60 Years Of Collecting Barbie ! - Scene7

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60 Years of Collecting Barbie !by Christopher VarasteMuse. Pioneer. Icon. That’s Barbie doll, a fashion model whose stride down anendless runway inspired an entire line of quality collectibles for an astounding 60 years!An elevation of design and fashion, Barbie doll appeals to anyone interested incontemporary fashion trends. With her online presence, Barbie also serves as a majorinfluencer. Barbie always encapsulates that intangible quality known as “style.” UnderMattel owner Ruth Handler’s influence and designer Charlotte Johnson’s tutelage, theworld was first taken by surprise when Barbie was introduced at the New York Toy Fairon March 9th, 1959, along with her pink fashion booklet.Sales took off after Barbie appeared in a commercial aired during The Mickey MouseClub . All it took was one look and everyone wanted a Barbie doll!

From the beginning, astute collectors recognized the ingenuity and detail that had goneinto the doll and her wardrobe, which began to grow along with Barbie doll’s popularity.Today, those early tailored fashions are a veritable freeze frame of the era, reminiscentof Balenciaga, Schiaparelli, Givenchy and Dior.Many clever girls handled their precious Barbie dolls with care, and that eventuallymarked the beginning of the very first Barbie Fan Club in 1961, which set the stagefor more clubs where Barbie fans could gather and make new friends.There was so much to collect! Nothing stopped Barbie from constantly evolving with

hairstyles like Ponytails, Bubble Cuts, Mod hairstyles and an eclectic wardrobe thatshowcased the latest looks from smart suits, career outfits and go-go boots!Mattel advertisement from 1967 introducing Mod Twist ‘N Turn Barbie .

The Barbie world grew at a rapid pace, and so did the ranks of her devoted fans.Designers at Mattel acknowledged their die-hard Barbie enthusiasts and started tocreate special dolls for collectors. A major shift occurred in the marketing and design ofthe popular Malibu Barbie Doll from 1971. She and all her friends and family sportedtans and seaside accessories—everything related to the Malibu beach theme.Malibu Barbie Doll ushered in the 1970s with hip fashions that reflected the new era.The Malibu line was a bestseller that remained on the line until 1977’s all-new highlycollectible Superstar Barbie Doll debuted close to the onset of the fabulous 1980s!The Superstar Era

Dolls of the World Series Parisian Barbie DollAmong the longest-lasting Barbie collectibles from 1980 has to be the Dolls of the Worldseries. This popular collection beguiles us with Barbie doll dressed in festive nativefashions from different countries, starting with the hard-to-find original Parisian BarbieDoll.Golden Dream BarbieBy 1980, Golden Dream Barbie was one of the number one collector dolls on themarket. Barbie-mania grew so fast that most new dolls sold out, demanding moresupply from toy stores. That same year, 1980, collectors held the very first Barbie

convention in New York City. It was the first time an entire doll show was devoted to onedoll: Barbie!Dream Date BarbieDream Date Barbie was another collectors' dream doll in 1982. Seeing the positiveresults of the first convention and the need for more dolls, the Barbie design teambegan conceiving a Barbie line with the adult collector in mind. This initiated Barbiedoll’s rich legacy of working with popular fashion designers beginning with Oscar de laRenta in 1984.Oscar de La Renta Barbie DollOscar de La Renta’s evening gowns for Barbie would serve as a major win for Barbiedoll’s burgeoning atelier. The advantage of showcasing his evening wear separately soall collectors could display them on their favorite dolls meant gaining name recognition

with a fresh, young audience. This successful collaboration captured the imagination ofthe fashion world and two Oscar de La Renta Barbie Dolls were released, dressedexclusively by the designer.Aside from Oscar de Le Renta’s Barbie fashions, the other leading doll of 1984 wasPeaches ‘N Cream, who appealed sweetly to a wide range of collectors.Peaches ‘N CreamThe following year, 1985, Mattel started to market Barbie dolls for a variety of collectors,beginning with designer BillyBoy for the Le Nouveau Theatre de la Mode Barbie Doll.With a stake in the youth market, the fashion gurus had found their muse. Barbie doll’sclout with the younger generation spelled longevity for any designer. Barbie alsoreceived her very own fashion show, The New Theater of Fashion, 1986 BarbieRetrospective in NYC which showcased Barbie in couture creations designed byHermes, Christian La Croix, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gautier. This grand fusion offamous names would have a very positive influence on the future of Barbie designerdolls.Business as usual for Day- to-Night Barbie.

