Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Birthday BARBIE!

Does the name Barbara Millicent Roberts ring a bell? I daresay not. I for one was totally blur about this trivia.

But we all know BARBIE. Folks, it's HER! That's her real name! It's a name synonymous with doll, fashion and play. 50 years to be exact. Barbie even has a birthday -7 March, 1959. She has enamoured countless fans , filled a spot in their lives too, especially the growing up years. Some love her to bits!

Didn't we play with paper dolls and had memorable hours of enjoyment dressing them up till the paper tabs were worn? Ruth Handler observed her little girl, Barbara at play and giving adult roles to her paper dolls. She instinctively felt there was need to make a doll for her daughter to play. Out of her ideas, Barbie was born and Mattel Inc. was founded. The rest, like they say is history.

Today, there's no signs of Mattel slowing dwn. It is the largest toy company in the world. According to sources at Christie's, 3 Barbie dolls are sold every second!! Barbie has generated much interest. I read she's listed at number 43 on the list of ` The Most Influential People Who Never Lived' ! ! That's material for discussion. Others include the Malboro Man and Luke Skywalker.

My children grew up on a staple of stories other than Barbie. They loved the dolls, clothes, and the accessories I bought them. Barbie gave them lots of fun and play. If you've been in a crowd of children who love Barbie, you'd soon realize they truly love their doll.

My interest in Barbie was renewed recently. I ws asked to do storytelling for the new Barbie season. Have been doing the same for several seasons when Barbie is ready to spill the thrills. This season is Barbie ~ Thumbelina.

In Thumbelina, there's the eco -message of preserving the natural lansdcape besides the themes of friendship, co-operation and other values. My role as a storyteller is to let the message reach out to the kids. After all, they love Barbie and I'm the link as they listen.

An activity I liked about the new Barbie season was the dressing up. A child said she loved 'the makeover' as she patiently waited for her turn. Kids chose their favourite clothes and the make up artistes were at hand to apply the rouge, lipstick, style the hair for the kids to 'live' their dreams. The tiara seemed to crown it all with their winning smiles too. Of course, the cameras clicked non-stop while they posed. It was a time to enjoy the moment. Bagful of memories on an outing with Barbie.

Back to Barbie's birthday. She celebrated it with much pomp and grandeur. A 6 storey emporium in Shanghai, a pink Barbie flagship store opened to coincide with her birthday. It targets 3-8 year old, teenagers and yes, mums too.

Incidentally I spotted a t -shirt for adults among the clothes whilst I was among the Barbie fans/admirers. Hey, I was tempted to buy one for myself. It was sweet, understated and suits my taste. But I decided to keep my money. Next time, I will sport Barbie!

Ok, Birthday Girl, my love affair with you has to end, at least for now. You are always around. And I bet, you'll be for a long time...



  1. Happy birthday BARBIE :)

    its a great collection,
    they are all beautiful !!

    We have at home soooooo many barbie's....
    From my girls and also from me.... HEHE
    My barbie's are almost antique....LOL
    Lovely girls post today :)

    Have a nice day

    ANYA :)
    Kareltje =^.^=

  2. Happy Birthday Barbara Millicent! (What a name:) I especialy love her dressed in the traditional costumes:) This brings back such lovely childhood memories!

  3. Wow nice capture of so many barbie in so many different costumes. Hahaha, you must be in same era as me..hehehe. Yes, I played paper dolls too during my childhood, we drew the dolls and designed our own clothes for the paper doll and coloured them. Isn't it fun?

  4. I wondered if your childhood photos are in black and white too?

  5. LOL, I have 2 boys, so this is completely out of my alley!!!
    But those are really beautiful pics!!!

  6. I Wish Barbie A Very Happy B'Day !! This Is Lovely And So Cute !! I Really Loved Them..THanks For Sharing !1

  7. Wow! So many barbies. That was my dream as a little girl. I used to collect them, though it was rare and really expensive. I have only 3 left I think. I gave most of them to little cousins; they would be needing them more than me. ;)

  8. I didn't know Barbie had a real name.
    Great pictures. And what girl doesn't love a makeover? :)

  9. Happy Birthday, Barbie! These are some interesting facts. I love what you do with the kids. My daughter would be fascinated to join your activities there. Have a wonderful day, Sunshine :)!

  10. i grew up playing with thundercat sword and superman costumes

  11. Great post! Loved your pictures! I was totally into Barbie when I was little. I'd play for HOURS and HOURS! It was like a disease. I couldn't wait for my first daughter to turn 4 years old so we could get her her first Barbie. :) My favorites growing up were the Malibu collection.

