- Title: JAPAN: Celebrating Barbie's 50th birthday
- Date: 10th March 2009
- Summary: (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) BOX OPENING BARBIE, 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, ON DISPLAY MORE OF BARBIE ON DISPLAY PRESS BARBIE ON DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MARKETING MANAGER AT MATTEL INTERNATIONAL, SATORU YOSHIDA, SAYING: "Today's a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate Barbie's 50th anniversary and to think about her once again." BARBIE'S BIRTHDAY CAKE BEING BROUGHT IN MORE OF CAKE PRESS CANDLES ON CAKE BEING LIT
- Embargoed: 25th March 2009 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAC1PJYX2UM7L0I3HTUSO7N67QU
- Story Text: Barbie, the iconic doll that has entertained girls in the make-believe world that mirrors real-life glamour, high-fashion and fabulous careers, turned 50 on Monday (March 9).
In Tokyo, Mattel Inc, the world's No. 1 toy company and maker of Barbie, threw a birthday bash for the 50-year-old icon as part of the company's extensive worldwide campaign to promote Barbie.
Candles were lit on Barbie's birthday cake and Japanese girls dressed up in Barbie-inspired outfits, highlighted the celebration.
"Today's a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate Barbie's 50th anniversary and to think about her once again," Satoru Yoshida, Marketing Manager at Mattel International, told Reuters.
Introduced at a toy fair in New York City on March 9, 1959 as a teenage fashion model, Barbie, whose full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts, cost $3 U.S. dollars then.
With her shapely figure, carefully styled ponytail and curly bangs, strapless black and white geometric bathing suit and spiked heels, Barbie was at once an instant rage and outrageous.
Created by Ruth Handler 14 years after she and her husband Elliot started the toy company Mattel Creations, sales of Barbie reached 300,000 the first year.
However, sales of Barbie dolls declined 6 percent in the United States and 28 percent overseas in the last quarter.
It is far from certain if Mattel's efforts to spark greater interest in Barbie by lighting birthday candles around the world will pay off.
Throughout her life, Barbie's hair and fashions have reflected real life haute couture, and fashion trends and crazes.
One of Barbie's major attractions over the past five decades has been her clothes, created by some of the world's most famous designers, including Gucci, Calvin Klein, Galliano and Versace.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS