Barbie Collecting Information & Terminology
In 2004, Barbie® Collector introduced a color-coded “tier structure” system in which each tier represents an identifiable level of doll collecting, with special retail destinations and elegant packaging designed to enhance each doll’s beauty as well as clearly communicate which tier the doll belongs to.
Inspired by the innovative approach of today’s most successful designers’ in representing their fashion lines, from upscale boutiques to major department stores, each of the label colors is a way of segmenting Barbie® Collector dolls and communicating where they can be found. The tiers start with Pink Label™ (pink being Barbie® doll's signature color, of course!), then continue on to Silver Label™, Gold Label™, and Platinum Label™, colors representing the high standards of each successive tier.
Below is the explanation of this color-coded tier structure including the types of dolls in each tier and where you might find the dolls you’re dreaming of.
Pink Label™ includes some of Barbie® Collector's most beloved and fun keepsake dolls, like Dolls of the World®. Pink Label™ dolls come packaged in a box with a clear acetate front trimmed in pink, perfect for displaying NRFB. Pink Label™ dolls do not have a quota limit. These dolls will be available at quality retailers; however, Discount stores are their premiere destination.
Silver Label™ includes some of our favorite dolls, like Chocolate Obsession™ Barbie® Doll and Barbie® as Juliet. No more than 50,000 pieces of any one Silver Label™ doll will be produced worldwide, and each comes packaged in a silvery-trimmed package similar to the Pink Label™ box. Silver Label™ dolls are available at toy retailers, including their premiere destination at a Large Toy Store Retail Chain.
Gold Label™ dolls will be produced in quantities of no more than 25,000 pieces worldwide. Gold Label™ dolls include such distinguished series as the Barbie® Fashion Model Collection , and designer dolls like the Badgley Mischka Bride Barbie® doll, the first Barbie® Collector doll to be seen on store shelves in the new packaging. Gold Label™ dolls come in a “cake box” type package (complete with acetate layer to protect the doll) and feature artistic interpretive photography or other artwork on the gold-trimmed packaging lid and back. Gold Label™ dolls are distributed via authorized Barbie® doll dealers as well as at fine retailers.
Platinum Label™ dolls are produced in editions of less than 1,000 worldwide, including premium one-of-a-kind dolls available at select events, such as those produced for CAAF's annual Dream Halloween events. These dolls also include Platinum Label™ editions of the Badgley Mischka Bride Barbie® and Faerie Queen™ Barbie® Doll, among others.
You, too, can become fluent in the language of Barbie® doll collectors worldwide with these commonly used terms!
All Original. This phrase is often used at online auctions and other doll web sites to describe a particular doll.
Hard to find. Common abbreviation used at online auctions and other doll web sites.
Mint In Box (factory mint-condition doll in original box).
Mint in Package. Similar to MIB. Denotes that all accessories are still in their original packaging.
Mint No Box (pristine-condition doll, no box).
Near mint. Interchangeable with "excellent" when describing a doll's condition.
Never Removed From Box.
Original Swim Suit.
'59 original Barbie®, white irises, blue liner, holes in feet, body material whitens with age.
'59, same as original Barbie®, but no holes in feet.
'60, blue irises, more gently curved eyebrows.
'60, new vinyl used for body that retains its color over time.
'61, new hair texture, hollow body that's lighter in weight.
Twist 'N Turn® Waist (TNT)
A moveable waist common to Barbie® dolls of the mid-1960s and beyond. Some Barbie® dolls have a variation of this waist.
Pricing Guide value of a particular doll. This is not necessarily the amount you can get selling it on the secondary market. Value may vary from guide to guide.
Actual price you can expect to sell a particular doll for. Prices vary over time and due to a number of other factors. See online auction sites for market values.
BarbieSM Fan Club Exclusive
Barbie® dolls sold by Mattel through the BarbieCollector.com online shop, and available only to members of the BarbieSM Fan Club.
Barbie® dolls produced in quantities of more than 35,000*, and are designed for collecting and displaying. Most dolls come in showcase packaging that includes a doll stand and a Certificate of Authenticity.
Barbie® dolls sold in the United States by Mattel through the Barbie® Collector mail catalog or the BarbieCollector.com online shop only. (This exclusive policy applies to the United States only. Dolls may be sold to retail customers outside the United States.)
Barbie® dolls produced in quantities limited to 35,000* or less. They tend to feature special fabrics and details that set them apart from other dolls, and are designed for collecting and displaying. Most dolls come in showcase packaging that includes a doll stand and a Certificate of Authenticity.
Barbie® dolls sold by Mattel through the BarbieCollector online shop only.
Celebrity (Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis, etc.) and/or character (Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo) collectible dolls.
All Barbie® dolls produced beginning in 1972. (An "accepted" date among many collectors for the beginning of the Modern Barbie® era.)
All Barbie® dolls produced before 1972.
C Grading System
A system used by some collectors to rate the condition of your dolls. Designations are C-1 through C-10. C-1 is the poorest possible condition. C-10 is factory mint and NRFB (never removed from box). Customized Dolls
Dolls created originally for a specific store, catalog or company. Most dolls in the Barbie® Collector line also include a doll stand and a Certificate of Authenticity and come in showcase packaging.
Mint & Complete
Pristine outfit and all accessories in mint condition.
Those other than Mattel who buy and sell Barbie® dolls
OOAK (Original One of a Kind)
Dolls designed or re-designed by artists to be original and only one of a kind Barbie Dolls.
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