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.
October 30, 2020

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.

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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 

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