American Girl Barbie Dolls - An Introduction:
In late 1965, Barbie was given a whole new, sophisticated look to go along with the 1960s Jackie Onasis era of sophistication. In that year, Barbie was introduced, for the first time, with Bendable Legs (bent at the knee), and with a sleek, straight hairdo with bangs. This doll today is referred to as the American Girl Barbie doll by collectors. Because she was only produced for a short time, she is highly sought after by vintage Barbie doll collectors. She also looks fantastic in the iconic mid-1960s 1600 series of Barbie doll outfits.
Years of Production of American Girl Barbie Dolls:
The American Girl Barbie doll was produced from approximately the end of 1965 to 1967. In 2010, Mattel produced a gorgeous reproduction of the American Girl Barbie doll. The reproduction was part of the My Favorite Barbie series, had brunette hair, and was sold in a reproduction of her original swimsuit (striped top and turquoise bottom). Created by designer Bill Greening, the doll was sold in a gift set that included a reproduction of the classic Matinee Fashion #1640 from 1965 (red suit with fur trim), 3 collector cards, and a reproduction booklet.
The American Girl Barbie is 11.5 inches tall.
Materials Used To Make American Girl Barbie Dolls:
The American Girl Barbie Doll is generally made of soft vinyl for the head and harder vinyl for the body, with softer vinyl bendable legs with a wire armature inside. The legs have three "clicks" for positioning the bendable knees. Somtimes, the wires will break or get loose or protrude on the older played with dolls or disclor the doll's knee.
Company That Produces American Girl Barbie Dolls:
Mattel, Inc. is the only company that has produced the American Girl Barbie dolls. There have been licensed products (coloring books, vanity items, etc) that have used the American Girl Barbie doll's likeness that have been licensed from Matel, Inc.
Rare Versions of American Girl Barbie Dolls:
The American Girl dolls with longer hair are rarer and more sought-after by collectors (some of the dolls have hair that reaches above chin, others have hair touching or nearly touching the shoulders). One of the most desirable and hard to find varieties is an American Girl with a side part (these nearly always have the longer hair). Also, Japanese Side-Part American Girl dolls (sold in the Japanese Market) are extremely rare and sought-after.
Other Bendable Leg Barbie Family Member Dolls:
Midge was also produced in a hard-to-find bendable lege version. Ken and Alan (Midge's boyfriend) had bendable leg versions as well.
Barbie's 1600 Series Clothing:
The 1600 Series of Barbie doll clothing was produced concurrently with the American Girl Barbie dolls. The series is known for the excellent craftsmanship, attention to details, accessories, and beautifully styled suits and gowns. The outfits were made in Japan by hand. Most of these outfits are much rarer than the earlier 900 series of early 1960s outfits and therefore are more expensive on the secondary market. Most collectors believe that the 1600 Series of Barbie outfits look best on the bendable leg American girl styled dolls of the same era.
Secondary Market Prices For American Girl Barbie Dolls and 1600 Series Clothing:
Exceptional side-part and Japanese American Girl Barbies can sell for well over $1,000. Mint dolls in their original boxes can sell between $500 and $900 depending on the hair color, condition, and hair length. Most American Girl dolls in mint condition sell for $300 to $600. The Bendable Leg Midge mint in original box sells for $300 to $500. Most of the 1600 Series of Barbie outfits sell in the $200 to $600 range, mint and complete, more for boxed outfits, and the price, of course, depends on which outift (certain rare outfits will sell for more).