Collect Barbie Dolls--make Money With Your Hobby

By: John Mowatt
Barbie will be 50 years old in 2009. Wow I wish we all looked that good at 50. Of course she has had plastic surgery over the decades. She has even had a complete body replacement.

Barbie was first made in 1959 by Mattel and millions have been sold all over the globe since then. Barbies official birthday is March 9th 1959 which is when she was shown at the New York toy Fair. She wore a one piece black and white zebra striped swimsuit,high heel open toe shoes,hoop earrings and had white sunglasses with blue lenses. She has blonde or brunette hair pulled back in a ponytail and she has strongly arched eyebrows and white irises. She was made from a type of plastic which has faded to white over the years. She has copper tubing in her legs and holes in the feet for mounting on a pedestal. She is marked JAPAN on the bottom of the right foot and on the body she is marked Barbie TM Pats. Pend. Copyright MCMVIII.

If you find one of these dolls in good condition you have a collectors delight which is worth quite a bit of money. The exact value depends on the condition and completeness of the doll. Any missing parts or damage will lower the value substantially. This doll is known as the #1 Ponytail Barbie.

The #2 Ponytail Barbie is the same as #1 except that there is no copper tubing in the legs or holes in the feet. The pedestal was changed and made with extensions to support the doll.

The #3 Ponytail Barbie is the same as #2 but has different eyebrows and blue irises. She may have blue or brown eyeliner makeup.

The #4 Ponytail Barbie is made from a non fading plastic which retains it's flesh color. She has blue eyeliner makeup.

The #5 Ponytail Barbie had a new hollow plastic body. The earlier dolls were made from solid plastic. The markings are similar with the difference that she is marked R Pats. Pend. rather than TM Pats. Pend. A new hair color was added to the line,known as titian,and dolls with this hair color are scarcer and therefore worth more than the brunette or blonde dolls. Some of these dolls had a problem in the plastic which developed a greasy look with age. If you find a matte faced doll it is worth more than a greasy faced specimen,.

The #6 Ponytail Barbie was made from a new vinyl which does not develop a greasy appearance as it ages. Her lips and fingernails are a pinkish red rather than the previous bright red. She is clad in a red swimsuit and has open toe,red,shoes.

The #7 Ponytail Barbie was made in various different hair colors including brunette, titian,lemon blonde and ash blonde. Nails and lips on this doll are coral red in color. This new edition was brought out in the 1962-1963 period and the markings became Midge TM copyright 1962/Barbie copyright 1958 by Mattel. Dolls with this new marking are often called the #7 Ponytail Barbie but many people still call them #6. Dolls made before the changeover in 1962 are scarcer and more valuable than the new edition.

Condition is undoubtedly the most important factor in putting a value on early Barbie dolls. Collectors want a doll which is clean,completely original and not damaged.Such a doll fetches top price. If the doll is in its original packaging,and in mint condition,it is a highly desirable collectors doll and will fetch a premium price. Dolls which have in any way been repaired,restored or repainted are worth less than those left in the faded original condition.

Where can you expect to find early collectible Barbie dolls? The answer is almost anywhere,if you know what you are looking for. The great majority of the general public have no knowledge of old Barbie dolls,or the fact that they are valuable. You can find old Barbie dolls sometimes by looking in thrift or second hand stores,fleamarkets and garage sales. Be sure to carry a magnifier to read the markings on the Barbie dolls when you are out there searching. Best of Luck.
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