Barbie games

Doll and Revolutionary

1959 was a huge year in the world of toys, seeing the launch of the very first Barbie doll. The brand has gone on to become a cultural icon. Barbie has gone from a fixture in the toy-boxes of generations of little girls, to a multi-billion dollar, cross-platform entertainment phenomenon. Six decades and a billion dolls later, Barbie is as unmistakable as she is impossible to pin down.

Before Barbie

Before Barbie, dolls were always based on babies or children. They assumed that all girls wanted to take the role of mom to their toys when they played. Barbie’s inventor, Ruth Handler, noticed that her little girl often gave such dolls adult roles when she played with them. Ruth spotted a gap in the market and proposed an adult doll to her husband, the co-founder of the Mattel toy corporation. Neither he, nor any of his colleagues were convinced of Ruth’s idea. History could not have proven them more wrong!

Barbie but She’s German

During a trip to Europe, Ruth came across a popular doll called Bild Lilli. Lilli was based on a character from a comic strip in the popular German tabloid newspaper, The Bild. Lili had been marketed to adults —presumably to readers of The Bild—but had proven popular with children, who enjoyed dressing the doll in clothes that you could buy separately for it, a model Mattel would later use to reach spectacular sales volumes.

Bild Lilli was characterized as an independent working woman, not afraid to go after what she wanted. She was also blonde, attractive, and shaped more-or-less like an adult woman. Ruth realized right away that Lilli was what she’d been looking for.

She bought three dolls back to the US, and had them partially redesigned. Named after her own daughter, Barbie went on to sell hundreds of millions of units and to become Mattel’s biggest product line, although there were a few obstacles along the way.

A Barbie Influence

Barbie is no stranger to controversy. Even on release, the adult-shape of the doll drew criticism from parents who disliked her womanly figure.

Barbie has also been roundly criticized for being implausibly-proportioned, and setting unrealistic body standards for young women. Barbie’s body has been analyzed and would indeed be an unhealthy shape to be in, although the makers have claimed that Barbie’s proportions are needed to make her miniature clothes sit properly on her frame.

Barbie has also been criticized for the things she says. In the 1990s came the infamous talking Barbie, who could pronounce, among other things, that “math class is tough!” This lead to widespread backlash, and was even mentioned in an episode of The Simpsons.

Various accessories that have been sold for the doll have also caused problems for its manufacturer. A good example being a scale that came with multiple playsets and was set to a weight that would be low for somebody Barbie’s height.

But Barbie was also an inspiration. She was arguably the first doll to suggest a life outside childcare for young girls. Barbie arrived as the sixties began and was independent, successful and capable. She was shown in a wide range of jobs, encouraging young girls to see them as options for themselves. Barbie has been an Olympian, an astronaut, a soldier and a games designer to name but a very small few. She’s certainly not short on achievements in her life!

All Barbie, All the Time

Given Barbie’s enormous popularity, it should be no surprise that she found her way into a wide range of other forms of entertainment. Starting in the eighties, Barbie appeared on branded, full-size merchandise, including books and clothes. Like everything else she touched, Barbie-branded goods sold like hot cakes.

Barbie also starred in a series of TV shows, a web-series and animated feature films. Since 2001, Barbie films have been a huge success and still appear periodically as animated specials on streaming services to this day.

After Barbie

Barbie’s cultural legacy is undeniable. The toy has been recognized in art and society in ways that are unheard of for toys. Her relationship with her fictional on/ off boyfriend Ken has received more media attention than most real celebrities can dream of. Love her or hate her, everybody knows her and nobody can deny the effect she’s had on the world.

Barbie Games

It’s no surprise then that Barbie has played the starring role in over twenty games, including Barbie for the NES in 1991, Barbie for the Commodore 64 in 1984, and Barbie Horse Adventures, from 2003 onwards. The doll’s brightly colored world was a natural fit for the vibrancy of early console games and was always popular.

Barbie Fashion Designer was a piece of software that launched in the mid-1990s, and swiftly sold more than half a million copies—outselling even popular video-game classics like Doom and Quake. It allowed players to design clothes for their Barbies. It even came with special fabrics that players could use to print out the clothes they designed and dress their Barbies in them.

Barbie Games on GamePix

If you’d like to play Barbie video games, the selection we have right here is a great way to do it. Like all of our online browser games, they’re free to play and work on any device with a browser, so you’ll be able to enjoy them on whatever device you’re using. If you’re looking to play with games with dolls, GamePix lets you do it, wherever you are.


Can you play Barbie games online?

Yes you can! We have a wide selection of Barbie games here on GamePix. All of them are free browser games, available on any device with a web browser.

What happened to Barbie online games?

The original Mattel site for Barbie, which hosted a Barbie online virtual world, was closed in 2011 and is no longer available but don’t worry—with the excellent range of Barbie browser games we have for free here on GamePix, there is something for all Barbie fans.

What are the most popular barbie?