Once upon a time, baseball cards were the former childhood toys that often turned out to be worth millions in the collectibles market. But now, vintage Barbie dolls are muscling them aside as the treasure of choice in this Summer of Barbie. If you happen to own any pre-loved Barbie dolls, this might be your moment to cash in. We’ve rounded up a list of the top 10 most valuable vintage Barbie dolls, from 1959 to 2009, thanks to the demand for Barbies ahead of the new summer movie premiere. But don’t delay – ’cause the Summer of Barbie won’t last forever.
Vintage Barbie dolls are really valuable this summer
The hype and buzz surrounding Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie has elevated the film into an undeniable cultural moment. It’s the cinematic equivalent of attending a Taylor Swift concert. While we eagerly await its opening, we also can’t help but wonder if it really will be a box office success. And what about the people who loved playing with Barbies growing up and made the doll who she is today? Can the owners of well-loved vintage Barbies cash in on this phenomenon? And should they?
Turns out there’s good news for collectors and those who have taken care of their beloved dolls. According to our contacts at BonusFinder.com, Barbies lying around your attic could be worth up to $27,500. In general, the most valuable dolls are from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s – no surprise there. But there are some more recent Barbies on the enviable list, too. Here are the top 10 most valuable Barbies to keep an eye out for in case your neighbors are having a garage sale.
the 10 most valuable vintage Barbie dolls right now
1. Barbie #1 (1959)
She’s the original created by Ruth Handler, wife of a co-founder of the Mattel toy company, and the most valuable at an estimated $27,500.
With her dramatic makeup, signature top knot ponytail, and iconic striped bathing suit, the doll originally sold for $3. It was an immediate success selling 350,000 dolls and the rest is history.
2. Dahlia Barbie (2006)
From the Barbie Platinum Label line, Dahlia was designed by Robert Best and inspired by the exotic romanticism of Spain.
She wears a strapless gown of white on black lace with a brooch and earrings embellished with Swarovski® crystals. She’s worth an estimated $2,400.
3. Golden Gala Barbie (2009)
This retro-inspired doll was also designed by Robert Best in his signature style with an elegant gown of golden brocade.
She was given as a gift to attendees of the 2009 National Barbie Doll Collector Convention, making it a rare find. If you’re willing to part with her, you could fetch around $1,500.
4. Happy Holidays Barbie (1997)
A vision in holiday red and white splendor, this 10th Anniversary special edition of Happy Holidays Barbie is worth $1,200 and comes with a golden tiara, jeweled choker necklace and matching earrings.
Due to a factory mistake, there is a rare version of this item with a mismatch between the green eyes of the doll and the blue ones portrayed on the back of box. On average, those are worth approximately 3 times more than the flawless version!
5. City Smart Barbie (2003)
Rounding out the top 5 most valuable Barbies is this collector’s item valued at $1,150.
Only 600 of these Robert Best-designed Fashion Model Collection Barbies exist and they were only released in Japan. Dressed in a black silk shantung dress, she is the picture of city chic.
6. Byron Lars Coco Barbie (2007)
American fashion designer Byron Lars created Black Barbies for 14 years and they’re amongst the most sought-after limited-edition Barbie dolls.
This beauty is one of his 16 glamorous creations, dressed in a quilted puffer vest, lacy skirt and bustier, all pulled together with splashy accessories. It’s worth up to $1,100.
7. Special 2000 Edition Celebration Barbie (2000)
To celebrate the turn of the millenium, this special doll was released wearing a gold ball gown featuring a layered shimmering gold and silver puffed skirt with stars and snowflake accents.
She comes with a commemorative ornament and has reached a value of $1,000.
8. Barbie Baby-Sits Outfit (1963)
This accessories kit is filled with so many charming detailed items like a white plastic telephone, list of phone numbers, two white flannel diapers, safety pin, a bassinet, a brass alarm clock, 3 books (How to Lose Weight, How to Get a Raise, How to Travel), and more.
Dating back to 1963, it’s currently worth about $1,000.
9. Harvey Nichols Special Edition Barbie (1995)
This rare Barbie was originally a special limited edition model for the British luxury department store, Harvey Nichols and is now worth $900. If you’re a Barbie fanatic and an Anglophile, look no further for the ultimate doll to satisfy both whimsies.
This fancy lady wears a soft rose pink shantung silk jacket over a black dress, a chiffon stole with maribou feathers, black sunglasses, and a black patent leather shopping bag.
10. Bob Mackie Countess Dracula Barbie (2011)
The legendary designer, Bob Mackie and Barbie are a match made in fashion heaven.
This magnificent costume and soaring headpiece does this forever young and eternally beautiful Countess justice. If you’re willing to part with her, you’ll fetch around $890.
The most valuable vintage Barbies right now
That’s the list of the top 10 most valuable vintage Barbie dolls, from 1959 to 2009, thanks to the demand for Barbies ahead of the new summer movie premiere. At least as of this posting.
What do you think, dear reader? Will you hold on or cash in? And if your dolls aren’t on this list, be sure to check out this Barbie database to see if her star may be on the rise.