Barbie

Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy

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Pub Date 16 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 07 Mar 2024

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Description

Take an enthralling and richly illustrated trip through the official real-world story of the Barbie™ doll—from groundbreaking toy to beacon of female empowerment.

Created in partnership with Mattel to celebrate Barbie doll’s 65th anniversary and featuring rare images from their archives, Barbie: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy is a stunning tribute to the beloved pop culture icon that has echoed the taste, style, and events of every decade she has experienced.

Recall the joy of opening a brand-new Barbie box with this sumptuously designed book chronicling every step in the beloved doll’s journey, from entrepreneurial pioneer Ruth Handler’s creation of Barbie in 1959 to the record-breaking film in 2023, and beyond, including:
 
  • The Birth of Barbie – Learn how Ruth Handler came up with the idea of a doll that allowed little girls to play at being women, then overcame a parade of challenges—including disbelief from her male colleagues that mothers would buy their daughters an adult doll with full-grown breasts—and persevered to create the wildly successful Barbie doll and prove her doubters wrong.
  • Breaking Boundaries – Follow the path that Barbie took from teenage fashion model to over 200 different careers, including trailblazing roles like astronaut in 1965, beating the first American woman, Sally Ride, into space by nearly 20 years, to surgeon in 1973, at a time when the total number of women physicians in the US was around 5 percent, to other male-dominated roles like Marine Corps sergeant, a business executive, and President of the United States.
  • Reflecting Diversity – See how a doll that started with a choice of either blonde or brunette hair now boasts 35 skin tones, 97 hair styles, and 9 body types, with those numbers growing each year.
  • Barbie in Fashion and Art – Explore how the fashion and art worlds have influenced and been influenced by Barbie, from limited edition Barbie fashions from premiere designers like Christian Dior and Michael Kors to a portrait of Barbie by Andy Warhol.
  • Barbie in Pop Culture – Discover all the ways that Barbie has influenced pop culture, from Barbie bloggers and collectors to how her movie smashed records as the highest-grossing domestic release in history, granting its female director, Greta Gerwig, the prize for the highest-grossing film directed by a woman.

Barbie: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy reveals how Barbie is more than a toy—she is an ideal that lives forever, encouraging girls to persist through to become whatever they dream to be.
Take an enthralling and richly illustrated trip through the official real-world story of the Barbie™ doll—from groundbreaking toy to beacon of female empowerment.

Created in partnership with Mattel...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780760391228
PRICE $24.99 (USD)
PAGES 176

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 73 members


Featured Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed delving into Robin Gerber's "Barbie." The narrative gracefully unfolds, offering a captivating journey through Barbie's inception to the silver screen. Exploring the genesis of Barbie's concept, the inspiration that fueled its creation, and the pivotal elements shaping her evolution was truly fascinating. Additionally, gaining insights into Margot Robbie's thoughtful style choices for red carpet events added a delightful layer of depth to the book. Gerber skillfully weaves together the history, evolution, and personal touches, creating a heartwarming narrative that beautifully captures the essence of Barbie's journey.

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This was a great read to learn more about the celebrated figure that we know as Barbie, great that the legacy of Barbie is ever evolving.

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Like many others, I adored playing with Barbie's as a child. I have many fond memories of opening dolls on my birthday and playing for countless hours with my siblings and friends. This book shone a light into the history of a beloved childhood toy and the source of many treasured memories.
The information presented in this book was clear, concise and factual. But for me, the real joy of the book was in its images, the vintage diagrams and photos were illuminating, it was also enjoyable to look at the different dolls, recognising some that I owned and some that I have purchased for the younger members of my family.
The book shows the enormous scope that Barbie has and how she has evolved over time to be able to be able to be a beacon of representation to different people from different backgrounds.
The timeline at the back was well done in demonstrating the continuity and change of Barbie as a brand.
This book would make a fantastic addition to the coffee table of any Barbie fan.
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Wow, a Barbie textbook! I love this. I could see myself getting a physical copy for sure. It mentions the history of Barbie all the way up to the Barbie movie which is on a list of my all time favorite movies. I think this would be excellent for a feminist studies class.

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Like most women, i re fell in love with barbie during the summer of barbie 2023, and this book is a beautiful addition to the barbie fever that has taken over. stunning pictures are interlaced with barbies history, i think this would be the perfect gift for fans of any age.

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This book is a beautiful history of Barbie. Starting with the history of Barbie and its creators and continuing with vivid photographs of Barbie’s and their inspirations. This was a trip down memory lane!

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As a girl who grew up playing Barbies, this was such an excellent read. The photos and the backstories just triggered something so nostalgic I felt like a kid again while reading this!

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As a Barbie girl from the age of 2 I adored this book, seeing the history of the iconic doll move with the times and fashions was a real treat. I loved all the 90's bits as it took me right back to my Barbie hey days. People are too quick to blame Barbie for things the reality is she is a powerful empowering iconic for everyone. This book would a great gift for Barbie Girls of all ages...I hope the love created for Barbie after the success of the movie continues and we keep getting treats like this book!!!

