Barbie Dolls Collectibles

Introduced by Mattell in 1959, Barbie took the toy world by storm during her first year of production, with more than 350,000 Barbie dolls sold, along with thousands of her accessories.

Today, Barbie faces some pretty fierce competition for girls' available playtime (and parents' wallets) from Bratz, but there's no doubt that the original teenage fashion doll is still tops among adult collectors.

Mattell pays special attention to their collectors with new limited and collectible releases of Barbie dolls every year, so there's something for every collector at all price ranges -- from the thousands of dollars that a vintage #1 Ponytail Barbie will cost to the Pink Box Barbies that won't set you back more than $10 or $20.

And of course, once you start collecting Barbie, you'll find yourself hankering to collect her accessories too. In fact, if you are anything like me, it will be the multitude of Barbie fashions that will prove most desirable!

There are tons of fashions, furniture, vehicles, homes and other accessories for Barbie. And then you have her friends - from boyfriend Ken to best friends Nikki and Theresa. Probably some the most collectible dolls made by Mattel are Barbie's vintage friends - Stacie, Francie, Skipper, and Midge.

Vintage Barbie

#1 Ponytail Barbie
#1 Ponytail Barbie

Vintage Barbies

When I first started collecting Barbie, I actually started with contemporary dolls, but eventually I divested my contemporary collection in order to concentrate on vintage dolls and even there, I specialize. My own collection consists strictly of Mod Barbie dolls and accessories. Right now I have two vintage Twist n Turn Barbies with the flip hair style, one regular Twist n Turn Barbie and one Stacie. I also have tons of the mod era outfits. I'd like to get my hands on a Twiggy doll and a Francie doll too.

One of the big advantage of Mod era Barbie is that she is still fairly easy to find at decent prices, unlike the Vintage Ponytail Barbies that can set you back thousands.

Don't Touch that Box!

I think one of the big advantages of collecting vintage Barbie over collecting contemporary Barbie is the whole box issue. This is true of a lot of collectibles and not just Barbie, but I think it is a sad situation overall -- only dolls that have Never Been Removed From Their Boxes are of any real value.

Personally, I prefer the vintage dolls that I can pick up and touch and pose on their furniture and change outfits on. That sounds like much more fun than displaying a doll in its plastic case where you can barely see what she looks like. In fact, when I did collect contemporary dolls I took many of them out of their boxes. I call it the deboxing revolution. Of course, I do not recommend this route if you ever plan on selling off some of your dolls. You will get very little for them once they are taken out of the box, even if you keep the box!

To each their own though. If you collect Barbie and only want NRFB dolls, there are certainly plenty available. Just take a look at some of these Barbie Doll collectibles on Ebay.

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Comments 13 comments

reversefunnelsyst profile image

reversefunnelsyst 8 years ago from Nashville

I have collected Barbie Dolls. I loved international dolls. I collected Gone with the Wind Barbies too. It is fun to have all of them at home. Not anymore. I stopped doing it. I am sure one day my kids would love them!

Great hub about barbie dolls.! My friend had some older dolls and they were worth thousands of dollars! She sold them on ebay later.

Anyway thanks for sharing


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

It's amazing how many people collect these! And how about those giant barbie heads that you put makeup on? Do a hub on those! I always wanted one! :)

DustyShoe profile image

DustyShoe 8 years ago from Boise, ID

I was 12 when the first Barbie's came out. My Mom told me I was too old for dolls, but I sure wanted one, so saved my money and got one anyway - as well as my sister who is older than I. They were so different than other dolls on the market at the time. I kept it until about 2 years ago, when I finally sold it on eBay for a hefty profit! Nice article.

embitca profile image

embitca 8 years ago from Boston Author

Tatyana, I used to have the Gone With the Wind Scarlett doll. Unfortunately, one of my dogs decided to eat her hair!

Isabella, the big Barbie heads scare me LOL I actually used to have one when I was a kid, hahahha!

Dusty, you must have made a pretty penny on Ebay for her!

desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Fun parents spent so much on Barbie stuff, beauty shops, dream houses, convertibles, the other characters, boyfriends, girlfriends, Skipper-the little sister, and those stylish cases for the clothes! The clothes! Maybe that's where I originated my interest in fashion!

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

How come I never had the chance to play with Barbie dolls? I think I grew up too it too late to start? :)

embitca profile image

embitca 8 years ago from Boston Author

Ripplemaker, it is never too late to start :)

Desert Blondie, I definitely think Barbie's clothes are one of the main draws of collecting. They are pretty extraordinary.

starcatchinfo profile image

starcatchinfo 8 years ago


Nice Autumn 7 years ago

I don't collect barbies but I have the Twiggy doll, that is all for me, is all an Icon

rainbow horse profile image

rainbow horse 7 years ago from Roseburg, OR

Barbie dolls are my passion. great article!

gwen 6 years ago

Great doll photo! It looks awesome! but, uhh, that's not actually a number one barbie. It has blue eye shadow and colored irises. The number ones had black and white irises and black-only eye shadow. I'd say it's probably a three...

Anyway, good article, and I just thought you'd want to know :)

And yes, it is always more fun to take them out of the box!

ladyjane 5 years ago

You mentioned Twiggy...Oh boy, did I want to be her. I used to buy the Yardley of London lipstick that she wore and advertised. It was called "Iced Pink." All pale lipstick was the rage, even white!

Marilyn 4 years ago

I have a Barbie that I've had since dec of 1988 here and was wonder what collection it would be from

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