Discover the new website of the Paris Musée de la Poupée by clicking
musée poupée paris

Temporary Exhibit March 28 > September 20, 2009

Photos Eric Chatillon, Jean Dalmard, Samy Odin, Mattel
Barbie is a registered trademark by MATTEL Inc. All right reserved.

--------------- Play out your dreams with Barbie !
--------------- a spectacular retrospective exhibit for Barbie's jubilee

The Musée de la Poupée in Paris celebrates Barbie’s Jubilee (1959-2009) with a unique and exceptional exhibit paying a well deserved tribute to the most popular fashion doll of all times.

Hundreds of fully original vintage dolls and accessories, chosen among the best French private collections, together with a selection of the latest Barbie dolls provided by Mattel-France, will be on display from March 28 to September 20, 2009.

Starting with a spectacular contemporary fashion show, Barbie looks back to her history until 1959, when her first collection appeared on the market. Every single original item from that very first collection will be on display, for the first time ever in France, together with an impressive selection of models from the last five decades, arranged with their original accessories and structures in 28 irresistible vignettes. A unique opportunity for younger generations to discover what Barbie looked like over the years, a once-in-a-life-time chance for the adult audience to appreciate the refinement and exquisiteness of this mythical icon.

Since 1959, embodying Ruth Handler’s vision, Barbie helps children to play out their dreams. Everyone, through this exhibit, can have a chance to find THE Barbie doll that had an impact during her/his childhood. For everyone has a Barbie-related memory, even those who never played with Barbie, those who disliked her, those who were raised without her. No one, today, can possibly ignore this doll, since Barbie is universal.

Room 1 : the 2009's to the 1980's

Room 2 : the 1970's and the 1960's

Room 3 : the1960's and 1959

You are welcome to the Musée de la Poupée-Paris to nourish your childhood memories and enjoy this unique celebration of the most popular doll ever : Barbie!

back to top of the page

--------------- Barbie 1959-2009,
--------------- history of a hit doll

Appeared for the first time at the Toy Fair in New York, Barbie celebrates this year her 50th birthday.

Barbie is the best-seller doll ever. During the year of 1959, 300000 Barbie dolls were sold. 80 millions Barbie dolls are sold every year in the world and 3 millions just in France. In 1997, the billionth Barbie doll was sold. 96% of French girls have a Barbie and 100% of American ones.

Barbie is not only a plaything for children. This doll is also a muse to fashion designers, a society phenomenon, an aesthetical model constantly up to date.

- 1959, Barbie is a young fashion model with side placing eyes, outlined with an eyeliner and sporting trendy ponytail. Her « couture » outfits are already inspired by European fashion designers of the late 1950’s.

1959 vintage reproduction

- 1962, Barbie ‘s look changes and her hair shorten in a « bubble cut ». She follows the latest fashion trends and for example, she exchanges her stockings for tights and adds many accessories to her various outfits like shoes, glasses, jewelry…

1962 vintage reproduction

- 1963, Barbie is imported in France by Les Jouets Rationnels.
- 1964, Barbie’s knees become bendable
- 1967, Barbie’s face changes again, synthetic eyelashes are rooted, her eyes are enlarged, her hair comes in a longer and more natural cut and her waist can turn and this is the main asset of the Twist n’ turn Barbie who adopts Twiggy’s style : mini skirt, boots, and long silhouette.

1967 vintage reproduction

- 1971, Barbie’s make up is simplified, her hair grows straight and longer and her skin becomes perfectly tanned such as on the Malibu model. Social changes lead to a new style in fashion : patchwork, maxi coat and t-shirt… become the trendiest clothing.

1971 vintage reproduction

- 1972, Creation of Mattel France keeps on distributing the Barbie-doll in France.
- 1977, Barbie’s face is now more smiling, her long blond hair get wavy. Her shining outfits make her look like a superstar.

