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The Licensing Mixtape: How Barbie Turned into A Cultural Icon

Robert Best, senior design director, Mattel, shares how inclusivity and imaginative play has kept Barbie in the cultural zeitgeist for over 60 years.

License Global

October 30, 2020

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Barbie has become an icon of the toy industry unlike few others. the toy has been a mainstay of toy aisles and children’s wish lists since 1959. From its icon collaborations to its diverse variety of dolls, the Barbie brand has become a multigenerational fan favorite.

To get a sense of what has made the toy such an iconoclast, License Global recently spoke with Robert Best, senior design director, Mattel, on The Licensing Mixtape podcast. In this episode, Best shared why imagination is crucial to Barbie, what’s its like to design Barbies while working from home and how diversity has shaped the brand’s evolution.

“The more you see yourself represented, whether it's in entertainment and toys, whatever you like, it gives you power,” says Best during the podcast. “It makes you feel seen. And I think that's a really important thing, especially at the critical ages when you're young and you're sort of defining your personality or figuring all of that out.”

Hear the full interview in the latest episode of "The Licensing Mixtape," and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PodcastsSoundCloud or Spotify

The Licensing Mixtape · Episode 13: How Barbie Turned into A Cultural Icon


About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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