National Barbie Day Date in the current year: March 9, 2024

National Barbie Day Barbie is arguably the most iconic doll in the world, so it is not surprising that it even has its own holiday. National Barbie Day is celebrated annually on March 9 to commemorate the day when Barbie was launched.

Barbie is a fashion doll owned and produced by Mattel. Although Barbie wasn’t the first modern fashion doll, it was the first one to achieve mainstream success. Since its launch in 1959, Mattel has sold more than a billion Barbie dolls and expanded the brand into a multimedia franchise.

Barbie was created by American businesswoman Ruth Handler. In 1945, Handler co-founded Mattel with her husband Elliot Handler and Harold “Matt” Matson. The company initially produced picture frames and dollhouse furniture. The following year, Matson sold his share and stake to the Handlers, and Ruth took over the company.

At the time, most dolls for children’s play looked like infants; fashion dolls were occasionally modeled after adult women but they were intended as collectibles for grown-ups. One day Ruth noticed that her daughter Barbara enjoyed giving her paper dolls adult roles when playing with them. It inspired Ruth to create an adult-figured doll for children. However, Elliot and Mattel’s directors were skeptical about the idea.

In 1956, Handler took a trip to Europe with her children and saw Bild Lilli, an adult-looking fashion doll inspired by a comic character appearing in the newspaper Bild. Although Bild Lili was initially targeted at adults, it became popular with children who liked to dress her up (the doll had a wardrobe of fashionable outfits that were sold separately).

Handler used the Bild Lilli doll as an inspiration for her own adult-figured doll that she named Barbie after her daughter. The Barbie doll debuted at the North American International Toy Fair on March 9, 1959. This day is considered Barbie’s official birthday. Since then, it has become the most popular doll in the world and a cultural icon.

Barbie has come a long way since its initial launch in 1959. Originally a skinny blonde, it is now available in a range of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles, and body types. In addition, Mattel’s Barbie Role Models collection includes Barbie dolls inspired by extraordinary women, ranging from painter Frida Kahlo to Paralympic athlete Madison de Rozario.

The origins of National Barbie Day are unclear, but this iconic doll surely deserves to be celebrated. You can observe this amazing holiday by reminiscing about the Barbie dolls you used to play with growing up, playing with Barbie dolls with your kids or niblings, dressing up like a Barbie doll, throwing a Barbie-themed party for your friends, listening to “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, or watching Greta Gerwig’s film Barbie starring Margot Robbie.

If you’re a proud Barbie doll owner or collector, you can celebrate by dressing your dolls up, buying them new clothes or accessories, or splurging on an expensive Barbie you’ve been meaning to buy for some time. And don’t forget to snap a photo of your dolls and post it on social media with the hashtags #NationalBarbieDay and #BarbieDay.

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National Barbie Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, Barbie doll, Mattel, Ruth Handler