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Collecting Barbie Dolls--an Investment That Is Fun
Barbie will have her 50th birthday next year. Wow I wish we all looked like that after half a century! But then again she has had major plastic surgery over the years.

The first Barbie was made by Mattel in 1959 and since then millions have been sold all over the world. Her official birthday is March 9th 1959 when she was exhibited at the New York Toy Fair. She was dressed in a black and white zebra striped one piece swim suit,open toe high heeled shoes,hoop earrings and white sunglasses with blue lenses. She has blonde or brunette hair in a ponytail at the back. She has white irises and very arched eyebrows. The plastic she was made from is usually faded to white now. She has holes in her feet for mounting on a pedestal and copper tubing in the legs. She is marked JAPAN on the bottom of her right foot. On the back she is marked Barbie TM Pats. Pend. Copyright MCMVIII. Find one of these in good shape and you have a collectors dream which they will pay quite a bit of money for. The exact value depends very much on condition and completeness. Damage or missing parts will downgrade your doll severely. She is known as the #1 Ponytail Barbie.

The #2 Ponytail Barbie is identical to #1 with the exception that there are no holes in her feet and no copper tubing. The pedestal is made with extensions to hold her up. Markings are the same as for #1.

The #3 Ponytail Barbie is identical to #2 except for blue irises and different eyebrows. This Barbie has either blue or brown eyeliner.

The #4 Ponytail Barbie is made from a non fading plastic which retains it's flesh color. She has blue eyeliner makeup.

The #5 Ponytail Barbie has a hollow plastic body rather than the solid body of earlier editions. The markings are similar but she is now marked R Pats. Pend. rather than TM Pats. Pend. A new hair color known as titian was introduced and dolls with this color hair are scarce and more valuable than the blonde or brunette. There was a problem with the plastic in some of these dolls which gives them a greasy appearance. If you find one with the original matte face it is more valuable than a "greasy" faced doll.

The #6 Ponytail Barbie has a different vinyl which does not become greasy with time. Her fingernails and lips are a pinkish red instead of the earlier bright red. She is dressed in a red swimsuit and red open toed shoes.

The #7 Barbie was made in several hair colors including ash blonde,lemon blonde,titian and brunette. Her nails and lips are orange red (coral). This changeover took place in the 1962-1963 period and the mark was changed to Midge TM copyright 1962/Barbie copyright 1958 by Mattel. The dolls with this new mark are referred to as the #7 Barbie usually,but some still call them #6. Dolls produced in 1962 before the changeover are scarce and more valuable than the new edition.

In valuing collectible Barbie dolls condition is the all important factor. A doll which is complete,not damaged and clean will fetch a premium price. If the doll is mint in the original packaging it is extremely desirable to collectors and will be priced accordingly. Dolls which have been repainted or otherwise restored will actually be worth less than if they had been left in the original faded condition.

Where can you buy old collectible Barbie dolls? Well just about anywhere if you know what to look for. Most people are totally unaware of what an old Barbie doll looks like or that it could be worth quite a bit of money. You can find them occasionally by searching garage sales,flea markets, and thrift or second hand stores. Take your magnifying glass along when you go treasure hunting so that you can read the markings on the dolls. Good luck.

Want to know more about old Barbie dolls and what they are worth? Want to know where you can buy Barbie dolls for $1 and up? Check this out

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