We all played with dolls as children, right? Some of us still play with dolls! They’re cute and fun, but there are lots things we don’t know about the dolls we play with. I mean, they’re just toys, after all. You probably never even thought about this stuff. So, here are some cool and crazy facts about dolls!
– Barbie was created by a woman named Ruth Handler, whose husband was co-founder of the Mattel toy corporation. When she saw her daughter playing with paper baby dolls and giving them adult roles, she realized there might be a market for adult dolls, or at least teenage dolls!
– Barbie was modeled after a German doll called “Bild Lilli.”
– Barbie was named after Ruth Handler’s daughter, Barbara, and the doll’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
– Barbie lived in fictional Willows, Wisconsin, and attended fictional Willows High School.
– The first Barbie sold for only three dollars.
– Every second, 3 Barbie’s are sold somewhere in the world.
– The best selling Barbie ever is…Totally Hair Barbie! She has hair, literally, from her head to her toes, a total of ten and a half inches.
– Barbie first got a belly button in the year 2000.
– Barbie has a signature color called Barbie Pink.
– Cabbage Patch dolls were designed by a 21-year-old art student named Xavier Roberts.
– No two Cabbage Patch dolls are identical!
– The original Cabbage Patch Kids were called Little People.
– Cabbage Patch kids became the first official mascot for the US Olympic Team in 1992. They traveled with the team to Barcelona for the games and many were left behind as friends for kids in hospitals.
– Cabbage Patch Kids are born out of cabbages in BabyLand General Hospital, according to legend. But, strangely enough, BabyLand General Hospital actually does exist! In Cleveland, GA, an old doctor’s clinic was converted into a place where Cabbage Patch kids are born. It is open to visitors, who can watch the “nurses” take care of the babies and can then “adopt” them with an actual birth certificate with a name and date of birth already printed on it.
– Ralston Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal was made in 1985.
– In 1985, $600 million worth of Cabbage Patch dolls were sold.
– Among the most expensive Cabbage Patch Kids on eBay is a set of 2008 presidential/vice presidential candidates (Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin) going for $59,999.99! Also, a Donald Trump doll for $6,750!
– The company that released the Cabbage Patch dolls, Coleco, was originally an electronics company! They failed at electronics, but were a huge success with Cabbage Patch.
– American Girl was founded by Pleasant Rowland in 1986.
– Originally, American Girl dolls were only purchasable by mail order.
– The American Girl dolls were created as an alternative to Barbies. Pleasant Rowland wanted to provide girls with something more enriching, so she came up with this!
– The first American Girl Place was opened in 1990. It was a place where kids could go with their dolls to get both child and doll’s hair done, have a tea party, see a show, buy accessories for their doll, and more! The one in New York opened in 2006, the one in Los Angeles opened in 2007, and the one in Miami opened about a year ago.
– All American Girl dolls are nine years old at the beginning of the books.
– American Girl’s birthdays are in the fourth book and always take place in the springtime!
– The American Girl Company has been awarded the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award 8 times.
– American Girl catalog is ranked as one of the top 30 consumer catalogs in the country and the largest consumer toy catalog.
– American Girl makes about $5000 per day.
– Matryoshka dolls are also known as (Russian) nesting dolls.
– Some call these dolls “babushka dolls”, but this is inaccurate. Babushka means grandmother, whereas Matryoshka stems from the word meaning mother. The doll is supposed to symbolize the mother and all her children inside her.
– The first Matryoshka was made by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and painted by Sergey Malyutin.
– Matryoshka dolls were based on what was seen in a traveling Japanese Daruma doll exhibit. Those dolls, in turn, were influenced by dolls from China.
– These dolls are created from either birch, lime, balsa, alder, or aspen trees. The wood must be cured (dried) for 2 years before it can be used.
– An exhibition in Japan showcased the biggest known Matryoshka, containing 72 pieces, the largest of which stands at 1 meter high!
– The smallest known Matryoshka is about the size of a TicTac!
Wow! I think the person who created Barbie is related to my friend.
So Interesting! Its funny I always wondered about cabbage patches My sis is so fat and cuddly my Mother always calls her our cabbage pach ;)
cool! I also heard that if Barbie was a real person, her body wouldn’t be able to support her head! I don’t know if that’s true though…
This is an awesome post! I love dolls, and I really appreciated learning some history behind them and their companies’ success stories!
Great article. I played with dolls almost every waking moment when I was little and though I don’t play with them any more, I still love dolls. Also wasn’t the inventor of Barbie Jewish?
i think so :)
Soo interesting and cool
I never heard of cabbage patch dolls before. Now that i saw a picture of one i think that my niece has one similar to that. (But its much more old looking:))
I love American Girl dolls, I don’t have one, but I visit there website every day, and I’m saving up to buy one!