Daily Management Review

The "Barbie" Movie Rekindles Interest In The Market For Doll Collectors


The "Barbie" Movie Rekindles Interest In The Market For Doll Collectors
In the 1970s, Matthew Keith used his allowance money to purchase his first Barbie dolls, which he kept from his parents out of concern that they would criticise the toys as being insufficiently masculine.
His Barbie collection, which is currently housed on 22 feet of bookcases in his Los Angeles home and is worth about $20,000, is there. More than 70,000 people follow the middle school teacher's Instagram account, "DollsOnTheBrain," with roughly 15,000 of those followers joining in the previous few weeks.
Due to the "Barbie" movie's opening weekend promotion and audience excitement, what was once a strange hobby has recently become much more mainstream.
Vintage Barbie dolls have become a prized find at thrift shops, collections prices have skyrocketed, and antiques appraisers have been inundated with requests from new collectors.
Keith, 55, appreciates the fervour.
"I am both happy and hopeful that this will move the needle on Barbie acceptance for everyone," he said in an interview, adding there are still many little boys who feel pressured not to play with the dolls.
The "Barbie" movie, which debuted on Friday, is anticipated to earn $100 million in theatres across the United States during its first weekend. With products like hotel suites, toothbrushes, and clothing with Barbie themes, retailers all over the world are also attempting to capitalise on the frenzy surrounding it.
Not many devoted Barbie collectors share Keith's enthusiasm for the revival of the iconic doll's collection. Due to a boom in interest before the movie, several claimed on a Reddit community devoted to the hobby that wealthy new customers were driving them out of business.
"I've largely stopped collecting dolls themselves and invest in clothing and accessories instead," wrote one user. "What started out as an affordable hobby has grown too expensive to maintain."
Veteran Barbie doll trader Marl Davidson, who is headquartered in Florida, claimed that prices have increased by around 25% recently. Three times as many individuals as normal have been visiting MarlBe.com, which receives roughly 3,000 daily hits, many of which are from people establishing collections.
"I've never seen this kind of interest. It's really bringing a lot of new adults into the Barbie-collecting world," Davidson said.
Non-collector dolls often cost between $10 and $30, whereas collector dolls normally cost approximately $100. The original, 1959-produced "Holy Grail" Barbie fetches hundreds of dollars on the open market.
The Barbie doll owners who typically seek her advice are seasoned collectors determining the insurance value of their collection, according to Dr. Lori Verderame, an art historian and TV personality with 25 years of experience as an antiques assessor.
Verderame said that the movie has increased demand for Barbie evaluations by about 60% over the previous month, outpacing demand for dolls from other brands that are typically more well-liked.
"Barbie appraisals don't normally come the way they've been coming," she said. "I've seen some very rare and wonderful dolls for appraisals that we might not have seen if it wasn't for the movie."
Many of them come from individuals who have little to no expertise collecting dolls, like the person who bought a Barbie at a thrift shop that turned out to be worth more than $10,000. Another person discovered a doll that had been sitting in her mother's home for years and was later valued at $8,500.
Verderame noted that many rare Barbies are "still out there to be found on the treasure hunt in thrift stores," but warned that the present surge in seller interest is only likely to persist for a couple more weeks.
"I feel like Barbie has elevated my personal finances, even though I've put a lot of money into her since 1991," he said.