Barbie: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy

Epic Ink: Quarto. Apr. 2024. 176p. ISBN 9780760391228. $24.99. SOC SCI
Historian Gerber (Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her) focuses in this book on Mattel’s creation of Barbie and the evolution of the product line. Her book shows that, after initially low orders at the Toy Fair, the demand for Barbie exploded, and the doll went on to model different careers and emulate strong role models for girls. Mattel also found that partnerships with famous designers and celebrities kept the brand current, and in 2016, the company added more Barbie dolls to its line that reflected petite, tall, and curvy body types. Throughout the book, there are profiles of Barbie collectors and influencers, including Jian Yang, a Singapore-based collector who makes outfits out of toilet paper for Barbie when he travels. The new Barbie film is also covered, and a timeline of the product line is available at the end of the book. The photographs create a stunning yearbook of Barbie’s history and propel the story forward.
VERDICT A visually captivating scrapbook of Barbie’s evolution that fans will enjoy.
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