When Barbie was created, the doll became popular because it was the first doll a little girl played with to pretend to be grown up. Mothers liked the doll because it was marketed to teach grooming habits to girls. As of 2015, marketing and doll collecting keep Barbie in demand.
Mattel has been marketing the Barbie doll since the early 1960s in countless television commercials, making the doll visible to several generations. This exposure has created new fans every few years. Because Barbie has been around for over 50 years, there are hundreds of versions of the doll, some more iconic than others. Most women under the age of 60 have owned at least one Barbie doll and many have kept the dolls over the years as a collectible.
One of the factors that give the Barbie doll long term popularity is that Mattel is consistently releasing new Barbie dolls, play sets, clothing, accessories and entertainment media. All of these factors make the toy a highly sought after piece of merchandise. Some dolls have a higher value than others, which can be seen on any online auctioning site. Barbie forums provide information about auctions and anything relevant to the Barbie brand.