As children, playing with Barbie dolls is inevitable. There are so many different dolls that children can look up to and relate with. Growing up in the '90s, I knew I had to have the pop-culture based dolls like the Spice Girls. I was also obsessed with Barbies that allowed us to cut their hair or help them with their makeup (typically with some warm water).
Now in 2018, we've come a long way since the first Barbie doll that hit the shelves in March of 1959. According to a scholarly article done by Georgia State University, there are upwards of two-million different Barbies out there (think of different shades, eye colors, hair, and clothing). After starting off with just three Barbies in 1959, Mattel has come a long way (and has brought in some major funds).
While anyone can go into their local toy store and buy a current Barbie, there are some Barbies that have been created in the past 60 years that were branded as limited edition. Depending on the collector, if these Barbies are still in their original packaging... they're looking at some big bucks.
20 Christie Dolls - $100-900
Pictured in the middle, Christie can be considered one of Barbie's friends that was also released in the late '60s. Christie is such a staple to the Barbie story that she was even featured in the 2015 movie Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure.
When Christie first hit shelves, she had short hair, red lips, and was the first Barbie doll representative of POC. Like Barbie, Christie came in different variations: Talking, Twist 'n Turn, Live Action, and Malibu. A talking Barbie in this time period was unheard of, making this one prized possession for someone who knows their dolls.
19 Vintage Ponytail Barbies - $300-800
As you might have guessed, the Ponytail Barbies are known for their ponytails. Issued in the '60s, they're mainly known for their black and white striped bathing suit, blonde ponytail, and red lips.
Unlike the more popular Barbie dolls we've seen on this list, these dolls are a tad different in shape. Their faces are elongated, their eyes are more almond-shaped, and their makeup reflects their time period. A brief look on ebay will show buyers that her going rate these days are is between $300-800, but if anyone has her in her original packaging, she could be worth more.
18 Midnight Tuxedo Barbie Doll - $995
Just look at the stunning Barbie doll. She's ready for some kind of gala where she's bound to steal the show. The Midnight Tuxedo Barbie Doll was released in 2001 and can be worth almost a grand by now. Her floor-length dress is accentuated by a faux-fur stole, but the real game changer for this doll is the copy-cat tuxedo top attached to her dress.
Unlike many of the more current Barbies out there today, the Midnight Tuxedo Barbie wear heavy makeup with dark eyes and red lips. In reality, her face is just matching the drama of the dress. With a plain face, this doll wouldn't be what it is today.
17 Pink Splendor Barbie Doll - $999
Considering the Pink Splendor Barbie Doll was released in 1997, you would expect it to be worth some serious change since it's been a little over 20 years.
However, Mattel made this doll a limited edition piece, selling "only" 10,000 of these around the world.
Thanks to the official website, Barbie's extravagant dress is made out of pure silk and delicate lace. The doll wasn't all glitz in the front, though, she also had a gorgeous back. The back of the dress was adorned with roses and crystals. What makes this Barbie so special—besides the enormous train of her dress—is definitely her updo. We don't see too many of those on Barbies these days.
16 The Glory of the '80s Barbie Doll - $1,000
According to MSN, Mattel only created 100 of the Glory of the '80s Barbie Dolls. Now, when you think about how many people are on the planet, especially those who love the '80s, that makes this doll extremely rare. Although this doll was released just a year ago, she's already worth around $1,000. Knowing that much, imagine how much she could be worth in 10 years.
With puffy shoulder pads, big earrings, and a voluptuous side-pony, this Barbie is screaming the time period. She's ready to go to a classy cocktail party in her famous pink convertible. All she needs is some Michael Jackson playing in the background!
15 'Sales Resistance!' I Love Lucy Barbie Doll - $1,050
I Love Lucy premiered in 1951, making Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo an overnight success. Their show broke down walls TV has never seen before, making people of all ages fall in love with them. Because of Lucy's appeal, it made sense that Mattel jump on the bandwagon and make an exclusive Barbie of Lucy.
In 1998, the first Lucy doll was released ("Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo"), but the one that seems to be worth a buck is the "Sales Resistance" doll that was released in 2004. Created after the show's episode "Sales Resistance," Lucy wears her classic navy and polka-dotted dress, apron, and the vacuum can be seen in the background. This beloved episode is what makes this doll as valuable as it is.
