Here Are 21 Wild Barbie Doll Facts That I Still Can't Quite Get My Head Around

    Including where in the world she is banned.

    With the release of the Barbie movie imminent, we thought it would be interesting to look back at the cultural icon that inspired the film!

    Here are 21 fascinating facts about Barbie, the world's most famous doll.

    1. Barbie was inspired by an R-Rated German doll called Lilli.

    2. Barbie was one of the first toys to be advertised on TV.

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    It might not sound that wild, but back in the '50s, TV adverts for a toy like Barbie were truly groundbreaking! Mattel was the first company to buy spots and advertise during The Mickey Mouse Show, which was revolutionary because it changed the consumer from parent to child. In commercials pitched to young girls, Barbie appeared as a real person, which engaged kids and had them begging their parents to buy her.

    Essentially, Barbie/Mattel are responsible for advertising toys to kids, which is an incredibly effective strategy! (You'll know that if you've ever been on the receiving end of a child begging for the latest toy they only just saw on TV two minutes ago).

    3. Andy Warhol once created a painting of Barbie... Sort of.

    4. The man who designed and patented the original Barbie doll used to design missiles for the Pentagon.

    5. In 1971, the first major change was made to Barbie's appearance when her eyes we changed to face forward.

    6. If you scaled up a Barbie doll to human size and brought her to life, she wouldn't be able to stand up or menstruate.

    7. Previous Barbie dolls have come with accessories like a bathroom scale permanently fixed at 110 pounds, and a book entitled How To Lose Weight with the single instruction – "Don't eat".

    8. There was once a pregnant version of Barbie's BFF Midge, but it had to be changed after consumers complained the doll promoted teenage pregnancy.

    9. Over the years, several versions of Barbie have been recalled or discontinued, including Happy Family Midge, Teen Talk Barbie, and Barbie Oreo School Time Fun.

    10. An African-American doll and friend to Barbie, Christie, was released by Mattel in 1968. This was a mere four years after the landmark passing of The Civil Rights Act in the US.

    11. Barbie once had a younger sibling who mysteriously disappeared.

    12. Barbie once dumped Ken for a hunky Australian surfer named Blaine.

    13. Mattel has made hundreds of "Role Model Barbies" based on real life figures over the years.

    14. A plethora of well-known haute couturiers have designed outfits for Barbie.

    15. In 2003, Barbie was banned in Saudi Arabia for being "shameful" and "decadent".

    16. Since 1959, over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in more than 150 countries.

    17. The highest price fetched at auction for a Barbie is $302,500.

    18. The biggest collection of Barbies in the world surpasses 15,000 dolls.

    19. Mattel tried to sue MCA Records over the hit song "Barbie Girl" by Aqua.

    20. When Barbie creator Ruth Handler died in 2002, Barbie had a 98% recognition rate (meaning that only 2% of the world didn't recognise her).

    21. And finally, this summer, the FIRST EVER live-action movie about Barbie will release in cinemas!

    Did any of these facts surprise you? Perhaps we missed out something interesting about Barbie. Let us know in the comments below!

    Signing off, Barbie fan from wayyy back xoxo.