Barbie: How to choose the best in 2021?
Today we are going to talk about a doll that has gone through time and turned into a collector’s item: Barbie. The most famous doll in the world is still on the rise today, and every year it continues to provoke revolution.
Closer to the female reality, Barbie has reinvented herself and today it is possible to find different versions of the doll. Thus, each in its own style, can identify with the doll.
In this article, we will take you on a journey into the world of Barbie and show you what to take into account before buying the doll, whether for you or for the children.
First, the most important
- After 60 years, the Barbie doll remains a dream of consumption for girls and collectors around the world.
- The doll, which was once a movie star and TV series, surpassed stereotypes and today appears in versions with different professions, styles, sizes, shapes and colors, to please everyone.
- We will show you here how to get the ideal Barbie doll amid so many options available on the market today.
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The best Barbie models: Our favorites
The desire for a doll is increasingly related to style and personality, whether of the child or the adult. Knowing this, Mattel, Barbie’s maker, innovates every year.
Therefore, below we will introduce you to the best and most popular types of Barbie available on the market today.
- To awaken children’s creativity
- A Barbie that represents real women
- To play with your Barbie’s hair
- A doll to encourage physical activities
It may seem simple to choose the ideal Barbie, if you consider the most well-known models, in general blond and thin. However, the options of the doll grew with more modern and current options.
To help you get to know the most famous models and know what you need to observe before buying Barbie, we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need.
What is a Barbie doll?
Barbie is a doll with characteristics and features of a teenager or adult, which has an articulated body, flexible legs and, in general, is 29 cm.
Precisely because of its characteristics, which imitates an elegant and happy woman, Barbie has become the most famous and best-selling doll in the world. Not for nothing, in 2019 it completed 60 years of existence.
But to achieve success and bring the doll more and more to reality, Barbie’s manufacturing materials have evolved a lot over time.
Nowadays, dolls are created with soft vinyl, synthetic vinyl and elastomer. These materials thus allow Barbie to have a more flexible structure than the old models.
Barbie’s hair has different colors and shapes and is made of rooted and sewn synthetic fibers and nylon.
The clothes are also varied and always inspired by the fashion trends of each era.
Barbie was the first doll in the world to be made up and to receive accessories.
The eyes are made with water-based paint, which is environmentally friendly unlike the first versions that used solvent-based paint.
Barbie was also the first doll in the world to be made up and to receive accessories. In addition, since its launch until today, Barbie dictated fashion, behavior and reinvented itself in form and style.
In the first decades of its existence, the vast majority of Barbie dolls were blond and thin. Today, however, there are versions of the most diverse: brown, black, oriental, tall, short and curvaceous.
Furthermore, as we will see in detail later in this article, Barbie can be found representing cultures of the world, personalities and professions.
Another brand of Barbie dolls is their accessories. The doll collections are launched with several additional items, such as various clothes and shoes, hair ornaments, jewelry, as well as cars, houses, pets, work tools, among others.
Barbie’s success is such that the doll goes far beyond a child’s dream. The doll has long since become a luxury item and of special interest among collectors.
Some Barbie models are worth thousands of dollars and are much sought after among doll lovers.
Over the years, Barbie has also gained friends, and the famous boyfriend, Ken. Not to mention that the doll crowned her success by being part of films, TV series, comics and electronic games.
How did Barbie dolls come about?
The Barbie doll emerged in 1959 when the president of toy company Mattel, the American Ruth Handle, was inspired by another doll to create a version for her daughter, Barbara.
Ruth and her husband Elliot Handler observed that Barbara, when she started to grow up, played with paper dolls and with more childlike features, but always imagining that the dolls would be more adult.
It was then that Ruth realized that there were only baby-looking dolls on the market. In this finding, Ruth saw the need and demand for dolls with more adolescent and adult traits, to accompany the growth of girls.
