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Barbie dolls definitely do not only belong in children’s rooms. Collectors worldwide are willing to pay a lot of money for a luxurious item of this legendary toy. What does lead them to do so and from where did the Barbie phenomenon appear?

Collector’s Passion: Barbie will not just sit in a corner

Eva Ledecká
07.Dec 2016
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2 minutes
Women's and men form of Barbie dolls

Of all the toys produced it is one of those that have been here the longest. That is if, however, these dolls, which take on differing and sometimes bizarre forms, can still be called toys. Neither the collectors nor their children ever play with them. They certainly do have their exclusive places on the shelves that are dedicated to them.

Love at first sight and profitable investment

It is the Americans who are most enchanted by the charms of Barbie dolls and by collecting them. You ask why? Women are simply unable to resist the charm of these luxury adult dolls that are so vivid. They associate and form clubs and subscribe to special magazines. Men, on the other hand, treat them as representing an investment from which it is possible to earn decently.

The multiple appearances of Barbie dolls

Each year the Mattel Company produces Barbie dolls in new forms. Currently there are an Afro-American Barbie, a Rocker and even an Astronaut. Nor is this news, even when it takes on the form of celebrity. You can buy a luxury Barbie that looks like Angela Merkel and is even equipped with a lectern.

This is a unique product, which, during its time completely dominated the market for toys, thereby promoting them to the realm of luxury collectibles.

Byt s výhledem na Pražský hrad Praha
Byt s výhledem na Pražský hrad Praha, Praha 1

The emergence of the perfect doll

In the 1950’s a Swiss doll named Lilly appeared on the market, which became the inspiration for the creation of Barbie dolls. And surprisingly it was a man who decided to start producing luxury dolls, which, until the present day, can still arouse so much passion.

The Handler spouses, the actual founders of the successful Mattel Company, wanted to create a doll that does not look like a child, but like a grown woman. From the outset Barbies were produced exclusively from high quality material and they were distinguishable from poor quality copies at first glance. And what was really unique at that time was their flexible limbs.

The involvement of fashion houses

Barbie, of course, deserves all the luxuries. Therefore, even several major fashion designers participated in the creation of her clothing. These included, for example, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior and Gucci. Today you can buy these items for tens of thousands of crowns and even one of their little dresses might be more valuable than the most luxurious item in your wardrobe.

The most expensive doll in the world

The Vintage Barbie doll category comprises those that were produced until 1972, which command the highest prices. The most expensive Barbie doll that was ever sold in the world is “Barbie in Midnight Red”, which was sold at a London auction in 2006 for a staggering USD 17,000.

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