Why have Barbie Dolls been so popular since they were first made?

Before Barbie (Dolls), girls had Baby Dolls that looked (obviously) like babies. Their rubber or plastic arms were molded at the elbows and shoulders, their legs at groin, knee, and ankle. Most dolls in the 1950s did not have moving body parts. Other dolls were fabric or yarn-- like Raggedy Ann.

Barbie was the FIRST teen age doll for pre-teens and teens that looked like a teen or adult, just like G.I. Joe for boys! Barbie had breasts, and though her genitals were non-descript, it still looked more teenage like before a girl began growing genital and underarm hair.

Before Barbie, the only dolls that came with lots of clothes were Paper Dolls! Barbie had wardrobes of different clothing, and tiny high heel shoes! Of course, that meant her feet were permanently molded with her standing on tip toes. Most women now remember that they were just learning to awkwardly walk in high heel shoes, just like trying to make Barbie stand in her high heels without falling!

Barbie also had houses and surroundings. Many girls never got a traditional "Doll House" because they were expensive. But it was easier to plead with your parents to buy you Barbie's house.

The biggest problem with Barbie, like the traditional plastic molded baby-baby dolls, was her limited mobility. Having Ken made girls forget that really, Barbie nor Ken "did" much of anything. They couldn't even stand up by themselves (had to brace them against a wall). This immobility made these dolls boring after a while. They became display only toys, a sort of a badge to brag about how many Barbies and how many outfits you had.