The Barbie brand is owned by Mattel, a leading children’s entertainment company that owns several leading toy brands. For several decades, the Barbie brand has inspired girls to believe that they have choices and has transformed itself into the ultimate girl empowerment brand.
Dolls are among the earliest toys known to mankind and have been made since a long time in different cultures. The modern ‘stuffed’ dolls started getting made in the nineteenth century.
It was only in the 1950s that Barbie dolls became popular. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited for the creation of the Barbie doll as she wanted to inspire children to imagine different career paths in life using these dolls as a medium. Its believed that Ruth Handler was inspired by a German doll called Bild Lilli.
Since its debut, there has been a Barbie based on various professions such as CEO, astronaut, doctor, computer engineer, CEO and even presidential candidate.
Barbie is today a global icon that generates huge sales, and while the original intention of the Barbie Doll was to inspire children to follow their dreams irrespective of their background and abilities, these dolls also create controversy.
Its huge popularity notwithstanding, Barbie dolls have been criticized for unrealistic representation of female body shapes that promotes unhealthy thinness among the younger girls. On its part, Mattel responded to the controversy by introducing Barbie dolls with varying body types (such as ‘tall’, ‘curvy’, and ‘petite’), skin tones and hairstyles.
Barbie, the blond-haired plastic toy, has got a serious upgrade and has come a long way since it debuted. Today, one can choose from a wide range of Barbie Dolls, Barbie Dreamhouses, and Barbie Play Sets.
Most of the Barbie toys are suited for girls aged three-year-old’s and older but it’s better to check the product’s description for recommended age and notes on safety concerning smaller pieces.
Best Barbie Dolls
Barbie The Movie Doll
“Barbie The Movie Doll” is based on the main character from the movie “Barbie”, played by Margot Robbie. The doll is part of the official merchandise collection released in connection with the 2023 Barbie movie.
Barbie Happy Birthday Doll
Celebrate the upcoming special day of your loved little one with the Barbie Happy Birthday Doll. This Barbie doll shines in a dazzling outfit adorned with glitter, making her look absolutely stunning. To add an extra touch of celebration, she comes with a beautifully wrapped gift box, elegantly tied with a bow. Choose the Barbie Happy Birthday Doll to make your little one’s birthday truly magical.
Barbie Pop Star Fashion Doll with Microphone Accessory
Introducing the latest pop sensation in town, none other than Barbie herself. This contemporary Barbie doll brings a whole new level of excitement with her microphone stand, ensuring playtime is filled with endless fun (just like her fabulous hair). I am sure your little princess will be absolutely thrilled to receive this doll.
Dolls with Focus on Inclusivity
Over the years, with a focus on inclusiveness, Barbie dolls with more skin tones, hairstyles, and fashions have hit the market, appealing to even more girls around the world.
In the past, when Mattel produced only select Barbie dolls (that were thin and good-looking), studies conducted suggested that little girls who played with these dolls had less confidence about how they looked and wished to be thinner, compared to those who did not play with these dolls.
However, today, Barbie has a much wider range of dolls, some even bald and with disabilities to provide a well-rounded view of how people look in society.
Mattel faced criticism from some people initially when it introduced a few dark-colored Barbies, as they felt Mattel was being racist by introducing such dolls; however, we feel these series are a great way of introducing kids to people from other countries.
Barbie Fashionistas Doll with Wheelchair and Ramp
Barbie’s Fashionistas Doll featuring a wheelchair and ramp highlights the brand’s commitment to inclusivity. With a vibrant tropical-printed outfit and a functional wheelchair equipped with a brake, this doll is a must-have. To stay on top of the latest fashion trends, Barbie sports a stylish attire and a belt bag. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to embrace diversity and style with this extraordinary doll.
Dolls of the World
Dolls of the World is a collection of Barbie dolls where the Barbies look like women from different countries. Their looks, skin color, hair styling, and attire are matched to represent the women from those particular countries. Mattel has also introduced the Princess Collection, Festivals of the World Collection, and Landmark Collection, based on a similar concept.
These collections are a great way to teach kids about the cultures of different countries.
German Barbie – Dolls of the World Collection
This is a German Barbie all set for Oktoberfest. The doll is wearing a long-sleeve costume, an apron, shawl, ribbons, and is adorned with ear rings. You also get a hairbrush and a doll-stand. Buy on Amazon.
Austrian Barbie – Barbie Dolls of the World
Austrian Barbie doll wearing a typical floral print skirt with off-white top and rose-colored scarf. The felt-like jacket is trimmed in Green and has beautifully embroidered pink flowers on the lapels. Buy on Amazon.