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Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this arc!

This is a book for all the Barbie lovers (like me). I loved the Barbie timeline where you can see all the evolutions and all the different sorts of Barbies. Little me is screaming while reading this book. Everyone should read this book!

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So I grew up loving Barbie, so I may be a bit biased, but I loved this book! I think it talked more about the creation of Barbie than I’ve ever heard before! I have looked into the history of Barbie many times, but this definitely taught me a lot that I didn’t know. I also loved the pictures, especially of Barbie is designer clothing. I didn’t know that much about Barbie’s connection with the fashion industry!

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Thank you NetGalley, Robin Gerber, and the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy in exchange for an honest review! I really enjoyed this book and would love to see what it looks like in person. It includes a lot about Barbie, from the history to the new movie, and has some gorgeous images. I learned a lot about the doll while reading and how it's grown over the years. The chapter about the movie really interested me because I loved the movie. I recommend this to all Barbie fans! It would make a great coffee table book.

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Thankyou so much to NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. It was really fascinating to learn the history and back story of the Barbie doll.

The photography through showcasing Barbie from her debut, showing all the drawing of the outfit designs, showing Ruth and Mattel through the years. It talks about how Ruth Handler came up with the idea, and also naming Barbie after her daughter Barbara as it was her that helped Ruth come up with the idea. Ruth wanted Barbie to be an affordable doll for adults and children, getting the idea from a doll cut out magazine her daughter had where you had paper dolls that you popped out and then cut the clothes out and then used the little folds to hang them on the “doll.” She wanted to create something more, something 3D that you could not only dress up but play with. She had her idea rejected so many times saying it wouldn’t sell and no one would want it, boy was she proven wrong.

The book not only talked about the creation of Barbie, but also the global phenomenon that she became and her impact on the world going right up to today mentioning the blockbuster hit movie, Barbie.

This is a great book for any Barbie fan, learning her history and finding out she is so much more than a doll. I feel like it teaches you to push and never give up…can you imagine if Ruth would have taken no for an answer when she pitched the idea of Barbie.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for letting me read this advanced copy!

I really enjoyed this book and all the insights it gave into the iconic world of Barbie. As a fan of Barbie, I enjoyed learning about her history and her creator, Ruth Handler. I also enjoyed the pictures that were provided throughout, showcasing so many of the beautiful Barbie dolls and outfits that she wore over the years. It was so wonderful to be able to see so many of the fashion designs and Barbie dolls that were mentioned in the book.

I liked how the book not only talked about the creation of Barbie, but also the global phenomenon that she became and her impact on the world - including the blockbuster hit movie, Barbie. Highly recommend to those who are fans of Barbie and would love more knowledge about how she came to be, and how she's changed the world!

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I loved playing with Barbie's when I was younger, watched the old animated Barbie movies and loved the recent Gerwig adaptation.
This book brilliantly takes you through the history of Barbie and the social impact she has had at each stage as well as what spurred the changes. Well written and with beautiful images throughout,

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Are you or anyone you know a Barbie fan, especially after that the movie came out? Then I think this is a book for you because here we have a perfect book for Barbie lovers.

In this book we get to to know more about her history and her legacy combined with beautiful pictures.

If I ever get the chance to buy this book I will do it because it would be a great coffee table book and a chance for me to learn my daughters about Barbie and look at the pictures together since my oldest loves Barbie.

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This is a book that I would love to have a physical copy of to keep on my coffee table. Barbie was a big part of my childhood and I enjoyed reading this informative writing. I would recommend it to any Barbie enthusiast.

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I’ve been trying to learn more about Barbie and her legacy since watching Greta Gerwig’s incredible movie and this book is a great source for it. Love the images!

Thank you for the opportunity

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This was so cute! After seeing the Barbie movie last summer, I’ve been obsessed with Ruth Handler and her role in the creation of Barbie. I loved getting to read more about the evolution of Barbie over the years. This is a great book for adults, young adults, and even young girls who are starting to read longer books.

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I received an ARC of “Barbie: Her Inspiration, History, and Legacy” by Robin Gerber from NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group/Epic Ink in exchange for an honest review. I cannot tell everyone how much I loved this book.

The book’s formatting was absolutely PERFECT. The text, besides being easy to read and informative, had enough white space to make reading it an actual joy. And the photographs! There were full color photographs splashed across every single page. The author included photos of numerous Barbie dolls throughout the years, from 1959 through today. I particularly love how Gerber incorporated some black and white photographs as well, especially of the older photographs of the company’s founders, Ruth and Elliott Handler.

I played with Barbie dolls as a child. As an adult, I purchased them as well for my “closet collection.” Unfortunately, I no longer own the collection as I had a habit of giving away the dolls to all of the kids who became googly-eyed after I showed off my Barbies. But I **love** Barbies! So, when Gerber began discussing Barbie’s creator Ruth Handler, it really piqued my curiosity.

