BARBIE DOLL:  AN AMERICAN ICON

   by:  Roselyn Gadia-Smitley

(Text and photograph are copyrighted materials.)

Photo1:  Superstar Barbie (1976)

Photo1:  Superstar Barbie (1976).  The Superstar Barbie face mold is one of the most popular face molds of the Barbie dolls released for more than three decades. Photo: Roselyn Gadia-Smitley.

    If you are new to the world of fashion dolls, you might wonder who is "Barbie"? "Barbie" is an 11.5" fashion doll which was introduced to the toy market in the United States in 1959.  A storyline was build around her as a typical American teenager in the 1950s.  She has the ideal life of the American girl.  She has a family (complete with mother and father), siblings, a boyfriend, a best friend, a group of other friends (international ethnic friends included), a car, a horse, pets, house, and other paraphernalia.

    Mattel Inc. Corp., Barbie's manufacturer, has reinvented her many times to reflect the aesthetics and values of their market (domestically in the U.S. and internationally).  Today, Mattel manufactures and distributes "Barbie" dolls throughout the world.

    "Barbie" is a staple fashion doll in the U.S. marketplace.  In 2013, the majority of the shelf space of many stores which carry toys are devoted to "Barbie" dolls.  "Barbie" dolls are sold elaborately dressed or issued in an affordable bathing suit edition. These dolls are available in many face molds and skin tones to reflect its international market.  Clothing, fashion accessories, and her paraphernalia can be purchased separately.  Consequently, many children grew up with "Barbie" dolls since its introduction to the U.S. market.  As a result of the doll's market dominance, she is the most popular fashion doll today in the United States and in many parts of the world. 

    In addition to the play line dolls, Mattel also offers "Barbie" dolls in collectors' editions in several tiers and price lines.  Collecting "Barbie" dolls has become a favorite pastime for many individuals throughout the world.

For additional information click at these links:

COLLECTING BARBIE DOLLS

HISTORY OF THE DOLL

COLLECTING FASHION DOLLS TO RESTORE (Homepage)

FASHION DOLLS

COLLECTING BARBIE DOLLS ON A BUDGET

FRUGAL DOLL COLLECTOR BLOG

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