Barbie® Collectibles formally announced changes for collectible Barbie® dolls. New, sleek packaging is expected on top of an overhauling of the limited edition philosophy for the dolls.
The staff has said they based the changes on input from the Barbie Collector Advisory Panel, doll dealers and collector interaction at conventions and doll shows where they learned a lot about what Barbie doll collectors would like to see in the future.
"They would like dolls to stay limited in production number yet reasonably available. They'd like us to make the collecting hobby more exciting and find innovative ways to feature the beauty of the dolls in packaging" said the release from Mattel.
Updated Logo, Packaging and Four-Tier Structure
Beginning with the Badgley Mischka Bride Barbie doll, the new look for Barbie Collectibles will be revealed. The name and logo from Barbie Collectibles to Barbie Collector will also be changed.
Another major change will be a new four-tiered structure which will organize the dolls released by Barbie Collector. This will help collectors be on the same page when they purchase a doll. Barbie collectible dolls will no longer be designated as "Collector Edition" or "Limited Edition" as they have for many years. Instead, there is a color-coded system with each color level having its own per-doll production range, retail strategy and new packaging.
The packaging both tells a collector which color tier the doll belongs to and lets the collector display the doll beautifully without having to de-box the doll. Since Barbie collectors often keep their dolls in boxes, this new packaging will satisfy collectors.
How the Tiers Were Selected
The Barbie Collectibles staff explained the new collecting tiers, "Because Barbie has such a long and celebrated history with fashion, the names of the tiers have real fashion roots.
Initially, the Barbie® Collector team looked at some of the most successful fashion designers currently on the market."
The staff then went on to say that they were inspired by their innovative approach to represent their fashion lines, comparing it to going into an upscale boutique and buying an outfit from a famous designer. They also used the example of walking into a major department store and purchasing something from the same designer's more mainstream line. The staff finished, "In a way, our new label colors are our way of segmenting our collectible dolls and communicating to you where they might be found."
The Pink Tier
The first tier is pink, Barbie doll's signature color. Additional tiers add other colors representing even higher standards like silver, gold and platinum. The Pink Label™ includes fun, keepsake dolls such as the Dolls of the World, The Princess Collection and the "I Love Lucy" celebrity dolls. Pink Label dolls come packaged in a box with a clear acetate front trimmed in pink, which makes a nice display for NRFB (never removed from box) dolls. The Pink Label dolls will not be limited in production numbers.
Although all Barbie dealers can carry these dolls, shops such as Wal-Mart are their main destination.
Selected dolls from Pink to Gold will be available at the Barbie website and through their catalog as well.
The Silver Label™ Tier
This tier includes the Birthday Wishes™ dolls. Each doll is limited to no more than 50,000 pieces created worldwide and comes packaged in a silver-trimmed "reveal" package, known as a new version of the "cake box package," which features a closed box with a beautiful doll photo or other artwork on the cover.
To reveal the doll, the lid is removed and protected behind a layer of acetate. Sliding the top portion of the lid onto the packaging back will create an easel-type display, ideal for NRFB collectors. Silver Label™ dolls will be available at select retailers, including their "premiere" destination at Toys 'R Us.
The Gold Tier
Each doll in the Gold Label tier is limited to no more than 25,000 pieces created worldwide.
Gold Label™ dolls include such popular collector series as the Barbie® Fashion Model Collection, Model of the Moment™. Previously, these dolls could be in editions as large as 35,000 dolls. Because of the glut of Barbie dolls on the market, thanks to eBay, the reduction in edition size will be a welcome change.
Gold Label™ dolls include such distinguished series as the Barbie Fashion Model Collection and Model of the Moment (featuring the ModelMuse™ body) plus designer dolls like the Bagley Mischka Bride doll, the first Barbie® Collector doll. Gold Label™ dolls come in a "cake box" type package just like the Silver Label™ dolls, complete with the acetate layer to protect the dolls and the easel-style display packaging. It also comes with the artistic interpretive photography or other artwork on the gold-trimmed packaging lid and back. You can find Gold Label™ dolls at authorized Barbie® doll dealers as well as at fine retailers.
The Platinum Tier
The last tier is the very limited Platinum Label™. These dolls are produced in editions of less than 1,000 worldwide, and the tier includes premium one-of-a-kind dolls available at select events, like a Bob Mackie OOAK (one-of-a-kind) Barbie® doll, created for Dream Halloween.