The Actual Dolls That Inspired The Barbie Characters in ‘Barbie’

inspired barbie movie dolls

The Greta Gerwig directed film Barbie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling has set the film universe on fire with over $1.5B in box office revenue. And if you have seen the film, you see all the barbies that are part of the Barbie Land world. Well, all of those barbies are actually based on real barbies that were put out for kids in the past. Check out the actors starring in Barbie that were inspired by the old dolls we played with.

Margot Robbie as Barbie

Margot Robbie’s barbie look in the film goes all the way back to the famed doll’s debut in 1959 with a striped swimsuit and white cat-eyed sunglasses. The first Barbie was styled as a “teenage fashion model”: her look paid tribute to the Old Hollywood glamour of 1950s icons like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.

With her red lips and blonde ponytail, Robbie’s recreation of the key toy is amazing.

Ryan Gosling as Ken

Ryan Gosling’s blond hair and tanned skin resembles a large majority Ken dolls since the male counterpart first hit shelves in 1961, but one version stands out as a possible plastic twin. On-screen Ken’s cool, coastal vibe matches that of the “Sun Lovin’ Malibu” iteration manufactured in 1979.

Michael Cera as Allan

Yes, this was an actual Barbie. Cera’s collared striped shirt Allan stole the show in all his scenes that he was in and guess what….it’s a real barbie. He was Ken’s buddy who was introduced in 1964.

Emerald Fennell as Midge

Knocked Up Barbie Midge! Barbie’s pregnant pal with her red locks, her purple dress and, of course, her baby bump, Emerald Fennell’s character looks just like the doll that was pulled from shelves in 2003. Midge was actually part of the Mattel franchise long before to her time with child, first appearing in 1963 as a friend of Barbie’s.

Issa Rae as President Barbie

In ‘Barbie’, Issa Rae’s character is president, but in real life, Barbie has been running for office since 1992. During her first campaign, the feminine figurine was sold with a patriotic inaugural ball gown and a skirt suit option (for her in-office affairs).

The Mattel-made politician continues to evolve with every election year: in 2004, Barbie got a pantsuit makeover (as pictured), and two Barbies ran on an all-female ticket in 2016. During the 2020 presidential race, the toy company released a four-doll Campaign Team set with a Black Barbie candidate, a campaign manager, a fundraiser and a voter.

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie

Kate McKinnon was the other Barbie who stole the show along with Michael Cera’s Allan. Her cropped destroyed haircut looks like an evil child armed with scissors did it, and the colors across her face suggest that markers were involved. McKinnon’s tagline — “This Barbie is always in the splits” — suggests the same. This doll isn’t Mattel-made, but a mangled Barbie is as recognizable as any signature figurine.

Dua Lipa as the Mermaid Barbies

Dua Lipa’s mermaid is from the Dreamtopia cartoon web-series.

Alexandra Shipp as Writer Barbie

Alexandra Shipp’s Barbie isn’t based on any one accomplished author in particular, though Mattel did add a Maya Angelou doll to its Inspiring Women series in 2021.

Simu Liu as Ken #2

Simu Liu’s version is just another version of Ken.

Ncuti Gatwa as Ken #4

Another Ken but Ncuti Gatwa’s cowboy hat and guitar calls one vintage version to mind. This Ken looks a lot like Barbie’s boyfriend in the Grand Ole Opry Country Duet set made in 1999.

(Visited 180 times, 2 visits today)