Thus, during a trip to Germany, in 1959, Ruth found a doll with younger features that had been on the market since 1955 in Europe
The doll, known as Bild Lilli, was the great inspiration for Ruth to create Barbie. So, in the same year, Ruth started the doll creation project at her company Mattel.
The doll’s name was named after Ruth’s daughter. Thus the doll received the official name of Barbara Millicent Roberts. But she was even known by the nickname Barbie.
Barbie’s official launch took place on March 9, 1959, at a toy fair in New York City where each doll sold for $ 3.
But the fact is that Barbie started her story with controversy. Mattel was accused of copying the German doll. After much criticism, Mattell bought the copyright to Bild Lilli, whose production ended in 1964.
How has Barbie evolved over time?
Since its launch, Barbie has always tried to represent the feminine ideal. Therefore, in general, the doll was portrayed as a young, beautiful and smiling woman.
But, also because it represents the ideal and not necessarily the reality, Barbie has always been loved and criticized.
The criticisms included especially the shape of the perfect and unattainable body: too thin; besides privileging the blonde and white doll.
Therefore, over the decades, the doll has undergone many transformations and evolved gradually until it reached the diversity of shapes, skin tones and styles.
In 1965, Barbie gained flexible legs and, in 1968, appeared in a remodeled version, with blue eyes and long lashes.
And not only did she transform, but so did the dolls and dolls that emerged next to compose her world. Boyfriend Ken, for example, was released two years later, in 1961.
The curious thing is that Ken’s name was also inspired by one of the children of the couple Ruth and Eliot, owners of Mattel, the boy Kenneth Handler. Since then, Barbie and Ken have followed the fashion and behavior trends of each decade.
For example, in the 1970s, when the hippie movement was at its peak, Barbie released her hair and got a trailer to live wherever she wanted.
Barbie’s first friend arrived in 1969. Christie was the first black doll launched on the North American market.
In 1996, Barbie gained a paraplegic friend, Becky, who used a wheelchair. In 2000, Barbie used cell phone and computer. From then on, the most famous doll in the world began to gain professions.
What is the timeline of Barbie’s story?
As we have seen, Barbie’s history is long and full of facts that reflected the desires of women and girls of each age.
Therefore, below you will know a little of the timeline that tells the most important moments of its existence:
- Barbie Vintage Ponytail (1959-1966) : This was the first Barbie model created. At this time, Barbie had a head, arms and legs that could be moved. But it was only in 1965 that the first Barbie was launched with folding knees and blinking eyes.
- Barbie Malibu (1971) : Barbie Malibu reflected a more carefree lifestyle, since at the time the tanned body was the standard of beauty.
- Barbie Superstar (1977) : At the height of the Disco Era, Barbie’s look featured sparkling dresses. It was also the first time that a smile appeared on Barbie’s face.
- Barbie Great Shape (1983) : In the early 1980s, Barbie superfitness concerned with health and body, arrived doing physical exercises.
- Barbie Long Hair (1992) : One of the biggest selling hits hit the shelves in 1992. This Barbie could have her hair color changed instantly with the addition of water.
- Barbie in The Nutcracker (2001) : The first of 15 films starring the doll in the 2000s, “Barbie in The Nutcracker”, was released in 2001. But, the first production to feature her participation was in 1987 in “Barbie: the rock star”.
- Most expensive Barbie in the world (2008) : The most expensive Barbie in the world was released in September 2008 during the launch of the DVD Barbie and the Castle of Diamonds. In the amount of US $ 94.8 thousand, she came with a tiara, sandals, earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring adorned with diamonds. In the dress alone, there were 44 diamonds.
- Tattoo Barbie (2011) : More modern than ever, in the decade of 2010, Barbie suffered another makeover: cool, now she also displayed numerous tattoos on her body.
How did Barbie adapt and break with stereotypes?
Since 2011, the Barbie doll has undergone the most important transformations. This came after decades of criticism and controversy about the perfect measurements of the doll.
The blonde, thin, tall and straight-haired Barbie saw her major transformation in 2016. This year, Mattel included three new body shapes – short, tall and curvy – as well as a wide variety of skin tones, hair styles and clothes.
