Has anybody seen Ken?Display Opens at Strong National Museum of Play® June 27 Rochester, NY - Join America's most famous fashion icon (guess who?) at Celebrating America's Favorite Doll, a fashionably fabulous display opening at Strong National Museum of Play on Saturday, June 27. The second-floor display features more than 500 Barbie dolls and a wide assortment of her friends and family. Other famous fashion dolls make guest appearances, too. Plenty of family fun is in store during opening weekend, June 27 and 28, including fashion shows with real-life models from Mary Therese Friel, LLC, a makeup studio, and a kid-centric styling salon. Learn the story behind the creation of the Barbie doll and see how she accessorized, traveled, and evolved through the last five decades. In addition to pieces from her vast wardrobe, guests can see examples of Barbie's airplanes, boats, cars, campers, and motorcycles. Fans can also learn about many of her 100-plus careers, including teacher, business executive, NASCAR driver, astronaut, and doctor. Don't miss a rare opportunity to view the Bild Lilli doll, the German fashion doll that Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler brought back to America to use as a model for the company's first Barbie doll (named after Handler's daughter Barbara). A bevy of some of the first Barbie dolls produced will greet you in their classic black and white striped bathing suits and signature pony tails. Kids will feel as if they have stepped into Barbie's world when they enter a gigantic doll house to play dress-up! Over the past five decades more than one billion Barbie dolls have been produced and, according to manufacturer Mattel, 90 percent of American girls own one! And, of course, the Barbie doll is recognized as an American icon in the National Toy Hall of Fame® at Strong National Museum of Play. Following are just some of the colorful and fascinating historical facts you'll discover about the famous glamour girl when you visit the new second-floor display:
  • The doll was named for Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler's own daughter, Barbara.
  • The very first Barbie dolls can be identified by the holes in the bottoms of their feet (created by the stands on which they were originally displayed and packaged).
  • Barbie loves pets and has more than fifty of them. Horses seem to be her favorite, but she's also had dogs, cats, birds, and even a lion and a zebra!
  • More than fifty designers have fashioned clothing for Barbie including Calvin Klein, Bob Mackie, and Vera Wang.
  • Barbie has had more than 100 careers and knows firsthand how to break the glass ceiling. Her career moves have generally paralleled social trends-at first she was a nurse, school teacher, and a flight attendant. She became a doctor, an astronaut, photographer, fire fighter, and a police offer. She's even served in each branch of the armed services and made four presidential bids.
  • Learn more about the colorful history of the Barbie doll when you visit the museum.
Celebrating America's Favorite Doll is included with general museum admission fees. http://www.museumofplay.org/about_us/press/americas_favorite_doll.html


Strong National Museum of Play®, located in downtown Rochester, New York, is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates American culture. Museum Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission Fees: General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®): Adults $10.00; Seniors $9.00; Children (2-15) $8.00; Children younger than two free; Strong members free. Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®: General Admission fee plus $1.50 for members, $3.00 for nonmembers; Children under 2 free. Entry is by timed ticket only. Please call 585-263-2700 to reserve and purchase tickets. Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, you will be directed to additional parking at neighboring municipal garages (fees may apply).