How was the Barbie doll invented?

Ruth and Elliott Handler founded the Mattel Co. in the 1940s. They had two children, Barbara and Kenneth. Ruth noted that Barbara played with paper dolls that looked like adults, rather than with the vinyl baby dolls that were popular in the 1950s. Ruth wanted to create a three-dimensional paper doll. Ruth and Barbara visited Germany in the mid-1950s, where Ruth first saw the little Lilli dolls. Lili was based on a comic strip character that was featured in a German magazine called Bild (that's German for "bold"). Both the comic and doll Lillis had ponytails and a narrow face with a sharp chin, plus the infamous large breasts, and Lilli was sold in many different outfits. Ruth bought the rights to the Lilli doll and took her back to the United States. She hired engineers to design a doll based on Lilli, and called her Barbie, after daughter Barbara. The Barbie doll was first shown at the Toy Fair in March 1959.