Future Exhibition Tickets on sale

Barbie®: The Exhibition

A major exhibition exploring the design evolution of one of the world’s most famous dolls: Barbie®. Journey into the Barbie universe and discover over 250 remarkable objects, with rare, unique and innovative dolls dating from 1959 to the present day.

1959 Barbie No. 1 © Mattel, Inc.

1992 Totally Hair Barbie photographed by Petra Rajnicova for the Design Museum

1962 Barbie Dream House © Mattel, Inc.

1961 Austin Healy. © Mattel, Inc.

1985 Day to Night Barbie © Mattel, Inc.

2016 Barbie Fashionista Blue Brocade ©Mattel, Inc.

1973 Barbie Doctor ©Mattel, Inc.

2016 Barbie Fashionista Sweetheart Stripes ©Mattel, Inc.

What to expect

Opening to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Barbie brand in 2024, the exhibition will explore the story of Barbie through a design lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design.

Highlights include a rare first edition of the very first doll released by Mattel in 1959 (‘Number 1 Barbie’), the groundbreaking Day to Night Barbie from 1985 and the best-selling Barbie of all time, 1992’s Totally Hair Barbie which sold over 10 million across the globe.

Other dolls will highlight the diversity of the Barbie range, with examples of the first Black, Hispanic and Asian dolls to bear the Barbie name, as well as dolls that reflect today’s diverse, multicultural society, including the first Barbie with Down syndrome, the first to use a wheelchair, and the first to be designed with a curvy body shape.

We'll also be showcasing the friends of Barbie, including her first friend, Midge, and the much-loved Christie and Teresa; as well as the younger sister of Barbie, Skipper. There’ll also be a section dedicated to Ken, which will see six decades’ worth of Ken dolls on show, showing his evolution from his introduction in 1961.

Other objects from this historic brand will include Dreamhouses, vehicles and furniture, including the first ever Barbie Dreamhouse™ from 1962. Together these items will show how Barbie’s homes, vehicles and other products have all helped to design the universe in which she exists and has always reflected the tastes and trends of day, engaging with modern design in an aspirational but accessible way.



Booking information

Adult tickets from £14.38
Children aged 6 to 15 from £7.19
Under 6s go free
Concession/Student tickets from £10.77

• Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Visit our terms & conditions page for further information.

• Please note that the gallery starts closing 30 minutes before the museum closes. For opening hours and further information, please check our Plan your visit page.

Members gain free access to the exhibition including a guest and up to three children, enjoy members-only previews, special discounts to events and more. Gift Membership and Student Membership are available from £45.

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