Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Organising Your Barbie Doll Collections

Some of my collections seated on mounted wall racks

Double-sided tape on triangular hook & pasted onto back of box

My dolls mounted on the wall without any rack

Ever gone into situation whereby your room is flooded with all your collections that you find no space to keep them?

If you are a beginner collector and have less than 50 dolls in your collection, you probably won’t see this problem, as no worry to just keep all your dolls in display cabinet. Then as your collection unwittingly increases in numbers, you will wish you could find more space to put them, best if they can just float high up in the air without occupying any of your moving space. This is one problem I used to encounter; especially 95% of my dolls are kept intact in their boxes (NRFB = Never Remove From Box), which really take up a lot of space.

Uncovered wall mounted racks are one of the solutions I use. First picture above show some of my dolls mounted on mount rack display in my bedroom.

Nevertheless, it can be quite costly and troublesome if you have to keep buying the racks and get contractor to come fix them up whenever your collection increases.

I used to crack my head to think of a more easy, convenient, quick and cost-saving way to hang my dolls up on the wall without asking for anybody’s help. Then after much trials & experiments, I finally found a solution for this, which I called it the DIY way.

You merely need a small “triangular hook” (which can be purchased from DIY shops), double-sided tape and scotch tape. See second picture above showing the back of my doll box being taped with the triangular hook.

First, protect & wrap up your doll box with transparent plastic sheet (in fact to ensure your dolls in mint condition, suggest you should always wrap them up despite where you display them, unless you want to remove her from box). Second, paste double-sided tape on the triangular hook. Third, paste the hook onto the back of the box. Next, paste scotch tape over (but exposing the triangular ring) to double secure the hook onto the box. Then, hammer a nail to the wall to be displayed. Lastly, hook the box onto the nail. And there you go, neat and nicely each doll can be happily displayed without any rack support (picture shown above).

Collectible Barbie Dolls From Mattel

Ninety percent of these collectors are women who are, on average around the age 40, and purchase at least 20 Barbie dolls a year. Almost half of Barbie collectors each spend over $1000 a year.

Mattel in recent years has been catering to this niche market. They have produced a range of collectible Barbie dolls with the aim of encouraging collectors to increase their collections in line with their individual tastes and interests. Barbie dolls of popular TV shows and movies, celebrities and popular singers, for example, have been produced with collectors in mind.

In 2004 Mattel introduced a colour tier system to help categorize collectible Barbie dolls and help collectors to find them. The colours signify the amount of dolls produced worldwide and indicate the rarity factor of the different dolls. The colour also indicates which kind of retail store stocks the particular type of collectible doll.

There are four colours in the collectible tier system, and this article gives the characteristics of each tier.


The first tier is the Pink Label collectible dolls. There is no limit on the quantity of dolls produced with the Pink Label. Pink Label Barbies include ‘The Dolls of the World’ series, ‘Festivals of the World’, ‘Model Barbie’, as well as some of the ‘Pop Culture’ dolls. Most dolls in the Pink Label are Barbie dolls , but there are also a few of Kelly doll as well. The Pink Label packaging is distinctive; the is box trimmed in pink, and has a clear front.

PictureThe next tier is the Silver Label dolls. The packaging is similar to the Pink Label, but with the box trimmed with silver. The criteria for the Silver Label tier is that no more than 50,000 of any Silver Label doll will be produced world wide. Included in the Silver Label are the ‘Wedding’ series, the ‘Birthday Barbies’, ‘Ballet Barbies’ and ‘I Dream of a Season’ dolls. Some types of Kelly doll and Tommy doll also can be found under the Silver Label.

Following the Silver is the Gold Label collectible dolls. Gold Label dolls are produced in quantities of no more than 25,000 of each doll. The packaging is different from the previous tiers. Silver Label dolls come in a “cake box” type package with an extra see through layer to protect the doll. The box has artwork and photography on the back and lid with gold decorative trimming. Included under the Gold Label are ‘Designer Fashion Model’ dolls, ‘Designer Bride’, Vintage Repros’ and ‘Pin-up Girls’ collectible dolls.

The top tier is the Platinum Label dolls. These dolls are produced in editions of less than 1,000, and also include one-of-a-kind-dolls that are available at special events, or are exclusive to one retail store only. An example of a Platinum Label collectible doll is the ‘White Chocolate Obsession™ Barbie® Doll!’ The doll’s hair has the scent of white chocolate. Other dolls include the ‘Faerie Queen’, Badgley Mischka Bride Barbie, and the exclusive ‘The Nurse’ Barbie doll designed by Robert Best.

