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On 9 March 1959, the date of its first release, Ruth Handler had no idea her Barbie doll would become the pop cultural icon that it is today.

Since the first blonde and brunette dolls debuted, and through the hundreds of dolls and thousands of fashionable outfits appearing since, Barbie has been the consummate companion for generations of young girls. As much as rite of passage as a playtime icon, a young girl's Barbie is a true forever friend.