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Appraisal Values & Pricing Factors for BARBIE DOLLS

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Mattel Skipper Doll ca 1963 in original boxMattel's Barbie Doll was born in 1959. It falls in the category of Fashion Dolls and has evolved and transformed hundreds of times. Various sizes, figure lines, attire, professions, ethnicity and even attitudes have managed to marketeer Barbie dolls into almost every household. Her exaggerated bodily proportions is a palpable feature and is often most criticized because it offers a distorted idealistic view of the female human body. It is said that if a Barbie doll is enlarged to human size, it would actually look utterly grotesque, but Mattel's designers are very observant and knowledgeable on how to tweak certain dimensions at the realm of small scales to create a pleasing result.

Highly collectible, yet her broad appeal was fed by extensive advertising and mass-production. In most cases durable and sturdy, Barbie dolls are intended to be played with copiously, albeit probably cared for to a much higher degree than most other childhood toys, which however also means that condition is an important factor on how older Barbie dolls are appraised. Completeness and original packaging are evident considerations as most also come with several doll accessories, changes of clothing, tiny doll jewelry and all sorts of paraphernalia - including her male companion, Ken, who was introduced in 1961 and has ever since been tirelessly chasing Barbie in a most awkward on-off fictitious romantic relationship ever... Skipper, her little sister - pictured on this page - is yet another character associated with Barbie and was introduced in 1963.

Rarity of Barbie dolls, that makes up another significant aspect that influences pricing and worth, is measured by the numbers of each model's issue. Vintage age of manufacturing usually predicates that older Barbie dolls were made in lower numbers and provided all other factors fair well, should normally fetch higher prices at auction. Because some Barbies were designed with a specific audience in mind, for example ethnic models, those numbers are also somewhat low, especially from earlier years of output.

Various controversies surrounding the design and overall look of Barbie dolls or certain models have played a prominent role in propagating myths and judgmental opinions, some of which appear over-analytical and perhaps exaggerated - it is toy, after all, that is supposed to invoke fantasy - and no, they do not affect little girls' perception of the world or cause imbalanced emotional responses damaging one's intelligence. Populist high-school level psychology in this case seems a bit misguided and it is an incontestable fact that the Barbie brand has endured and perhaps even been helped by all these innuendos in a marketing sense, as a serious and prized collectible that achieves high sale prices at auction.

Below are some examples of Barbie dolls of all types or ages and related items from our Pricing Guides database.

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  • Lot of Barbie. MIB 1963 Barbie's "Keys to
    Fame" game by Mattel Stock No 5410. MIB Blonde Ponytail Barbie doll PB-03BL PB Barbie Pink Evening W/Blonde. Mattel © 1986 © Ma-Ba-Made in Japan. MIB No. 1993 BILLY ... [more like this]
  • #6 Vintage Blonde Ponytail Barbie Doll, has
    some light green ears, no neck splits, hair is still originally set, original painted face, some green spots on the back of one elbow, Straight leg Barbie only body B126, ... [more like this]
  • Blonde No.5 Ponytail Barbie Doll. Description
    This lovely blonde Barbie doll has had her ponytail undone; otherwise, a very nice doll with no damage. Two catalogs and original stand are included. Condition (Excellent). ... [more like this]
    COLLECTIBLES: original 1959 #1 Barbie with copper tubes in the bottom of her feet; distinct white eyes with black outlines and blue eye shadow; arched eye brows; blonde hair; ... [more like this]
  • Ash Blonde Swirl Ponytail Barbie Doll. Description
    This Barbie is in wonderful condition but her original ponytail has been undone. Two catalogs and original stand are also included. Condition (Excellent). ... [more like this]
  • Early 1960s Ponytail Barbie & Ken Doll. Description
    This lot includes an original blonde No. 5 Barbie, her hair still in its original ponytail with no straining or damage of any kind. Also includes an original 1962 brunette ... [more like this]
  • Lot of 4: Barbie Family Dolls. Description
    This lot includes a Blonde No. 5 Ponytail Barbie with cut hair, a blonde Bubble Cut Barbie, a brunette Bubble Cut Barbie, and a brunette Midge. Condition (Very Good - Excellent). ... [more like this]
  • Lot of 4: Barbie and Family Dolls. Description
    Blonde swirl ponytail Barbie with tagged dress; Twist ‘n Turn Trade In Barbie with real eyelashes and original swimsuit; Francie with real eyelashes, bending legs, original ... [more like this]
  • Lot of Barbie. (2) Dolls - honey blonde Midge
    dressed in tagged "Friday Night Date" outfit with tray/glasses. Redhead Ponytail Barbie dressed in tagged navy/white stripe strapless dress. Condition: age discoloration on ... [more like this]
  • Pair of Barbie Dolls. Description One ponytail
    Barbie reproduction, probably Ward’s 1972 doll. One ash blonde bubble cut #850, boxed with stand, wrist tag, booklet and shoes.Condition (Excellent). ... [more like this]
  • Lot of 3: Early 1960s Barbie & Midge Dolls.
    Description This lot includes a No. 5 Blonde Barbie with no staining or damage, her original ponytail is not intact. Also includes a very clean brunette Bubble Cut Barbie ... [more like this]

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