Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.
Barbie and her boyfriend Ken have been described as two most popular dolls in the world. The doll has transformed the toy business in affluent communities worldwide by becoming a vehicle for the sale of related merchandise (accessories, clothes, friends of Barbie, etc.). Writing for Journal of Popular Culture in 1977, Don Richard Cox noted that Barbie has a significant impact on social values by conveying characteristics of female independence, and with her multitude of accessories, an idealized upscale life-style that can be shared with affluent friends.
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