Greta Gerwig's Barbie is about to be the movie of the summer, triggering what many are calling “Barbie fever”. You can't surf or scroll social networks without a flash of pink and a glimpse of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dressed as iconic Barbie and Ken.
While the brightly colored film (in theaters July 21) is likely to be a big hit, all the talk of Barbie is nostalgic for many of us. Maybe the trailer even inspired you to dig around in your basement for long-forgotten Barbie dolls. If you've stumbled across your favorites from decades past, this could be your lucky day: some of these dolls are actually worth thousands of dollars. Read on to find out how much your Barbies could be worth today.
The most valuable Barbies
According to data published by BonusFinder, specific Mattel Barbies are the most valuable to own. The Barbie coming in at number 10 is newer than you might expect – released in 2011 – but it's certainly worth more than you originally paid: the Bob Mackie Countess Dracula Barbie has a peak retail value today of €886. Next up is the 1995 Harvey Nichols Special Edition Barbie, which was only sold in England, and is now valued at €900 for resale. The eighth most valuable doll is the 1963 Barbie Baby-Sits outfit and toy set, which can fetch you €1,036, while the special edition 2000 Celebration Barbie is worth up to €1,051. The 2007 Byron Lars Coco Barbie is even more valuable, with a resale value of €1,101, and the 2003 City Smart Barbie will fetch you €1,151 from the right buyer. The special 10th anniversary edition of Happy Holidays Barbie, which debuted in 1997, is the fourth most expensive at the moment, with a resale value of €1,201.
Most expensive dolls
The third and second most expensive Barbies also date, surprisingly, from the 2000s, according to BonusFinder. Golden Gala Barbie from 2009 and Dahlia Barbie from 2006, both designed by veteran Barbie doll creator Robert Best, will set you back €1,451 and €2,423 respectively. The Golden Gala doll has a long golden mermaid-style dress, while the Dahlia Barbie has a full black dress with white lace details and white satin gloves. But there's one Barbie that far surpasses all the others, and that's the original – Barbie #1 from 1959. “It's no surprise to announce that the most valuable Barbie doll of all time is the original Barbie #1,” reads the BonusFinder survey. “This vintage Barbie doll was produced in 1959 and originally cost just €3. The maximum resale value of Barbie #1 now stands at €27,450, which is great news for anyone lucky enough to own one of these dolls.”
Protect your investment
If you can't find any of these Barbie dolls in your collection, it's still worth checking the value of the ones you do own. “As popularity and availability increase, resale value decreases. As a general rule, the older the Barbie, the more it will be worth, especially when new or in good condition,” said Fintan Costello, CEO of BonusFinder, in a press release provided to Best Life. “If you still have Barbies from the '60s, '70s or '80s, it may be worth checking their condition and value.”
If you decide to sell your Barbie dolls, keep a few things in mind. It's best to keep the Barbie in the best possible condition to preserve its resale value. Avoid exposing her to direct sunlight and heat, which can damage her. Clean her regularly using a dry cloth, toothbrush or make-up brush. If you've kept the original boxes, that's even better, as it protects your Barbie from damage and makes the doll more precious.
When looking to sell your Barbie dolls, always check other listings to make sure your Barbie comes with all the extra items it should. Otherwise, the value can drop considerably. It's also advisable to call in experts or professional appraisers to get an accurate estimate of your collection's value.
If you own vintage Barbies, they could well be worth a small fortune today. Check the condition and value of your dolls, and decide whether you want to keep them as an investment or sell them for profit. Either way, it's important to take good care of your Barbies to preserve their future value.