I’ve always admired how the company paid so much attention to diversity, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when Gerber revealed that Ruth Handler was Jewish. Learning this fact really makes it clear just how much the Jewish community has helped the United States become such a wonderful country. Sure, the US has its problems, but our problems are outweighed by the enormous talent in this country. And without the Jewish community, the United States would not be what it is today.

In just nine chapters, Gerber was able to provide a concise overview of the history of the Matell Company, its workers, and the impact that Barbie dolls have had not just on the U.S., but on countries around the world. I learned a lot from this book—including learning for the first time that Barbie had a surname (Roberts)!

This book is every Barbie lovers dream. But it’s also an important part of advertising and marketing history as well. People are going to love reading this book and I encourage everyone 100% to read this book.

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Thank you NetGalley for this early copy of Barbie by Robin Gerber. The timing couldn't be better for me as I volunteer at a museum that just opened an exhibit on Barbie and the Power of Pink.
I thought the information provided in this book was perfect, with an easy delivery of information and a plethora of pictures. I learned some new information on Mattel and the evolution of Barbie and walked away with an even greater appreciation for what the brand stands for.

I think this is the perfect size book and anyone would enjoy learning more about the brand, its mission and all the nostalgia that goes with Barbie.

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Because of the Barbie movie by Greta Gerwig I have been reading more about the history of Barbie and I really liked the illustrations of this book, I would love to see it in physical edition!

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Because of the Barbie movie by Greta Gerwig I have been reading more about the history of Barbie and I really liked the illustrations of this book, I would love to see it in physical edition!

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After watching Greta Gerwig's movie on Barbie, I pulled out all of my childhood Barbies, cases, clothes, camper, etc. It has reignited a nostalgia in me of remembering when play was all about imagination (no cell phones or iPads or personal computers back then). I remember creating worlds with Barbie and I smiled when I saw some of the outfits in this book as being ones I owned or my best friend owned. I knew this book would be a great read because I had read Robin Gerber's book "Barbie and Ruth" that came out in 2010 and enjoyed it tremendously. Not only do we learn about the history of Mattel and the idea for Barbie, we also learn about how they are made, their impact on fashion and meet some of the collectors. The photos and artifacts in this book are terrific. I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane!

Thank you to Netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group – becker & mayer!, Epic Ink for an ARC and I voluntarily left this review.

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OBSESSED. Fascinating and visually stunning. I need to buy a hardcover of this book for my coffee table ASAP.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of "Barbie" by Robin Gerber. This coffee table book features stunning illustrations and a very thorough timeline of the creation and evolvement of Barbie over the last 50+ years. To say "now is the time" for this book is an understatement. I have 3 girls who are obsessed with Barbie; the Barbie movie rules our household; and Barbie dolls are on every surface of the playroom. This was a beautiful book to flip through and provided an expansion of the minor history presented in the Barbie movie. I loved looking at the evolution of the doll, her hair, makeup, clothes, accessories, etc. I would love to buy this for my home when it is released!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

A fitting ode to Barbie! It has just the right amount of written pictures to be a light coffee table book.

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I received this book as an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author and publisher for this opportunity.

The author has done a thorough and excellent job of telling the history of Ruth Handlers Barbie doll.

The photos included in this book make this book a fun and entertaining read.

#Barbie #NetGalley

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Robin Gerber's "Barbie" details the history and importance of Barbie for girls and women empowerment.

Great time for this book to pair with the phenomenon of the new movie. I loved learning more.

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I’ve been a Barbie fan and collector since childhood, so it’s no surprise I loved this book. I enjoyed the in-depth look into Barbie history. The gorgeous photos were so much fun to look at - the nostalgia! Last year’s Barbie movie reinvigorated my love for the doll and this took that love a step further. Definitely recommend.

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“The genius of Barbie has always been that she is what her fans make her.” This quote perfectly encapsulates Robin Gerber’s book, as well as Ruth Handler’s concept for the Barbie doll. As a lifelong Barbie fan, I loved this detailed look into the history and legacy of the Barbie doll! I could go on and on about my own experiences with the Barbie brand, but I enjoyed learning about the creation of the doll, how the Barbie brand has evolved over the years, and everyone who has played a role in the life of Barbie. If you’ve been enjoying the nostalgia of Barbie since the 2023 movie, this is the book for you!

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Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I love Barbie. I was not the most popular little girl around when I was young, but I still had plenty of girls coming over to my house to play Barbies. I had a ton of them and we woud go outside and line them up on the sidewalk all the way down our street. Over the years my son became a Barbie fan as well. Now he is an adult collector. We went to the Barbie movie together. So its not shock that I am obsessed with this book! 80% of the wonderfulness of this book are the beautiful pictures of Barbie and her friends over the years as well of pictures of her creator Ruth Handler and others. I really enjoyed the story about how Ruth set upon creating this world changing doll brand. I liked this book so much that I plan on buying a physical copy as a coffee table book that I can share with my son.

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