Barbie's First Apartment Was More Expensive than You'd Think

There are a lot of things you can say about Barbie — and personally, I'm counting the days until she can be replaced by an anatomically possible version — but she has come a long way since she first debuted in 1959. Today, Barbie is a successful career woman who lives in a giant pink mansion called simply the "Dream House"; back in 1959, she was just starting out and lived in a tiny studio apartment that didn't even have a kitchen. But it turns out that even that modest little apartment could have set Barbie back quite a bit, depending where exactly she lived.

The good people over at Movoto Real Estate decided to calculate just how much Barbie's original 425-square-foot studio would cost in each of the 10 largest cities in the country. And just glancing at their numbers, it seems they were mostly looking at prices if Barbie lived in downtown, since I've lived in two of those cities, and there are way cheaper places on the market if you're willing to live in less bustling neighborhoods. But still, Barbie's place in real life would have cost way more than the $20.99 price tag that the toy came with.

If Barbie were in New York, for instance, she would have had to pay $2,300 a month for her tiny place, according to Movoto's estimates. Other big cities like San Jose, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia are much more reasonable (Barbie would have paid $1,608, $1,405 and $1,240, respectively), but still, that's a lot for less than 500 square feet and no kitchen.

Movoto Real Estate/Mattel

If Barbie still wanted to live in a one of the biggest cities in the country and not blow through her whole budget, she'd do better to try cities in Texas. In San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas Barbie would be paying less than $1,000 to live in the tiny studio. Still, price tags in the $700 range are nothing to sneeze at either. Clearly real estate in America's big cities has gone way up since the 1950s. Sorry, would-be Barbies. It might be hard for you guys to recreate this experience. Though there's always Phoenix, where this studio would only cost $579 a month. That's much more doable.

To see how much the apartment would cost in America's most expensive city, San Francisco, you can head over to Motovo's website.