The first commercial for Barbie aired on the Mickey Mouse Club in 1959. The doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959. Mattel outfitted Barbie in a black and white zebra striped swimsuit coupled with a topknot ponytail. She was available as either a blonde or brunette.
The commercial is also notable for the use of Matty Mattel, the mascot that routinely appeared in company advertising throughout the 1960s. Matty would often be used to deliver Mattel’s catch phrase at the time, “You can tell it’s Mattel, it’s swell!”
Remember the toys and games of years past through vintage advertising – for better and for worse!