How To Tell If You Have a Vintage Barbie

Find out whether that Barbie is a fraud or the real deal with these tips.

Instructions

  • TIP: Opinions and prices can vary from dealer to dealer. Ask for evaluations from more than one dealer.
  • Step 1: Find an accredited appraiser at the American Society of Appraisers web site. If you can’t find one near you, place an online query for an appraiser to evaluate your vintage Barbie.
  • FACT: The first Barbie was influenced by Bild-Lilli, a curvaceous German burlesque doll.
  • Step 2: Attend Mattel’s official annual National Barbie Convention and take your doll. Show your doll to dealers and vendors and ask if it’s an authentic vintage Barbie.
  • Step 3: Learn about vintage Barbie identifying features. The original 1959 ponytail Barbie has holes in its feet and its plastic body whitens with age. The twist-and-turn waist was introduced in the mid-1960s.
  • Step 4: Learn about Mattel’s Collector Label classification system. The Pink Label indicates more recent Barbie editions, while the Platinum Label indicates rare editions of which less than 1,000 dolls were produced.
  • Step 5: Learn common Barbie collector acronyms and jargon. MIB, or "Mint In Box," means the doll comes in mint condition in its original box. NFRB means "Never Removed From Box," and OSS stands for "Original Swim Suit."
  • TIP: The term "modern Barbie" refers to dolls made after 1972.
  • Step 6: Visit Mattel’s official Barbie Collector website. Read the year-by-year descriptions of each vintage doll and review the accompanying photos provided by Mattel.

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