For nearly 60 years, Barbie dolls have been a staple of childhood toy boxes all across the globe. If you were a youngster in the 1950s and ’60s, you probably remember when the first-ever Barbie doll hit toy stores in 1959 with her black-and-white-striped bathing suit. If you also managed to hang on to one of those original versions and other vintage Barbie dolls, you could be sitting on a goldmine — even if they aren’t in perfect mint condition.
Obviously, those that have stood the test of time better than others will be able to fetch more money from a potential buyer. That said, if you scroll through the listings on eBay you’ll find some of those old dolls that “need some TLC” still selling for over $100. Even Barbies that have deteriorated over time — perhaps losing her head or other body part — are still worth a pretty penny for collectors looking to bring them back to life or use them to repair other dolls.
All Barbies that were made between 1959 and 1966 are considered “vintage” before moving into the “mod” period in 1967. Dolls from both of these eras are the most valuable when it comes to selling, but the older they are the better. You can tell if you have one of the very first editions by examining the doll’s feet for holes used to help her fit on the stand she came with, according to the experts at Invaluable. These dolls are known as the #1 model and are obviously worth the most when it comes to selling. Mattel, the toy company behind Barbie, made more than 300,000 of these “ponytail Barbie” dolls in their first year alone, meaning there’s a good chance you either had one or owned a doll that was passed down. Although they sold for a modest $3 back then, these original Barbies can be worth thousands today.
Again, keep in mind that everything depends on the doll’s condition, though you can still pocket a hefty amount of cash if your doll looks a little rough. Take a good gander at your old toys to see if you have a vintage Barbie doll gathering dust when it could be collecting money instead!