Best Barbie Dreamhouses
MEGA Barbie The Movie Dreamhouse Replica
It also includes with lots of fashion, food and pool accessories. Older kids will love building this resort-style paradise.
Barbie Dreamhouse, Doll House Playset
There is a party room with a DJ booth, a second-story slide with a pool, a balcony with a hammock swing, and it even comes with a working elevator.
I am sure your kids are already drooling reading over this.
Barbie 3-Story Townhouse with Rooftop Lounge
The Barbie 3-Story Townhouse features a rooftop lounge and a contemporary look. It comes with several elegant pink and orange furniture and accessories. Your Barbie doll (sold separately) can go up and down the floors on the sleek child-activated elevator.
Your kids can rearrange the furniture as well as the accessories to suit their stories.
Fisher-Price Little People Barbie Toddler Playset
The Fisher-Price Little People Barbie Toddler Little Dreamhouse comes with larger pieces, compared to most other dollhouses, which makes them perfect for toddlers. There are 4 play points in the playset, which when activated, turns on fun lights in the dollhouse and also plays music and phrases.
The dreamhouse features a spiral, so your little one can send a figure down the spiral slide from the top floor straight into the light-up pool.
Best Barbie Play Sets
Barbie Fast Clinic Doll & Play Set
This clinic includes a Barbie doctor doll (with white coat) and 4 play areas: a medical station, exam table, X-ray machine and gift shop. Kids can make casts (using pink, purple or white dough) for the patient’s arms and legs and create wraps with the bandage maker.
Playset includes 30+ pieces including dough containers, leg cast, arm cast, set of crutches, stickers, X-rays, gift shop items and more. This playset enables endless possibilities for creative expression and storytelling fun.
Barbie Airplane Play Set
This Barbie jet is a cute looking pink aircraft that you can use to fly your Barbie doll, perhaps from one Dreamhouse to Dreamhouse. The aircraft can seat a pilot and 2 passengers and features reclining seats, TV screens on the back of the seat, overhead compartments, and a snack cart with removable trays. Dolls are not included.
This playset includes plane with rolling wheels, 1 puppy, 1 snack cart, 2 trays, 2 meals, 1 water bottle, 1 drink can, 1 coffee cup, 1 snack, 1 dog bone, 1 magazine, 2 blankets, 1 eye mask, 1 set of headphones and 1 piece of working luggage.
Barbie Club Chelsea Carnival Play Set
Your little one will have a great time with this carnival play set bundle that inlcudes a small doll, Spinning Ferris Wheel, bumper Cars, pet & accessories and more. The Ferris wheel really spins and you can seat Chelsea doll and up to two friends (sold separately) in the Ferris wheel. The bumper cars come with rolling wheels and can seat a small doll (or even a puppy) in each. There’s a gaming zone, photo booth, and more. For kids aged 3 to 7 years.
Barbie: Information & Trivia
History of Barbie
Barbie, the iconic doll, is often seen as the quintessential icon of American femininity and a symbol of female liberation. However, despite the doll’s popularity and longevity, opinions on Barbie’s impact on girls continue to be divided as educators, psychologists, feminists and parents continue to disagree on whether Barbie represents a healthy or harmful feminine ideal for girls.
Barbie in STEM Career
Of late, Barbies working in the STEM field have been introduced, encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers (such as Math, Science).
It’s interesting that today you have several Barbies as doctors, engineers and scientists because in the 90s the Barbies thought Math was difficult. In 1992, a “Teen Talk” Barbie was introduced which could utter prerecorded phrases, and one of those phrases was “Math class is tough” (you can hear it here). Of course, it created a huge controversy back then as parents and teachers found that offending, and there was pressure on the company to pull back those dolls from the shelves.
Super Barbie fan has spent a mini-fortune on Barbie Memorabilia
This super Barbie fan has spent almost a mini-fortune on buying Barbie Memorabilia (products, clothes and accessories).
Girls all over the world adore Barbie. And while you can expect girls to buy few things related to Barbie, this Japanese fan of Barbie has spent over US$67,000 on various Barbie products.
And she has no plans of slowing down.
Azusa Sakamoto (nickname Azusa Barbie) is a self-proclaimed super Barbie fan and buys anything and everything that has the label Barbie on it.
Watch: Barbie Fanatic Splashes 55K pounds on Barbie Memorabilia
Take a look at the Barbie Memorabilia that Asuza Barbie owns.
Azusa Barbie also plans to be Barbie’s exclusive nail artist; she designs and creates nails that go impeccably with Barbie’s numerous outfits. Just check out her use of jewels and colors in these designer nails.
Asuza Barbie’s extensive collection looks fantastic indeed (although it may scare some parents).
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.