I learned a ton about Barbie while I was researching a presentation on Mattel a couple months back. For example, did you know that since 1959, Mattel has produced nearly one billion tiny outfits for Barbie? Barbie fashion is especially interesting, because it drives the very shrewd Barbie business model, which creates a nearly endless stream of revenue for Mattel. You may only buy one Barbie your whole life, but the tiny incremental expenses of the many situational accessories will outstrip the doll’s cost several times over.
This is my favorite image of the founders of Mattel, Ruth and Elliot Handler, with their creation.