Barbie 60th Anniversary

Barbie‘s 60th anniversary is underway, and Mattel is celebrating in a big way. The Barbie brand will honor the largest lineup of global female role models ever and increase focus on closing the Dream Gap with the work of the Mattel Children’s Foundation. Commemorative product and fan events for kids, families, and collectors will keep the celebration going throughout the year. Retail partnerships include Walmart (with a concert tour), Target (in-store events, plus apparel and accessories), and Amazon (physical pop-up stores).

“For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make believe and showed them that they have choices. With more than 200 careers, six runs for president and a trip to the moon before Neil Armstrong, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages,” says Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president, Barbie. “The Barbie brand believes girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered. Through our global platform, we are igniting a movement to help close the Dream Gap and further establish Barbie as the ultimate girl empowerment brand.”

Barbie 60th Anniversary
Barbie Role Models 2019. From left to right: Maya Gabiera, Surfer, Brazil; Naomi Osaka, Tennis Player, Japan; Kristina Vogel, Cycling Champion, Germany; Tessa Virtue, Ice Skater, Canada; Yara Shahidi, Actress, United States; Adwoa Aboah, Activist and Model, United Kingdom; Dipa Karmakar, Artistic Gymnast, India; Chen Man, Photographer, China; Ita Buttrose, Journalist, Australia.

As a continuation of the “Shero” program launched in 2015, more than 20 women will be honored as Barbie role models this year. The lineup includes representation from multiple countries and continents, with honorees ranging from 19 to 85 years old, and speaking 13 languages.

The Dream Gap Project Fund is the next evolution of the Dream Gap Project, which launched last year. The fund aims to support like-minded organizations to close the gap and level the playing field for girls. Barbie will donate one dollar from every doll sold in the U.S. up to $250,000.

Barbie will be leveraged as a role model, continuing her vlog on YouTube with a March 7 episode called “Finding Your Voice.” She will also become an editor of the YouTube Kids app to curate a list of videos. As a vlogger, Barbie is considered a “top girl influencer” with more than 108 million YouTube views.

Barbie 60th Anniversary Events Around the World:

  • An immersive Barbie pop-up experience in New York City to celebrate the brand’s past, present, and future on March 9. Equal parts fashion tribute and art installation, fans of all ages can celebrate the icon.
  • The Barbie “Be Anything” Tour will kick-off in Bentonville, Ark. with GRAMMY-nominated, country music star Kelsea Ballerini on March 9 and 10. It will run through October and stop at 36 participating U.S. Walmart locations. At each stop, girls can hear about a role model’s journey, enter for a chance to win up to $20,000 to make their dreams come true and enjoy other fun and interactive experiences for the whole family.
  • “Barbie Presented by Amazon” pop-up stores are in five major markets across the U.S. based on Amazon’s innovative physical retail model. Fans are treated to an immersive Barbie experience through April 2.
  • In-store activations in various participating U.S. Target locations throughout the country on March 9 that will feature the “What Will You Be” exclusive Barbie-themed apparel and accessories line for girls ages 5 to 10.
  • Celebrating female empowerment with a visual message at landmarks across the world including New York’s Empire State Building, TOKYO SKYTREE, Toronto’s CN Tower, and Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.