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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Barbie’s Keys to Fame Game from Mattel (1963)

Company: Mattel
Release date: 1963
Ages: 5+
# of players: 2-6
Where to purchase: eBay

“Your dream career comes true!”

In the Barbie’s Keys to Fame Game from Mattel, players explored career aspirations. Two to 6 players collected points while vying to complete one or more of 8 possible Barbie career choices (including one selected as their dream career).


The spin-and-move game featured a round game board with a center spinner, 8 pockets, and holders for 8 gold keys to fame.

Each player wrote down one of eight Barbie careers (astronaut, ballerina, fashion designer, mother, movie star, nurse, stewardess, or teacher) as their secret ambition. The career choices were a mix of traditional and non-traditional choices for girls at the time.

Players were dealt a number of Career Cards from the deck and the 8 Keys to Fame were placed around the spinner.

Each turn, players drew cards and attempted to build up on one of the 8 careers by playing matching career cards numbered 1-6. When the number 6 card was played for a career, that player got two spins to try for the matching Key to Fame. Once a player with at least one Barbie career completed had played all their cards, the round ended and players tallied up their scores and recorded them on the scorepad

After three rounds, the player with the highest career score was declared the winner and “the most famous Barbie of them all.”


A complete game included the game board with spinner, 8 Keys to Fame, 48 Career Cards, 8 Key Cards, and a scorepad. Instructions were printed separately and also printed on the back of the box.

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