There are still gangs of Barbie doll collectors and the things that go along with the Barbie Doll. Of course the first production years command the highest premiums but make no mistake there are hugh amounts of people that collect everyone of the sister, boy friend Ken, and all of the other friends that Barbie made in the past years. Barbie Doll clothes from the 50's and 60's are in big demand. The dolls themselves are also in big demand if they are from the right era. this might help you with what you have in your collection and be picky about the Barbie you buy. The country where the doll was made and the year of the doll makes a big difference.
History and survival of the Barbie Doll
1959 - 1972 JAPAN 1968 - 1970 MEXICO , 1970 - 1987 HONG KONG
1970 - 1987 TAIWAN 1973 - 1978 KOREA, 1978 - 1988 PHILLIPINES
1986 to present - CHINA, 1986 to present- MALAYSIA, 1989 - 1990 - MEXICO
1992 to present - INDONESIA
- 1958: Ruth Handler develops the idea of Barbie, inspired by the Bild Lilli doll.
- 1959: Barbie doll debuts. The vintage era of Barbie begins.
- 1960: Barbie dolls number 3 and 4 are released.
- 1961: Barbie doll now available with red hair and a new short style known as the "bubblecut." Barbie doll's boyfriend Ken debuts.
- 1963: Fashion Queen Barbie debuts with molded hair and three interchangeable wigs. Barbie doll's best friend, Midge, is introduced.
- 1964: "Miss Barbie" debuts with sleep eyes and is the first with bendable legs. Like the Fashion Queen, she also wears wigs. A new "Swirl" ponytail style Barbie is also introduced as well as Skipper, Barbie's little sister.
- 1965: Barbie "American Girl" is introduced. Fashions inspired by the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy are marketed. More of the dolls offered with lifelike with legs that bend. Miss Astronaut is introduced.
- 1966: Color Magic Barbie debuts. Lunch on the Terrace, Pretty as a Picture, and Shimmering Magic are marketed. Barbie’s cousin Francie introduced. Barbie’s little sister and brother, twins Tutti and Todd, debuts.
- 1967: Twist ‘N Turn Barbie is introduced. Fashion Shiner and Braniff Boarding Outfit are marketed. Colored Francie appears.
- 1968: Barbie speaks for the first time (English and Spanish). Six different phrases are said, including "I have a date tonight", "I love being a fashion model", and "Let's have a costume party."
- 1969: Ken is reintroduced with muscles and a new head, knees that bend, and the ability to speak.
- 1970: Living Barbie is introduced. She has elbows, knees, and ankles that bend. Her head, waist, arms, hands, and legs swivel.
- 1971: Malibu Barbie debuts. Growin’ Pretty Hair Barbie debuts. Barbie doll's demure side-glancing eyes now look straight ahead.
- 1972: This is the year that the modern era of Barbie begins. Walk-Lively Barbie and Talking Busy Barbie are introduced. Talking Busy Barbie can communicate. Talking Busy Barbie has rotating wrists and hands can hold accessories. Last years of the Japan Barbie Dolls.
- 1973: Quick Curl Barbie is introduced. Ken doll's hair comes with straight or curly hair and a removable beard, sideburns and two moustaches.
- 1974: Barbie turns sixteen. A section of Times Square in New York City is renamed Barbie Boulevard for a week.
- 1975: Barbie Olympic skier, gymnast and skater are marketed poseable with a "gold" medal. Barbie Get-Ups 'N Go new careers as a doctor, surgical nurse, ballerina and a flight attendant. Barbie Dream Boat is introduced.
- 1976: Ballerina Barbie debuts. Barbie of the Century for the bicentennial celebration is dressed in a red, white, and blue dress. Her red skirt is decorated with the American flag. A line of revolutionary soldiers in uniform are also supplied.
- 1977: SuperStar Barbie is introduced. Eighteen inches (457 mm) tall Super Size Barbie debuts. Barbie and Ken have new bent arms and extra-poseable heads. "Pierced" earrings reappear, and dolls get rings for the first time.
- 1978: SuperStar Barbie gets the SuperStar Stage Show. Fashion Photo Barbie has photo shoots posing on a modeling stand.
- 1979: Pretty Changes Barbie debuts.
- 1980: Black Barbie, Hispanic Barbie, and the International Collection are marketed. The International Collection initially including Italian Barbie, Parisian Barbie, and Royal U.K. Barbie. The first Barbie doll convention is held.