This time Barbie comes in black skin options with curly, afro, short hair, shoes with or without heels, among others.
MattelBarbie Doll Maker
“When a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become. You can be anything.”
In addition to ethnic and physical diversity, Mattel also started talking about female empowerment in its advertising campaigns.
Hence the Barbies emerged as engineers, doctors, football players, paleontologists, veterinarians and entrepreneurs.
It is worth remembering, however, that Barbie has had other professions since its launch, for example: dancer, nurse, pilot and astronaut, totaling more than 200 professions in six decades.
- 2015 : Expansion of the Professions line.
- 2016 : Launch of the Fashionistas line with dolls with 3 body shapes, 7 skin tones and 24 hair styles.
- 2017 : Launch of the first Barbie wearing the Islamic veil, the hijab.
- 2018 : Launch of the Inspiring Women line, in honor of female icons such as the painter Frida Khalo.
- 2018 : Launch of Barbie robotic engineer, with lessons in programming, logic and problem solving.
How is Barbie in the fashion world?
In addition to inspiring children from all over the world, Barbie had a great influence on fashion and reached the world of haute couture.
Over the years, the doll has won tailored dresses by more than 70 of the most important designers in the world, such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Versace, Givenchy, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Giorgio Armani.
In total, the Barbie doll and her friends have won more than 1 billion clothes, created since 1959. stylists Walter Rodrigues, Lino Villaventura and Alexandre Herchcovitch have already created clothes especially for the doll.
What are the biggest curiosities about the Barbie doll?
In 60 years of life it is natural that there is an enormous amount of facts and curiosities about Barbie that you should not know.
Therefore, we have separated some interesting data about the vast universe of this doll:
- Every three seconds, two Barbies dolls are sold worldwide.
- The Barbie doll is sold in 120 countries.
- The best-selling doll, with more than 10 million units, was Totally Hair, with hair that reaches down to the feet.
- Barbie is currently made in China.
What are the advantages of Barbie?
Between controversies and transformations, the fact is that each day the Barbie doll accumulates more and more advantages.
Especially nowadays with such diversity, Barbie has the great advantage of stimulating children’s creativity and empowerment, learning professions and everyday lessons.
More than that, it is not uncommon for those who are passionate about Barbie to innovate creating, in the do-it-yourself style, other pieces of clothing and accessories and spaces for Barbie to play and live.
n addition, nowadays it is possible to find Barbie doll models with super affordable prices. But of course, even though the doll has diversified, the standard of aesthetic perfection has not been completely resolved.
One of the negative points, especially according to the parents, is that the doll, even though it varied and became inclusive, still prioritizes the stereotype of the perfect woman.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Barbie doll:
How much does a Barbie cost?
The price of Barbie varies widely according to the line of dolls, the clothes and accessories that accompany it. Thus, the Barbie doll can cost between R $ 35 and R $ 600.
In general, the most expensive models are collectible dolls, which are made in smaller quantities and exclusively.
Where to buy a Barbie?
You will find the Barbie doll for sale in toy stores, department stores.
However, we recommend that you buy Barbie at online stores Amazon and Amazon for example.
The fact is that in these stores you will find a much wider range of exclusive dolls, which are rarely found in physical stores. In addition to making your purchase from the comfort of your home.
Did you know that Barbie is originally from the fictional city of Willows, in the United States, and studied at Willows High School?
Over time, family members have appeared and, currently, Barbie has six brothers: Skipper (1964), Tutti (1966), Todd (1966), Stacie (1992), Kelly (1995) and Krissy (1999).
During the six decades, Barbie has also had more than 40 pets, including cats, dogs, horses, panda bear, lion cub and even a zebra.
Purchase Criteria: What You Should Consider Before Buying Barbie
As we have seen, nowadays the Barbie doll model options are immense. So it can be tricky to choose the ideal doll, especially if you want to give a child a gift.
