Barbie, The First 30 Years by Stefanie Deutsch

Barbie, the First 30 Years: 1959 Through 1989: An Identification and Value Guide - Stefanie Deutsch

This is the first edition from 1996, two subsequent editions have been released. If you have gone as far down the rabbit hole of Barbie collecting as I have you will want to check this author out. This book has minimal text - extended captions to the photos along with irrelevant values - but the photos are extensive and worth the price of admission.


Even as outdated as this book is the author's breadth of coverage is amazing. Sure, there are websites out there now that have all of this with perhaps better resolution and more accurate information, but as a single catch-all guide to classic vintage (pre-1973) and the new vintage of pre-'90s this book is hard to beat.



Barbie wearing 'Wedding Day' #972, flanked by Ken in 'Tuxedo' #787 and best friend Midge wearing 'Orange Blossom' #987. A classic group.


Especially noteworthy are the pictured dolls, accessories and clothes of Barbie's predecessor, the German comic doll Bild-Lilli. Ruth Handler had famously long wanted to create a fashion doll for kids, but it wasn't until she saw and bought some Bild-Lilli's in Switzerland that she was able to convince Mattel to start on a proto-type. You never see solid information on these dolls or their accessories.



A more modern wedding day. Skipper wears #1910 'Sunny Pastels', Ken wears 'Best Buy #9128', A Talking Barbie wears #3361 'Sweetheart Satin' and a Hair Fair Barbie wears a groovy clone fringe dress and accessories.