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Popculture

Barbie through the ages

See how the famous doll has changed over five decades.

 / Updated 53 PHOTOS
photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Barbie, 1959

The No. 1 Ponytail Barbie sold for $3 in 1959, when it debuted at the New York Toy Fair. Her full name, so you know, is Barbie Millicent Roberts. She's from Willows, Wisc.

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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Fashion Designer Barbie, 1960

Though Barbie's now one of the world's most famous blondes, back in these days she was available as a brunette, too. Here, Fashion Designer Barbie is clutching her portfolio of clothing sketches. Click through to see how her fashion sense takes an interesting turn, starting in the '70s...

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photo:willy
stylist:jen

Open Road Barbie, 1961

This very Katharine Hepburn look suggests Barbie's about to take a ride in a convertible.

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Photographer: Joe Dias
Stylist:Jnnifer Hoon

Singer Barbie, 1961

Starting in the '60s, Barbie girls had the choice of a new hair color -- "Titian" -- which was a term for red hair back then. Other jobs, aside from singer, that were available: nurse, ballerina and flight attendant.

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photographer: Przemek
stylist:Karon 
job:0946989

Flight Attendant Barbie, 1961

Resembling the famous Pan Am stewardesses, this mod Barbie is reminiscent of a day when flying was glamorous.

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photo:willy
stylist:jen

Red Flare Barbie, 1962

Check out that swing coat! And that helmet of hair! Barbie's voluminous looks aren't such a far cry from today's runways.

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job # 0846031

Barbie Fashion Queen, 1963

With this headgear, Barbie looks a little like an escapee from King Tut's tomb. It was in the mid-'60s that the dolls, including Barbie Fashion Queen, started sporting more elaborate hairstyles. This one apparently didn't like her 'do.

Tom Wolfson
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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Career Girl Barbie,1963

Isn't this what everyone wears to work? Around this time, Barbie started emulating strong women of her era, from Grace Kelly to Jackie Kennedy.

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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Miss Barbie, 1964

Yeah, not sure about this cap. But who doesn't love a good ruffle suit? Miss Barbie was the first doll to feature bendable legs and eyes that open and close. She's also one of the early dolls to have molded hair and come with a variety of wigs.

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dennis sheryl john

Astronaut Barbie, 1965

Astronaut Barbie has made several comebacks over the years, but she debuted in the 60s.

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job # 0846031

Color Magic Barbie, 1966

This Barbie's hair came in two colors -- Golden Blonde and Midnight -- that changed to Scarlet Flame and Ruby Red, respectively. Also, her packaging converted into a closet. Mattel was really pulling out all the stops here.

Tom Wolfson
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Plush Pony Barbie, 1967

Doesn't get much more mod than this! As the '60s progressed, so did Barbie's go-go style. Even Barbie looks shocked by this fashionable turn of events.

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Photo Jeremy
Stylist Susan
Job 0846002

Twist-n-Turn Barbie, 1967

While everyone else was twisting and shouting, Barbie was actually twisting. Along with a new, younger face (she's had good work done, no?), new eyelashes and shinier hair, Barbie got the ability to actually spin at the waist.

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Photographer: Joe Dias
Stylist:Jnnifer Hoon

Smasheroo Barbie, 1968

The shirtdress, the jacket, the hat, the chain belt, the tights and the boots may be a little much when worn all together, but Barbie does her best to pull it off.

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Photographer: Joe Dias
Stylist:Jnnifer Hoon

Maxi 'N Mini Fashion Barbie. 1970

If Barbie wants to get noticed, a faux fur-collared shiny turquoise coat is the way to do it. And why not? The '70s have arrived, and things are about to get funky...

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Cher Barbie, 1970s

Mattel's Cher Barbie, designed in the 70s, is far out.

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photo Jeff O'Brien
stylist Beverly Elam

Live Action Barbie, 1971

Need we even point out that it's 1971? This Cher-tastic Barbie takes hippie chic to new levels.

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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Malibu Barbie, 1971

Oh, Malibu Barbie. Mattel credits "The Brady Bunch" for putting that easy, breezy California lifestyle on the map, providing the cultural inspiration for this L.A. girl's look. The first doll with an open smile that showed sparkling white teeth, Malibu Barbie also featured a serious tan.

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Busy Barbie, 1972

So much to do, so little time! Let's see. There's that phone call to make, those records to listen to, TV to watch and that trip to take that's so short, I only need this tiny suitcase...

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photographer: Przemek
stylist: Karon
job:0946989

Surgeon Barbie, 1973

Scrubs have never looked so fashionable.

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Olympic Skier Barbie, 1975

Look at her go! Her Olympic Ski Village was sold separately (as was Gold Medal Ken Skier).

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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

African-American Barbie, 1980

The African-American Barbie doll debuted in 1980, at the same time as the first Hispanic Barbie.

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Hispanic Barbie, 1980

Barbie was introduced in two new ethnicities during the 80s.

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Photographer: Joe Dias
Stylist:Jnnifer Hoon

Golden Dream Barbie, 1981

Just as the '70s were meeting the '80s, this Golden Girl captures the intersection of two fashion moments, mixing shiny and poufy into one awesome jumpsuit.

