Start slowly, American toy manufacturer Mattel must have thought. When Barbie was introduced in the Calvinist Netherlands in the spring of 1964, only twenty ensembles were available for the doll. At that time there were already about two hundred different dresses for sale in American stores.
The sets available here are more suited to the Dutch climate than the California climate where Barbie came from: raincoat, matching hat, boots and umbrella.
Barbie, who is now back in the spotlight with Margot Robbie in the title role, was already five years old when she arrived in the Netherlands. Manufacturer Mattel was founded in 1945 and has already had some sales successes with dollhouse furniture, a ukulele and picture frames. Barbie tops it all. Initially, many saw the doll as a temporary fad, but it turned out to be here to stay.
Based on the German lily
Ruth Handler, one of Mattel’s founders, was at the heart of the mega-success. She found her daughter endlessly playing with a paper dress-up doll. In Switzerland, Handler found a doll named Lily in the image of a comic book character in a German newspaper. Picture. Mattel bought the rights and created Barbie.
Barbara Millicent Roberts, Barbie’s full name, was introduced in March 1959 and was an instant hit. In the years that followed, a world appeared around her with boyfriend Ken, sisters (of which Skipper was the most popular), a little brother, pets, cars and houses.
Mattel used its own designer, Charlotte Johnson, to come up with Barbie’s wardrobe. He invented clothes for different occasions and professions. In addition, he kept a close eye on the most recent fashion collections in the real world.
Mattel relied on thousands of women in Japan to collect clothes. Their fingers were long enough to attach small dresses, sweaters and jackets.
By the time Barbie arrived in the Netherlands, about eight million American girls already owned at least one. The appearance of Barbie raised eyebrows in America and Europe: it was not a baby doll, but a woman with hips and breasts. What kind of thoughts does it evoke in children?
After a long time, criticism came that Barbie was based on cases of anorexia. She was so thin she could literally never menstruate.
Barbie arrived just in time
At its Dutch debut in 1964, Barbie, presented in a jersey bathing suit, cost 9.50 guilders. A considerable amount at that time. New, additional clothing sets were available for between 4.95 and 10 guilders.
Barbie was lucky to arrive in the Netherlands just in time. The economy is booming. Prosperity paved the way for such a luxurious fashion toy. In General Journal A slightly older employee of the company that introduced Barbie here openly expressed his surprise: “I remember we used to sell wooden frames (dolls) here. They cost a quarter; It was considered expensive at the time. Now people sometimes buy clothes for these dolls for seventy or eighty guilders at a time.
Other newspapers openly wondered if Barbie’s popularity was simply a female obsession. Don’t mothers and aunts succumb to the American dream world and dream closet?
In Izvestia, the newspaper of the Soviet Union government, called Barbie “a cruel capitalist conspiracy”. According to the newspaper, he only inspired possessiveness and vanity. It is reported that only simple toys were sold in the Soviet Union Izvestia Pride: Peasant women and laborers in plain clothes.
Barbie keeps drawing you into her bubblegum-colored fantasy world
He is a doctor, an astronaut and a pop star. She was praised for her ambitions and criticized for the image of women she promoted. Now he has again acted in a new film. Barbie’s profile is a very versatile piece of plastic.
Review: Candy pink Barbie comedy Plays smart with all the ifs and buts
“Explorer. Devoted travel specialist. Web expert. Organizer. Social media geek. Coffee enthusiast. Extreme troublemaker. Food trailblazer. Total bacon buff.”