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What are old Barbie dolls worth - vintage Barbies explained

Wondering how valuable vintage Barbie dolls can be? We break down the real value of old Barbie dolls and list the most expensive Barbies ever sold.

Ponytail Barbies photo of five vintage Barbies

Vintage Barbies are a sought-after collector’s item, and the new Barbie movie has only increased interest in the world’s most iconic doll. If you’ve got a bunch of Barbies collecting dust in storage, you might be wondering if those old Barbie dolls are worth anything. Don’t splash out on a valuation just yet – we can help you quickly understand the value of vintage Barbie dolls.

The rarest Barbies of all can be worth some serious dollar, but they’re not the only pricey collectibles out there. As lovers of the best board games and trading card games, we can tell you all about the most expensive Magic cards, rare Pokemon cards, and most expensive YuGiOh cards around. Plus, we’ve also got a guide to the most expensive LEGO sets.

But for now, back to Barbie.

Black and white photo of vintage Barbies by the Los Angeles Times

Are old Barbie dolls worth money?

The answer to this question is emphatically ‘yes’. Some vintage Barbies (in particular, an original Barbie doll) can be worth thousands of dollars. But there are a few ‘buts’ to consider.

Firstly, there are plenty of factors that make a Barbie valuable – and ‘old’ isn’t as high on the list as you’d think. Yes, Barbies produced between 1959 and 1966 tend to be worth more. But you might be surprised to learn that the most expensive Barbie ever sold (see below) was made in 2010.

When determining a Barbie’s price tag, rarity, popularity, and quality are also important factors. Older Barbies are more likely to be rare as fewer were produced, but they’re also more likely to be in bad shape if they’ve been left in a damp attic for decades. Many more recent Barbies actually come with platinum or gold labels to show they’re rarer than the average doll.

The most valuable Barbie dolls are those that had extremely limited production runs, are hard to get hold of, have some unique quality or feature, and are in mint condition (perhaps even still sealed in their original box). If your Barbie is just an old Barbie, its value might be a few hundred dollars at best – not quite lottery jackpot money.

Vintage Barbies - photo of Stefano Canturi Barbie outside Sydney Opera House

Most expensive Barbie dolls ever sold

To give you an idea of what Barbie collectors truly prize, here are some of the most expensive Barbie dolls ever:

Stefano Canturi Barbie

Year produced 2010
Price $302,500

The Stefano Canturi Barbie is the holy grail of Barbie dolls, selling for an eye-watering $302,500 in 2010. Canturi designed everything about this Barbie’s look – including a tiny necklace made from three carats of white diamonds and a one-carat pink diamond.

While she’s one expensive lady, this Barbie is also socially responsible. At the request of Canturi, all profits from the auction were donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie

Year produced 1999
Price $85,000

Like the Stefano Canturi Barbie, the De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie proves diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. At least, according to the auction houses.

As the name implies, this doll was created to celebrate Barbie’s 40th anniversary. Jeweller De Beers designed the doll, which is dressed in a bikini-and-skirts combo that’s completed by a belt made from 160 real diamonds.

Original Barbie, one of the most expensive vintage Barbies

Original Barbie

Year produced 1959
Price $10,000

The Barbie that started it all is still worth plenty of cash. The original Barbie created by Ruth Handler in 1959 may look very different from the Barbie we know today, but her dark eyes and striped bathing suit are no less iconic.

While the value of the original Barbie has fluctuated over the years, her value remains high. We’ve seen plenty of eBay auctions that sold the doll for up to $10,000.

Pink Diamond Barbie

Year produced 2013
Price $8,000

In 2013, fashion duo The Blonds created their take on Barbie – Pink Diamond Barbie. Like many of her most fashionable peers, Pink Diamond Barbie is coated in diamonds, which were reportedly hand-laid by Phillipe and David Blond.

This one-of-a-kind Barbie was auctioned to raise money for the MAC Cosmetic AIDS Fund organization. The doll was originally said to be worth $15,000, but the last recorded bid we could find before the auction closed was just $8,000.

For more collectibles, check out the best Hot Wheels cars to add to your collection. We can also recommend the best LEGO sets for adults who still love the brick-based hobby.