My obsession for all things Barbie runs deep. As a small child, I could identify a boxed Barbie through wrapping paper by the sounds that the materials made as I squeezed the package. There are hours of home video footage of me playing dolls in my bedroom for days on end. Even as a 23-year-old woman, I still regularly purchase and play with my recently revived and growing collection of dolls. To me, Barbies will always hold a special place in my heart and they will always be, first and foremost, a toy to be played with. But not everyone thinks the same.
Some believe that the rarer Barbies are things to collect and use to decorate your home. These rarer Barbies hold extremely high price tags and exist in very few numbers. In fact, some of these Barbies cost more than a brand new car or even a small home due to the fact that they are truly one of a kind. Some Barbies on this list gained their value due to their age whilst others have never held a price tag below $1,000. So, without further ado, allow me to take you, the good people of the internet, through twenty-five of the rarest and priciest Barbie dolls in the world.
Note: The prices listed in this article were the highest known USD prices available for the mint condition items as of January 20th, 2019. The items may be available on other sites for lower prices or the prices may change over time.
24 Faraway Forest Fairy Kingdom Wedding Set ($150)
Not only does this set contain two of the most beautiful Barbies I have ever seen, but they are actually being sold at a very reasonable price. The rarity of these Barbies come from the fact that Mattel released them for a limited run in a set quantity. Once this lovely couple is gone, their listing will be taken down from the site and their value will continue to increase as the years pass. I might even purchase a set for myself while quantities last.
23 Four Realms Set ($212)
Though the Barbies from this set were available in stores individually (and in select stores as a complete set,) they too are part of a promotional limited run set that will, most likely, cease to exist on the official Barbie website once discontinued. Though the film was controversial in its reception, this set of characters were sold as a holiday bundle and was listed under the “Rare Collectibles” section of the Mattel website. And for the doll aficionados of the world, their current price is quite reasonable.
22 Katy Perry Barbie (Unknown)
This one-of-a-kind doll was created as an auction piece at the height of Miss Perry’s fame. The pop princesses’ doll was sold off at a charity auction in which the proceeds were entirely donated to the cause at the end of the night. Her cupcake dress was dotted with real diamonds and this one-of-a-kind pop princess sold her likeness for a pretty penny. Though the exact amount that the doll sold for is unknown, the fact that this is only one in existence earned this doll's spot on this countdown.
21 Pink Splendor ($1000)
Some dolls gain value from age while others gain value from being marketed as valuable upon release. Some dolls are released in very limited quantities as well as being initially retailed at higher prices. Though the idea of paying one thousand dollars for a doll may seem absurd to some, for a serious collector such a price is laughable. Cost is no cause for concern when one sets out to collect the rarest of the rare. And if it is, then this hobby may not be for you as it truly is an expensive one.
20 Carol Spencer ($1000)
Ah, the limited edition designer dolls. Now, these dolls were not only incredibly expensive at their initial release but their value continues to expand exponentially with each passing year. As you can see by the card placed on the front of the box, the dolls within this set were numbered upon release and no additional dolls from this set will ever be released. Once they were all sold, that was it. The only way to ever come across the dolls in the wild again will be if the original owners choose to sell their copies.
19 Midnight Tuxedo ($995)
For those of you who don’t know, the Mattel company releases different tiers of dolls. And some of those tiers are never to be released into stores. The highest tier available are the dolls with the black labels. Black Label Barbies are the best of the best. These dolls are expensive upon release for the sole fact that they are from the black label. They are also incredibly rare. Each and every doll from this tier will be released in extremely limited quantities and because of this, their value will continue to increase exponentially as time goes on.
18 Pink Jubilee ($1000)
These dolls gained their value from their rarity upon release. The Jubilee dolls were released as a one day only promotion and anyone who was not physically present was unable to receive one as all present were only eligible to receive one doll. Once the dolls were all given proper homes, no other dolls from this set were ever to be released ever again. And because of that, their resale value has continued to grow each and every year since the Jubilee. Even the dolls in less-than-pristine condition can still fetch a pretty penny online.
17 Dahlia ($1000)
We have officially entered the tetra digits and will not be going back below this price point for the rest of the article. It happened earlier in the article than one would expect, eh? Well, rare Barbies are truly a valuable thing. Even heavily loved and used Barbies who have not seen their original packaging in decades can still fetch a high price if sold on the right places online. The above doll was another limited and exclusive doll from the elite Silkstone collection and thus, her inherent rarity fetched a high price upon release that simply continued to grow over time.
16 Nicki Minaj (Unknown)
Though the exact price for the above doll remains unknown, the fact that she is the only one of her kind in existence wins her a spot on this list. Like the Katy Perry doll, the Nicki Minaj Barbie was created for a charity auction where all of the proceeds went directly to the cause being promoted. However, unlike the Katy Perry doll, we do know that the bidding for the Nicki Minaj doll started at one thousand dollars. The final price greatly exceeding this bid, of course.
15 Empress Josephine Barbie ($1050)
This limited edition Barbie is absolutely beautiful. One can simply look at this doll and tell that she is not only well made but that the materials used to make both the doll and her accessories greatly outdoes what's used to make the dolls that one can easily buy at their local Walmart. Though I know that doing so would greatly devalue this product, I would love if, for a limited time only, Mattel sold their more exclusive dolls at a reasonable price in stores in order to allow us common folk a taste of luxury.
14 Sales Resistance I Love Lucy ($1050)
Dolls modeled after celebrities, famous figures from history, and notable fictional characters are often far more valuable than their generic counterparts… even if they are reasonably priced upon initial release. They are often considered (if not officially) part of a limited set due to the fact that they will cease to be sold once the media loses popularity. But they will eventually find themselves desired once again when collectors down the line pick up an interest in them. Which, if I am not mistaken, is the plot of Toy Story 2.
