What Is Barbie’s Real Name?

The Barbie Doll, introduced in 1959, has a back story: Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, named after creator Ruth Handler’s real-life daughter. Handler reportedly came up with the idea for a three-dimensional fashion doll while watching her daughter play with paper dolls that she gave various careers. Barbie was the first doll to have aspirational careers — more than 150 in all — including politician, astronaut and rock star. Barbie’s boyfriend, the Ken Doll, debuted in 1961 and is named after Ruth Handler’s real-life son Ken.

More about Barbie:

  • Barbie's official hometown is the fictional Willows, Wisconsin.

  • As of 2014, there had been six US presidential candidate versions of the Barbie Doll, starting in 1992 and continuing for the next five elections.

  • Since the Barbie Doll’s initial production by Mattel in 1959, the toy has remained a best-seller. In its first year, about 300,000 of the dolls were sold. As of 2014, Barbie was available in more than 150 countries, with a doll being bought an estimated once every three seconds worldwide.
More Info: barbiemedia.com

Discussion Comments


When it comes to the Barbie, I think one thing that makes it so appealing is the fact that it has a very simple design, and yet, you can modify it anyway you want to. Like a child of sorts, you can braid its hair, and even use makeup.

Also, over the years, not only has the doll itself become extremely popular, but with the recent Barbie games, movies, and other forms of media, what was once a simple fad has exploded into worldwide popularity.


@Chmander - Lately, I've been watching Toy Story 3, and while that movie does give Barbie a lot of characterization, on the other hand, Life Size does do that as well. In fact, in some ways, it's portrayed even better. While Barbie in Toy Story 3 is played for laughs more than anything else, the version in Life Size is played for quite a bit of drama, as she tries to adjust to the things around her. Great points, Chmander.


This definitely gives some interesting tidbits on the Barbie Doll, as I had no idea that she was actually a real person. Not to stray off topic, but reading this article reminds me of a Disney Channel movie called Life Size. Airing back in 2000, the story centers around a girl whose wish to have a life-size barbie doll comes too. Played by Tyra Banks, she learns to adapt to the world. Perhaps the idea for this movie stems from the idea presented in this article.

Post your comments
Forgot password?