Collecting

Help For New Collectors

Collector Terminology

Abbreviations

A/O
All Original. This phrase is often used at online auctions and other doll websites to describe a particular doll.

HTF
Hard to Find. Common abbreviation used at online auctions and other doll websites.

MIB
Mint in Box (factory mint-condition doll in original box).

MIP
Mint in Package. Similar to MIB. Denotes that all accessories are still in their original packaging.

MNB
Mint No Box (pristine-condition doll, no box).

NM
Near Mint. Interchangeable with "excellent" when describing a doll's condition.

NRFB
Never Removed From Box.

OSS
Original Swimsuit.

Barbie® Doll Identifiers/Descriptors

#1 Ponytail
1959 original Barbie®, white irises, blue liner, holes in feet, body material whitens with age.

#2 Ponytail
1959, same as original Barbie®, but no holes in feet.

#3 Ponytail
1960, blue irises, more gently curved eyebrows.

#4 Ponytail
1960, new vinyl used for body that retains its color over time.

#5 Ponytail
1961, new hair texture, hollow body that's lighter in weight.

Twist 'N Turn® Waist
A movable waist common to Barbie® dolls of the mid-1960s and beyond. Some Barbie® dolls have a variation of this waist.

Doll Value

Book Value
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.

Market Value
Actual price for which 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.

Barbie® Signature Exclusives, Editions, and Collections

Barbie® Signature Member Exclusive
Barbie® dolls sold by Mattel through the Barbie.com online shop, and available only to Platinum and Gold Status members of Barbie® Signature.

Black LabelCollection
Black Label™ Collection includes some of Barbie® Signature's most sensational dolls designed for the adult collector. Black Label™ dolls do not have a quota limit.*

Collector Edition
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.

Direct Exclusive
Barbie® dolls sold in the United States by Mattel through the Barbie.com online shop only. (This exclusive policy applies to the United States only. Dolls may be sold to retail customers outside the United States.)

Gold LabelCollection
Gold Label™ Collection dolls are sequentially numbered editions of 20,000 or less worldwide for each doll.***

Hard to Find
Hard to Find items are currently available in the U.S. only, online at Barbie.com and select retailer(s).

Limited Edition
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.

Online Exclusive
Barbie® dolls sold by Mattel through the Barbie.com online shop only.

Pink LabelCollection
Pink Label™ Collection dolls include some of Barbie® Signature’s most beloved keepsake dolls, serve as an invitation to collecting, and are available wherever Barbie® dolls are sold. Pink Label™ dolls do not have a quota limit.**

Platinum LabelCollection
Platinum Label™ Collection dolls are sequentially numbered editions of less than 5,000 worldwide, available online at Barbie.com and at select retailers.****

Silver LabelCollection 
Silver Label™ Collection dolls are sequentially numbered editions of 25,000 or less worldwide for each doll.*****

Timeless Treasures
Celebrity (Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis, etc.) and/or character (Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo) collectible dolls.

Doll Categories

Modern Barbie®
All Barbie® dolls produced beginning in 1972. (An "accepted" date among many collectors for the beginning of the Modern Barbie® era.)

Vintage Barbie®
All Barbie® dolls produced before 1972.

Other Terms

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. 

Mint & Complete
Pristine outfit and all accessories in mint condition.

Secondary Market
Those other than Mattel who buy and sell Barbie® dolls.

Mattel does not guarantee that any doll will increase in value. Some dolls increase in value, some decrease, and some remain the same.

Part of the tier structure introduced in 2004.
**  Beginning in 2000.
***  From 2004-2014, Gold Label™ Collection dolls were sequentially number editions of 25,000 or less worldwide for each doll. Starting in 2015, the number of dolls produced within the Gold Label™ tier was reduced to 10,000 or less. Starting in 2018, the number of dolls produced within the Gold Label™ tier was increased to 20,000 or less.
****  From 2004-2017, Platinum Label™ Collection dolls were sequentially number editions of 1,000 or less worldwide for each doll. Starting in 2018, the number of dolls produced within the Platinum Label™ tier was increased to 5,000 or less.
*****  From 2004-2014, Silver Label™ Collection dolls were sequentially number editions of 50,000 or less worldwide for each doll. Starting in 2015, the number of dolls produced within the Silver Label™ tier was reduced to 25,000 or less.