Every year, March 9th marks National Barbie Day, a celebration of the accessorised doll that has become a classic children’s toy.
First produced in 1959, Ruth Handler, founder of Mattel, created the popular figurine after watching her daughter Barbara personify paper dolls.
Fifty eight years later, Barbie (fully named Barbara Millicent Roberts, after Ruth’s daughter) has sold over a billion products in over 150 countries, and has even inspired a few of our record holders to achieve Barbie-based titles, a handful of which you'll find below.
Best-selling Barbie doll
Over the course of the last 58 years, there have been numerous variations and editions of the multi-million selling doll, including Mod Barbie, Malibu Barbie, Supersize Barbie, Holiday Barbie, and Platinum Barbie. But the world’s Best-Selling Barbie doll, is undoubtedly the Totally Hair Barbie, which was released in 1992.
The figure, which has sold more than 10 million dolls worldwide, features extremely long hair allowing children to style Barbie's hair in a variety of ways. While this particular toy has sold incredible amounts already, it still sells consistently and has just celebrate its 25th anniversary, with Mattel marking the occasion by releasing a special version of the doll in special commemorative packaging.
Largest collection of Barbie dolls
Many young girls may claim to love Barbie, but maybe not quite to the same extent as Bettina Dorfmann does. The Germany-based collector has over 15,000 different Barbie dolls in her collection, confirmed as of October 2011. Bettina received her first doll back in 1966 when she was just five years old, but has only been collecting seriously since 1993. She has several remarkable models in her collection, but is also the proud owner of an original (and rare) 1959 Barbie, dressed in a simple striped swimsuit.
Check out our Facebook Live tour of Bettina's collection.
Fastest time to dress a Barbie doll
Now this is a fun record for Barbie-owners to try at home! Catherine Lomas from the UK is the official record holder for Fastest time to dress a Barbie. She achieved this at a GWR Live! Event which took place at Butlins in 2010. Using the various accessories that comes with an average Barbie doll, Catherine managed to complete a proper dressing in just 28.87 seconds. Think you can beat her record? Practice and apply!
Most expensive Barbie doll sold at auction
The world’s most expensive Barbie was sold in an auction at Christie’s in New York, USA, in October 2010. Many would pay top dollar for a rare Barbie doll, but this total certainly beats out all the rest. This particular custom-designed doll, which stands 11.5 inches tall and wears a strapless black evening dress and a one-carat pink diamond necklace surrounded by three carats of white diamonds, sold for a price of $302,500 (then approx. £192,000). The figurine was first unveiled on in May 2010, during Australian Fashion week.
Its price stemmed from the exclusive design work by world-famous Australian jeweller Stefano Canturi, who has also made jewelry for the likes of Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey and Kylie Minogue. Though the final price was hefty, all proceeds from the auction were donated to breast cancer research. The designer was enlisted by Barbie manufacturer Mattel to help promote the launch of the Barbie Basics range in Australia, which features dolls wearing commonly available clothing.
Largest doll and accessories brand- RSP retail, current
There’s a reason that Barbie celebrates a national holiday, and that’s because it brings in a whopping $1,354,568,500 in one year. The numbers are estimated sales of Barbie USA from 2015, but nonetheless, those are impressive numbers for a toy brand that has been in business for over 58 years. The second largest doll and accessories brand is Monster High (USA) with estimated sales of $584,153,900 (£394,009,000; €534,597,000) in 2015.