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How Much is that Dollie in the Window?
Jeff Pearson


It is estimated there are well over 100,000 avid Barbie collectors in the world. There are Barbies these days that sell anywhere from $10.00, all the way up to an obscene $85,000.00 for the Diamond Barbie.  Vintage Barbie dolls command your attention when searching for their values in today's market, so make sure you know how to use resources to assist you in finding out what you need to know.

A Barbie should be an item you have because it appeals to you.  This is the point where the value of your doll becomes intangible so even if the worth of your Barbie isn't valuable to the market, the sentimental worth could make it more valuable to you.

Created in 1959 by Ruth Handler and named after her daughter Barbara, Barbie was an instant success. First sold at the American Toy Fair in New York City, it received a cool reception from the toy buyers but today can now be found and purchased around the world.   In today's market, the first doll's value has been ranging $8,000-$12,000 to a Barbie loyalist.

Not only has Barbie undergone many changes over the years, she has managed to keep up with current trends in hairstyles, makeup and clothing. She is a reflection of the history of fashion since her introduction to the toy market.  The cost and value of the Barbie, however, depends greatly upon which Barbie you have in your possession.

According to local doll expert Scott Gram, there are some important characteristics you should look at to help determine the value of your Barbie.  The first is to examine it carefully and note wear and tear or defects.  If you have a doll that has never been removed from the box, it will carry a much higher value than one that has been removed. 

Gram also noted to look at the date on the doll's abdomen as it is not the date it was made, but instead is the date the mold was created. He stated that Barbies that have the most collector value were made in Japan and can be worth as much as substantially more than one made in Korea

Gram also pointed out that you will also need to search for the solid metal tubes in the first Barbie's legs that have matching metal holes in the bottoms of her feet as to fit on a doll stand. Surprising, the stand can be worth more than the doll since so many were thrown away.  Accessories also can fetch more of a monetary value as well such as the original clothing or hard to find outfits. 

So, how can you tell if you own a true vintage Barbie doll?  Gram once again came through with a list of important identification marks: blonde or brunette hair in a ponytail and curled bangs; eyes looking sideways with white irises, and pointy eyebrows.  Remember clothes help make the woman, and Barbie in the black and white zebra striped one piece swim suit with white sunglasses and black open-toed high heel shoes have made this lady an icon.

If you think you have a collector Barbie, the best advice; USE YOUR RECOURCES!  A professional can tell you whether your Barbies are collectible and, if so, can help provide information on what your next move should just might have a treasure.

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