Barbie basics

• Barbie's real name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.

• She grew up in the fictional town of Willows, Wis. (Although there is a town named Willow near Madison.)

• Barbie has four sisters: Skipper (1964), Stacie (1992), Kelly (1995) and Krissy (1995).

• The bestselling Barbie doll ever was the 1992 Totally Hair Barbie, with hair that hung from the top of her head to her toes.

• There is a custom-made Oprah Barbie.

• The first Barbie TV commercial aired during "Mickey Mouse Club" in 1959 and ended, "You can tell it's Mattel. It's swell!"

• New York Fashion Week in February featured human "Barbie-like" models wearing clothes by 50 top designers.

• Barbie has outfits for 108 professions.

• Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, who named her after her daughter, Barbara. Ken, invented two years later, was named after her son, Ken.

• There is a custom-made Angela Merkel Barbie, after the German Chancellor.

KIM ODE