Day- to-Night BarbieThe coolest collectible from 1985 was Day-to-Night Barbie, a career girl by day butwith a flip of her business suit, she was off to the disco at night! Among the leadingBarbie dolls created for all collectors in 1986 was the stunning Magic Moves BarbieDoll. Also, in 1986, Mattel developed a separate line of collectible dolls aimed at theadvanced collector, titled Timeless Creations.Happy Holidays BarbieIn 1988, Happy Holidays Barbie became the most coveted doll during the holidayseason, starting her own line of annual collectibles under The Holiday Series. The nextyear, 1989, Barbie doll’s 30th Anniversary was met with unprecedented surprises. New

York City named Fifth Avenue “Barbie Boulevard.” Barbie doll’s amazing 30 years werealso commemorated by Tiffany & Co. with a special custom-made sterling silver Barbiedoll.Barbie Pink JubileeLater in 1989, another special event was hosted at Lincoln Center to celebrate Barbie’s30th Anniversary. As a gift, a limited edition of 1200 Barbie Pink Jubilee dolls was givento lucky collectors. The 30th Anniversary was also greeted with fanfare at FAOSchwartz with the special release of the exclusive Golden Greetings Barbie, the first ofmany successful partnerships between Mattel and FAO Schwartz.Another partnership aimed at adult collectors started in 1990 with The Bob MackieDesigner Barbie Dolls. The dolls, covered in Swarovski crystals and expensive fabrics,were bestsellers and included the coveted Gold Barbie Doll (1990), Platinum Barbie Doll(1991), and Neptune Fantasy Barbie doll (1992).Gold Barbie DollPlatinum Barbie DollNeptune Fantasy Barbie Doll

The Classique Collection’s Benefit Ball BarbieThe Classique Collection’s Benefit Ball Barbie (1992), designed by Carol Spencer,became an all-time fave and the beginning of a new collection! Collectors absolutelyloved the Barbie collaborations with popular designers including Barbie doll’s owntalented artists, and Mattel made sure to satisfy their devoted clients with moreextravagant dolls.Totally Hair BarbieAs far as collectibles go, it’s worth noting that Totally Hair Barbie, one of the all-timebest-selling dolls in Barbie history. Designed by Carol Spencer, Barbie was coveredfrom head to toe in blonde or brunette hair and wore a Pucci-inspired miniskirt. Shepaved the way for big hair, a winsome smile and brilliant fashion!

The diverse collections in the works at Mattel led up to the much anticipated 35thAnniversary in 1994 with special reproductions of the 1959 original Barbie Doll in a fewof her most popular couture fashions under The Nostalgic Series.Nostalgic series reproduction Solo in the SpotlightGold Jubilee BarbieAlso, as part of the 35th Anniversary, Mattel released Gold Jubilee Barbie in a limitededition of 5,000. Soon, Barbie would strike gold again with another hit, The HollywoodLegends Series with Barbie as Scarlett O’Hara and Ken as Rhett Butler!

