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.
The official Mattel site for Barbie Collector featuring a Doll Showcase including 600+ Barbie Collector dolls dating back to 1980.
- Vintage Barbie Dolls
If you're looking for Vintage Barbie, there's a ton of choices here and everything is categorized for easy finding by era and type of Barbie doll.
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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