Things to Look for in Barbie Doll Collectibles

Barbie doll collectibles were first introduced on March 9, 1959, to the joy of millions of little girls around the world. Over the years, Barbie has gone through a multitude of clothes, accessories and professions. Today, putting together a Barbie doll collection is a worthy and challenging pursuit for those who love collectible dolls.

Terminology for Barbie Doll Collectibles
First, it is important to understand the terminology about how Barbies and their accessories are rated.

  • Modern: Manufactured after 1972
  • Vintage: Manufactured before 1972.
  • MIB: Mint in box
  • NRFB: Mint and never been removed from box
  • MNB: Mint without a box
  • NM: Near mint
  • HTF: Difficult or hard to find
  • OSS: Wearing an original swim suit
  • Customized doll: A doll that was made only for one retail outlet, company or catalog, such as Target.

Generally speaking and depending on condition, a vintage Barbie will be worth more than a modern Barbie. A Barbie that is NRFB is probably going to be more valuable than a comparable Barbie that is MIB.

Identifying Barbies
As time passed, Barbie changed. The first, original Barbie, manufactured in 1959, has eyes with white irises and blue liner. This Barbie has holes in her feet and has a tendency to turn white over time. The original Barbie is called #1 Ponytail.

The second Barbie, called #2 Ponytail, was also produced in 1959. The only difference between #1 Ponytail and #2 Ponytail is that #2 Ponytail doesn't have holes in her feet.

#3 Ponytail, offered in 1960, has blue irises and less dramatic eyebrows than earlier Barbies. This Barbie's eyebrows have a soft curve to them.

#4 Ponytail also arrived in 1960. The difference between this Barbie and #3 Ponytail is that Mattel started using a vinyl for the doll's body that would not turn white over time.

In 1961, Mattel introduced #5 Ponytail. Now, Barbie has a different texture of hair than previous Barbies. The doll is also hollow for the first time, resulting in a lighter weight Barbie.

During the mid-1960s, Mattel offered Barbies with "Twist -N Turn Waists." These Barbies can be moved or turned at their waists.

Barbie Education
The best advice before starting any new collectible collection is to get an education before you invest a huge amount of money. There are many books available on Barbie dolls that will give you information ranging from pictures of vintage Barbie dolls to estimates on Barbie values. Check out online auctions for more information about the value of these dolls. In addition, Mattel has a website that is dedicated to collecting Barbies that is full of useful information.

Similar Questions on
Related Life123 Articles

It's important to understand which antique or collectible is worth buying before you begin a collection. When it comes to building your own collection of pottery or glass, be creative in your approach so you can enjoy each item for its own sake.

Some Babe Ruth baseball cards are among the most collectible memorabilia in sports. Learn how to shop for them.

Frequently Asked Questions on
More Related Life123 Articles

Learn how early alchemy chemistry and Johann Friedrich Bottger are tied together.

Walk into any antique show in the Southwestern United States, and you are likely to see at least one booth filled with colored glass, especially purple glass of varying shades, from almost clear to a deep purple that still maintains some transparency.

Why are pottery markings important? Throughout time, pottery artists have signed their work.

© 2015 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company