This week Barbie celebrates her 45th birthday. She debuted on March 9, 1959 and since then more than 800 million dolls have been sold. Barbie has been around so long she’s become a collector’s item. Mattel, the doll’s maker, estimates there are 100,000 collectors who may spend up to $1,000 a year. The original doll sold for $3.00 in 1959, but a boxed Barbie of that vintage went for $3,552.50 on eBay in 2004, according to Wikipedia.
Barbie, who has been everything from a paleontologist to a McDonald’s employee, is not loved by all. Some parents argue that her hour-glass proportions would be anorexic if scaled to full-size. Others believe that her various “careers” demonstrate that a woman can be anything she wants to be. What do you think?
If you would like to know more about Barbie’s history as a cultural icon, check out:
Barbie: Four Decades of Fashion, Fantasy and Fun by Marco Tosa.
Toy Wars: The Epic Struggles Between G.I.Joe, Barbie and the Companies That Make Them by G. Wayne Miller.
Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography by M.G. Lord.
Mondo Barbie by Lucinda Ebersole and Richard Peabody.
Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity by Ophira Edut.