A year of celebration kicked off at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany, on Wednesday, Feb 4. A novelty show was organised to look back at Barbie's five decades as fashion icon. Toy-maker Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler created Barbie doll in March 1959 as the 'original teenage fashion model.' Reports suggest that three dolls are sold every second.
The first television commercial aired in 1959 - in black and white - and advertised Barbie for a mere three US dollars. In 1961, Barbie got her boyfriend 'Ken'. In this span she pursued almost hundred careers; she has been an art teacher, a presidential candidate, a veterinarian and an astronaut. Over years her looks too changed according to fashion and local trends.
Senior Vice President of Barbie World Wide, Richard Dixon said that the Barbie dolls are adapted to the market to ensure she looks culturally appropriate. "Any Barbie that you look at any time, you can mark that moment in time with style, fashion, beauty and culture," says Dixon.
The Nuremberg fair which runs from Feb 5-10 will see various models displayed, also the human models made up as Barbies presenting the changing faces of the world's most popular doll. Sources say that the doll also has her own website 'BarbieGirls.com' which has 18 million registered users.
The manufacturers of the doll claims that about 50 designers, 12 hairdressers and others work for the Barbie brand and over 800 companies produce everything from clothes to bedroom furniture. Reports suggest that even Barbie doll sales are hit by recession as the sales dropped 21 pc in last quarter.
Cities around the world are planning to mark the 50th birthday of Barbie with special events. The organisers are even planning to conduct a fashion show in Barbie's honour during the New York Fashion Week.
Long live Barbie!!
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)