The Barbie doll was introduced in 1959. That’s a run of 63 years so far, and plenty of time for a massively popular toy to have some ups and downs. Indeed, the doll and her marketing changed with the times, often in misguided ways. The bigger Barbie became, the more opportunities there were for marketing mistakes as the Barbie brand moved into books, movies, and video games. And Barbie embraced new technology, often awkwardly. In 1992, Teen Talk Barbie put her ditziness into words, saying phrases like “Will we ever have enough clothes?” and “Math class is hard!” which sparked quite a backlash.
The Teen Talk Barbie was the last straw for a group of people who called themselves the Barbie Liberation Organization. They bought a bunch of Teen Talk Barbies, swapped their voice boxes with those of talking G.I. Joes that were unfortunately produced at the same time, and put them back on store shelves just in time for Christmas. Around 300 Barbies in at least two states were opened on Christmas morning only to announce “Vengeance is mine!” and “Eat lead, Cobra,” definitely radicalizing at least a few second-graders.
Can you imagine what those dolls are worth on the open market today? Anyway, there are plenty of other missteps in the long history of Barbie dolls that you can read at Cracked.
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