National Barbie Day
On March 9th, National Barbie Day celebrates an iconic toy that premiered on this day in 1959. Barbie debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
March 9th, 1959 also celebrates Barbie’s official birthday.
In 1959, Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll and launched an American icon. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she came with a full array of accessories. While toymakers mass-produced toys for years, before Barbie, none of them had adult features. Barbie’s adult features made the toy a first of its kind. Interestingly, Barbie’s marketing strategy relied on television advertising. For example, Barbie was the sole sponsor of the Mickey Mouse Club, marketing directly to children. At the time, the approach was unique. Estimates place over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries.
Detractors often criticize Barbie for being an unattainable ideal of a woman. While her figure alone is unrealistic, over the years, Barbie evolved both in style and shape. In 2019, the Barbie brand honored pioneering women across several eras, as well. The modern Barbie offers positive role models in business, science, education, and more. Barbie continues to change, year after year, keeping up with the styles and the headlines.
In 1961, Mattel introduce Ken Carson as Barbie’s boyfriend.
In 1998, the Toy Hall of Fame inducted Barbie into its hallowed halls. The toy joined hundreds of other famous toys, some of which National Day Calendar celebrates throughout the year. Some of those include the Duncan yoyo, chess, and Radio Flyer wagon.