14 Empress Josephine Barbie Doll - $1,099
Would you just look at this royal lady! Empress Josephine is definitely not for the average person. If you're going to buy this empress, it's to collect — not to play with. In fact, the empress's dress isn't even removable from her body.
"The empire-style gown (not removable from doll) is made of satin, embellished with golden braid and hemmed with golden fringe," Mattel's Barbie site states.
With a rich embroidered gown and crystal tiara, Empress Josephine is unlike any other doll. Released in 2005, this doll is worth over a grand. To be honest, she's one of the few dolls who looks better in the box than to be played with.
13 Debut Silkstone Barbie Doll - $1,150
When most people think of the classic Barbie doll, they typically picture her in the iconic black-and-white striped bathing suit. Knowing how important Barbie's origins are, Mattel created the Debut Barbie Doll, which was the perfect combination of vintage and modern. After being released in 2009, the Debut Barbie Doll came with a one-of-a-kind silkstone suit, which was only meant to fit her body and her body alone.
Released as a 50th anniversary for the original Barbie, this doll is worth a pretty penny; just over $1,100.
Although her head- and eye-shape are like the original doll, everything else was created like a modernized Barbie.
12 Escada Barbie Doll - $1,414
Wow, would you check out the ruffles on that skirt! After hitting shelves in 1996. the Escada Barbie Doll is all about the drama (as if her dress didn't hint it enough). The bio for this doll on Mattel's site explains the magic of this doll's appearance; "Her exquisite European design features a fitted, black velvet bodice, surrounded by layers of pink silk shantung that creates a graceful cascade of fabric around this radiant Barbie®." The Escada doll is considered limited edition, and MSN has does the research to show that this particular doll is worth around $1,414. So if you have this doll in pretty good condition, stash her away for a couple of years to see what she's worth then.
11 Calvin Klein Barbie Doll - $1,414
Calvin Klein is known around the world for their undergarments and denim. Barbie, being the classic woman that she is, was bound to team up with this fabulous brand, which is what happened in 1996.
Barbie dressed in head-to-toe Calvin Klein gear with chic bangs and white sneakers. Mattel's site adds, "Her accessories include an adorable backpack, a CK windbreaker with, of course, a big Calvin Klein logo on the back, sneakers and a baseball cap. Even her [undergarments] sports the familiar Calvin Klein logo."
Since Barbie x Calvin Klein is limited edition, this doll is upwards of $1,400.
10 Summer Daydreams Barbie Doll - $1,514
If you're getting a Mary Poppins vibes, you're not alone. The Summer Daydreams Barbie doll released in 1998 in partnership with Coca-Cola. The history behind this doll is actually quite sweet, the doll is reminiscent of the Coca-Cola lady that was pictured in a 1913 ad for the drink brand. Her entire presence is nostalgic of the time. From her dress to the classic umbrella to shield her from the sun — this doll is vintage. Like a few other of the dolls on this list, the Summer Daydreams Barbie is not for play — she's a collector's edition. She even comes with "an authentically re-created COKE bottle with a striped straw and a reproduction of a COCA-COLA serving tray from 1913."
9 Cher Ringmaster Barbie Doll - $2,000
It appears that these one-of-a-kind celebrity dolls are worth quite a lot in their original packaging. But how much fun is that? Buying a Cher Barbie Doll, only to look at her from a distance seems sad! She needs to be on stage performing her greatest hits, not sitting in a box, waiting for fun to be had. *Sigh* Nevertheless, the Cher Ringmaster Barbie Doll is worth $2,000 these days, as she's a Barbie collector's item.
As we can see from the box, the iconic songstress comes with a top hat, glittered tights, and a classic one-piece that Cher practically created.
8 Marie Antoinette Barbie Doll - $2,000
If there's anyone out there who bought this doll to play with... I'd feel bad for them considering it could be worth around $2,000 untouched. Her skirt obviously has the kind of texture you want to twirl around in and play with, but she's made for looking only. The Marie Antoinette Barbie doll was released in 2003 as a limited edition doll, and as you can tell, it's hard to choose just one adoring feature. From her gown to her jewels to her feathered hat — this doll is as close to Marie Antoinette herself. She even comes holding a rose!
Many Barbie fans probably want to play an 18th-century game with Miss Antoinette, but it's best they adore her from afar.
