When we were kids, Barbie dolls used to be the cutest toys. You could do anything with them. However, there are some Barbie dolls that even though they are toys, are so expensive that you would be shocked at the price.
You would probably ask yourself “aren’t they just Barbie dolls?”. You could even find that some of the Barbie dolls you used to play with when you were younger are currently worth millions of dollars.
Barbie dolls are without a doubt the most collected dolls in history. From the first one that went on sale in 1959 to the present day, an innumerable variety of Barbie’s has appeared, with all kinds of clothes, accessories, and hair and body variants.
Are you interested in the most expensive Barbie dolls in history? Keep reading.
What is a Barbie Doll?
Barbie dolls are 11-inch- (29-cm-) tall plastic dolls with the figure of an adult woman. Barbie was first introduced to the public on March 9th, 1959, at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
Named after creator Ruth Handler’s daughter, and inspired by the German doll Bild Lilli, Barbie was created to fill a gap in the American market of adult-bodied girls’ dolls.
During the first year of production, over 350,000 dolls were sold. However, despite Barbie’s initial success, many parents were concerned about the mature appearance of Barbie’s body, but Ruth Handler saw it as important to give young girls a distinctly adult role model to look up to and aspire to.
She was a doll that represented a modern, well-rounded woman who could be anything from a mother to a doctor to an astronaut.
Most of them had adjustable and moveable body parts. It also had braidable hair. It could sit, stand, and had a head that could turn in any direction. They were the best gifts for infant females.
How to Know a Valuable Barbie Doll?
Like I mentioned earlier, you could even have a Barbie doll in your closet worth a whole lot of money. Asides from that, the most expensive Barbie dolls in history are on this list for a reason. The reason why the dolls on this list are so expensive are-
The most factor that makes the Barbie dolls on this list so expensive is their condition. Naturally, collectors will be willing to pay a lot more money for a doll that is in mint condition compared to a doll of the same model that is damaged beyond repair. The doll will be especially valuable if it is in its original box and comes with all its original accessories.
On the other hand, if the item is missing parts, or has suffered any damage such as a cut or matted hair, chipped paint, scratching, or anything else that compromises its original appearance, its worth will be decreased significantly.
The most expensive Barbie dolls in history are that expensive, mostly because they are rare. If you have a doll that is everywhere in the market, odds are that it would not be worth so much. Aside from rare collectors’ models, your Barbie’s age will be the most likely factor in determining its rarity; the older your doll is, the rarer it will probably be.
#Identity of the doll
The next step to determining the price and value to be attached to a Barbie doll is its identity. The year and model of the doll would be determined. While older dolls do tend to be rarer and thus more expensive, there are still plenty of younger collectible models that could be worth much more than you might expect.
It can often be helpful to compare your Barbie to what dolls of the same model have sold for in the past. Price guides can be a beneficial tool to assist in doing so, as they provide comprehensive lists of what Barbie’s have sold for in the past, given that they are in good condition.
While the above factors undoubtedly play a role in affecting the worth of your Barbie, even the most meticulous and observant amateur is prone to making mistakes. The only way to acquire a truly accurate estimate of an item’s value is to seek professional appraisal and thus narrow the margin for error as much as possible.
10 Most Expensive Barbie Dolls in History
#10. Marie Antoinette
The Barbie Marie Antoinette is one of the rare dolls that belong to a limited edition of a line of women called the Women of Royalty Series. The most expensive and sought-after is Marie Antoinette, probably because of her beauty and the complex and elaborate dress.
Although it is one of the most expensive and limited-edition Barbie dolls, fortunately, it is not difficult to find and can be found online for sale. This doll has a sophisticated look and is truly one of the most expensive dolls in history.
#9 Sweet Dreams Barbie
Sweet Dreams Barbie is the second Barbie doll that went on sale in its history. It has brown hair and looks like a doll about to go to bed. She is mostly rare because of her hair color and its originality.
It originally went on sale the same year as the first Barbie doll, in 1959. In the photo, we can see the doll in its original box. With a price of $5,500, it is one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history.
#8 Lorraine Schwartz Barbie
Lorraine Schwartz is a very famous American jewelry designer, who has great celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Cate Blanchett, Gail Barry, and Beyoncé as clients.
Together with Mattel, Lorraine Schwartz created this Barbie, called “Bling Barbie” but also known as the “Lorraine Schwartz Barbie”. She has $ 25,000 worth of diamonds on her outfit, but the doll sold for only $ 7,500 at auction. Either way, it is among the most expensive Barbie dolls ever sold.
#7 Abend Barbie Gala
This is a Barbie doll that was marketed in 1965 exclusively in Japan and Europe, hence its rarity. Her outfit is the most expensive in the French line of Barbie dolls and was designed by Anne Marie Crivelli.
