Updated by Ellen Tsagaris, Doll Collecting Expert
Which Ponytail Barbie do you have? There are 6 versions of the vintage ponytail Barbie, and their value varies from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred. Below is a guide to help you to identify which doll is yours.
First, carefully examine your Ponytail Barbie. Note her facial features, skin color, feet, feel of her torso and hair, as well as any markings on her behind.
The #1 Ponytail Barbie has white irises, severely arched eyebrows, and holes in her feet/copper tubing in her legs. Her skin is faded white, her torso is solid, and her original swimsuit is black and white zebra. Her markings are Barbie™/Pats.Pend./©MCMLVIII/by Mattel/Inc. This doll can be worth several thousand dollars.
If your Barbie meets all of the above criteria save that she does not have holes in her feet/copper tubing, the doll is a #2 Ponytail Barbie, which also can be worth several thousand dollars.
#3 Ponytail Barbie has the same characteristics as #1 and #2 except that the doll has blue irises and the eyebrows are curved. #3's can have blue or brown eyeliner and they sometimes smell like Crayola crayons. This doll can be worth several hundred dollars.
If your Barbie conforms to the description of #1 and #2 except that her skin tone is tan, then you have a #4 Ponytail Barbie. #4's and later only have blue eyeliner.
If your Barbie conforms to the description of #1 and #2 except that the body is hollow (not solid) and the doll is marked Barbie® rather than Barbie™, then you have a #5. #5's were also the first to come as a redhead, so if you have a redhead, it's a #5 or #6.
Finally, if your Barbie wears an original red jersey swimsuit and has a slightly chubbier face, your doll is most likely a #6.
Some experts do not differentiate between a #5 or a #6, and there is little difference in value. You can know for sure if you have a #6 Ponytail if the markings read "Midge™/© 1962/Barbie®/© 1958/by/Mattel, Inc" (only #6s produced in 1963 and 1964 had this marking).
Tips and Additional Information
Reproduction Ponytail Barbies were produced by Mattel in the 1990s. These reproductions are marked Barbie/©1958, 1993/Mattel, Inc./Malaysia.
Differences in some of the Ponytail Barbies can be subtle to an untrained eye; if you are having trouble, find some photos on the internet or a Barbie value guide to show you differences in eyebrows and skin, too.
Silkstone Barbies often use the ponytail hairstyle. Note that these are usually kept in their boxes, and thus are easy to identify.
Try to avoid dolls with green ears and/or broken limbs. Look for switched heads, and for a doll who has her ponytail intact. Sometimes, the rubber band will deteriorate, and the doll's hair will become entangled. It is very hard to get out.
Be aware that many collectors like to re-root Barbie's hair. Some who love retro and vintage dolls may create ponytail hairdos. Also, there are OOAK (One Of A Kind) artists who enjoy recreating dolls or making their own original costumes.
Exercise good judgment; if a ponytail Barbie seems too cheap or too good to be true, it probably is.