- 1981: Western Barbie doll goes country with Westward Ho and Classic Cowgirl. Dallas, her palomino horse, debuts.
- 1982: Pink & Pretty Barbie debuts. Black Magic Curl Barbie debuts. Eskimo Barbie and India Barbie are added to the International Collection.
- 1983: Twirly Curls Barbie is marketed. Dream Date Barbie dates Ken. Angel Face Barbie has her own makeup line. Swedish Barbie and Spanish Barbie are added to the International Collection.
- 1984: Barbie doll's 25th Anniversary. Barbie & Ken Day is declared by New York Mayor Ed Koch. Tiffany's creates a sterling silver Barbie doll. The International Collection becomes the Dolls of the World Collection. Swiss Barbie and Irish Barbie are introduced.
- 1985: Day-to-Night Barbie debuts. Andy Warhol releases his Barbie painting. Barbie doll exhibition finishes its travels from France and nine U.S. cities.
- 1986: Barbie joins a band, The Rockers. Dream Glow Fashions that glow in the dark is marketed. Blue Rhapsody Barbie is introduced. It is the first Limited Edition collector Barbie doll. It is the first porcelain doll. Astronaut Barbie travels to space. Peruvian Barbie and Greek Barbie debut.
- 1987: Barbie's wild Concert Tour fashions take a cue from pop star Madonna. The World Collection adds Icelandic Barbie and German Barbie.
- 1988: The Happy Holidays Series debuts. Benefit Performance 1967 Barbie is added to the Limited Edition porcelain dolls. Mardis Gras Barbie debuts. Canadian Barbie and Korean Barbie are introduced.
- 1989: Barbie doll's 30th Anniversary. 1200 Pink Jubilee Barbie are given to invitation-only attendees. Army Barbie is marketed.
- 1990: Sophisticated Lady Barbie is added to the Limited Edition Porcelain Collection. Bob Mackie Gold Barbie is introduced with over 5,000 golden sequins and beads. It wins Dolls magazine's "1990 Award of Excellence" and Doll Reader magazine's "Doty Doll of the Year Award." Air Force Barbie debuts. Nigerian Barbie and Brazilian Barbie join the Dolls of the World.
- 1991: Starlight Splendor Barbie and Platinum Barbie are added to the long line. Navy Barbie doll is introduced. Gay Parisien Barbie doll is marketed. Czechoslovakian Barbie debuts.
Barbie logo, 1992 to 1999
- 1992: Stacie is introduced. Marine Corps Barbie debuts. Barbie store opens at FAO Schwarz in New York. Crystal Rhapsody Barbie debuts is the first mail-order Barbie doll. It is part of the Presidential Porcelain Barbie Collection. Neptune Fantasy Barbie and Empress Bride Barbie are marketed. Benefit Ball Barbie of the Classique Collection is introduced.
- 1993: 1920s Flapper Barbie and Gibson Girl Barbie of the Great Eras Collection are introduced. The First Edition Native American Barbie debuts and is added to the World Collection. The Masquerade Ball Barbie debuts.
- 1994: Barbie doll’s 35th Anniversary. Mattel reproduces the original number 1 Barbie. Limited Edition Jubilee Barbie is introduced and only 5,000 were made for domestic distribution. Kenyan Barbie and Chinese Barbie join Dolls of the World. Hollywood Legends Collection begins with as Scarlet O' Hara Barbie. Queen of Hearts Barbie is marketed.
- 1995: Mattel’s 50th Anniversary. Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Barbie is released. Kelly is introduced. The second doll in the Hollywood Legends Collection with Dorothy Barbie from The Wizard of Oz is introduced. Goddess of the Sun Barbie debuts. Rapunzel Barbie debuts as part of the new Children’s Collector Series.
- 1996: Barbie web site is available. Moon Goddess Barbie debuts. Barbie Millicent Roberts Collection debuts. Limited Edition Vintage Reproduction Poodle Parade Barbie is introduced. Hollywood Legends Collection features Barbie as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
- 1997: Harley-Davidson Barbie, a Toys 'R Us and Harley-Davidson dealership exclusive, debuts. Official Barbie Collector’s Club debuts. Marilyn Barbie is added to the Hollywood Legends Collection. Grand Premier Barbie doll, the first doll for club members only is marketed. Limelight Barbie is introduced. Billions of Dreams Barbie debuts. Classic Ballet Series with Sugar Plum Fairy Barbie.
