I had the first Barbie too, the one with the black and white swimsuit and the hair pulled into a pony tail that flipped at the end. Imagine my horror when I unponytailed her to comb her fine blond hair and realized she was BALD except for a ring around her hairline! (She's still in my parent's attic, but her resale value is pretty nil.)
So, did you girls rip off the head or a limb for no reason whatsoever?
My mother had one of those celluloid baby dolls when she was a little girl. Apparently one of the first things she did was to bite off the nose. Yet my grandmother kept the defaced doll in the attic for the next 50 years and I found it somewhat tragic to throw the doll away without ceremony when it came time to empty the house for selling it.
Did you throw it out then? For the same reason I've kept a broken toy that my best friend gave me years ago. It was a beautiful white plastic bird that flew around when I wound it up. He bought it for me in Paris. He loved flying himself and died whilst hang-gliding. That's another thing I'll never get over.
Back to the thread.....there were no Barbies in Ireland when I was a child. I didn't come across Barbie until I had children of my own. Yes I am 94.
Yes, it was thrown away although I was convinced that an antique doll must have some sort of value, even damaged. One is always weak faced with a headstrong mother. I could tell that my grandmother wasn't happy about it either.
I never played with dolls as I'd rather do other things like ride my bike or have picnics near a creek with fruit and veggies we picked from gardens ourselves minutes before.
I didn't get how dolls could be fun at all but there was one bride doll my mother bought and it was the only one I was interested in but she'd never let me play with it. Apparently it was special to her in some way.
She kept it on top of a cupboard so I couldn't get it. Nice. Not!
I never had a Barbie doll either -- I think I played with baby type dolls when I was small. I don't remember asking for a Barbie doll. When my daughter was about 7, my mother brought her a couple of Barbie dolls since all her friends were playing with them. I think she played with them once, but wasn't really interested and we eventually gave them away to a little girl who liked them.
Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara at play with paper dolls, and noticed that she often enjoyed giving them adult roles. At the time, most children's toy dolls were representations of infants. Realizing that there could be a gap in the market, Handler suggested the idea of an adult-bodied doll to her husband Elliot, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company. He was unenthusiastic about the idea, as were Mattel's directors.
During a trip to Europe in 1956 with her children Barbara and Kenneth [the Ken doll was introduced in 1961], Ruth Handler came across German toy doll called Bild Lilli. The adult-figured Lilli doll was exactly what Handler had in mind, so she purchased three of them. She gave one to her daughter and took the others back to Mattel. The Lilli doll was based on a popular character appearing in a comic strip drawn by Reinhard Beuthin for the newspaper Die Bild-Zeitung. Lilli was a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it. The Lilli doll was first sold in Germany in 1955, and although it was initially sold to adults, it became popular with children who enjoyed dressing her up in outfits that were available separately.
Upon her return to the United States, Handler reworked the design of the doll (with help from engineer Jack Ryan) and the doll was given a new name, Barbie, after Handler's daughter Barbara. The doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. This date is also used as Barbie's official birthday.
Mattel acquired the rights to the Bild Lilli doll in 1964 and production of Lilli was stopped. The first Barbie doll wore a black and white zebra striped swimsuit and signature topknot ponytail, and was available as either a blonde or brunette. The doll was marketed as a "Teen-age Fashion Model," with her clothes created by Mattel fashion designer Charlotte Johnson. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan, with their clothes hand-stitched by Japanese homeworkers. Around 350,000 Barbie dolls were sold during the first year of production.
Ruth Handler believed that it was important for Barbie to have an adult appearance, and early market research showed that some parents were unhappy about the doll's chest, which had distinct breasts. Barbie's appearance has been changed many times, most notably in 1971 when the doll's eyes were adjusted to look forwards rather than having the demure sideways glance of the original model.
Barbie was one of the first toys to have a marketing strategy based extensively on television advertising, which has been copied widely by other toys. It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second. The standard range of Barbie dolls and related accessories are manufactured to approximately 1/6th scale, which is also known as playscale. Barbie products include not only the range of dolls with their clothes and accessories, but also a huge range of Barbie branded goods such as books, fashion items and video games. Barbie has appeared in a series of animated films and makes a brief guest appearance in the 1999 film Toy Story 2.
Almost uniquely for a toy fashion doll, Barbie has become a cultural icon and has been given honors that are rare in the toy world. In 1974 a section of Times Square in New York City was renamed Barbie Boulevard for a week, while in 1985 the artist Andy Warhol created a painting of Barbie.
The name Barbara Millicent Roberts comes from a fictional biography published for Barbie by Random House in the 60's. She hails from a fictional town called Willows, Wisconsin.
(No way she's from Wisconsin with that figure! ;-)
So, did you girls rip off the head or a limb for no reason whatsoever?
From Wikipedia: In December 2005 Dr. Agnes Nairn at the University of Bath in England published research suggesting that girls often go through a stage where they hate their Barbie dolls and subject them to a range of punishments, including decapitation and placing the doll in a microwave oven. Dr. Nairn said: "It's as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past."
I never intentionally mutilated Barbie, though I did pierce her ears with pearl-headed straightpins (a mistake as the metal discolored her skin green), and my sister sat on my Barbie in the car, giving her rather seriously inverted nipples. Along with the aforementioned accicental scalping, these deformities cooled my interest in Barbie and she went to live in her Dream House in my parents attic, where, last time I saw her, the mousies had been nibbling her fingers off!
i didn't have one, nor was particularly interested in them, but my two best friends at elementary school loved playing with their barbies, and as they were my only friends, i did play with them too when i was at their house... but i never really got what is so great about them... well these two best friends also were david hasselhoff fans, another thing i accepted for the sake of our friendship...
I had a couple of Barbies but didn't really play with them. I never had their accessories - I used them as dress mannequins and made dresses for them. I learned some good sewing principles with those dolls.
Eventually, I thought they looked too fake and plastic and drew nipples and pubic hair on them. Never mutilated them, though.