Barbie Doll Collector Handbook - The History Of Collecting
As the popularity of the Barbie doll continues to carry on to the 50 year mark, collectible Barbie dolls are also gaining in popularity. Here's a quick rundown through time into the world of collecting Barbies.
Doll collectors have loved collecting vintage Barbie dolls since the 70's. The reason for this is because up until around 1967, Mattel produced a very high quality doll with top of line fashions to go with her. These dolls are known as the "vintage" line.
It was after this time period when the new look Barbie came out, along with modern fashions. The 70's began a period in time when Mattel began to focus more on profits than on quality. Dolls of the 70's and even the 80's were designed more for play. They became more plastic and of lower quality. With their new look fashions and all the glitz and glamour, there was nothing unique and worth collecting with these dolls. So, the early dolls became a hit with collectors.
It wasn't until 1986 when things began to change. Mattel released a doll that was designed for older collectors. Porcelain Rhapsody In Blue Barbie was actually a porcelain version of Barbie. That was fine, but it was only the beginning of much bigger things to come.
Two years later, in 1988, Mattel came out with its Happy Holiday Barbie. The doll was an extremely limited edition, and sales were strong. It soon became difficult to get your hands on one, and now this doll is worth close to 0.
Of course, this success gave Mattel the idea to produce a Happy Holiday Barbie doll every year. Along with that, they also came out with a 35th Anniversary Barbie Doll. This was arguably the hardest to find collector Barbie ever made. It was a reproduction of the original 1959 doll that started it all.
Suddenly, just like the Beanie Baby craze, collectors snapped up every doll they could find. Prices skyrocketed on the collectible market. It was short lived though. Mattel decided to fix things by increasing the production to a point where collecting was no longer a matter of financial gain. The bottom dropped out on these dolls almost overnight.
Today, collector Barbie dolls are still hot, but only with certain dolls and accessories. For example, an original 1959 Barbie has sold for ,000. As for the future, only time will tell, but I wouldn't bet against a new collector craze coming. After all, her 50th birthday is on the horizon.
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