Collectors avidly collect these tier Label dolls, and are rewarded by the exquisite attention to details in the clothes and accessories of each specially designed Barbie. To retain the value of these dolls they should be kept in the box as new. This is unfortunate, as they need to be touched to really appreciate the intricate details of the gown and dolls features. Should dolls like this be played with? A good question and maybe a topic for another article!

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Barbie Doll - The Perfect Figure?

While no one will argue with the popularity of Mattel’s Barbie Doll, one area that has raised its fair share of controversy over the years is her figure.

Many parents from around the world have argued that Barbie’s ultra-slim figure represents a ridiculous standard for a body shape. They say that many girls grow up thinking that they must have the same figure as Barbie or there is something wrong with them. While I don’t take that radical of a stance, I will say that it would be quite difficult to measure up to Barbie’s standards.

If you take the measurements of Barbie, she would be over 7 feet tall, weigh around 125 pounds, and have a shape of 32-20-42. Of course, no woman could maintain a figure like that, but this is where the controversy stems.

In addition, Barbie has a very long neck. In fact, her neck is nearly twice the size of the average woman. Her feet are also another source of criticism with many saying that Barbie’s feet are only half the size of a normal womans due to foot binding. That is the practice of preventing your feet from growing by constricting them.

Some have went as far as saying that the Barbie doll has caused their children to become anorexic from trying to maintain Barbie’s figure. I think that may be a little extreme, but I can see both sides.

In recent years, Mattel has given in a little bit on this issue and widened Barbie’s waist a bit. This took place around the year 2000. Barbie now has a more proportioned waist.

Regardless of what Barbie’s figure looks like, or who is right or wrong on this issue, the real winner in this debate is Mattel. The added controversy and publicity only helps to fuel sales. I wonder why no one talks about Ken’s figure?

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Barbie Doll Fun Fact - A Trip Through Time

Since 1959, Mattel’s Barbie doll has been a smash hit with little girls around the world. Barbie has certainly seen it all over the years. Here are just a few facts to see if you can remember some of the more important moments in the life of Barbie.

1. For over 45 years the Barbie doll has been involved in over 80 different careers. Her first career was actually a teenage fashion model.

2. In 1992, Barbie doll was a Presidential candidate. No word on whether she was a Democrat or Republican.

3. Barbie first became an astronaut back in 1965. She also continued to be one in 1986 and 1994.

4. Barbie was not released in Europe until 1961, two years after debuting in the U.S.

5. Over 150 nations market the Barbie doll.

6. Mattel estimates that two Barbie dolls are sold somewhere every two seconds.

7. In 1980, Mattel came out with the first Hispanic and black Barbie dolls.

8. Totally Hair Barbie has the distinction of being the best seller over the years.

9. Barbie has had 5 sisters over the years and 21 dogs as well; although her first pet was a horse called Dancer.

10. Only stamp collecting is more popular in the U.S. than doll collecting.

11. Amazingly, over 105 million yards of material have been used in making Barbie doll clothes. This includes her friends also. In fact, Mattel is a major clothing maker.

12. The very first Mattel Barbie doll sold for a price of $3.00.

13. Do you have an original 1959 Barbie doll? It would be worth up to $10,000 if it’s in good condition.

14. The market for Barbie is $1.5 billion dollars, per year.

15. The Ken doll, which was Barbie’s long-time boyfriend, first came out in 1961.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Collecting Vintage Barbie Dolls

If you’re one of the avid fans and collectors of modern Barbie but would want to possess valuable Barbie items, then you might want to consider collecting for vintage Barbie dolls. Vintage Barbie dolls-those dolls copyrighted by Mattel Incorporated from 1959 to 1972-are becoming quite valuable pieces in the world of antique collection.

If you’re interested in getting your hands into those vintage Barbie dolls that can be quite valuable over the years, then you better start visiting flea markets, antique stores, and doll shops for prospective pieces. But, before you hit those places where you can find possible vintage Barbie dolls, make sure that you memorize this checklist so you’ll know what to consider before purchasing it.

- Check if the ears of the vintage Barbie doll have turned to green. Collectors say that this is a very important thing to consider in buying vintage Barbie dolls because it reflects the overall condition of the doll.