Hollywood Legends Series, Barbie as Scarlett O’Hara and Ken as Rhett Butler.Barbie Signature was one of the first toy manufacturers to make true-to-life miniaturesof iconic action heroines, heroes, and celebrity dolls. The screen-oriented dolls stillendure with many avid fans who celebrate their favorite personalities from film andtelevision. There’s been quite a number of Barbie dolls fashioned after movie and TVstars, including several Wizard of Oz collections as well as tributes to Marilyn Monroe,Farrah Fawcett, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, The Addams Family, KingKong Barbie, Catwoman, The Twilight Saga and recently, the Mary Poppins series ofdolls.Farrah Fawcett Doll (2012)Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Barbie Doll

Hunger Games Katniss DollThe Wonder Woman Doll SeriesThe X-Files Barbie GiftsetWhether it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Barbie doll from 2008, tailored to perfectionand accompanied by pesky crows, or more current series like The Hunger GamesCollection (2012) and the Wonder Woman Doll Series (2017), film franchises welcomedthe opportunity to work with Barbie doll.Currently, there’s The X-Files Barbie Giftset, featuring Scully and Mulder, and avariety of collectible dolls still available at the Barbie Signature online shop.

As sales have shown, designer Barbie dolls are still among the most coveted amongcollectors, especially when supplies are limited. Memorable among these are the NicoleMiller City Shopper Barbie Dolls from 1996 that flew off store shelves! After thesuccess of these designer collectibles, Mattel partnered with the most influentialdesigners in the world. As the 1990s progressed, along came Barbie dolls by ChristianDior, Erte, Escada, Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdale’s Donna Karan, and CalvinKlein.Due to Barbie doll’s exquisite fashion sense, another major exhibit was mounted so fanscould view Barbie in a new light. The exemplary showcase was set in Los Angeles andcalled Barbie on Rodeo with twenty dolls and accessories modeling creations bydesigners like Versace and Escada for a charity auction in 1996. “Why not?” asked RonMichaels, president of the Rodeo Drive Committee, which sponsored the event, alongwith Mattel. “Barbie is the most fashionable girl in the world!”Barbie and Ken as Romeo & JulietBarbie and Ken as King Arthur & GuinevereAll this publicity led to more exclusive collectibles like The Together Forever Series withKen and Barbie as Romeo & Juliet (1998) and Ken and Barbie as King Arthur &Guinevere (1999). These were sold as giftsets, and as limited editions they are highlyvalued on the secondary market.

Harley Davidson BarbieFerrari BarbieOther cutting edge Barbie dolls that struck a chord among fans included the HarleyDavidson Barbie, who was so popular she started an entire line of Harley DavidsonBarbie and Ken fashion dolls. Also hard to find is the magnificent Ferrari Barbie from2001, who ignited a number of Barbie doll collaborations with the high end car designer.It seemed like every prestige brand gained clout by partnering with Barbie! CollectibleBarbie dolls were a specialty for the discriminating collector and Mattel went to greatlengths to deliver some of the most breathtaking collector dolls ever produced. Amongthem was the fabulous Hollywood Movie Star Collection, including Barbie dolls in

vintage Hollywood starlet ensembles with names like Hollywood Premiere Barbie(2000), Between Takes Barbie (2000) and Day in the Sun Barbie (2000).Hollywood Premiere BarbieBetween Takes BarbieDay in the Sun Barbie

40th Anniversary Barbie DollAs the decade continued, a special 40th Anniversary Barbie Doll, wearing a gownreminiscent of Barbie doll’s original black and white striped swimsuit, was gifted toconventioneers at the 1999 40th Anniversary Convention. The convention doll waspraised for her ingenuity by transforming the iconic swimsuit into a festive gown, makingit an instant collectible.Givenchy Barbie

The year 2000 continued the upward swing of Barbie dolls marketed toward all agegroups. New arrivals included the elegant Givenchy Barbie limited edition collector doll,the Magic and Mystery series, including Tales of the Arabian Nights Giftset and Ken andBarbie as Merlin & Morgan Le Fay.Tales of the Arabian Nights GiftsetKen and Barbie as Merlin & Morgan Le Fay

The year was also a chance to oooh and aaah over the new unprecedented BarbieFashion Model Collection. The BFMC was introduced in 2000 and collectors hadnever seen any dolls quite so elegant. Created by designer Robert Best, they werecalled “Silkstones” and were created with a special combination of porcelain and vinyl.The Silkstone dolls were an instant sensation with separate fashions specificallydesigned for their regal haute couture looks!The Lingerie Barbie DollLisette Barbie DollLisette Barbie Doll from 2001 was another hit for the Barbie Fashion ModelCollection. In 2003, The Barbie Fashion Model Collection teamed up with FAOSchwartz for a dazzling Silkstone Barbie, FAO Exclusive Joyeux Barbie Doll.FAO Exclusive Joyeux Barbie Doll