- 1998: Sunflower Barbie, second in the Artist Series, is marketed. Happy Holidays Barbie doll series ends. Timeless Sentiments Collection is introduced with the Angel of Joy Barbie. Nolan Miller's Sheer Illusion Barbie and Vera Wang's bridal gown Barbie debut. Harley-Davidson Barbie #2 is released. Elizabeth Taylor endorses first approved doll in her likeness. One of a kind "Dream Halloween" CAAF auction doll depicting Miss Taylor at the 1954 Oscars ceremony designed by Anne Zielinski-Old sells to Demi Moore for ground breaking $25000.00. Collectible vinyl production dolls depicting "Cleopatra" and "Father of the Bride" follow. 
- 1999: Silken Flame Barbie doll selected as a 1960s lifestyle for the U.S. Postal Service's Celebrate the Century stamp series. Le Papillon Barbie and Crystal Jubilee Barbie debuts. Barbie doll's 40th Anniversary. New face sculpting is used on Coca-Cola Barbie, NASCAR Official #94 Barbie, and Barbie in the Barbie and Kenny Country Duet Set. Collector Edition 40th Anniversary Barbie is released. Gala Edition 40th Anniversary Barbie has a very Limited Edition of 20,000 dolls which are given to Toy Fair Gala attendees. Barbie "Generation Girl" series debuts, sparking controversy as the series includes one doll with a nose ring and one doll (Barbie) with an ankle tattoo. The "Art of Barbie" event and exhibition is held in London to commemorate her anniversary, raising funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation . The release of "Heartstring Angel", "Todd Oldham", and "Western Plains Barbie" all designed by Anne Zielinski-Old.
- 2000: Barbie for President debuts. Limited Edition dolls production is reduced to quantities of 35,000 or less. Barbie celebrates the year 2000. Barbie 2000, Millennium Wedding, and Sydney 2000 Olympic Pin Collector become part of the Most Collectible Doll In The World series. Hollywood Movie Star Collection with Barbie as part of the Golden Age of Hollywood is marketed. Barbie Fashion Model Collection debuts. Barbie Silkstone is introduced in this Collection; the distinctive pose and attitude for the new doll was designed by Anne Zielinski-Old , from a 3D digital mannequin earlier developed at the Royal College of Art for a "Virtual Catwalk" . Barbie debuts with the belly button.
- 2001: The Cher Barbie doll debuts. Jeannie Barbie from I Dream of Jeannie and The Munsters Barbie Lily and Ken Herman Munster are introduced.
- 2002: Iran introduces Sara and Dara dolls as a cheaper alternative to Barbie that promotes Islamic values.
- 2003: Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the muttawa or "religious police") declares that Barbie's provocative clothing is offensive to Islam, saying, "Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful." The doll is already banned in the kingdom as a "Jewish" toy, but are available as contraband.
- Mattel loses a legal battle against American artist Tom Forsythe. Forsythe had made images of Barbie showing her nude and in sexual and other situations. The court decided that the images qualified as satire, and were thus legal. 
- 2004: Barbie and Ken separate. After 43 years as one of the world's most famous couples, the pair's "business manager," Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time - apart."
- 2005: Mattel expands the Barbie domain with the introduction of a high-end "Barbie Luxe" designer line of clothing and accessories for adult women. Included: jeans, shirts, handbags and jewelry designed by well-known fashion designers. US sales of Barbie "crashed by 30%, and world sales by 18%"
- This information was from wikipedia and its great sources.
We still have a group of collectors that go to the comventions and all of the big meetings that bring people from around the world together to talk, swap, shop, and collect what has been a long run for the American icon the American Barbie Doll. Just to say the word Barbie is means Barbie Doll and that is a house hold word even if they have the Brats, Dixie chix and all of the other dolls being produced today.
Barbie lives on and the collectors keep her alive. At one time ladies in there 30's were spending about a $1000.00 a year on collecting Barbie dolls. I am not sure if thet number has fallen or just has not increased in the past year. It is sure to say that the Barbie that started everything is getting harder and harder to find. If you are lucky and can buy one cheap at a garage sale you are doing something that the majority of us are not doing.