Green ears usually result from the chemical reaction between the plastic and the metal earrings or accessories used by Barbie, so if the vintage doll has a green ear, it means it weren’t taken care of properly. But if you still want to purchase the vintage Barbie doll despite having this major flaw, make sure that you ask for a discount.

- Check is the face of the doll is greasy. The plasticizer that leaks out from its face usually causes greasy face of a vintage Barbie dolls. This condition is hard to cure or cannot be cured at all. So make sure that before buying any vintage Barbie dolls, you check the face meticulously in order to check its status and condition.

The simplest remedy in removing the grease off the doll’s face is by applying powder on it but better be careful because this remedy can worsen the doll’s condition by taking off the vintage doll’s facial make up.

- Check if the limbs of the vintage Barbie doll can be bent without restraint. If you are a collector, you should know by now that some Barbie dolls are quite prone limb breakage because they have brittle joints. Others even loose limbs that cannot be repaired so make sure that you test the limbs of the doll before finally buying it.

- Check is the vintage Barbie doll has a fresh, complete and original face paint. Bright and original face paint on the lips, cheeks, eyes, eyebrows, nose and finger and toenails paint are quite valuable assets of a vintage Barbie doll. Make sure that they are intact.

Other things to consider are bendable knees, original outfit and box or case, the doll’s skin tone, original set of hair, appropriate and correct parts, and split or pinpricks in certain body parts.

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More Barbie Dolls Fun Fact - Do You Remember?

The Matter Barbie Doll has been popular for nearly 50 years now. While there are many reasons for this, Mattel has marketed Barbie in a way that has made her the most successful doll in toy history. Here is a trip through Barbie doll history and a look at what has made her what she is today, an icon.

1. Barbie made her initial debut in 1959 wearing a black and white striped swimsuit.

2. Barbie is named after the daughter of the original inventor, Barbara.

3. The first year Mattel sold the Barbie doll, over 350,000 of them were sold.

4. Mattel has produced nearly 1 billion different fashions over the years for Barbie and her other friends and relatives.

5. More than 1 billion pairs of shoes have been made for Barbie.

6. Barbie’s favorite color - pink.

7. The year 2000 was a milestone for the Barbie doll. She got a belly button.

8. World renowned fashion designers such as Gucci, Versace, Givenchy and others, have all designed fashion clothes for the Barbie doll.

9. Barbie doll became an Olympian in 1975.

10. The Pentagon had the final approval on the series of military Barbies.

11. There has been enough Barbie dolls and her friends sold that it would circle the world nearly 8 times.

12. Barbie has appeared in over 40 various nationalities.

13. Barbie has had all kinds of pets over the years, including 6 cats, a dozen horses, and even a zebra.

14. The very popular Ken doll was the name of the inventor’s son.

15. Barbie’s real name is Barbie Millicent Roberts and she is from the state of Wisconsin.

16. Who was Barbie’s best friend? Midge, of course. She first appeared in 1963.

What does the future have in store for Barbie? No one knows for sure, but with her 50th birthday only a few years away, you can bet it will be something big!

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All About Barbie Doll Collecting - Why Is Barbie Doll So Popular?

Have you ever asked yourself why Barbie doll collecting is so popular? What drives tens of thousands of people to snap up every type of Barbie doll imaginable?

Barbie Was Brilliantly Marketed

Mattel learned early on exactly how to market the Barbie doll. No other doll maker has come close to her. Barbie has been seen on TV commercials since the early 1960’s. With over 40 years of continuous television exposure you can’t help but see the ads throughout your childhood and into adulthood. This exposure has led Barbie to being one of the most popular toys in history.

Barbie Dolls Are Nostalgic

If you are a woman under the age of 60 then you most likely owned a Barbie when you were a kid. Just like baseball cards, if you collected Barbies’s when you were young, the chances are good that you enjoy it now.

Many people still have their original dolls from their childhood and it almost has become an obsession to collect each and every Barbie doll there is.

Barbie Is Not A Fad

You know that when you buy a Barbie doll that you will always be able to buy new clothes and accessories for her. She is not here today, gone tomorrow. No other doll can say that.

The Internet Has Fueled Barbie Doll Collecting

That’s right, the online world has helped promote Barbie doll collecting to the next level. You can find all sorts of Barbie doll forums as well as websites to purchase Barbie’s. Ebay is a great example of this. Both advertisers and collectors alike can get together and discuss anything and everything to do with Barbie, as well as buy and sell.

What does the future hold in store for Barbie doll collecting? No one can say for sure, but if it is anything like the past, you can expect some really great things to take place.

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