Thursday, November 11, 2010

Barbie A Rare Beauty by Sandi Holder

This new Barbie collector book is loaded with over 500 gorgeous photos of vintage and contemporary Barbie dolls, many of which have never been seen before. This is a great coffee table book which you will want to sit back and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

Chapters topics include:
  • The history of Barbie and her creator, Ruth Handler. 
  • How Barbie doll's style has changed with the times.
  • Barbie through the decades.
  • Barbie's world of careers.
  • Barbie doll's friends and family.
  • Rare, sample, and prototype Barbie dolls with prices dolls have sold for at auction.
  • Barbie licensed products.
The book is 224 pages, hardcover, and would make the perfect Christmas gift for the Barbie lover in your life. Available directly from the author at, Ebay, or


  1. What a great Christmas gift this would be... for me! :)

  2. My sister’s book, Barbie, A Rare Beauty, was recently published; and of course my autographed copy came in the mail. It’s a beautiful book, with a lot of pink and four vintage Barbie’s on the cover. Of course I was excited for her, of course I was proud of this amazing accomplishment, but here’s the thing; I am not a Barbie girl living in a Barbie world. I know I won’t completely absorb the information and details like someone who has a clue, but I also know Sister will be calling to ask what I thought. I needed to be prepared for the conversation, so I opened it up to take a look. Ok, it’s true I intended to flip through a few pages and have something topical to share when we spoke, but that isn’t what happened.

    First of all, the book is dedicated to my late husband, who would have lost his mind with pride over her accomplishment. Secondly, she mentions my name in the acknowledgement. Crap, now I’m shamed into actually reading this book, and as I said before, Barbie’s are not my thing. The first Barbie I owned was Malibu Barbie, and I think I was more enthralled with her sunglasses than anything else. (I had a thing about glasses as is evidenced in a photo of me at age five wearing Mrs. Beasley’s plastic spectacles). What I most remember about my Barbie phase is many shoes getting sucked up in the vacuum cleaner and my mom getting upset with me for using wash clothes to make Barbie a bed. And now that I think about it, I was more enthralled with Sunshine Family anyway, but I digress.

    The first thing to catch my eye was the photo of three gorgeous brides (my favorite is the one wearing gloves). I just stared at the page for a while because they almost looked like the real deal, ready to walk down the aisle. A few pages later begin photos from 1959 all the way to today. As I looked at the progression of looks and fashions it made me think about what was going on in the world and influencing those changes. I wondered what it would be like to be a little girl who played with the blonde ponytail doll in 1960 and then the bubble cut doll in 1962. Did she want to cut her hair? Did she create different types of play scenarios to incorporate the change in Barbie’s look? It was interesting to think about it.

    Looking at the pictures I began to have serious closet envy. Who wouldn’t have loved to have a wardrobe like Barbie? And of course with her figure everything looks good on her. As the years went by, the dresses got more elaborate. Billions of Dreams in 1997 is one of my favorites. When I looked at the picture I actually tried to imagine myself wearing that dress, just for a second. Then of course things got very posh as designers made the acquaintance of Barbie. From Kate Spade to Bob Mackie, each new look was more stunning than the one before and it continues today.

    So what does all of this mean? What’s my point you ask? Here it is. I am not a Barbie collector and I really enjoyed this book. Not because my sister wrote it, but because suddenly I saw Barbie as more than a child’s toy. I had a better appreciation of her influence on everything from fashion to career choice. I liked that this doll showed little girls they could be anything, and encouraged them to dream big.

    So here’s the deal, buy the book, Barbie, A Rare Beauty, and see where it takes you. Whether you appreciate the sheer art of Barbie, or you’re reminded of world events over the years, you will enjoy the ride. Oh, and by the way…Malibu Barbie is on page 71, and I still dig her sunglasses.

  3. What a wonderful review, Nancy. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment here.

    Kathie actually gave me a copy of this book, and it is just beautiful.


We welcome your thoughtful, on-topic, and relevant comments. We'd love to start a discussion here.

Please note that links, off-topic, and irrelevant comments won't be published.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...