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5 Tips to Collecting Vintage Barbie Dolls

When launching your vintage Barbie doll collection, it's usually tough to understand the ropes. Devious dealers, contradictory information and limited facts really can make it challenging to climb the learning curve. No matter, the easiest way to start is to dive in, but before you start visiting rummage sales, antique stores and neighborhood flea markets to find your first vintage Barbie doll, here are some suggestions that should maximize your enjoyment while minimizing the possibility of high-priced problems.

Traditional Barbies: Like Fine Wine

Vintage Barbie Dolls are the ones which were produced before 1972, therefore, the date that a Barbie was manufactured is crucial to determine its value. Before you start spending a substantial amount of time or energy on any Barbie doll, make sure to verify the date of the copyright. Certainly, the date will signify the age and worth of the doll. Typically, you'll learn that vintage Barbie dolls which might be worth the most possess marks with "1958" or "Japan" stamped at the rear end or it is marked at the bottom of one of the feat. Remember that vintage Barbie dolls are like fine wine, they get more treasured with age.

Classic Barbie Dolls: It's All About Appearance

The most critical factors in Barbie value is the all round condition of the Barbie doll. Traditional Barbie dolls are getting more expensive as time go by and dolls in ideal condition have grown to be progressively scarce. Vintage dolls often exhibit discoloration, neck splits, body splits, matted hair, chipping lips, damaged texture and more, so it's critical to carefully check the condition of the doll. The substances used in the manufacture of the vintage Barbie dolls were not the most suitable, so it's expected to see a few imperfections but obtaining vintage dolls with few issues is prefered. Consequently, if a vintage doll is in very poor condition you can also consider buying the doll for parts too.

It's Not Only the Vintage Barbie Doll: Find the Accessories

When evaluating vintage Barbie dolls it's not merely the doll, but the supplemental accessories will also be essential. Barbie clothing, outfits, shoes and even packaging can be the key to the valuation of an item. Because of this, educated collectors appreciate that by being attentive to the presence and condition of all of the Barbie doll extras often means big money. Some homework on the traditional Barbie fashions and outfits will place you in a sensible position to reap the benefits of uncovering a doll with some uncommon extras.

Uncover a Lottery Ticket with Metal Tubes

If you're fortunate enough to find a vintage Barbie doll that has metal tubes incorporated into her feet, you might be examining an original Barbie doll. The earliest Barbies were produced with very specific facial features, dark eye make-up, hair styles and metal tubes in their feet. The rarest among all of the Barbies, the original doll displays stock #850 additionally, the tubes, which were employed to assist the doll to stand erect on a stand that came with the first doll. Both the doll and stand are incredibly rare and valued by collectors.

The Vintage Barbie Doll Brand: Mattel

Looking for the Mattel brand is vital, so be sure that any Barbie doll that you're looking at is plainly labeled as being manufactured by Mattel. This is an important tip; there are a lot of counterfeits and replicas that unsophisticated collectors can easily mistake as a true Barbie doll, so try to find the Mattel, Inc. brand to keep out of trouble.

Collecting traditional Barbie dolls can be a fun and lucrative hobby, but it's not hard to encounter pitfalls. Using these 5 suggestions will help you avoid mistakes and make sensible decisions that will help successfully improve your collection.


Make Your Own Native American Dolls

In every culture around the world, children are given dolls to play with. Native America was no exception and some of their doll-making traditions and styles have in fact survived to this day. Native American dolls are now considered by many as a necessary addition to their doll collection. This is ironic because Native American tribes never meant for dolls to be a lasting keepsake. In fact, their dolls are made from perishable materials such as husks, palmetto fiber, or pine needles. Even their wooden dolls weren't built to last.

It was considered inappropriate for Native Americans to discipline very young children, so they were never given any items that they weren't allowed or expected to chew on or throw somewhere. There was even a deep meaning attached to the impermanence of their dolls. As the dolls gradually fell apart with the passing of time, it indicated that the child was growing up and will soon be too old to play with the dolls anyway. In spite of the impermanent nature of Native American dolls, they were always made with much attention to detail. Their distinctive adornment and decorative patterns are in fact the main reasons why collectors of today like to include these dolls in their collections.

You may want to get such a doll as part of your own collection. Or perhaps you'd enjoy making one for yourself. Embarking on a project to make your own set of Native American dolls will definitely make them more precious than even the most expensive store-bought doll. Here is how you can create your very own doll in the tradition of the Native Americans.

