How Barbie’s Style Has Changed From 1959 To Today

The iconic Barbie doll is a staple for many generations of children. Mattel has a stronghold on the market, as it is the world’s largest toymaker in terms of revenue. The company has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making her the brand’s largest and most profitable line. Mattel has followed trends and kept with the times, redesigning Barbie’s style and shape as fashion and pop culture so dictate. At times, this meant a wardrobe change, and at other times, the entire doll mold was redesigned.


Here’s a roundup of the many changes that have taken place over the years.


12. The Original Barbie

The first Barbie doll, released in 1959, came as a blonde or brunette with hoop earrings and a striped swimsuit. The doll only cost $3 when it was first released, but today, an original is worth tens of thousands of dollars. The highest-ever auctioned price of a mint condition doll was $27,450.

11. Bubblecut Barbie

The 1962 “bubblecut” Barbie kept the same makeup as the previous doll. Four hair colors shipped to retailers at this time, and the first Ken doll hit stores just one year earlier. This edition features the signature sideways glance that early Barbies all sported, which gave the doll its supermodel vibes.

10. 1971 Changes

The 1971 Barbie release featured a very notable design change. The doll’s eyes were adjusted to look straight ahead instead of the sideways glance of the original model. This doll also featured style changes that were very reminiscent of the hippie era. The doll had tanned skin and long blonde hair.

9. Smiling In 1977

The 1977 Superstar Barbie brought Hollywood style and red carpet glam to children’s bedrooms.The doll shipped with a bright pink ballgown, jewelry, and boa, and sells for around $100 today. The doll also underwent a change to her smile and she began showing her teeth for the first time.

8. Magic Curl Barbie

Magic Curl Barbie hit stores in 1981 and featured hair that could be straightened or curled up with a liquid solution that came in the box. The doll came with pants as a wardrobe option, which was a new thing. In this same year, Mattel also released an Asian ethnicity Barbie.