  12. Hi everyone, thanks for popping in to say 'hello' to Barbie.

    Anya, do keep your vintage Barbie well. Christie's might be interested.

    Marie Reed, you're right. Barbie looks resplendent in the traditional costumes.

    alicsg, yeah, we had great times with paper dolls.

    veronica lee, perhaps it's easier for girls to indulge in the toys boys play??

    Unseen Rajasthan, Barbie in the sari looks stunning.

    Morinn, nice of you to hand down your Barbie to your cousins. Some new outfits will add hours of enjoyment.

    Adrienne, I didn't know of her real name and the REAL girl too.

    Rosidah, interacting with kids is a special time.

    xplorer. you had some great toys too. My children loved to dress in the superman outfits.

    Rena, welcome and thanks for following my blog. You're voted, 'No 1 Barbie fan'! Barbie loves you and your daughter too!!

  13. Errr...I'm also blur! Hahaha...

  14. I loved playing with my barbies when I was growing up. I passed them down to my daughter as well. She had a large collection.
    Happy Birthday, Barbie!

  15. Wow, my daughter love this post.. she has barbie collections too..

    please drop by and grab the award i have for you.. see u!

  16. Hi
    wmw, thanks for visiting.

    Pam, welcome to my blog. Good Barbie memories for mother and daughter!

    Joops, thanks for thinking of me for the award. Glad your daughter loves this post. Tell her i say, "hullo!' and " Happy hours with Barbie too!!'

  17. Barbies are always beautiful and loved around the world... thanks for visiting

  18. Great post, Keats! Although I am aware of Barbie's real name and history, I am not a fan of Barbie at all. It could be because I have always been wary about toys that restrict children's gender roles. Barbie in the later years did have a "Vet Barbie", "Athlete Barbie" and so forth, but it was too much like tokenism to me! Or am I just reading too much into an innocent plaything? I've always preferred books to toys as a child, so maybe it wasn't just Barbie! How is our dear friend Robbie?

  19. Barbie. It's synonimous to fashion and style, beauty, chic and all that girls could ever describe her. My li'l girl @ 11 still couldn't let go of her collections. Dunno when she'll get tired of it. Great post and info here, now I'll tell my girl her real name.

  20. Hi
    Pam,you're right. Barbie's fans are worldwide.

    Covert_Operations'78, you're our winner for the Barbie trivia!! Well done!
    Do not be surprised that boys do like Barbie too ( certain age tho'). The fun lies in the play in which Barbie doll offers lotsa scope.
    Robbie can't stand the heat very much. He's been digging the garden and the roots of plants are exposed. The holes are like trenches. Not joikng. As a pet lover and champion, how do you tackle this?

    Pacey, doesn't the name Barbie spell magic? Glad your daughter loves her too.

  21. Keats, thanks for the history lesson about Barbie. And Happy Birthday, Barbie!

  22. Hi Keats, just dropping by to say thank you for your comment on my blog the other day (re Weird Food). Sorry didn't drop by soon enough, got caught up somewhere.

    You blog looks so sunny with lots of flowers blooming huh? Love them. I should say the barbie collection is a "Wow"!

  23. HI
    Gran, hope you're feeling much better.

    AiShiang, thanks for visiting. Am posting flowers next week. Do drop in again.
    You've lovely photgraphy on your blog. Have not the skills like so many bloggers.

  24. Amazing collection you have!
    My younger daughter was much fascinated by the shots. :)

  25. Hi Keats, Barbie is an Angel:-)! So, pretty, so perfect every girl wants to be her:-)! More than Barbie i love her accessories....What an awasome collection!

    My sis is an avid Barbie fan, so we have a good collection!My personal favorite is "Bridal Barbie"!

  26. Dear Keats,

    Poor Robbie! Unfortunately, digging seems to be very much a boy dog thing. Murphy, who passed away in 2004, dug holes all the time, and now Chocky does it too each time he feels restless. Neutering doesn't help control the urge to dig. The only thing I can think of is to wear him out -- longer walks, longer playtimes, so maybe he will be too tired to dig when he's bored or lonely.

  27. I had one when I was a child :) Barbie has now gone multi cultural huh..hehe

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  28. Hi Mei Teng, yeah, Barbie is an international girl! Do drop in again.

  29. Hi Viji
    Thanks for visiting. Yeah, the accessories are lovely too. I bought them as birthday presents.
    Hold on to your Barbie dolls . Some collectors might be l;ooking for them!

  30. Hi Indrani, glad your daughter got to see Barbie in so many outfits.


Great to have you popping in!