The Holy Grails of Silkstone Barbie Collecting
I wrote a few days ago about Integrity Toys and the limited editions of their upcoming collection. It got me to thinking about edition sizes in general and the impact it can have on collecting. When you begin collecting anything, especially fashion dolls, you usually run into the availability issue fairly quickly. You learn that limited availability means higher price and, in some cases, a treasure hunt of epic proportions. These rare and limited items become known as “collector holy grails” and the fervor with which one pursues acquirement can be intense. It depends on the collector.
I have to say I have acquired a couple “holy grails” in my time as a collector. The funny thing is..I never really pursued them strongly…it was more a matter of being at the right place at the right time. I know that I had done my homework and knew what a fair price was for these items and I always had my antennae up for information about things on my “holy grail” list …perhaps that just means I was always in pursuit. Man I need therapy. Anywhoo…the point is an opportunity would come up to acquire a “holy grail” and I would either act or let it go by. If you are plugged into the doll community ( read and contribute to doll boards, doll manufacturer websites and collector blogs) it can make the hunt easier and a whole lot of fun. I have met some of the most generous and lovely people in my pursuit for the holy grails of my collection..or…come out of it with some of the best stories involving my collection. Wow!… aren’t you curious now?!
When I began collecting Silkstone Barbies years ago, I soon learned that there were a number of dolls that were held above others. Mostly, these dolls were revered because they had a very small edition size and that of course improved their resale value and their collectability. Most highly collectible Silkstone Barbies are the platinum editions ( limit to 1,000 or less edition size). Many of them were offered through F.A.O Schwarz and were different hair color variations of another doll.
All Edition size information is from The Collectors Encyclopedia of Barbie 2008 edition by Michael Augustyniak
1.Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2003 Chataine Barbie
Edition size: 600
2. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2003 Joyeux Barbie –redhead
3. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2005 Trace of Lace Barbie – blonde
Edition size: 500 ( designed exclusively for the Japanese Collector)
4. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2006 Dahlia
Edition size: 999
5. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2006 Violette
Edition size: 999
Edition size: 999
Edition Size: Unknown by skin type..but considered less than 1,000 total for both skin types
** note** This was the only Silkstone ever given as a convention gift. Given to 2009 National Barbie Doll Collector Convention attendees to commemorate Barbie’s 50’s anniversary. Each attendee received either a Caucasian skin tone or African American skin tone depending on what they selected with their registration packet**
If you are a Silkstone Barbie collector, you may have noticed I have left out a few…read on.
Within these platinum edition Silkstones, there are a few items that have such a limited edition size that it classifies them as the holiest of holy grails.
1. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2000 Display Case – Retail Version
Edition Size: Couldn’t find a substantiated number but let’s just say much less than 175
“This case was provided to select dealers selling the 2000 Barbie Fashion Model Collection. Both the blue sign atop the case and the front panels of the case say “Limited Edition.” The front middle panel is hinged for ease in arranging the two fashion mannequins and the easel with sign in front of the glamorous ballroom backdrop. A plastic holder containing 50 Barbie Fashion Model Collection booklets could be placed beside the case. Note the lower middle panel of the case which introduces customers to the features of the new Silkstone Lingerie Barbie dolls. “ –from Collectors Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls 2008 Edition by J. Michael Augustyniak
2. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2001 Limited Edition Display Case
Edition Size: 175
“Was offered through a Barbie Collectibles by Mail catalog in an edition of 175 for $250.00. This display case is very similar to the 2000 retailer display case except that the words “ Limited Edition” have been deleted from both the blue sign atop the display case as well as the lower front base itself. Also, below the “Barbie” name on the case’s , lower front middle panel, this case has no words, whereas the case provided to dealers in 2000 lists the features of the new Silkstone dolls.” -from Collectors Encyclopedia of Barbie Dolls 2008 Edition by J. Michael Augustyniak
3. Barbie Fashion Model Collection 2003 City Smart Barbie
Edition size: 600 ( 400 were sold on the Japanese market and 200 were sold to members of the Official Barbie Collector’s Club in the U.S.)