Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration. Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over six decades, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parodies of the doll and her lifestyle. Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company's largest and most profitable line. The brand has expanded into a media franchise since the late 1980s, including a long-running media/multimedia franchise of computer-animated films that began in 2001. From the following year until 2017, the films were broadcast regularly on the Nickelodeon cable channel in the United States.