Barbie dolls are made of polyvinyl chloride, synthetic fiber, elastomer, PBT and water-based paint. The materials used to make a Barbie has changed since the first Barbie was created in 1959. As of 2014, the soft vinyl, elastomer, and PBT provide more flexibility and realistic movement to the modern day Barbie. In the past, Mattel used porcelain to create the expensive, collector’s edition Barbie dolls.
Polyvinyl is the primary material used to make a Barbie doll. This material is commonly referred to as vinyl or PVC. This thermoplastic polymer is combined with a plasticizer to increase flexibility and make the doll less brittle.
Synthetic fibers are used to make the hair on Barbie dolls. These fibers are rooted and dyed to offer different colors and styles.
Elastomer is used around the stomach area on the doll to create a more realistic range of movement. It allows the 2014 Barbie doll to withstand posing and bending. The newer materials used to make the Barbie improve durability and help the doll withstand biting and normal wear and tear.
PBT is known as an engineering thermoplastic, and it gives the Barbie doll an even and realistic complexion. Water-based paint is used to create the dolls eyes.