Barbie as collectors object
"Barbie" is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.; "Fashion Royalty" and "Candi" are registered trademarks of Integrity Toys, Inc.
Marcdolls are not affiliated in any way with the manufacturers of these dolls, or any other doll manufacturer.

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Bild-Lilli, Barbie's predecessor

Barbie's Introduction

Barbie's early history

Barbie's biography

Barbie the doll

Barbie's Manufacturers Markings

Barbie's controversies

Barbie's friends and relatives

Ethnic Barbie's

Barbie's fashion

Barbie through the ages, 1959 - 2009

Barbie luxury doll to massproduction

Silkstone Barbie doll

How to care Barbie's head?

How to care Barbie's body?

How to care Barbie's clothes?

Barbie versus Bratz

Dolls of the My Scene-line

The five different collector types

Glossary of Abbreviations


  Originally, Barbie had been designed as a play doll. In the mid eighties Mattel’s
management noticed that vintage dolls were subject to collecting and traded
with often high prices. Following that time special Barbie dolls were produced
for adult collectors besides the standard play doll range. These collector dolls
series are limited productions. Some of the collectible Barbies wear fashions
that have been developed by famous designers, While others are dressed to
represent characters from the movies or television; often with special head
molds to resemble their originals. The "Dolls of the World"- series shows
Barbie with costumes of various countries and dresses of a selected ethnic
population. Starting 1994 replica Barbies appeared with the original head molds
of the first Barbie, these also wear replicas of the original vintage dresses that
were worn in the fifties. From1986 Barbie dolls became available made from
Bisquit - Porcelain. Like many others of the collector dolls these are not suitable
for children, because they do not comply with the toy-safety rules requested by
law. Rare Barbie Dolls may fetch prices of up to a couple of thousand dollars
and therefore they may be considered an investment value.

Although most of the Barbie dolls consist of plastic and are therefore show
evidence of ageing. Older or vintage dollsmay have problems, because the
synthetic material bleaches or becomes yellowish in ver bright daylight, it may
also leak oil, rub off colors or create oxydation with other materials, (eg.metal
earrings or some fabrics. Just like all in other collector spheres there are specific
rare or hard to find models, special editions and „misprints“. The latter were
mostly due to Mattels policy of producing cost-efficient. If for some reason any
materials like doll hair or fabrics could not delivered in time, the employees were
requested to use up the remaining stock of earlier production lines. That resulted
in some cases that dolls or fashions came into the shops which were different
from the basic model line. So it is possible also for Barbie’s world to have some
kind of a „blue Mauritius“.  In the late sixties the catalogues announced a new
friend: "Becky, but she never made it into the shelves." But despite cancellations
some of the prototypes found their way into collections over the decades. Such
and similar cases happen once in a while up to today; and Barbie collectors
comment this with the quotation: „this is from Becky-country“.

Mattel estimates the number of devoted Barbie collectors to over 100,000, of
which about ninety percent are middle aged women, they purchase an average
of over twenty Barbie-dolls per Year. Forty five percent of this group spend up
to one thousand dollars and more.

“Oldtimers”, or the appropriately called: Vintage Barbie dolls from the initial
production Years are among the most valuable dolls at auctions, while the
original Number 1 Barbie had a price tag of 3 US$ in 1959, a mint Barbie of 1959
in an original box sold for 3552.50 US$ at an eBay auction in October 2004.

On September 26. 2006 a Barbie reached a world record in a single auction bid at Christie’s in London which raised an incredible, 9000.00 (17000.00 US$). The doll: a 1965 Barbie Midnight Red was part of a private collection of a total of 4000 Barbie dolls.
These were offered for sale by a dutch woman, Letje Raebel and her daughter Marina.
In the past Years Mattel has sold a wide selection of Barbie-dolls that specifically attracted doll collectors, among these were, also Porcelain versions, Reproductions of vintage models, e.g. originals from the late fifties. But just as well portrays of well known actors or stars from the stage, movies or television, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra ort he cast of Star Trek belong to this spezial production range.
 Frequently there are collectors editions of Barbie dolls representing many different ethnic identities.
2004 Mattel presented a new color-Label System for their Barbie collector editiond, starting with pink, black, silver, gold and platinum these  color labels indicate the grand total of the manufactured dolls of each of these lines.
This Year 2009, precisely on March 09. Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday and Mattel already announced a selection of new reproductions from the early sixties, to mark the occasion.

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