Getting Started In Collecting Vintage Barbie Dolls

FamilyKids & Teens

  • Author Shannon Rae Treasure
  • Published June 6, 2011
  • Word count 424

Girls all over the world are mesmerized by the beauty of this slender three dimensional plastic doll named Barbie. It is interesting to take note however, that even women in their thirties are still interested in the collection of Barbie figures. From a Barbie doll fairytale collection to a summertime escapade theme, this toy has tremendously evolved for the past 4 decades. It was invented by Ruth Handler and was named after her daughter Barbara Handler.

The first few dolls created were priced at $3 each. The first Barbie doll wore a pony tail, bathing suit, sunglasses, earrings, and an open toe pair of shoes. Her bathing suit design is a striped black and white zebra print. This is the most valuable Barbie doll today and there are only a few collectors who have it as its the rarest to find. The next few collections are named according to the hairstyle they have. The next to come was named the Barbie Ponytail Dolls which are numbered from according to the year they came out. Ponytail Dolls number 1 and 2 came in 1959, number 3 (1960), number 4 (1960), number 5 (1961), and number 6 and 7 (1962-1966).

The next vintage collection that came after this was called the Barbie Bubblecut Dolls which were manufactured within 1961 to 1967. It also came around the same time when Jacqueline Kennedy was the first lady, thus the resemblance of the doll to her. In 1963, Fashion Queen Barbie came with painted hair and with three wigs to choose from since wigs were a popular ladies’ commodity at that time.

Then in 1964, the Barbie Swirl Ponytail became popular and the enhanced look of the Barbie made it look more glamorous with several new clothing and accessories to collect. Production of this Barbie went on until 1966 and this is the collection that has been sought after by most collectors today. Also in the same year, Miss Barbie came and was the first sleep-eyed doll to also have bendable legs. Her hair was molded and also came with 3 exchangeable wigs.

By 1965, American Girl Barbie was popular for its new shoulder length hairstyle with bangs. Then the revolutionary Color Magic Barbie came in 1966 with a choice of blonde or black hair which would change to a scarlet hue after applying a solution to it. Its makeup is also very vibrant which really matched its theme of exploding colors.

However, this is the rarest one to find nowadays and the most expensive one too. The dolls that were made in the succeeding years are now referred as the Mod Era Barbie dolls which are released between 1967 and 1972.

If you would like to get started in collecting dolls, or introduce a loved one to the tradition of doll collecting it might be a good idea to start with dolls that interest them and are of relatively low cost. Our Generation Dolls are great for younger girls while Monster High Dolls might be better aimed at pre-teen and teenage young ladies.

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