Miniature Fireplace Furniture for Barbie Doll House Pretend Play Toys for Girl Free Shipping Barbie Doll Story Perhaps the most famous name in doll-making history,Barbie has delighted children since 1959,and has become a magnet for doll collectors.The brainchild of Ruth and Elliot Handler,Barbie was modeled after a German doll,Lilli,a shapely,pretty fashion doll first made in 1955.Made of molded plastic with her hair pulled back into a ponytail,she was available in either 11.5-inch or 7-inch heights. The idea for Barbie originated when Ruth Handler,part owner of the Mattel company with her husband Elliot and family friend Harold Mattson,noticed that her daughter,Barbara,enjoyed playing with adult female dolls more than with baby dolls.She decided,therefore,to create a doll that would allow young girls to envision what they might become as they grew older. Her creation,named in honor of daughter Barbara and backed by Mattel,debuted at the American Toy Fair in New York City in 1959.Although Mattel had been hesitant to risk producing the Barbie doll,Barbie set a new sales record for Mattel after the first year on the market.At a cost of three dollars each,Mattel sold 351,000 dolls during the first year of production,and within ten years,the public had purchased $500 million worth of Barbie products. The first Barbie featured a ponytail hairstyle,black and white zebra-striped bathing suit,open-toed shoes,sunglasses,and earrings,and also featured various accessories and clothing styles created by the fashion designer Charlotte Johnson.Over the years,Barbie has been joined by family and friends,beginning with boyfriend Ken,named after the Handler\'s son,Kenneth,in 1961; sister Skipper in 1965; and Becky,Barbie\'s friend,in a wheelchair,in 1997. Over the years,Barbie has undergone various cosmetic alterations,including a change to reflect criticism that Barbie reinforced sexism by representing a young woman with questionable intelligence and a sculpted physique.Over the years,Barbie has appeared as a doctor,UNICEF volunteer,athlete,and businesswoman,and has enjoyed universal appeal as a collector\'s item.