March 9th

National Barbie Day -

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Celebrated each year on March 9th, National Barbie Day recognizes the iconic status and cultural impact that the Barbie doll has achieved since first hitting the toy scene. Barbie has not only been a beloved toy in the hands of children worldwide but has also stood as a symbol of limitless possibilities and dreams for young girls. In representing a vast array of professions and diverse backgrounds, Barbie has mirrored the evolution of women’s societal roles.

On National Barbie Day, it’s not just about nostalgic recollections of childhood play but also appreciating Barbie’s remarkable journey from toy to cultural symbol.

History of National Barbie Day

Every year, National Barbie Day is observed on the 9th of March. It’s a celebration that marks the date in 1959 when the world was first introduced to the Barbie doll at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. The conception of this popular doll is credited to Ruth Handler, one of the people who started Mattel, a leading multinational toy company known worldwide.

The idea came to Ruth while watching her daughter, Barbara, playing with paper dolls. She noticed that Barbara would often imagine these dolls in adult roles - like students at university, adults in relationships, and so forth. However, most of the dolls available in the market during that time were modeled after infants, providing a gap in the market that Ruth was keen to fill. She envisioned a 3-D doll that could help girls understand the adult world and prepare for the many roles they could take on as they grew up.

Ruth’s idea was met with reservations from her husband, Elliot, and Harold Matson, the other co-founder of Mattel. They thought it was a risky venture given that Barbie’s mature design was starkly different from the market-preferred infantiyal dolls. Nevertheless, she pressed on and during a family trip to Europe, she found a German doll named Bild Lilli that mirrored the design she had in mind. This discovery set the stage for Barbie’s design.

After numerous refinements, Barbie (named after Ruth’s daughter, Barbara) was presented to the public on March 9, 1959. The doll gained immediate success, with sales soaring, and by the end of the year, over 350,000 Barbie dolls had been sold. Over time, Barbie has evolved into a symbol of female empowerment and gives children an infinite canvas for their storytelling.

Despite being an unofficial observance, National Barbie Day is celebrated every year by a marvelous community of Barbie enthusiasts and collectors around the world, with over a billion dolls being sold in over 150 countries. It’s a day to appreciate Barbie’s influence and contribution to the dreams and aspirations of countless girls worldwide.

National Barbie Day Timeline

Creation of Barbie

Ruth Handler introduced Barbie to the world at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Introduction of Ken

Mattel created and introduced Ken, Barbie's boyfriend, two years after Barbie debuted.

First Hispanic and Black Barbies

In a move to represent diversity, Mattel introduced the first Hispanic and Black Barbies.

Barbie for President

Making a bold political statement, Mattel released Barbie for President, showing girls that they can aspire to be anything.

Barbie’s 50th Anniversary

Mattel celebrated Barbie's 50th anniversary, marking her as a global, cultural icon.

New Body Types for Barbie

Mattel introduced new body types for Barbie: petite, tall, and curvy, in an effort to make a more inclusive range of dolls.

Ideas to Celebrate National Barbie Day

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Barbie Dress-Up Day

Encourage family and friends to dress like their favorite Barbie. The fun can be further amplified with a fashion show at home.

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Craft Your Barbie Accessories

Spend the day making small jewelry pieces, clothes or even mini furniture for your Barbie dolls. It's a fun way to engage the kids and even learn new crafting skills.

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Barbie Movie Marathon

Arrange for a screening of all the Barbie movies. Arrange snacks and create a cosy viewing space to enjoy the movies with friends or family members.

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Barbie Photography Contest

Set up a Barbie photography contest, where participants create interesting scenes with their Barbie dolls and capture them. Later, they can share these photos online using the hashtag #NationalBarbieDay.

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Donate Barbie dolls

In the spirit of sharing, gather Barbie dolls and donate them to a local charity or hospital’s children’s wing. This will surely make some kid's day!

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Start a Barbie Collection

National Barbie Day can be the perfect time to begin your own Barbie collection, or expand an existing one. You can even share a picture of your collection as part of the celebration.

6 Interesting Facts About Barbie

1.

Barbie's Full Name

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. The character was named after the daughter of the creators, Ruth and Elliot Handler.

2.

Belongs to a Big Family

Barbie has seven siblings: Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea, Krissy, Kelly, Tutti, and Todd.

3.

Multitalented Barbie

Barbie has had more than 200 different careers, ranging from being an astronaut to a computer engineer, a chef to a rock star.

4.

Sold Every 3 Seconds

It's estimated that a Barbie is sold every three seconds somewhere in the world.

5.

Barbie and Ken Breakup

Barbie and her long-time boyfriend, Ken, broke up on Valentine's Day in 2004. However, they got back together on Valentine's Day in 2011.

6.

Record-Breaking Auction

The most expensive Barbie ever sold was a version featuring real diamonds, auctioned for $302,500 in 2010.

National Barbie Day FAQs

Next National Barbie Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 March 9th Thursday
2024 March 9th Saturday
2025 March 9th Sunday
2026 March 9th Monday
2027 March 9th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every March 9th

National Barbie Day Word Search

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  • Barbie
  • Doll
  • Fashion
  • Accessories
  • Ken
  • Pink