Barbie from luxurydoll to mass production toy
"Barbie" is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.; "Fashion Royalty" and "Candi" are registered trademarks of Integrity Toys, Inc.
Marcdolls are not affiliated in any way with the manufacturers of these dolls, or any other doll manufacturer.

The photos and text of the entire contents of this web site are copyright of Marcdolls, 2000-2018, in Watt / Switzerland, and may not be used without special written permission.


Bild-Lilli, Barbie's predecessor

Barbie's Introduction

Barbie's early history

Barbie's biography

Barbie the doll

Barbie's Manufacturers Markings

Barbie's controversies

Barbie's friends and relatives

Ethnic Barbie's

Barbie's fashion

Barbie through the ages, 1959 - 2009

Barbie as collectors object

Silkstone Barbie doll

How to care Barbie's head?

How to care Barbie's body?

How to care Barbie's clothes?

Barbie versus Bratz

Dolls of the My Scene-line

The five different collector types

Glossary of Abbreviations


  1959 Barbie costs three U.S. Dollars, while the starting salary of an average office
clerk at this time could be estimated to about 80.00 to 100.00 $ per month.

In addition came the cost for clothes, often manufactured from precious materials,
like silk or brocade and tailored very expensively (lined and equipped with functional
buttons or zippers). Thus only the upper and middle class people could afford to
buy such toys, consequently the style of the doll oriented itself to the women of such
classes. From the mid sixties the actual fashion trend had been determined by
British designers, whose targets were particularly the younger and the lower classes
as potential buyers. This trend to bargain clothing continued also into the seventies,
when generally the consumers were urged to resist the high price exclusives. Mattel
followed these trends and manufactured Barbies clothes now mostly from synthetic
fabrics. Further the exclusive fashions for the elegant ladies disapperared and gave
way to more playful and brighter colored clothing which reflected the taste of the
masses. Also the doll itself followed this trend: with full waving blonde hair, wide
smiles, luscious neckline and very short mini skirts she now corresponded to the
general beauty ideal of the lower. She no longer visited only vernissages, golf
tournaments or tennis courts, but she dedicated her interests to more popular sports
like rollerskating or bowling and she visited pop concerts.

All this contributed to make the sales figures soar skyhigh.


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