Antique Barbie dolls rate among the top most popular collectible dolls in the world. If you are interested in starting a collection, knowing what to look for when searching for Barbies will make all of the difference in the quality of your dolls.
Barbie Dolls and Terminology
Like any antique or collectible, condition is everything with vintage Barbie dolls. While not all of the terminology that is used relating to Barbies is concerned with condition, many of the terms are universal and can be used when working with other collectibles. These terms include:
Barbie C Grading System
Another way to look at Barbie conditions is by using the C grading system, understanding that you may grade a given Barbie doll differently than someone else. Barbies in the first two levels, C-1 and C-2, can be used for parts only. Barbies in levels C-3 to C-6 have been loved and damaged, but can be restored. C-7 Barbies are A/O, but are not in mint condition. It is the C-8 to C-10 Barbies that most collectors usually want. Barbies that are rate C-10 are equivalent to mint in box.
Vintage Madame Alexander dolls remain highly collectible in today's market despite, or perhaps due to, the popularity of the line's contemporary dolls.
Barbie doll history is actually far stranger than the doll itself.