Posts Tagged ‘50th’

hd_barbieFifty years is a long time!  Even longer in the toy business, but next week is a birthday party for everyone’s favorite Harley-Davidson doll, Barbie.  She’s “more mature” these days and reflects the motorcycle company female demographics, but she is certainly not looking her age! 

The motorcycle Barbie completes the rider image with an edgy black leather and orange flame ensemble accented with silvery chain, boots, helmet and sunglasses.  You go girl!!

As you know Barbie (aka; Barbara Millicent Roberts) is a fashion doll manufactured by Mattel, Inc. But, you might not know that it was launched in March 1959 by American businesswoman Ruth Handler (1916-2002) who is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

The command centre for the Barbie business global assault is about 10 minutes from LAX where 2,000 of Mattel’s worldwide 35,000 employees work in El Segundo. Barbie represents a little over 20% of the $6B in total sales and more of its profits.  The 10th floor of the non-descript building is known as the “Barbie floor”, or by the workers as the ‘pink floor’.

Over the past fifty years Barbie has had numerous makeovers — Malibu, Princess, Southern Belle, along with the ever popular Harley-Davidson Barbie, to name just a few. She’s traveled the world by motorcycle and played guitar in a rock band. What can’t she do?  Sure she started life as a fashion model, but Barbie has so far tackled more than 100 careers ranging from air stewardess to paleontologist, aerobics instructor to Marine Corps sergeant. One of her latest gig’s is television chef and she’s probably at home right now working on another blog post with Ken!

We’re all in this recession together and America loves a winner.  So, if a boy can make it out of the slums of Mumbai and become an Oscar winner (“SlumDogs”) then maybe, just maybe, Barbie celebrating her 50th birthday and surviving previous recessions she will give us HOPE that we can make it out of this current mess. 

Photo credit is courtesy of Mattel.

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Harley-Davidson LEGO

Yesterday LEGO turned 50 years old.  That’s 50 years of happy kids worldwide building anything their curiosity will allow from the famous stud-and-tube coupling system. 

In celebration of a couple members of the Posse turning “golden” this year I thought a LEGO tribute to Harley was in order. 

It started in 1947, when LEGO bought a plastic injection machine. The brick wasn’t invented until 1958, when the shape of the stud-and-tube brick was patented. LEGO sets have gone through much iteration, from the younger version, DUPLO, to the more sophisticated LEGO TECHNIC and LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sets.  They have many different themes in LEGOLAND and the most successful line was LEGO Star Wars. 

For the more detail minded here are some LEGO brick facts from Gizmodo: 

• There are 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world’s 6B inhabitants.

• Children around the world spend 5B hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.

• More than 400M people around the world have played with LEGO bricks.

• LEGO bricks are available in 53 different colors.

• 2.16M LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36K per minute.

• More than 400B LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949.

• The LEGO bricks sold in one year would circle the world 5 times.

• There are 55,600 LEGO videos on YouTube.  

I don’t remember my first LEGO “build”, but if you do then feel free to add comments and share the story of what you built.  

Harley-Davidson LEGO photo courtesy of Jonathan Eric Hunter’s (LeGogh) LEGO MOC Collection.

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