Collecting Barbie Dolls

Is it her long blonde hair, her lovely face, her perfect body, or her amazing wardrobe that attracts us to the Barbie doll? Most women under 45 years of age in the USA have owned a Barbie doll and most have owned several. Most of us have also owned the Ken doll (AKA Barbie’s boyfriend), Barbie’s friends and the many countless accessories. When it comes to Barbie dolls, some collect vintage Barbie and others collect the modern collectible Barbie dolls.

Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Barbie is manufactured by American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. Ruth Handler an American businesswoman is credited with the creation of the Barbie doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.

Vintage Barbie dolls from the early years are the most valuable at auction, and while the original Barbie was sold for $3.00 in 1959, a mint boxed Barbie from 1959 sold for $3552.50 on eBay in October 2004. On September 26, 2006, a Barbie doll set a world record at auction of £9,000 sterling (US $17,000) at Christie’s in London. The doll was a Barbie in Midnight Red from 1965 and was part of a private collection of 4,000 Barbie dolls being sold by two Dutch women, Ietje Raebel and her daughter Marina. Read more here.

Bettina Dorfmann – Guinnes Book of World Records

No article written today about Barbie doll collecting would be complete without the mention of Bettina Dorfmann. Bettina is a Barbie doll collector from Dusseldorf, Germany and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for her collection of over 6,000 Barbie dolls – one of the biggest in the world! It is reported that Bettina keeps dolls in a bedroom, her cellar and half the kitchen in her house and plans to collect at least 10,000.

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