An exchange I recently found on the Barbie forums went something like this:
Member A: Can someone tell me where to find the highly collectible recent wave of 2015 Fashionistas™ dolls?
Member B: Highly collectible play line dolls? You mean the ones they make millions of? Check WalMart. They're all bound to be there for $7.99 *hair flip* *rolls eyes* *pats self on back for throwing shade at play line collector*
It seems that some collectors have forgotten that there was a time when Barbie® dolls made for adult collectors were not a thing, and Barbie® dolls were all "play line". Let's be real. Barbie® started out as a toy marketed towards young girls, and for better or for worse, the brand is continuously evolving.
The new dolls lining shelves at Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us may not be to everyone's liking, particularly some whose tastes have moved away from colors so bright that they could induce seizures. However, that doesn't make your Platinum Label™ Karl Lagerfeld™ Barbie® more collectible than, say, the new LA Girl Fashionistas™ Barbie® doll. Karl is rarer, and some might say made to a "higher standard", but to a true collector that shouldn't matter. Yes, in some ways, dolls made for adults can be considered objectively "better" than dolls made for kids--the fabrics are more expensive, the closures are not made of velcro (mostly), the designs are more sophisticated, and so on. However, those things don't make a doll more collectible, they just make it more expensive and geared towards a "mature" crowd. I had to use quotation marks around the word mature because of all the tantrums I witnessed over the recent Platinum tokidoki Barbie®, but generally we're talking about an older audience.
The best piece of collecting advice I have ever heard, and still read on the forums from time to time, is to collect what you like. Don't buy dolls hoping they'll appreciate in value over time (some do, most don't). Don't buy dolls just because they're rare and coveted. Don't buy dolls to impress your collector friends. Buy dolls that make you happy. I mostly buy Barbie Collector dolls because those are the dolls that I enjoy, but every now and then, a play line doll, fashion or accessory catches my eye, and I don't hesitate to add it to my collection. I collect what I want. You should, too!
About the Webmaster
My name is Jared. I began collecting dolls in 2011. It all started with Barbie® Basics Model No 16 Collection 002 for me. Soon after that, I started photographing my dolls, editing the images and sharing my work on my Tumblr photoblog, Life in Plastic. "Playing" with dolls has inspired me to learn to sew, paint with acrylics, re-root doll hair, practice my bead craft, among other things...My collecting hobby turned into a passion for creating art in different media!