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  • Frank Hall


The original Barbie doll created by Ruth Handler, manufactured by Mattel, debuted at the American International Toy Fair in New York 1959 selling for $3.00. She had very pale skin and black eyeliner, offered as a blonde or brunette, wearing a graphic black and white swimsuit. In pristine condition she is worth about $27,000.00 today. Over six decades Barbie has been the biggest selling fashion doll with billions sold.

Barbie's 2023 trend is lots of pink shades, tights and hair bands bringing back the 1980's look. Of course, The Barbie Movie was a great marketer for her this year.

If you are collecting Barbies, do your research. There is lots of information on websites to read. Rarity is important. Did this Barbie have a great run? Did it sell well? Condition plays a very large portion of the value. Was it played with as a toy? It is in its original packaging and is it in good condition or is the box showing wear and distress? Nostalgia and pop culture for certain Barbies can increase the value.

Preserve your collection by keeping them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Keep them in an acid free box and tissue paper.

Future Barbies are always being created by Mattel but a large percentage will be mass produced and will not grow in value. Others such as the ones released during the recent Barbie Movie will probably increase in value for collectors.

"Pink Diamond Barbie" was designed by Stefanie Canturi, an Australian jeweler. Her necklace has a one carat pink diamond surrounded by three carats of white diamonds. It is the most expensive Barbie to be sold at auction through Christie's. The sale price was $302,500, proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


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