The First 60 Inspiring Years: Barbie Forever

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Barbie Forever 60 Years

At first blush, Robin Gerber's BARBIE FOREVER: HER INSPIRATATION, HISTORY, AND LEGACY might appear to be another beautifully designed coffee table book, packaged to appeal to fans of the Mattel maven whose fashions and careers have delighted and motivated children for decades -- six of them, to be precise! My expectation was the cursory introduction, maybe four or five pages of text delivering a succinct history of the doll and her creator, and then a veritable book full of photographs of Barbie through the years.

If this had been just that, it would have been enough to have satisfied your run-of-the-mill fan. And indeed, the book does have the cursory foreword, and an introduction from the author. And there are countless high-quality color and black and white images. But this goes far beyond that, taking the readers inside designer Ruth Handler's dream of a 3-D doll as we see it grow from a need to a design to a reality. We see how Barbie was created, then marketed, then took on a life all her own, until she became the iconic grown-up doll loved by millions around the world today.

 

Gerber's book is replete with photos not just of the many styles of Barbie, but also her fans, with accounts of those whose lives she has touched for the better, testament to Handler's world-changing vision.

BARBIE FOREVER follows Barbie through the decades, spotlighting iconic moments, fashions, and fans, with plenty of supporting text to keep the reader fully immersed in the history their favorite toy. The copiousness of rare photos and in-depth narrative elevates this book above any mere collectible coffee-table book to be glanced through idly then discarded. This is a photo book, a study book, to be loved and enjoyed by anyone who has known the joy of immersing themselves in the world of the original girl who could grow up to be anything. What an excellent Christmas present this would make for the Barbie fan in your life!

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0