The first Vintage Barbie Dolls were released in 1959.
Here is a detailed chronological history of Barbie Dolls from 1959 to 1966. Each doll has its own page with pictures and detailed information.
Pictures and details are also available for Barbie's same sized best friend, Midge.
For Barbie Dolls and Friends from the Mod Era (1967 to 1975), see Mod Barbie Dolls.
Vintage Barbie Ponytail Dolls were issued from 1959 to 1966. Her design evolved over the years and there are 7 different variations. These are known by their numbers - #1, #2, #3, etc.
Vintage Barbie Ponytail Dolls - includes all the ponytail dolls information to help you decide which one you have.
As a general rule, the lower the number the more valuable the doll.
Barbie's new look in 1961, said to be influenced by the 1st lady Jackie Kennedy, the fashion ion of the time, was a short style called a Bubblecut.
Bubblecut Barbie dolls were sold from 1961 to 1967. Although collectors do not often distinguish the different faces like they do with the ponytail, the Bubblecut's face underwent the same transformation as the ponytail. The first Bubblecut had a small tight hairstyle. As the years progressed her hair got fuller and fuller.
Wigs were a popular fashion item in the early to mid-1960s. Fashion Queen Barbie had molded painted hair and came with three wigs.
One of the highlights of my elementary school days was when my teacher's wig feel off into the trash can. When I think of wigs I always remember that! Hopefully Barbie had better luck!
In 1964 the glamorous Swirl ponytail Barbie was introduced, signaling the beginning of Barbie's truly glamorous period that lasted until Barbie went "Mod" in 1967.
The dolls, clothing and accessories from the glam years of 1964 to 1966 are among the most highly sought by collectors, and therefore the most valuable.
Miss Barbie was the first doll with bendable legs and the only Barbie doll with "sleep" eyes that could open and close. She was also the first to have molded hair (instead of rooted) - she came with three wigs and a lawn swing and accessories.
The American Girl Barbie, named for her hair style, represents the peak of Barbie's glamour and elegance. The American Girl Barbie and her 1600 series ensembles are the most glamorous and the most coveted by collectors. No surprise they are also among the most valuable.
Color Magic Barbie came with either Golden Blonde or Midnight Black hair that changed to either Scarlet Flame or Ruby Red when the enclosed solution was applied. This is one of the hardest to find, and therefore most expensive vintage Barbie dolls. Some Color Magic Barbie are considered "high color" with very vivid makeup. These are generally more valuable.
Vintage Color Magic Barbie Doll