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‘Barbie's Got Staying Power': The Legendary Doll Turns 60

Since she first appeared at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959, Barbie has been an astronaut, a presidential candidate, a rapper, and a video game developer, among other things

Barbie, that iconic staple of toy stores and childhoods, turns 60 this weekend.

And although she might qualify as a senior citizen, retail experts say there’s nothing outdated about the legendary doll. She has become a more significant role model than she was in previous generations, not only to the children who play with her, but also to businesses seeking to create an iconic brand.

“Barbie has indefinite longevity,” said Jackie Breyer, editorial director at The Toy Book and The Toy Insider. “All toy brands are cyclical, but Barbie’s got staying power.”

After six decades, Barbie continues to perform as a brand. Barbie sales rose 14 percent in 2018 and the doll’s maker, Mattel, posted five consecutive quarters of growth. Retailers say she remains a toy they can count on. Target cited Barbie sales as one of the strong points of their recent holiday season.

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