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Over the years, the classical palette of Barbie has been expanded with an incredible choice of Barbie clothing, makeup and even films. Built on the vibrant new Barbie feature, Princess Power is the latest thrilling complement to the name. Princess Kara gets some chic, life-changing super powers in the picture after being given a kiss by a magic butterfly.
Puppenpower: Barbie is celebrating its 50-year jubilee and the global domination of toys
The Barbie - or, to give her her full name, Barbara Millicent Roberts, as she was exposed in a string of 1960' romances - is no common 50-year-old. Barbie murals in monochrome and Barbie blue decorate the wall, one of them with her celebrated stripey bathing suit. Eight years with the company, 15 years before that in the fashions and beauties industries (on his slim desktop lie stacks of shiny fashions ), he is the newest administrator of the world's most renowned, lucrative and - often - most abused game.
Today, Barbie's turnover is almost $6 billion a year, and Barbie probably accounts for just over 20 percent of its turnover - but much more of its profit. One time in the inconspicuous Mattel Louobby, observed by a stonemason by the Barbie creator, housings and laptop computers are scanned by sentries. Prototype cars are transported from stick to stick in cartons with signed numbers.
is the Barbie soil, which is known as " rose soil " inside. Here the puppet is always called "she," never "she." To Barbie, the daugther of Poland's immigrant population. Stationary puppets were mainly defenseless sucklings to cuddle, but Handler noted how her daugther Barbara chose to act with cut-out puppets and stage fictional grown-ups rather than treat them like babyboys.
During her holidays in Switzerland she came across a dummy by the name of Bild Lilli, a 1955 model of a Germans woman that was available in stores. This 11½in puppet was presented at the New York Toy Fair in 1959, naming it after the Handlers' daughter's girl and with the label 'Barbie Teenage Fashion Model'. Industrial purchasers disliked the puppet, especially the boob.
It was the young women themselves who liked Barbie and the way the news travel. Matthew had to open a division just to process the 20,000 letter fans a week. Sure. Handlers mastermind was not only that she had felt a new kind of toys, but that the puppet she was creating was a dealer's fantasy. Also, since young women could have different projections on different dates, there was room in each girl's lives for more than one Barbie.
Never has Barbie ever stopped. She keeps reinventing herself," says Julia Jensen, a Mattel vice-president, to me. Also she was Italic, French, British, Queen, Inuit, Japan, Korea, Jamaican as well as Ancient. Clothing is critical and Barbie designs include Armani, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Dior, Versace and Vivienne Westwood.
Barbie's little skipper brother, who was introduced in 1964, had boobs when her arms were upset. Today, as Richard Dickson points out, Barbie is all about "happiness and a girl's party". Doesn't mean Barbie's gonna be real. The International Journal of Eating Disorders in 1995 stated that Barbie, projecting to man's height, would be 38-18-34.
Finish scientists assume that a live Barbie would not have enough fats for menstruation. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, an Australia based shrink, said her leg is 50 percent longer than her arm (that's 20 percent for the mean person), which means she can't run. In order to look like Barbie, a true female would have to be 2ft larger, take 6in from her waist, 5in to her chest and 3in to her throat.
Barbie's rush abroad began in 1961. Going Home Barbie, a limited edition puppet made by Mattel's Hong Kong Surgery and targeted at Americans traveling to China to adopted a baby, is a blue-eyed fairy who clings to a teeny, black-haired adopted girl. The first Barbie "Fashiontainment" shop in the whole word opened in Buenos Aires in November - here young women can buy Barbie clothing, glittering hairstyles and make-up in the Barbie Beauty Salon.
A $30 million Barbie house was opened in Shanghai on a prime mall. Worldwide, the Barbie license franchise generates $1.5 billion a year. Barbie's ascent to global supremacy has been a series of challenges, with so much at stake. It' no wonder. Similarly, a Miss America puppet was wiped out in 1991 by an America Beauty Queen Barbie.
The would-be British man was Rindy ("the puppet you like to wear"), and the win lasted a little longer. Toys Pedigree launched Zindy in 1962 after refusing the Barbie licensing offer in the UK. During this time Mattel tried twice to introduce Barbie, but there was little interest in an imported Barbie from America.
The Dallas and Dynasty TV show in the early 70s and 80s made America's glamour coveted. For the third march Mattel marched in - and it worked. While Barbie was looking hot and hot, Sindy was shabby and staggering under the rush. Its ancestry was taken over by a group of privately held stockholders who then licenced the puppet to Hasbro, the huge US competitor of Mattel, who is still desperately looking for his own one.
And Mattel came back out with all the weapons fire. Eventually Hasbro consented to replacing Sindy's skull with one released by Mattel. With their roe-eyed, sulking and tightly fitting clothes, Broatz puppets turned out to be a completely different offer. Mattel was triumphant in July last year when a German government panel ruled that MGA had stole the brainchild; originally designed by Carter Bryant while working for Mattel, Bryant's design team had been the first to design it.
US attorneys specializing in IP said Mattel's win was rare - such action rarely went so far. Probably Barbie is better protected from legal critique and investigation than anybody. Former Mattel Worldwide chairman Bruce Stein has said: "The Barbie conservation within Mattel lies in its fundamental DNS structure.
The name was changed after Mattel declined to give Barbie's name to anything that was not formally punished. The self-proclaimed Barbie Liberation Movement changed the voicemail of Barbie and GI Joe puppets in a toyshop in 1994. Next morning, GI Joe began talking, "Let's go shopping," and Barbie said, "Revenge is mine.
In Saudi Arabia it is forbidden: "Jewish Barbie puppets with their enlightening dresses and disgraceful attitudes... are a sign of decadence", screams a windowsill. The KGOY phenomena (children getting older and younger) is not the only one that makes them give up toys sooner, but also all the other phone conversations that take up their precious hours, from cell phone to web, from PlayStations to iPods.
Mattel responds by investing more in the Barbie name.