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We’ve all seen articles about how our old toys might be worth some serious cash. Especially now that the ’90s can be considered “historical” (as much as that hurts to say aloud!). Barbie dolls have been popular since their debut in 1959, and there are certain vintage Barbies that are worth quite a bit of money to collectors. But how do you know if you have a gold mine on your hands? In honor of National Barbie Day on March 9, we wanted to investigate that very question.
Some of the factors, like rarity, condition, and whether it is in its original packaging, increase a doll’s value. Limited edition or special edition Barbies are worth more, as are dolls with certain unique features or accessories. Barbie dolls that are signed by their creator, Ruth Handler, are also worth a significant amount.
For the most part, though, your old Barbies aren’t going to help pay your mortgage this month. Unless you’ve got some vintage dolls still in the box, Barbies are better off given to your kids and grandkids. But if you stumbled across a doll in the attic while spring cleaning, here are some Barbies that are worth money.
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Use eBay and Amazon to get a free estimate on Barbies that are worth money.
If you’re not sure whether your Barbies are worth anything, do an advanced search on eBay for recently sold items. Think of it as your own private Antiques Roadshow. Here’s where to start:
- Type in your Barbie model and the year (if you know it) and click “advanced search.”
- Check the box to show Sold listings and review all of the recently sold Barbies similar to yours.
- We prefer to look at auction sales. This gives good insight into whether there was more than one bid on the doll. Doing this should give you an idea as to whether your particular Barbie could have some resale value.
Unfortunately, eBay can get a little confusing with whether or not the item actually sold for the price listed. We recommend that you double-check on Amazon by searching your Barbie model and year. Look for current prices at reputable sellers. Be sure to review the condition of used items and verify that it matches the condition of your own doll to get a more accurate estimate.
Once you’ve learned whether or not it could earn you a little extra cash, it’s worth contacting an appraiser to confirm your doll’s value. We’ll be the first to admit that you should take all of this (as well as other lists online) with a grain of salt. Yes, some Barbies sell for thousands of dollars. No, you probably can’t sell your 1997 Dentist Barbie with the missing chair for $1,200. But if you think you’ve got a truly rare collectible on your hands, it’s worth doing a little research.
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Limited-edition Karl Lagerfeld Barbies have some of the biggest resale values.
In 2014 Net-a-Porter released 999 of these limited-edition Karl Lagerfeld Barbies, and they sold out almost instantly. Originally sold for $200, they now sell for thousands on eBay. Most recently, on Dec. 20, 2022, one of these dolls sold for $2,500 even with some slight damage to the packaging. These were rare to begin with, but if you’ve got one and can part with it, it’ll likely sell for a pretty penny.
Vintage Barbies from 1959 can sell for thousands.
If you (or your parents and grandparents) happen to have some old toys stored away, it might be worth taking a look for the original Barbie. The iconic classic Barbie in the striped swimsuit can sell for thousands. Check for unique markings on the feet and her bottom as those could indicate a rare or valuable edition. Holes in the bottom of the feet and a stamp saying Japan means you have a true original that could be worth even more.
Since these are vintage dolls, you can potentially sell them even if the box is missing or if the doll is not in brand-new condition, though dolls in new condition garner a higher sale. Things like worn eye makeup or smudged nail polish result in less resale value. We recommend you request a little help from a professional if you think you’ve got an authentic classic on your hands.
Zombie Bride Barbie can snag a cool $500.
Probably one of the scariest Barbies we’ve seen, the Zombie Bride Barbie Doll was part of the Haunted Beauty collection and was released in 2015. This hauntingly beautiful doll can get you around $500 on eBay. One of our own KCL employees has the Zombie Bride doll and paid $80 for it—a pretty solid investment! In January of 2023, one of these dolls in brand new and unopened condition had 13 bids and sold for $570. If you happen to also have Haunted Beauty Ghost Barbie from 2012, you could also earn upwards of $500 for that!
Totally Hair Barbie from the ’90s sells for over $100.
This is a doll that some of us may have hiding out in our closets (I had this one and regret not treating it better — it ended up getting thrown away!). Totally Hair Barbie was introduced in 1992, and 10 million were sold, making it Mattel’s bestselling Barbie. Originals from 1992 sell for upwards of $100 on Amazon and eBay. If you happen to have one that you didn’t play with (as much as most of us did), then you could make a little money from it.
Twist N Turn Barbies from the 1960s sell for hundreds.
Some recent sales for the original 1967 and 1969 Twist N Turn (TNT) Barbies include one on Dec. 21, 2022 for nearly $786 with 29 bids on eBay. Then on Jan. 21, 2023, another 1967 model sold for just under $662 with 28 bids. These Barbies were the first time we saw a makeover and change from the vintage looks from the 1950s and ’60s. Barbie had rooted eyelashes and a more mod-vibe taking her into the 70s. She also had bendable legs and a waist that could twist and turn, hence the name!
Get $100 for Happy Family Midge and Baby.
We’ve seen this doll from 2003 sell for between $100 and $150 on eBay. It’s currently being sold for over $200 on Amazon. The set came with a pregnant Midge and a newborn baby. Unopened boxes also include a crib that doubles as a changing table and baby accessories. This was part of the Happy Family line, and we’ve seen open-box versions of this doll selling for around $50. The unopened boxes can earn double that. One sold for $100 on March 5, 2023.