my mom's vintage barbie collection and iconic barbie christmas tree with over 100 barbie ornaments | by Meghan Kennedy 12/21/23
Barbie has always been an icon in our household.
From Mom's vintage Barbie collection and obsession to our own Barbie village in the basement as kids - we've loved and admired the Mattel star for decades. My Mom started her collection as a young girl and knows so much about the history and development of the Barbie doll.
"I just love how pretty Barbie is and all the outfits and accessories you can change on her. When I was a little girl, my cousin gave me some of her Barbies, which I always treasured. We pretended to be grown-ups playing with our Barbies and making up stories to go along with them."
Barbie officially debuted on March 9, 1959, at the American International Toy Fair in NYC as a creation of Mattel, Inc.'s Ruth Handler. Handler got her inspiration from the German Lilli doll in 1956, and the development of Barbie began soon after.
"The first Barbies with the ponytails were numbered one through five. The number one Barbie is the one that sells for thousands of dollars. My most prized possession is probably my number three Barbie which had a solid vinyl body. She is very pale in coloring as the vinyl faded. I also have a few number fives and sixes in varying hair color blonde, brunette, and titan."
"I still have my childhood collection of Barbies and in the 1980's I started collecting more Barbies with my friend Ilene who shared a common interest. I probably have a total of 50 vintage Barbies and family.
Besides the ponytail Barbies - I have bubble cut, American Girl, Barbie, and Twist and Turn Barbie whose hips swiveled! I have two Fashion Queens (with the wigs), three Kens, four Skippers, three Midge, Allen, and the little ones - Tutti and Todd. I also have the mod Barbies, Francie, Twiggy, and a few others who had eyelashes! Plus a Tressie and Penny Bright (a little bigger of a doll, but shorter than Barbie) which were competitors of Barbie."
My Mom's vintage Barbie collection lives in curio cabinets in the formal living room of their house. At Christmas, she puts up six Christmas trees - one of them being a white Barbie tree with 100 or so Barbie ornaments on it.
"My husband Bill would buy me one or two Barbie ornaments every year and as the collection grew we had to get a special tree just for the Barbie ornaments. I chose a white tree with white lights and handmade a pink and white high-heeled print tree skirt for the tree. I sacrificed and unboxed one of my Holiday Barbies to put on the top as the perfect tree topper!" - Mom
The thrill of helping decorate the Barbie tree growing up is a memory I will always cherish. We've always found Barbie so inspiring - to be whoever you want to be and to dress as fabulously as you feel - never forgetting to accessorize life!
Thankful for endless celebrations, memories, and festive fun had around each of the trees at my parents' home.
Cheers to magical memories and our Barbie girl, Meghan
photography + videography: @lucid.ladybug | all rights reserved.
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