The first Barbie doll was made in 1959, and the doll was introduced that year at the American International Toy Fair. The first Barbie doll was inspired by an earlier doll, the Bild Lilli, which was produced in Germany starting in 1955.
The earlier Bild Lilli doll was based on a character in a German comic strip that first appeared in 1952 and ran until 1961. Production of the Bild Lilli doll ceased in 1964 when Mattell acquired the rights to the doll.
The first Ken doll was made in 1961. African-American Barbie dolls and Hispanic Barbie dolls first appeared in 1980.