The Barbie Doll was designed by Mattel executive Ruth Handler and made her first appearance on 9 March 1959, which is therefore her official birthday.
She was named after Ruth Handler's daughter Barbara and her full name is in fact Barbara Millicent Roberts.
The name of Mattel came from Ruth's husband, Elliot Handler and his business partner, Harold 'Matt' Matson, who started as a small company to manufacture picture frames, which they called "Mattel" by combining parts of their names: 'Matt' and 'Elliot'.
A standard Barbie doll is 11.5 inches tall, and is said to be one-sixth lifesize, which corresponds to a height of 5 feet 9 inches.
Barbie's vital statistics have been estimated at 36 inches (chest), 18 inches (waist) and 33 inches (hips).
With a supposed weight of 110lb, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia.
According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the level of body fat required for a woman to menstruate.
In 2012, when the West imposed sanctions against Iranian oil exports because of the country's supposed nuclear ambitions, the Iranians retaliated by banning the sale of Barbie Dolls to protect the country from decadent Western cultural influences
Around the world between two and three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
Bettina Dorfmann of Germany owns a record number of 7,246 different Barbies.
A Barbie with a genuine diamond necklace was sold at auction in New York in 2009 for $302,500 (£191,000).
Barbie split up with her boyfriend Ken in 2004 after dating him for 43 years.