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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Barbie doll, 1958Barbie doll, 1958

First introduced by Mattel in 1958, Barbie soon became American girls' most popular mass-produced playmate. Criticized for its unrealistic anatomical proportions and for promoting gender stereotypes, the doll has remained a must-have toy for many children. In recent years Barbie has also become a valuable commodity on the collector's market. This doll, the earliest model, was given to the Smithsonian by a Washington, D.C., family in 1988, the year Barbie turned thirty.

See also: Children, Dolls, Toys

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