This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Mattel Barbie Doll Essay

1624 words - 6 pages

Behind the magic of Barbie’s creation.

The holiday season is fast approaching and the list for children to buy for is long.

Strolling down the Toys ‘R Us toy aisle, I find it hard to miss

what is in every typical North American toy store: Mattel’s Barbie dolls. A plastic doll

with clothes; it appears simple enough but not quite. From its conception in California,

to it being manufactured in China, to it being shipped to the local Toys ‘R Us store in

Vancouver, the Barbie doll sitting on a toy store shelve has undergone numerous social

and geographical processes involved in its production before it will reach into the hands

of my excited nine year old cousin on Christmas morning. With over one hundred and

fifty new models of Barbie dolls released onto the global market per year (Enriquez), the

web of relations among factories, shipping companies, toy distributors, Mattel offices and

etc. for the production and consumption of Barbie dolls are numerous. To date, over half

a billion Barbie’s have been sold in more than one hundred and forty countries. Each

week, Mattel sells over 1.5 million dolls; two dolls per second are sold (Toys and Games:

Barbie Dolls). The sheer number of Barbie dolls sold is an indication of the on-going ties

and involvement between Mattel’s Head Office management, the factories and its

workers hired to produce the Barbie dolls, the retail distributors, the consumers, and

everybody else in between the Commodity chain of Barbie’s creation to its consumption.

The first step in the commodity chain of Barbie is simply the conception of the

doll itself and the creation of what it will look like. The production of Barbie begins in

the commodity management center of Mattel's El Segundo, California headquarters (The

Creation of Barbie). This is where Mattel's material and economic experts decide where

and who they should look to to provide the plastic, fabric, and other Barbie parts for the

creation of its doll (The Creation of Barbie). All of the important decisions of production,

labour, and retailing are made in El Segundo as this is where Mattel’s headquarters and

corporate management team is located.

The next step is then assembling the different materials needed for the
manufacturing of Barbie. According to the Lewis and Clark College website, machinery
and tools used to make Barbie, including the plastic injection mold machines, comes
from Japan, Europe and the United States (The Creation of Barbie). The molds, the most
expensive item in the doll making, come from the United States, Japan or Hong Kong
(The Creation of Barbie). As well as molds, the cardboard packaging and paint pigments
for the dolls also originate from the United States (The Creation of Barbie). Other
materials needed still come from various geographical sources. For example, oil from
Saudi Arabia is shipped to Taiwan, where it is...

Find Another Essay On The Mattel Barbie Doll

The Pressure of Becoming a Barbie Doll

669 words - 3 pages Over the course of many years, society has slowly placed an unrealistic expectation of appearance on women. Through television, magazines, billboards, and even toys, human minds have been influenced into thinking women should look a certain way. One of the commonly recognized symbols of the “perfect woman” is the Barbie Doll. For years girls have dreamed of being that perfect woman and in Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll”, she satirizes that dream by

Exploring Body Image Issues via the Barbie Doll

2763 words - 11 pages she exemplifies. Barbie is the average ‘all-American girl’ with blonde hair, blue eyes, and perfectly porcelain skin. Despite the fact that Mattel introduced Barbie in 1959, they failed to release a doll with any sort of cultural background until 1980 when the first African American, figure four, and Hispanic Barbie were introduced (Bellis). America appears to be a progressive country with an emphasis on equality and a ceaseless amount of freedom

Analysis of the poem Barbie Doll, by Marge Piercy

1360 words - 5 pages Barbie Doll’ written by Marge Piercy (1973) This girlchild was born as usual And presented dolls that did pee-pee And miniature GE stoves and irons And wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs. She was healthy, tested intelligent, Possessed strong arms and back, Abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing. Everyone

Gender Insanity in Barbie Doll, Ken Doll, and The Yellow Wallpaper

836 words - 4 pages Gender stereotypes have a huge effect on our generation now, and in the past. It makes us think in a certain way that we do, about males and females; which can make people insane from the expectations. A few of the expectations for males are that they have to be strong and muscular. On the other hand female’s expectations is weak and feminine. A great example of gender stereotype having the effect of making people insane is Barbie Doll, Ken Doll

The Barbie doll represents many things in American society, but at the end of the day she is just a doll

700 words - 3 pages reflect the trend of diversification. Barbie is represented today in forty-five different nationalities; she has many different hair, eye and skin colors so that children can see themselves in the doll. Barbie's image raises issue of identification and diversity that is so fundamental in America today. "In 1980, Mattel introduced the first Black Barbie and the first Hispanic Barbie. Both dolls have modified skin tones, hair colors and facial

Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy and David Talamentez on the Last Day of Second Grade by Rosemary Catacalos

780 words - 4 pages “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy and “ David Talamentez on the Last Day of Second Grade” by Rosemary Catacalos are two poems that show a unique view into society and the roles society expects people to fill. Sometimes those expectations can lead people to take drastic measures or even cause defiance in some people. The irony of this is that it seems the more we push people to be what society wants the more it drives them to be what they don’t want

Business Analysis: Mattel

1213 words - 5 pages one of the best business decisions the company ever made! Television became a focus with Mattel’s new direction. Mattel started making replicas of classic western guns and holsters from popular western hit television shows. In 1959, Mattel made toy industry history by introducing the “Barbie Doll”, and according to my article, is the best selling toy of all toy time. The idea of the Barbie doll came from the Handler’s daughter, who they felt

Mattel

1638 words - 7 pages major spot of advertising for Mattel, which revolutionized they way the toys were marketed. It also introduced they another great product, the "Burp Gun , and automatic cap gun. During the late 1950's, well, 1959 to be exact, the most sot after doll, "Barbie makes her first appearance. This doll was named after a girl Barbie, short for Barbara, created by her mother Ruth Handler. When Barbie was a young child, Ruth would often times see her

Barbie: Independent Woman or Damaging American Icon?

2690 words - 11 pages ). Despite people's skepticism that an adult doll could be successful, Handler's "Barbie" has become a very lucrative and popular item. Early advertisements claimed that Barbie "could teach a little girl to become a lovely lady" (Matheny 3/3). The first doll cost $3, had "limp" black hair, and didn't smile (Layman 319). Ken, Barbie's notorious male counterpart, was introduced in 1961 (Green, A. 1/2) and Mattel came out with a wedding ensemble for the

Barbie: Her Intentions and Her Impact

1319 words - 6 pages toddler or companion dolls where the child is limited to playing with a girlfriend; there was no adult doll with which a child could truly dream her dreams in the early fifties” (Piche). Hence the Barbie doll made its debut through her company Mattel in March of 1959 it not only revolutionized the way women thought of themselves but caused controversy because it did not directly encourage domesticity. When Barbie made her debut in 1959, “she wore

Cultural Criticism: Barbie

1844 words - 8 pages cleaning and baking. These characteristics are affecting young girls in a time when they are most developmentally susceptible, and teaching them a number of negative lessons. Barbie was first launched in March 1959, after Ruth Handler, president of Mattel, Inc., went on a trip to Europe and discovered a unique German doll, “Bild Lilli.” The aforementioned doll was special in that she was an adult, whereas many dolls of that time were portrayals of

Similar Essays

Barbie The Teenage Fashion Doll Essay

1394 words - 6 pages The idea of Barbie came about when a woman named Ruth Handler was watching her daughter play with dolls. In the 1950’s, girls of all ages only had paper or cardboard dolls to play with and preferred to play with cut outs of teenagers and adult dolls. So, Ruth Handler thought to make The Teenage Fashion Doll for older girls, as a three dimensional doll, called Barbie, named after her daughter Barbara (Heppermann 2010). However, Mrs. Handler

Ruth Handler, Inventor Of The Barbie Doll

1012 words - 5 pages more. The first Barbie doll was created in 1959, changing the toy making industry forever. This simple idea turned into a massive success. The sponsor of the phenomenon was Mattel Inc. founded by Ruth Handler and her Husband. Ruth Handler’s original idea of Barbie was revolutionary due to the many impacts on society this small doll created. Some of the most popular toys today came from Mattel Inc. Handler her husband and partner Elliot Matt

The Classic Barbie Doll Is Propaganda

2402 words - 10 pages , all because “America’s Doll” is marketed as white. Going back to the girl in my class, she was alienated and humiliated as a child for not looking a certain way. This isn’t to say that Mattel, Barbie’s creators, haven’t branched out and began creating African American, Asian and different hair colored Barbie dolls, but the main point here is that these are not the dolls that have created the Barbie brand. The classic “American” Barbie that is the

The Barbie Doll And Richard Cory

689 words - 3 pages Barbie Doll. In The Barbie Doll, the author writes about a girl' s life. The author starts off by describing her childhood. She was given dolls and toys like any other girl and she also wore hints of lipstick. This girl was healthy and rather intelligent. Even though she had possessed many good traits she was still looked at by others as "the girl with a big nose and fat legs". She exercised, dieted and smiled as much as possible