We Bet You Have Some of These Collectible Dolls Laying Around — But Are They the Valuable Ones?
With the rise of doll customization and the changes to our favorite fashion doll Barbie, we got to wondering: which dolls are the most valuable? We all have a few Barbies laying around, or Bratz or Monster High dolls — and we know you value your dolls for the memories they hold. There is one thing for sure, though. Not all dolls are valued equally — at least when it comes to price!
There is one truth doll collectors know — it can cost a lot to get into doll collecting, especially if you have a love for rare treasures. If you have a good eye, and perhaps some deep pockets, you can stumble onto some real treasures. We took some time to uncover the most collectible types of dolls out there. Then, because our curiosity knows no bounds, we found the most expensive doll of each type.
Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls
“But Mom! I want it!” If you were a child of the 80’s, you probably whined those very same words about the insanely popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. The dolls were originally invented by the crafty Xavier Roberts as fabric sculptures to be adopted by families. The Cabbage Patch Kids backstory grew to include a magical cabbage patch behind a waterfall where babies were born thanks to mystical Bunny Bees. Strange, but true! Also true: tales about literal riots in 1983 during the holiday season to purchase the adoptable babies. The Cabbage Patch Kid brand passed through many hands, including Coleco, Hasbro, Mattel and the now-defunct Toys “R” Us. But don’t you worry your pretty little head! Today’s dolls are currently available for adoption thanks to Wicked Cool Toys — and that makes us wicked happy!
Today, CPK dolls are easily found online and at major retailers for around $40 (give or take). If you really want to spend some money though, you’ll have to go vintage. In 2018, a Coleco era doll sold for $750, which sounds like a lot until you hear about the couple from Georgia who, rumor has it, paid $5,000 for a set of one-of-a-kind quintuplets. The quints were “born” at Babyland General Hospital back when they dolls were still called Little People. If you want to get an original doll crafted by Xavier Roberts — the man himself — you’ll have to fork over some serious cash. One of the very first dolls crafted by Roberts sold for $3,000….in the 80s. Imagine what it’s worth today!
American Girl Dolls
American Girl Dolls launched smack dab in the middle of 80’s, and there has been no looking back (you know — except toward the historical periods of the girls they released)! The 18-inch dolls have become beyond popular, with over 32 million sold since 1986. And that’s not including all the books or props that each doll is accessorized with! Mattel purchased the original manufacturer, The Pleasant Company, in 1996. The most coveted of all dolls were made before 1996, and collectors search high and low for them. Intended initially as educational — and inspirational — for young ladies, American Girl dolls are highly sought after by collectors of all ages.
Have you met Samantha Parkington yet? She’s a precocious nine-year-old orphan learning to navigate the world of the early twentieth century, New York! Or, maybe you know her as one of the three original historical figures released by the Pleasant Company way, way back in 1986. Samantha is an OG when it comes to American Girl Dolls. She’s not only been “archived,” but she’s also been around long enough to be re-released! The Pleasant Company Sam is so famous, she recently sold at auction for $2,650….making her the most expensive American Girl Doll EVER.
What kind of doll list wouldn’t include porcelain dolls? What type of porcelain dolls you ask? Why we’re talking about the beautiful matte finished bisque dolls AND the more traditional Chinese porcelain, vintage and new, mass produced and small batch dolls! While we could write a dissertation on the topic (there is soooo much history here), we’ll take it easy and prep you with some well-rounded knowledge bombs! Porcelain dolls had a revival of sorts after WWII and became mega popular. Hobbyists began collecting porcelain dolls as showpieces and for the historical period and people they represented.
Figuring out the value of a porcelain doll can be easy — but it’s complicated. How’s that for a convoluted answer?! Depending on the doll, a quick search of online auction sites can reveal its value. Other dolls…well, they are a little more difficult and can only be genuinely authenticated and priced by experts. Things like the quality of the clothing, condition of the porcelain, identification markers and mold numbers all need to carefully examined and taken into consideration. Dolls considered to be genuine antiques can go for quite a large sum of money while other dolls range in value from just $10 to an impressive $2,000. The most expensive porcelain doll known to have sold went for a whopping $300,000! She was a small batch bisque doll created in 1916 by the French sculptor Albert Marque. That’s one doll you’ll want to keep in a locked glass case and out of the hands of kids!
We can’t get enough of our gal Babs! We’ve written about the most outrageous Barbies and all about her glitzy, glam, and surprising history. She may have debuted in 1959, but she’s kept up with the times. Recently she expanded her resume by becoming a Robotics Engineer! She’s so fabulous even her clothing and playsets have become covetable items that quickly sell out. Her products have their own cult following! Barbie may only be 11.5 inches tall, but her play options are limitless, making her appealing to many people for obvious reasons.
The original mod style Barbie sold for $3 in stores. Recently, an original — and we mean the first edition with holes in the feet — and PRISTINE condition Barbie sold at auction for over $27,000 — but that’s not the most expensive Barbie ever. That honor goes to the absolutely jaw-dropping and stunning Stefano Canturi Barbie. This beautiful doll was auctioned off to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and raised an impressive $302,500, making her the most expensive Barbie ever sold. She’s one-of-a-kind and nonchalantly wears a diamond Art Deco-inspired necklace that alone is worth $300,000. That’s our girl!
Have you ever seen a doll so breathtakingly beautiful, she almost seemed real? Was she so lifelike and unique that you swore you have never seen anything like her before? That, our dear reader, was probably a Ball-Jointed doll, or BJD as those in the know refer to them. BJD, by definition, must have ball and socket joints but are also most likely referring to a specific type of anime-inspired aesthetic doll produced in Japan, South Korea, and China. They’ve really only been commercially available since 1999, but they’ve grown by leaps and bounds in popularity. One of the most desirable things about modern BJD is their customizability. Owners can and often do customize their dolls, creating stunning works of art.
Beauty doesn’t come cheap, honey — and these dolls aren’t meant for children! With price points starting at $100 and easily fetching more than $1,000, you’ll want to keep your ball-jointed doll out of the hands of curious and sticky-fingered children! The most expensive BJD was created by Russian-Canadian artist Marina Bychkova. The 13.5-inch doll is barely bigger than a Barbie, but she packs a stunning amount of exquisite detail! This gorgeous doll is hand painted, and it will never dissipate or rub off. Marina’s dolls are only increasing in price, so grab one now (if you can). You might just say you got a bargain for $400,000!