Buy seven pieces of corn husk from your local craft store. Make sure that all the husks are clean, dry, and completely free of dark spots. Soak the husks in water for about ten minutes to make them pliable. Take four corn husks and cut them into 2 1/2 x 8-inch pieces. Stack these husks together and then tie them with string about a half inch from their tapered ends. This will form your doll's body. Create the doll's head by pulling the two inner husks up over the outer husks and then down to cover the string. Make it look as if the husk of corn has been turned inside out. Then you need to get another piece of string and wrap it around the ball-shaped tip of the husks and then tie it.

Take a piece of 6-inch husk and trim the tapered end to make sure that both ends are of the same width. Twist the husk into a tube and then tie a string around it a half inch from the ends. Slip the tube between the two husks that form the body. Position it in the center just below the head so that it resembles arms that are extended sideward. Tie a string around the doll's body right below the arms in order to create a waist and secure the arms at the same time. Use your creativity in dressing up and adorning your doll.

If you wish to make legs for your doll, simply divide the body husks into two sections below the waist and then tie off the bottoms with string to indicate ankles. You may also glue corn silk to the head in order to fashion some hair for your Native American dolls.


The Ken Doll: Ken's Early History

No comprehension of the Barbie doll is complete without thinking about her boyfriend Ken, who's undergone some changes himself throughout the years. Developed to live in Barbie's shadow, Ken has kept up with changes which have included almost everything from ordinary style updates to major plastic surgery, all to represent contemporary styles and keep Barbie happy. From the Surfer 60's into the Disco 70's, Ken has built a significant following and is the focus of adulation from people across the web. Deemed a collectible in his own right, let's take a brief look at a collector's early chronology of the Ken doll (1960s - 1970s).

Born for a Lonely Barbie Doll

The Ken Doll came to life in 1961 as Barbie Dolls boyfriend and he was an instant hit as Barbie fanatics needed her to get a partner. The first Ken Doll had flocked hair in either blonde or brunette, blue eyes and he was 12 inches tall. Ken arrived wearing red swimming trunks, sandals together with a yellow beach towel. Eventually his hair became thin and fell out, so locating an authentic Ken doll with a full head of hair is a real win. In the years right after Ken's first release, the Ken doll was created with molded hair (blonde or brown), and came with a classic wardrobe of clothes that would take him thru many years. Through 1964, small improvements were made including the release of a special limited edition of King Arthur.

The Mid 60s: Ken Goes Through Changes

After Ken's first years, the Ken doll saw considerable changes. 1965 would be a watershed year for Ken; Bendable Leg Ken was a great improvement for the Ken doll which made him far more realistic. Before that point, life-like play with Ken and Barbie dolls was very stiff and the improvements made in the movement and bendability of dolls during the time really increased the dolls' popularity. Sadly, Ken's entry into the Mod era did not start well; 1966 saw Ken being discontinued but later returned in 1968 as the Talking Ken Doll and in 1969 as Talking Ken. Talking Ken showed up with a completely new, adult look with a buff build and cool wardrobe. Obviously, his first wardrobe didn't fit "man-Ken," much to the dismay of collectors.

Ken Goes Disco in the 70s

The 1970s contributed substantial changes to Ken that incorporated clothing, features and look. Mirroring the major cultural and stylistic changes of the day, 1971's Action Ken Doll entered the Barbie doll world wearing a groovy gold, psychedelic top with vest. Even though he still had molded brown hair, Ken absolutely stood out in the crowd! That year, Malibu Ken was launched and later years saw big adjustments to fashion and features like real rooted hair (1973's Mod Hair Ken). The disco era 70's produced an entirely fresh look powered by the disco trends of the day with the introduction of Superstar Ken showcasing a new face, body and wardrobe.

The Ken Doll: Barbie's Muse

Much like the Barbie doll, the creation of the Ken doll has evolved in stages; beginning merely as a young partner for his girlfriend Barbie and then evolving into more of a reflection of the "perfect boyfriend." Throughout Ken's early growth, the impact of popular culture can be seen with the dramatic stylistic adjustments echoing the signs and styles of the times. As a result, the Ken doll is now a popular collectible in his own right and has gained the sympathy of many who see him as the adoring boyfriend who's overshadowed by the beauty, personality and aspirations of his girlfriend Barbie.


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