13 Devi Kroell ($1075)
Ah, here we have the second Barbie in the designer Barbie line featured within this article. Most of the designer Barbies are created for one of three purposes. The first is a brand partnership between Mattel and the designers brand in order to post the designers cred in a more mainstream way, though this is rarely advertised as the purpose. The second is to bring some new faces into the Black Label line. And the third is to create one of a kind dolls for celebrity charity auctions.
12 Debut Silkstone Barbie ($1100)
These Barbies are part of the exclusive Black Label and were created as a nod to the origin of the company, as they were modeled after the original Barbie design. The silkstone Barbies can be seen in popular culture through the “Most Popular Girls” series on YouTube, where they played the French dolls who would do anything to win the modeling competition. The first-edition revived Silkstone dolls are rare, well made, and incredibly valuable due to both of the proceeding adjectives used in this sentence.
11 Marie Antionette ($1250)
I am sorry but you can not make a Marie Antoinette doll if you do not plan on going all out with it. Seriously, it cannot be done. You will bring shame upon her ghost and she will punish you from the afterlife. Luckily, Mattel has nothing to worry about because they truly did go above and beyond with this one. This limited-run doll was expensive from the start due to the nature of the materials used to create her and her price has does nothing but increase over time.
10 Faerie Queen ($1500)
The two dolls belonging to this set (as seen above) are utterly beautiful. Truly. There are no other words that one can use to describe them. The “Legends of Ireland” was a limited edition set that I believe should be not only released into the standard edition sets but also should be made available at mainstream retailers because I need to get my hands on them but I truly cannot justify their price at this current stage in my life.
9 Medusa Barbie ($1500)
The original legend of Medusa is probably one of the saddest Greek legends ever told, and if you know anything about Greek legends then you will know that that is truly saying something. There is just something so sad about the fact that she was given this power to protect herself and isolated for her own safety and then she was still hunted down and ended. Luckily, we got this beautiful limited edition collectible Mattel Barbie doll out of it.
8 Career Girl Barbie ($3500)
One thing I never understood is the complaints about Barbie. All Barbies look the same, not because lack of diversity, but because they are all the same person. I also ever understood the issue with her looks. As a child, I never really took notice of these things. I just saw that this one woman had literally hundreds of careers and that she could truly do anything she set her mind to and felt empowered because of that. And it all started with the above Career Girl Barbie who has gleaned her rarity and value from her age and diminished quantities.
7 Original Girl Barbie ($3500)
The value placed upon this doll comes both from her age as well as being one of the first Barbie’s to possess movable limbs. I don’t know if you have ever played with immovable Barbies but it truly is so frustrating to be unable to move any of their limbs. Therefore, the introduction of posable limbs was truly an innovation. This doll's high price comes from the fact that she is a little piece of history as well as the fact that she has decades under her belt since her release.
6 Karl Lagerfeld ($6000)
Here we are, on the final stretch of this countdown and we begin this portion with yet another designer Barbie. This one-of-a-kind Barbie was created for a charity auction and was modeled after the man who gave her her name. For people involved in the intricate and intense world of fashion design as well as the Barbie collector/hobbyists, this doll is one of the most important collaborations of all time. It is truly saddening that she was the only one of her kind ever created.
5 Lorraine Schwartz ($7500)
For the final doll on our list that is priced under 10,000USD, we have another designer doll. Like many other designer Barbies on this list, this doll was created as a one time only charity auction piece. What is unique about this doll, other than the designer who created it (as most designer and Mattel crossover products are one time only deals) is the fact that each and every piece of jewelry that the doll possesses was made with real gemstones.
4 Original Pink Diamond Barbie ($15,000)
We still have five rare, expensive, and valuable dolls to go and we have already hit the $15,000 benchmark. There is nowhere to go from here other than up. Like the majority of the more expensive dolls on this list, the Pink Diamond Barbie was created as a one-of-its-kind charity piece (though knock off versions of his doll can be found online for cheaper/more reasonable prices) for which, all proceeds went directly to charity. Fun fact: her dress is entirely made out of custom dyed and cut diamonds.
3 The Original Barbie ($27,450)
Fun fact: until recently, the average asking price for the original Barbie sat at around eight-thousand dollars. But dwindling mint-condition quantities and added time has caused the asking price for this little lady to go way up. Since the original dolls were created and used as a toy, it can be incredibly difficult to find ones that have not been heavily used during their prime and so the ones kept in collectors condition can go for nearly 30k on some bidding sites online.
2 Original Barbie And The Diamond Castle ($98,000)
This entry requires a bit of a disclaimer. I was unable to find a picture of the original Diamond castle Barbie due to the fact that the mainstream version of the doll clogged up the search results. However, many collectible and hobbyist websites claim that Mattel created a special one-of-a-kind version of their Diamond Castle Barbie (with real Diamonds) as a promotional item for the film of the same name. However, once the film was released, the mainstream and reasonably priced versions of the doll were sold at commercial retailers. The price commonly listed for this rare item is 98K. Due to it’s incredibly rare nature, it has found its way onto our list.
1 Stefano Canturi ($302,500)
I am going to pause for a minute to allow you to absorb the number that you just read. This one-of-a-kind doll was created for a charity auction and though I find myself utterly shocked when reading that number to myself, I would say that knowing that it all went to charity makes the price a bit easier to swallow. Like many of the other designer Barbies on this list, there is only one Stefano Canturi Barbie in existence. It just blows my mind that there are people can buy a doll worth more than my house like it’s no big deal.