Barbie doll values of the past and present. The difference in values of the Barbie dolls are truly amazing. Whether the dolls are mint in box or never removed from the box will make a differene.
Throughout this article you will see the following collector’s terminology: MIN (Mint In Box), NRFM (Never Removed from Box), and/or MNB (Mint No Box). You may want to consider keeping your Barbie doll in its original box. This keeps your doll in good condition and make sure the box is intact. If you do not have a curio to display your dolls in their original boxes, I would recommend wrapping them in clear plastic.
Hopefully, your collection includes a few of the limited and collector’s editions. They are both produced in quantities of 35,000, but the limited edition is produced in lesser quantities of 35,000. The first limited edition Barbie doll was produced in 1986. Keep in mind that the Barbie dolls that were first produced will continue to increase in value. There is not any guarantee that the dolls you purchase will increase in value. Basically, I would suggest that you purchase the dolls that appeal to you. One thing to remember is that Barbie dolls that are blonde are more common that brunettes.
Since there are a few people that do not know how Barbie began her career, let’s review. Ruth Handler, who resided in Willows, Wisconsin, created the Barbie doll. What I found interesting is that Ruth was the co-founder of Mattel. The first Barbie she created was in 1959 and she named it Barbara after her daughter. As far as I can tell, the 1959 Barbie doll was only on the market for a few months. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and you may remember that she has a boyfriend. His name is Ken, which was named after Ruth Handler’s son. Ken and Barbie have been together since 1961. Believe it or not, the value of the 1959 Barbie doll in mint condition (NRFM) has sold for up to $8,000 apiece if in mint condition, while the original value was $3.00!
As of April 15, 1997, the most expensive Barbie doll is Pink Splendor worth $900 retail price. Her debut was 1996. Do you have the 1997 Happy Holidays Barbie doll? If you were a member of the Barbie collectors club, you more than likely had the privilege of purchasing her. There is a gold colored background in the packaging for the brunette and African American dolls. This was only available on the first 27% of the 1997 Happy Holiday Barbie doll packaging. You will notice the gold inserts in a background of white on the remaining packaging. What fascinated me is that these dolls normally were produced with blue eyes, which was a mistake. If you will notice most of the Barbie dolls have green eyes.
If you have Barbie doll #4, you may want to take a good look at her. She is a tan color and her bangs are tightly curled. Have you noticed that the ears on one of your Barbie dolls are green? Her earrings have created a chemical reaction between the metal studs and the vinyl. This Barbie doll with a ponytail was produced in 1960. The value of the doll is from $50 to $400 in mint condition. The value of the doll NRFB is from $400 to $500.
Does your Barbie doll have an oily face? This oily surface was due to a different formula that was used. This is Barbie doll #5, and she also has a ponytail. From what I have researched, I found that the doll called Totally Hair Barbie was the best selling Barbie doll at the end of December 1997. She had hair from the top of her head to the tip of her shoes. Value of the doll in MINT condition is from $300 to $400. Value of the doll MIB is from $500 to over $600.
If the doll has been restored or altered, it will not be worth much to collectors. If the doll has been damaged in any way, it will decrease the value. An interesting observation is that the date on the doll’s abdomen is not the date it was made. Instead this date reveals when the mold was created. Be sure that you keep all the accessories with each doll. Believe it or not, this will substantially increase the value. Remember that a doll that remains in the box (NRFB) will definitely be worth more.
Below is a list of a few of the Barbie dolls with their value (source Barbie Bazaar Magazine):
Harley Davidson Barbie (first in series) — value between $180 and $300
Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) Barbie — value between $100 and $300
Little Bo Peep Barbie- value between $85 and $195
Madame Du Barbie — value $250
Barbie as Lucille Ball — value $39
Coca Cola Soda Fountain Barbie — value between $195 and $275
1988 Happy Holiday Barbie — value between $400 and $1000
Great Era Flapper — value between $175 and $200
Ken as Cowardly Lion — value between $70 and $120
A good idea would be to review more than one pricing guide, take an average of the prices you find to get an idea of the value of the doll. You may want to get your doll appraised if you are unable to locate it in a pricing guide. Even if the doll isn’t worth much to collectors, the sentimental value could make it worth more to you!