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First Barbie Doll Goes on Sale February 13, 1959

The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler (co-founder of Mattel), whose own daughter was called Barbara. Barbie was introduced to the world at the American Toy Fair in New York City and went on sale February 13th for a mere $3. Barbie’s job was teenage fashion doll. The Ken doll was named after Ruth’s son and was introduced two years after Barbie in 1961. She came as either a brunette or blond, and in 1961 red hair was added. Additional clothing based on the latest runway trends from Paris were sold, costing from $1 to $5. In the first year, 300,000 Barbie dolls were sold. Today, a mint condition “#1” (1959 Barbie doll) can fetch as much as $27,450. To date, over 70 fashion designers have made clothes for Mattel, using over 105 million yards of fabric. Celebrate Barbie today, February 13th!

Barbie