of Mattel Fashion, Ruth Handler, in 1959. The idea for an adult doll came to Ruth’s mind while observing her daughter Barbara with her paper dolls. Incidentally Barbara is whom the doll has been named after.
Ruth noticed that how, in spite of the dolls looking like babies, her little girl loved treating them as adults. That inspired Ruth to come up with the idea of a three-dimensional toy, modeled along the lines of adult paper dolls. Even better, those dolls would come with changeable clothes. Initially Ruth’s husband, Elliot, the co-founder of Mattel Fashion and the other top executives of the company did not warm up to the concept at all. Ruth did not abandon the idea, and while vacationing in Germany she came across Lilli, a German doll inspired by a comic strip. She picked up three dolls, one for Barbara, and the other two went to the Mattel office with her. Ruth made changes to the doll’s body, rechristened it ‘Barbie’, and introduced the new doll to the world on March 9, 1959, at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Barbie developed a cult status among young girls and till today is as coveted as before.
Books written on this doll say that her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she was born to George and Margaret Roberts, in a fictional town called Willows, in Wisconsin. She has a pilot’s license and can operate a commercial aircraft, apart from being a flight attendant. She has more than 40 pets and her boyfriend is Ken Carson.