7 NASCAR Official #94 Barbie Doll - $2,293
Oh, did you think that Barbie had no other hobbies besides looking beautiful and loving animals? Wrong! She's also apparently into NASCAR. The NASCAR Official #94 Barbie released in 1999, in partnership with NASCAR, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.
Her outfit was inspired by NASCAR driver Bill Elliot, donning a red and yellow uniform. Honestly, the only thing that would have pulled this entire look together is a race car! I'm actually quite surprised they didn't' have her in one as part of the collector's edition. Then again, perhaps placing her in car would only entice kids to play with her. If they did pull this Barbie out to play with her, they'd be down over $2,000.
6 City Smart Silkstone Barbie Doll - $2,995
As a child, I don't think I would have listened to my parents if they told me not to play with this doll. I've never owned the City Smart Barbie Doll, but her look alone makes me want to play a make-believe game with her.
With a sassy beauty mark, black dress, and white sun hat, the City Smart Barbie doll came out as a collector's item in 2003. She's proper, she's classy, she's sharp — this is one Barbie who knows what she deserves. She also came with a tiny black clutch, so you know she was about to go on a major shopping splurge.
5 Bubble Cut Barbie - $2,999
This Barbie doll screams Rizzo from Grease, does she not?!
The Bubble Cut Barbie Doll widely sought after and was created in 1962 and had a few variations to her. She came in a flashy red swimsuit (*gasp!*) and stunning ballgown that looks like something Marilyn Monroe would wear. This particular Barbie was also sold with 10 different hair colors, which was way before its time.
This vintage doll is considered a collectible, having a 50th-anniversary doll come out in the early 2000s: "Included in the package is a reproduction of the very popular Enchanted Evening™ fashion #983 from 1960, along with a reproduction vintage booklet." It's no wonder she can be worth around $3,000!
4 Pink Crystal Jubilee Barbie Doll - $3,000
When I think of Barbie, I think of her pink-on-pink attire, blonde hair, and bright blue eyes. In short: the Pink Crystal Jubilee Barbie is the epitome of Barbie.
This doll can be worth a whopping $3,000, but why? Released in 2009 as apart of the Anniversary Dolls, this Barbie is limited edition. As a 40th Anniversary Barbie doll, her chiffon gown also has Austrian crystals on the front of the dress. She was also given a tiara with 14k gold crystals on it. The reason why this doll is so exclusive is because she was only sold at FAO Schwarz. So if you weren't at their New York City home base, you weren't getting one.
3 Bendable Leg Barbie - $3,500
I wasn't around in the '60s, but I can see these dolls being the coolest simply because their legs were bendable. Having bendy legs allowed them to seem more realistic come playtime.
Unlike the original Barbie's ponytail hairdo, the Bendable Leg Barbie had a chic bob that came in three different styles (short, long, and a side-part). Although her name was officially Bendable Leg Barbie, collectors of this Mattel doll soon dubbed her the US Girl.
The US Girl is known for wearing a one-piece bathing suit, with stripes on top and a teal bottom. She also came with matching heels!
2 Karl Lagerfeld Barbie Doll - $6,000
You don't need to be into fashion to know who Karl Lagerfeld is. As the creative director for Chanel, Karl is a legend. He's constantly wearing all black, a white shirt, black sunglasses, and a low ponytail (with his iconic white hair). Considering Barbie has a ton of celebrity-based dolls, it was cool to see Mattel dabble in high-fashion.
After being released in 2014, Mattel only produced 999 Karl dolls.
The clothes are quite literally sewn onto the doll, the eyelashes are painted on, and the accessories make the doll as special as it is. With a leather bag, fingerless gloves, a watch, and a doll stand — Karl Lagerfeld is stylish both in doll form and real life.
1 Blonde Barbie Doll - $23,999
Here we are, the most expensive Barbie doll on this list. The Number One Blonde Barbie Doll released in 1959. Following her plastic steps were Barbies number two through seven. All were very similar but evolved over the years. According to MSN, the first Barbie to ever exist could be worth almost $24,000 in mint condition. With red lips, a one-piece bathing suit, and a blonde ponytail, this Barbie is worth more than most people's cars... While the series of seven are all valuable, the lower the number, the more they're worth. So if you just so happen to wander past your grandparent's attic filled with dolls, keep an eye out for this doll!