Interested in Selling your collection?
We buy vintage Barbies and her fashions from 1959 through 1972.
Unfortunately, we do not usually buy dolls between 1973 and the present. We cannot buy any Holiday Barbies as we do not have any demand for them.
In order for us to assess your collection, you must either email or mail pictures to us, after which we will either make you an offer or decline the purchase. It is a good idea to clean your dolls before sending them in to be appraised. You can do this by using a non-acetone nail polish remover on the body only. Be careful to not clean the face, fingers, or toes, it will remove the make up and ruin the value of the doll. You may send us pictures by email or through the mail instead. Please keep in mind when taking your pictures to get close up shots of the dolls faces. Make sure that there is enough lighting in the room when taking them. Another important reminder is to be a still as possible when taking their picture. When the pictures are blurry, it makes it very hard for us to determine which type of doll you have.
10301 Braden Run
Bradenton, FL. 34202
Do I have a Vintage Barbie?
The Number 1 Barbie
Many people believe they have one of the first Barbies, a Number 1 ponytail. Here is a short course in how to identify what you have.
- Look at her eyes. The number 1 has no color in her eyes and the irises are black and white. Only the blonde and the brunette were available when it first came out, however there were twice as many blondes made as the brunette.
- Check is if it has holes in the feet with copper tubing in them. They did this so that it would be able to be mounted on it's stand, which only had two small pegs coming out from the base.
- Check the stamp on the butt. For the first few Barbies they had "Barbie TM" on the first line and "Pats. Pend." on the second line. If this isn't what you have, you may have one of the other ponytail Barbies that look very similar to the Number 1.
The Number 2 Barbie
Practically identical to the first doll, except that it did not have holes in the feet. She also comes with a black wire stand that attaches to the black base. This doll was only manufactured for only three months, making it much harder to find.
The Number 3 Barbie
Issued in 1960 and had a softer look to it. It's eye brows were curved instead of being arched. The eyes were now blue with a blue or brown eye liner on the upper lids.
The Number 4 Barbie
Identical to the Number 3, except it was made from vinyl, which retained it's tanned flesh tone. The arms and legs were more rubbery than the later Barbies and she only came with blue eye liner.
The Number 5 Barbie
Made of a harder, stiffer plastic material. It came in a wide variety of hair colors with the hair being coarser and firmer in texture. The Number 5 sometimes developed a "greasy face" over time due to a particular chemical that was used in production.
The Number 6 Barbie
The final ponytail that was made, was nearly identical to the Number 5 Barbie except for the "greasy face" problem. The lip and nail polish now varied from bright red to pink. It was dressed in a red jersey swimsuit.
What is a Bild Lili?
Once upon a time in faraway Germany existed a cartoon character named Lili. This playgirl was a regular in the comic strips of Das Bild, a German tabloid of similar repute as The Enquirer. The Lili doll, 11.5 inches with buxom breasts, was intended to be an adult male's sex pet and was sold in tobacconists and bars. The blond German beauty came in two different (sexy) outfits: the child-like baby doll lingerie look and the tight leggings/bare midriff bad-girl look. The overseas market for Lili was not very promising. They could only sell a couple to a specialty import doll store in Beverly Hills. Poor Lili.
Mattel, by this time (1958), had become a leading maker of action toys for boys and saw Lili as a perfect way to even the market and collect more parents' money. Barbie is perhaps the most famous and most popular doll in the world, being sold in every single country in the world and sparking an enormous number of copies. As history reports, Mattel toy manufacturers Ruth and Elliott Handler and their two children, Barbara and Ken, were on holiday in Europe when they saw an adult fashion doll in the window of a toy store in Switzerland. The doll was called "Lili" and was based on a sexy cartoon character in a popular German newspaper. The Handlers purchased several of the vampish-looking dolls and Mrs. Handler was soon inspired to create a fashion doll with an extensive wardrobe, which she named "Barbie" after her own daughter.
The similarity in appearance between the number 1 Barbie and the Lili doll becomes very clear when they are placed side by side. Their facial features are almost identical as are their hairstyles, although the Lili is blonde and Barbie was a classic brunette. After buying all rights to Lili and various studies of the market, they transformed blonde sexpot Lili into brunette Barbie, the paradigm for little girls. In a study where 100 mothers and daughters were shown the Barbie separately, nearly all the mothers said that the Barbie Dolls were too mature looking and didn't want their children playing with them (let alone buying them). Nearly all of the girls in the study said that they loved the doll and wanted to own one.
Attack of the Clones
Beware of the look alike dolls as they look very similar to some of the original Barbies. Most of them are made from a much thinner material and have the black and white irises, just like the Number 1 Barbies.