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Roller Skating Barbie, 1981

Who needs a helmet with hair like that? Roller Skating Barbie was ready to live out her own Xanadu dream. The weird thing is, Roller Skating Ken is wearing a similar outfit.

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Photographer: Joe Dias
Stylist:Beverly Elam

Designer Denim Barbie, 1982

Brooke Shields had her Calvin Kleins, and Barbie had these fabulous jeans.

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photo=Przemek
stylist=Suzan
job#=0846031

Dream Date Barbie, 1983

It's not the outfit most of us would choose for our first date. But have you SEEN Barbie's boyfriend? Maybe we should reconsider our strategies.

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job # 0846031

Day to Night Barbie, 1985

Every working girl needs an outfit like this: The coat came off to reveal an evening ensemble. No word on where she stashed the briefcase.

Tom Wolfson
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Astronaut Barbie, 1986

As women flooded the workforce, Mattel gave Barbie the ultimate job -- and sent her to space! It was one giant leap for dollkind.

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Photo Jeremy
Stylist Susan
Job 0846002

Barbie and the Rockers, 1986

The dawn of MTV gave music a new outlet, and a few years later, Barbie got her own band!

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Fashion Barbie, 1988

The T-shirt tie is one trend that hasn't resurfaced. So there's that to be grateful for.

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Air Force Pilot Barbie, 1991

In 1989, Barbie joined the Army in a uniform that was even approved by the Pentagon. Two years later, Air Force Pilot Barbie tried to contain her hair in that tiny hat, but failed.

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photographer: Przemek
stylist: Karon
job:0946989

Marine Corps Sergeant Barbie, 1992

With a jaunty cap and white gloves, Barbie was decked out for battle in a pair of black pumps.

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Rapper Barbie, 1992

So this happened. And in the same year that Barbie ran for president! Their outfits were very different.

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photo Jeff O'Brien
stylist Beverly Elam

Totally Hair Barbie, 1992

The crimping alone must have taken her hours every morning. To date, she's the best-selling doll of all time, with locks measuring a record-breaking 10.5 inches.

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dennis sheryl john

Police Officer Barbie, 1993

This Barbie meant business...but she also liked to have fun. Her original packaging included a sparkly gold dress.

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Scuba Diver Barbie, 1994

Add scuba diving to the long list of Barbie's myriad activities. Where did she find the time?

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Native American Barbie, 1994

Part of Mattel's 'Dolls of the World' collection, Native American Barbie is complete with feathers and turquoise accessories.

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photographer: Przemek
stylist: Karon
job:0946989

Firefighter Barbie, 1995

Complete with a first aid kit, firefighter Barbie debuted in 1995.

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Fashion Barbie, 1996

Barbie's fashion took a funereal turn with this all-black number, at the height of '90s edginess.

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Pet Doctor Barbie, 1996

"Puppy's hurt his leg; kitty's got the flu," said the commercial for this veterinarian Barbie, whose outfit also included pink leggings under that white coat.

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job # 0846031

Harley Davidson Barbie, 1997

Just give her a chopper and she's ready to ride!

Tom Wolfson
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Cool Blue Barbie, 1998

Remember overalls and blue hair? Barbie does. She had a thumb ring, too.

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Major League Baseball, 1998

Put them in the game, coach! These women are ready to play, even if they're on competing teams.

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30701_BC13.EPS HR

NASCAR Driver, 1998

Ten years before Danica Patrick's historic Indy Car win in 2008, Mattel boasts, Barbie took to the racetrack in this top-heavy jumpsuit.

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Working Woman, 1999

Check out the size of that cellphone! Working Woman Barbie had it all! And carried it all, from the looks of it, in that enormous shoulder bag.

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Presidential Candidate, 2004

What presidential candidate would be without a smart red pantsuit? Hillary Clinton could take a page from Barbie's book: She let her blond locks fly.

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Producer Barbie, 2005

She's tough and she's not taking no for an answer. Though she looks more like a secret agent than a producer here.

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Cinco de Mayo Barbie, 2007

In 2007, Mattel commemorated the May 5, 1862 victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the Battle of Puebla with Cinco de Mayo Barbie.

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photographer=Przemek
job number=0745222
Stylist=Jennifer

TV Chef Barbie, 2008

Look out, Rachael Ray. Barbie's in the kitchen and she's taking her cooking skills to TV! How's that for an upgrade from the toy kitchen of decades past?

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Computer Engineer Barbie, 2010

In 1992, a talking Barbie doll made headlines by saying "Math class is tough." By 2010, however, Barbie was wearing a T-shirt printed with a binary code. How's that for coming a long way, baby?

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Photographer: Przemek
Stylist: Laura Lynch
Job Number: 0947166

News Anchor Barbie, 2010

This camera-ready Barbie debuted at the New York Toy Fair in 2010.

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Photographer Paul Jordan
Job 1148803

China Barbie, 2011

Part of Barbie's 'Dolls of the World' collection, China Barbie was packaged with a panda, a passport and gold jewelry.

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