To help you in this mission, we remember that the type of doll should reflect, stimulate and empower the personality of children. In addition, of course, to inspire respect for diversity.
Thus, we have listed below the factors that you must observe before purchasing the Barbie doll:
Next, we will detail each of these factors for you to buy the Barbie of your dreams.
As we have seen, over six decades thousands of dolls in different versions have been launched. And that was not for nothing since each doll translates a personality, a time, behavior or thought.
Therefore, it is essential that you observe the Barbie doll theme before making your purchase. Depending on the message that the doll sends, she can influence the child positively or negatively.
However, this does not mean that there is a Barbie theme better than another.
Early childhood education experts only recommend that you diversify the types of dolls offered to children.
Ideally, Barbie can encourage learning, acceptance and respect for differences, in addition to promoting the encouragement that women are free to make their choices.
Thus, it is possible for you to choose from a huge range of Barbie models, which both reflect professional interests, as well as inspiring personalities and issues related to health and body awareness.
Check out the main themes of the Barbie doll available on the market today:
- Profession : Journalist, musician, veterinarian, dentist, doctor, architect, art teacher, car racing pilot, airplane pilot, chef de cuisine, engineer, paleontologist, astronaut, executive.
- Sport : Soccer player, tennis, skateboard, Yoga practitioner, dancer, skier, martial arts.
- Daily life : Mother, housewife, dog sitter, cook, personal care, leisure.
- Fashion : Fashionistas and classics.
- Movie character : Sacrlet O’Hara from “And the wind took”; Rose from “Titanic”; “Supergirl”; Wonder Woman; Batgirl; Jane from the “Twilight” saga; Elza from “Frozen”.
- Inspirational women : Patty Jenkins, US filmmaker; Olympic snowboard medalist Chloe Kim (USA); Hélène Darroze, Chef (Fança); Lorena Ochoa, professional golfer (Mexico); Hui Ruoqi, volleyball champion (China) and etc.
In addition to taking into account the Barbie theme, it is essential that you observe the aesthetics of the doll.
As we have seen, the pattern of the tall, thin blonde doll is no longer a rule and nowadays it is possible to find versions that represent different types of bodies, skin tones and hair.
Therefore, it is important that you choose an aesthetic that fosters recognition and empowers your child, as well as promoting understanding and respect for diversity.
In general, you will find the Barbie doll with the following options:
- Hair color : Black, brown, red, blond, white and colored.
- Hair size : Long, very long, chanel and short.
- Hair type : There are 24 options, between straight, wavy, curly, afro, braided and etc.
- Skin color : There are 7 colors that vary between black and white.
- Body shape : Curvy, short and tall.
In addition, you will also find the Barbie doll with 22 different eye color options. Try to diversify by buying dolls with different styles for your children.
After choosing the ideal Barbie according to the characteristics of personality, profession and aesthetics it is time to observe the accessories that accompany the doll.
You will find many models in which only dolls are sold, with a piece of clothing and shoes, for example.
However, the vast majority includes other accessories to compose not only the look of Barbie, but to help either in the profession or in characterizing the environment in which the doll lives and works.
Often you will find Barbie accompanied by her car or some part of the house. There are also Barbies that come with the pizzeria where they work or the doctor’s office.
In this case, in addition to the structure of the workplace, various accessories and work tools accompany the doll.
In other cases, Barbie may include accessories such as a cell phone, hair brush, jewelry, shoes and extra clothes to change.
The fact is that it is worth choosing a doll that comes with some accessories, since extra items bought separately are usually much more expensive.
As we have seen, Barbie goes from R $ 35 to R $ 600, which can be even more expensive. So in this scenario, price is an important purchasing criterion to be analyzed. Try to find a balance between a good investment within your budget.
Although the cheaper ones are simpler and contain fewer accessories, they can fulfill the child’s dream of having a Barbie doll.
Remembering that in the online market you will find the best offers and also options that fit your pocket and fit the profile you are looking for.
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