Barbie is one of the most iconic global brands in existence with sales of over a billion dolls sold worldwide and available in approximately 150 countries. The brand was launched in 1959, after being invented by co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler with sales of approximately 350,000 dolls that year. She was inspired to develop the three dimensional doll by her daughter’s delight in acting out future and imaginary events with paper dolls. She later named the brand after her daughter Barbara’s nickname and when the male counterpart doll was created, named him after her son, Ken.
The brand’s sales now tend to 3 categories: the dolls, doll accessories (including cars, horses and houses) and clothing (her own and kids lines); the former two of which are available from UK wholesaler Baby Brands Direct. Maintaining her heritage and profile she continues to be featured in many animated films and is a supporting character in Disney Blockbusters Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.