With the exception of perhaps Oppenheimer, Barbie was undoubtedly the surprise smash hit of 2023 at the box office. Already an iconic toy brand, how has Barbie's surging popularity translated into the collectibles market? Is she worth investing in?

First introduced in 1959 by Mattel, Barbie is one of the most iconic toy brands of all-time. This original 1959 Barbie, wearing the black and white zebra-patterned bathing suit (also worn by Margot Robbie in the film) depicts the Barbie we're all familiar with -- blonde, blue-eyed, and impossibly thin. She has, of course, evolved over the decades through the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties. No one has had a more impressive career than Barbie: she's been doctor, lawyer, astronaut, a chef, snowboarder, and even President of the United States. She's lived up to her branding that “You Can Be Anything" and served as a role model for generations of young people. And somehow, with the success of the Barbie movie, she's more popular than ever.

A Barbie #1, without its box, sold for $16,500 in February 2024.

Not that Barbie needed much help with brand awareness, but Greta Gerwig's creative story and the picture-perfect casting of Margot Robbie refreshed Barbie for the 21st century. Just before the film was released in July 2023, the original 1959 Barbie (or "Barbie #1"), which sold for just $3, was estimated to have a maximum resale value of $27,450. Recently, in February, a Barbie #1 with additional outfits and accessories, but without the box, sold for $16,500 on eBay.

The 2006 Dahlia Barbie doll is generally considered to be the second most valuable Barbie with an estimated value of $2,423.

A 9.0 CGC copy of Barbie and Ken #1 sold for $720 in May 2023.

Another valuable Barbie collectible is Barbie's (and Ken's!) first appearance in comics: Barbie and Ken #1 published by Dell Comics in 1962. Featuring a Barbie #1 on its cover, along with an impressionable young consumer dreaming perhaps of becoming Barbie one day, this issue is really nothing more than a glorified ad for Barbie and Ken dolls, but still an important collectible.

This is just my opinion, but this Silver Age comic book seems undervalued. Sure, Barbie dolls should be more valuable than Barbie comics, but even the first appearances of the Transformers and GI Joe in comic books have a lot of value even though they're based on toys. In addition, this comic book is exceptionally rare and more difficult to find than the original 1959 Barbie doll. Right now, there are literally hundreds of the 1959 Barbie doll on sale right now on eBay. In comparison, there isn't a single copy of Barbie and Ken #1 for sale right now on eBay. Copies graded by CGC are even more rare. More specifically, there are only 37 blue label copies of Barbie and Ken #1 listed on the CGC Census. And only four of those have sold during this current decade. You would think these would sell for more considering they are rarely ever available to the public.

With Barbie's popularity now at an all-time high, would you consider investing in any Barbie-related collectibles? Please let us know what your opinion is in the comments section below!