1977 vintage reproduction

- 1986, Barbie adopts the rock ‘n roll attitude with a heavier make-up. Her outfits have bright and shiny colors. As soon as 1989 some famous fashion designers start to dress Barbie.

1986 vintage reproduction

- 1995, the first series of “collectible” Barbie dolls arrives en France with 11 different models. From that decade on, Barbie is meant to appeal also to the adult audience.

Barbie Bob Mackie

- 1998, Barbie goes back to a teenager look, with a new face still current today : she has a closed mouth, round cheeks, light make up, short fringe, and straight hair.
- 2001, Barbie’s body slightly changes getting larger hips, smaller breast and an articulated waist.Today the little girls favorite models are : the ballerina, since Barbie Casse Noisette appeared in 2001 and the princesses, since Rapunzel delighted the youngest with her long magical hair, since 2002.

Barbie princess

--------------- A Barbie collector
--------------- Eric Chatillon, an author

Eric CHATILLON was born in 1964. He recognized his childhood Barbie doll on a Musée de la Poupée-Paris temporary exhibit in 1995. From that time he started a collection mainly based on the 1960's and that made him focus on the arrival of Barbie in France. He published "Barbie en France, les années Jouets rationnels : 1963 /1969" in 2005 at Dollexpo publishing. Eric CHATILLON is a well known speaker in French and foreign collectors conventions. He often writes for magazines and loves sharing his passion for Barbie.

Press report :

back to top of the page

Around the exhibit...

"Create an amazing dress for Barbie" : workshop for children

Workshops to making a one-of-a-kind dress for Barbie are given for children from 5 to 10 years old. Every young fashion designer will go back with her own Barbie dressed in a unique outfit !

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

"Barbie my heroïne" : story telling sessions

A story telling session having Barbie as the heroine of several stories is given for children from 3 years old

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

Educational tours of the museum for children and families

Educational tours are given for children of 5 and over and their parents
. These tours begin by handling dolls' parts from various periods and end with the visit of the museum.

With reservation 01 42 72 73 11

"Have your birthday party with Barbie" : birthday parties in the museum

Lets celebrate your birthday in an unforgettable way, inviting your friends with barbie !

And you will also get a birthday present ! : Mattel France will offer a present to any child having his birthday at the museum during the exhibit.

unguided tour with an educational questionnaire or educational tour + cake (not provided) + story time or workshop
Adjustable package, on Wednesday and Saturday
with reservation 01 42 72 73 11.

"Barbie's jubilee" specialized auction at the Galerie de Chartres

March 14, 2009
Expert Dominique Le Dan

Information 02 37 88 28 28

"Barbie in France" program and signing session

Held by Eric Chatillon, Barbie collector and author of the book "Barbie in France", Dollexpo edition 2004.

September 12, 2009 at 2pm
Information and reservation 01 42 72 73 11

How much is my doll worth ? Doll appraisals

How much is my doll worth ? When was it been made ? When? By whom ?... M. Odin, director of the museum and specialist in dolls will answer publicly all your questions, on presentation of your doll after your visit to the museum.

A Saturday per month, with reservation 01 42 72 73 11

A specialized shop – bookstore

The Museum’s shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and is also available on this website.

Play dolls and collectible dolls, clothes and accessories, as well as a wide range of books and products are for sale.

A doll hospital and appraisals

The Museum’s doll hospital repairs antique dolls, baby dolls, plush animals... and makes appraisals.
Veronique Derez, our doll doctor, is usually there 2 Thursdays/month from 1 pm to 4 pm but you can come from Tuesday to Saturday for a free estimate of the repairs on presentation of the sick dolls or plush animal.

For appraisals and doll identity card, with charge, an appointment is required on presentation of the object.

back to top of the page


This exhibit was set up thanks to private collectors and Mattel France.

Following exhibit

Temporary exhibits exhibited elsewhere

"Plush balls" exhibit from September 10 to 27, 2009 in Billy Berclau's Cultural Center (62138)

back to top of the page

All rights reserved.