Available in 2002 was the highly collectible and hard to find James Bond 007 Ken andBarbie Giftset featuring Barbie as the ultimate Bond girl!James Bond 007 Ken and Barbie GiftsetBarbie doll’s Bond girl ensemble was created by Linda Hemming, the same costumedesigner for the 20th Bond film! The successful giftset led to several other Barbie dollsas Bond Girls for the collector line.Debuting in 2004 were two exceptional dolls from the acclaimed Versace fashion house.The first Barbie doll was called Versace Barbie Doll. She was gorgeous, wearing adramatic strapless taupe gown that billowed around her legs. The second doll, VersusBarbie , sported a casual pantsuit in a royal blue and white asymmetrical design. Thelimited edition dolls were sold out shortly after their release.Versace Barbie DollVersus Barbie Doll

With all the collectible offerings, the 50th Anniversary in 2009 for Barbie doll reached afever pitch and every collector wanted to attend the convention. Old friends shared theirnew finds and new friendships began over simple things like memories of finding thatspecial doll. Celebrations were held in Barbie clubs worldwide and Mattel debuted thebeautiful 50th Anniversary Barbie doll created especially for collectors.50th Anniversary Barbie DollIn recent years, the Barbie Signature team has dreamed up even more extraordinaryBarbie dolls. If the dolls of the past few years are any indication, Barbie is going indirections that signal all new adventures in the future. Notable are collector favesdesigned by Bill Greening, like the Fantasy & Special Occasion Dolls with Goddess ofthe Galaxy (2011), Empress of the Aliens (2012), and Queen of the Constellations(2013). It’s clear, Barbie rules the universe!Goddess of the GalaxyEmpress of the AliensQueen of the Constellations

Always catching collectors by surprise, the treasured Haunted Beauty Collectiondeviated from the Barbie aesthetic to give collectors a different series with a fantastical,humorous edge. The dolls sold out within weeks, leaving collectors clamoring for more!They were the perfect treats for the Halloween season!Haunted BeautyGhost Barbie Doll (2012)Haunted BeautyMistress of the Manor Barbie Doll (2014)Haunted BeautyVampire Barbie Doll (2013)Haunted BeautyZombie Bride Barbie Doll (2015)

Fantasy has always been a part of Barbie doll’s world and one of the coolest series inrecent years has got to be The Faraway Forest Collection (2014-2018) with mythicalcreatures and a built-in storyline featuring a dark queen, an elf and several other forestdwellers, each laying claim to a part of the enchanted realm. There was even a map ofthe Faraway Forest included with each doll so collectors could learn where eachcharacter resided!Faraway Forest Elf Barbie Doll (2013) Lady of the White Woods Barbie Doll(2014)Faraway Forest Queen of the Dark Forest Barbie Doll (2015)

It’s never too late to start collecting and with the fabulous retro-reproductions, you canstart from the very beginning and work your way up to a collection that best reflects yourtaste. Remember, there’s a Barbie for everyone—all you need is a great imagination!Here’s a cool video for more inspiration for your special collection:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v qpeBEwdTOP02019 is already shaping up to be a banner year for the 60th Anniversary of Barbie doll!Collectors can look forward to quite a few jaw-dropping surprises! Here’s to morewonderful additions to your Barbie collection. Check out the 2019 line all available aclick away at the Barbie Signature online shop!Barbie 60th Anniversary DollProudly Pink DollBarbie Busy Gal Doll

beginning with designer BillyBoy for the Le Nouveau Theatre de la Mode Barbie Doll. With a stake in the youth market, the fashion gurus had found their muse. Barbi e doll's clout with the younger generation spelled longevity for any designer. Barbie also received her very own fashion show, The New Theater of Fashion, 1986 Barbie

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