In 2006, a copy of the Abend Barbie Gala was sold at auction at Christie’s, fetching no less than $ 13,673. Not only is its outfit exquisite, but the Barbie doll itself also has an aura of royalty. With black hair and blue eye, the Abend Barbie Gala is one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history.
#6. Pink Diamond Barbie
With only one of them in existence, this Barbie doll is easily one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history. The Pink Diamond Barbie made her debut at The Blond’s New York Fashion Week SS ’13 show in September 2012.
The Barbie sold for $15,000 and all proceeds were donated to the MAC Aids Fund Organization. The Pink Diamond Barbie is wearing fuchsia and rose ‘gem-encrusted mini corset dress and pumps that were hand-embellished by The Blonds. To top off her look, the Pink Diamond Barbie has a luxe faux fur coat, pink studded earrings, and a pink sparkling ring.
#5. Barbie in Midnight Red
Released in 1965, the Barbie in Midnight Red is one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history. In 2006, auction house Christie’s held a sale for a collection of over 4,000 Barbie.
Many of the Barbies were sold for a lot of money, but Barbie in Midnight Red was the belle of the ball. While Barbie in Midnight Red was not initially expected to rake in that much, she sold for over $17,000. At the time, this was the most someone had ever paid for a Barbie at auction.
#4. Original 1959 Barbie
Barbie made her debut in 1959 and has been sold for a whopping price of $27,450. As an original Barbie, of course, it is worth this amount of money. This barbie, being an original, her condition does not affect her worth. However, any original Barbie that is in mint condition and comes with her original accessories and even her box can sell for over $35,000.
Some things to look out for when shopping or selling an original Barbie are a “Made in Japan” stamp on the bottom of one foot; divided fingers instead of the connected fingers that most Barbie has; “Barbie” stamped on one hip; and a high ponytail style. It is one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history.
#3. De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie
In 1999, Mattel celebrated Barbie’s 40th anniversary by commissioning De Beers, a famous international diamond company, to design a special Barbie. The De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie came with an $85,000 price tag and was decked out in De Beers’ diamonds.
For this luxury edition of the 40th anniversary Barbie, De Beers chose to go with a sultry look. The doll is scantily clad and is wearing a bikini top made of gold and diamonds. She also has black hair instead of Barbie’s traditional blonde. On top of the Barbie’s skirt is a belt made with 160 De Beers diamonds.
#2. Barbie and The Diamond Castle
Price – $94,800
Ranked #2 on this list are Barbie and The Diamond Castle, and that is for good reason. The Barbie was modeled after the main character of the “Barbie and the Diamond Castle” movie that was released that year.
The doll featured a tiara, a pair of slippers, earrings, necklace, bracelet, and ring all made from white gold covered in real diamonds. The Barbie’s dress was also accented with 44 round-cut stones with a combined weight of 20.66 carats. Sold for $94,800, it is easily one of the most expensive Barbie dolls in history.
#1. Barbie by Stefano Canturi
Sitting pretty as #1 on this list is Barbie by Stefano Canturi. It has just one of it produced. Canturi was asked by Mattel to specifically design a Barbie that would become the brand’s most expensive doll. It took six months for Canturi to design the luxury Barbie, who is sporting a dazzling diamond collar necklace.
The centerpiece of the necklace is a cut-cornered modified square-cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond, weighing approximately1.00 carat. Canturi’s Barbie is also sporting a diamond ring. Mattel gave Canturi free reign to design the Barbie doll however he wanted.
Canturi chose to give the doll elegant makeup, complete with false lashes. The doll is wearing an understated black evening gown to allow the jewels to shine. It is the most expensive Barbie doll in history.
Invented by Ruth Handler in 1959, Barbie has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. The doll was made in a time when very few girls’ toys existed and the ones that did were typically paper cut-out “dolls” portraying mothers.
Needless to say, the variety of choices in Barbie dolls make very valuable collectibles.
With such a rich history and unparalleled legacy in girls’ toys, the Barbie line is filled with exclusive, expensive dolls.
Make sure you check your house today. You could have one of the most expensive dolls in history hiding in your closet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Barbie by Stefano Canturi is the most expensive Barbie doll in the world.
Water Lily, 1988 Happy Holidays, Barbie by Stefano Canturi, Marie Antoinette, and Inland Steel Barbie are the rarest Barbie dolls in history.
The year your doll was made determines its value. Mostly, Barbie’s made in the year 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2004, and 2005 are of more value.
The Glory of the ’80s Barbie. The Glory of the ’80s Barbie was released quite recently in 2017. Its value comes from its limited quantity of only 100 manufactured, and a boxed, pristine version could reap $1,000.
The doll cost $3 when it was first released in 1959. The original Barbie now costs thousands of dollars. According to Mashable, the highest auctioned price of an original 1959 Barbie is $27,450.
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