Topping the Wish List - 1959

This toy helped build the biggest toy company in the world. It has been the subject of numerous fashion columns around the United States and for over 50 more than 100 million have been sold around the world. Topping the wish list across the country is a piece of plastic named Barbie.


Original Barbie 1959



Ruth and Elliot Handler owners of a small toy company in Los Angeles created the Barbie doll. Ruth noticed that her daughter Barbara tried to dress her paper dolls with cut out clothing. They realized that young girls enjoy this form of dress-up. Yet there were no three dimensional dolls available to dress in different wardrobes.

This is the first ever TV commercial created for Barbie that aired during the Mickey Mouse Club.

The Handlers spotted a magical opportunity and created an 11 and a half inch doll which they named after their daughter. The doll sold for only three dollars 1959. 

The real money was in accessorizing her. The different pieces of clothing cost up to five dollars and the entire wardrobe sold for an incredible hundred and thirty six dollars.

In May 2018 Netflix launched Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures:

It would seem that Mattel's Barbie merchandising opportunities are endless and Barbie continues to be one of the best-selling dolls.

In fact, she is also arguably the most successful fashion icon in history and still makes it to the top a little girl's wish list, every year.