About Vintage Barbie Dolls
It all began when Ruth Handler noticed that her daughter Barbara was playing with paper dolls and imagining them in grown up roles. Ruth also realized that all the dolls on the market at the time were baby dolls, and that there was a need for a doll that would inspire little girls to think about what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Thus the idea for Barbie doll, the teenage fashion model, was born. Ruth named the doll Barbie, after her daughter.
She debuted in the now famous black-and-white striped swimsuit and signature ponytail, and she was a hit. Other ensembles followed later that year including, Gay Parisienne and Roman Holiday.
Barbie dolls number 3 and 4 are released, slightly changed from number 1. Number 3 has blue irises and more gently curved eyebrows. Number 4 is made of a new type of vinyl that retains its flesh-tone color rather than whitening with age.
Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson designs Barbie doll's fashions this year with inspiration from the runways of Paris. The details are exquisite, using only the finest fabrics.
This year, Barbie models Busie Gal, a red linen suit layering a red and white striped blouse. This ensemble comes complete with sunglasses and a black portfolio.
She looks stunning as Solo in the in an elegant and glittery black sheath gown with tulle flares. This fashion is a collector favorite today and was reproduced in 1995.
A year after her introduction, Barbie doll is the hottest selling fashion doll of all time. Number 5 is released, featuring different hair colors, including a shade of red known as titian. And the new Bubble Cut hairstyle is popular, courtesy of Jacqueline Kennedy.
Enchanted Evening, a charming pink satin gown, debuts this year. This fashion becomes a collector favorite, and is produced again in 1996.
Barbie gets a boyfriend when Ken doll enters the picture. He's 1/2" taller than Barbie and has short, flocked brown or blonde hair, blue eyes and movable head, arms and legs. He's ready for a day at the beach with bathing trunks, sandals and a towel.
Barbie doll wears a ponytail, although the popular Bubble Cut is produced in much greater numbers.
Red is her color this year, coupled with the Red Flare fashion - a vibrant red coat, hat, and handbag ensemble make quite the statement. Garden Party and Tennis Anyone are another two of Barbie doll's fun fashions for this year.
Also this year, the fuzzyheaded Ken doll is retired to a new look of painted blonde or brown hair.
Two of this year's memorable fashions are Theatre Date, an exquisite emerald green satin suit with matching pillbox hat, and Sophisticated Lady, an elegant rose taffeta ball gown.
Barbie meets her first and soon-to-be best friend, Midge in 1963. This freckled doll will become a favorite for many collectors.
Barbie doll appears this year in a pink swimsuit. Her eyes open and close, and this is the only Barbie doll to have eyes that do so.
The "Little Theater" collection debuts with Guinevere in a stunning blue velvet gown. Other ensembles from this collection include Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and an Arabian Nights outfit.
Barbie doll is a good ol' "American Girl" in 1965. Her hairdo is the popular Pageboy cut with bangs, available in several hair colors. Her fashions are inspired by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and offer a chic and sophisticated look. Some of the ensembles from this year are Saturday Matinee, Tickle Pink, Fraternity Dance, and Country Club Dance.
Barbie doll and her friends also become more lifelike this year with legs that bend.
Barbie also appears in 1965 as Miss Astronaut, inspiring girls long before women are accepted into the space program.
Color Magic Barbie debuts with hair and clothing that can be dyed. Her shoulder-length hair comes in Golden Blonde or Midnight Black, and can color to Scarlet Flame or Ruby Red.
Hats are big this year with Lunch on the Terrace, Pretty as a picture, and Shimmering Magic. Shimmering Magic is famous for the large, fancy white picture hat trimmed with white netting and red satin roses.
Another doll enters Barbie's family with the introduction of mod cousin Francie and little sister and brother, twins Tutti and Todd.
This is a big year for changes in the Barbie doll with a new look and new fashions. From her haute couture look of the early 1960s, she evolves to fit into the "mod" look that's all the rage late in the decade.
As Twist N Turn Barbie, her face is more youthful with softer face paint, rooted eyelashes, long straight hair, and a torso that twists. Two of the mod fashions from this year are Fashion Shiner, with a vivid red vinyl coat, and Braniff Boarding Outfit, complete with a bubble hat.
Barbie gets her first celebrity friend this year when London fashion model Twiggy enters the Barbie scene.
Barbie doll speaks for the first time in both English and Spanish as Talking Barbie. She quotes six different phrases when a string on the back of the neck is pulled, including "I have a date tonight", "I love being a fashion model", and "Let's have a costume party."
Far-out fashions from this year include: Sparkle Squares, a metallic mini-dress and coat combination; All That Jazz, a wild coat and dress ensemble in pink, orange, yellow-green and gold stripes; Jump Into Lace, a pink jumpsuit underneath a sheer white lace over-suit.
Smasheroo, another great mod fashion from this year, is reproduced in 1998.
Hairstyles have come and gone throughout this decade, and the style this year is long and flipped up at the ends.
Leg wear is hot, and so are Barbie doll's fashions. Fab Fur comes with waist high golden lame boots, and Yellow Mellow arrives dressed in yellow net tights that match her lemon yellow mini-dress.
Ken took the year 1968 off to work out, and returns this year with muscles. He also has a new head, knees that bend, and the ability to speak.
Barbie doll becomes even more lifelike this year as Living Barbie. She's almost lifelike with elbows, knees, and ankles that bend, and a head, waist, arms, hands, and legs that swivel.
It's the dawning of the disco scene with Maxi N Mini, a hip outfit with a faux-fur-lined metallic blue jacket. Other far-out fashions from 1970 are Lamb N Leather, a white faux lamb's wool coat and hat with pink go-go boots, and Fur Sighted, a bright red-orange pantsuit trimmed in wild yellow faux fur.
It's the height of the hippie look with Live-Action Barbie. She looks far-out in her psychedelic jumpsuit with fringe and a headband. And thanks to her "loose-jointed" waist, she can even dance and sing along with a record that's included.
Malibu Barbie debuts this year with an open-mouth smile, a tan, and long blonde hair parted down the middle.
Growin' Pretty Hair Barbie debuts, giving little girls a blonde ponytail that grows when pulled.
For the first time, this year, Barbie doll's demure side-glancing eyes now lok straight ahead.
Barbie doll is more lifelike than ever this year as Walk-Lively Barbie and Talking Busy Barbie. Walk-Lively Barbie is fashioned in a brilliant red pantsuit and a yellow faux vinyl purse, complete with her own stand to walk on. Talking Busy Barbie can communicate and has rotating wrists and hands that open and close to hold a variety of accessories.
Barbie doll looks fashionable in The Short Set, a trendy and matching knit turtleneck sweater and short outfit, accented with a wide red hip-hugging belt, attached purse, and red knee-high boots.