I have over 3,000 Barbie dolls in my collection, but these are the only ones I have out of storage and displayed on a shelf. 

(As of March 2020.)
The "Barbie Shelf" is next to my desk. The dolls inspire me as I work on Behold the Valley of the Dolls.

How my Barbie collection grew over 33 years! 

Now the majority of it is in storage.

Someday I hope to have the complete collection on display again for all to enjoy!

     My Barbie collection is not a complete collection, nor is it a mint collection. My collecting style has always been a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I never felt a need to acquire a complete Barbie doll line. I commonly buy dolls that catch my fancy, usually because they look different from one another, and overlook the “must haves” conventional collectors snatch up. I take the dolls out of the box, sometimes change them out of original fashions and restyle their hair. Over the collecting years many friends gave me their childhood Barbie dolls, which are usually in played-with condition (but what an honor to be gifted with the Barbie my friend loved as a little girl).  

     Another reason some of the Barbie lines in my collection are missing key members is my downsizing of belongings before moving to San Diego. I unwittingly parted with hundreds of dolls via yard sales and charity drop-offs. I was so focused on the move I didn’t give thought to separating Barbie and Ken dolls from their doll lines. I also parted with all the original clothing I'd removed the Barbie dolls out of – and I’m talking two large Rubbermaid containers full of a thirty year collection of fashions, accessories and whatnots (I give myself a big shake of the head and eye roll for doing so). 

     Despite not being a complete collection or a mint collection, I feel my doll collection is a wonderful representation of Barbie and her friends produced by Mattel Toys from 1959 to 2019. It’s a collection of enormous love with endless memories, and Barbie enthusiasts will enjoy the beautiful doll photography showcased in my book, Behold the Valley of the Dolls!

Behold the Valley of the Dolls


By David Mansour