Matthew Keith’s passion for Barbie dolls began in the 1970s when he used his allowance money to purchase his first dolls. However, he felt the need to hide them from his parents because he feared they might consider the toys not masculine enough.
Fast forward to the present, and Matthew, now 55, has an impressive Barbie collection worth around $20,000, occupying 22 feet of bookshelves in his Los Angeles home.
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As a middle school teacher, he has also gained a significant following on Instagram with his account named Dolls On The Brain, which boasts more than 70,000 followers, 15,000 of whom joined recently due to the anticipation around the release of the Barbie movie.
The surge in interest in Barbie collecting has been observed recently, partly fueled by the marketing campaign for the movie.
Barbie stock out in Market
Vintage Barbie dolls have become highly sought after at thrift stores, driving prices in the collectibles market to soar and attracting new collectors who seek the guidance of antique appraisers.
While some longtime collectors express joy at the growing enthusiasm for Barbie dolls, others are concerned that they are being priced out by wealthier new buyers.
Prices of Barbie dolls have increased significantly in recent months, with even non-collector dolls now ranging from $10 to $30. The most sought-after Holy Grail Barbie, the first model produced in 1959, can sell for thousands of dollars.
The movie’s release has led to a substantial rise in demand for Barbie appraisals, attracting individuals with little to no experience in doll collecting.
Some have stumbled upon valuable dolls at thrift stores or in their family homes, with one lucky find being valued at over $10,000. While the current spike in seller interest is expected to last for about two more weeks, rare and valuable Barbies can still be found in thrift stores by diligent collectors.
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For Matthew Keith, his Barbie collection has not only brought him joy but also financial benefit, with some of his dolls appreciating in value since he started collecting them in 1991. Overall, the resurgence of Barbie collecting has sparked excitement among enthusiasts and brought a newfound appreciation for these iconic dolls.