Barbie 1966

One of the biggest misunderstandings in putting a value on Barbie is the stamp “Mattel Inc 1966”. This stamp is the same thing as any website that announces their copyright to the content, starting from when it was first published. The stamp on Barbie is the year the TNT body type (twist n’ turn) was first used in Barbie, and was widely used from the late 60’s to early 90’s. Therefore, if you have a Barbie with the year 1966 stamped in the back, you’ll need to find out more about the doll to determine whether she’s valuable or not. (The same goes with Ken.)

You will get instantly closer answer to the age of your Barbie by checking if she has a stamp in the back of her head, just in the seam joining the body to head. There has been several big revamps of Barbie’s heads; One in 1976, in 1985, then again in 1998. In a rare case the 1966 stamped TNT or Shani body is joined with a larger head type that collectors disrespectfully call BHS which means “the big head syndrome”. The large headed dolls are never older than from 2006 regardless of the stamps.

Boldly generalizing, Barbies stamped with 1966 are worth approximately 20 US dollars mint in box, so a played with doll is not worth much more than 4-10 dollars depending on the condition of it. There are some individuals that were so popular when they were new, that they have more interest value than normal. (Rockers-series, Peaches & Cream, Dream Glow etc.) Also, ironically, the cheapest dolls (such as Fashion Play -series) that were not really valued at the time and not often saved are now the ones that go for high prices because they are rare finds in good condition.

“Patent Pending” or “US Pat pend” stamps are all markings of an actual vintage doll.


  1. hi i have a Barbie i found cant seem to figgure her out ,she has 1966 on back indonesia and on her head has 1976 she also has white panties which is part of her bodie please help thankyou for your time and looking forward to a reply ty, janine

      • I think I have the same doll. Her left arm is bent, her right arm is straight and she has a Pearl ring on. She also has on pearl earrings. Her eyes are blue and painted (no rooted eyelashes). She has very long light blond hair with bangs. Her lips are very bright red and she has an open smile. Hope that’s more help… Thank you!

  2. I have in my possession the following:
    Black Ken, foot#2102N (Back# Mattel INC 1968 Malaysia)Head#1967
    Black Ken, foot#0137KX(Back# Mattel Inc 1968 Malaysia) Head#1983
    White Ken W/earring,L/ear, 1990 Big Step, China C-601 Hasbro, Inc
    Black Barbie, back# 1986, Mattel, Malaysia, Head#1987
    White Barbie, back#1966, Mattel, China, head#Mattel, Inc, 1976
    Black Barbie, back#1966, Mattel, China, Head#Mattel, Inc, 1987
    Black Barbie, back#1983, Mattel, China, head#Mattel, Inc, 1987
    Black Barbie Head W/wire looking earrings# 1987 Mattel Inc.
    Black Barbie Head w/pink e/rings# 1987, Mattel Inc.
    White Barbie Body, back#1987, Mattel Inc., China
    White Ken, back# 1980 Big Step, Hasbro, China, ring L/hand

    All dolls are in good condition and mostly all are naked.
    Information of any value or individuals seeking, please contact.

    Thank you

    • These dolls belong to the superstar era and their value, depending on condition and skin colour is somewhere between $2 to $15 US dollars nude. These are best sold on eBay as a lot, or at a flea market. A photo would help people to decide whether they are interested, some collectors focus solely on this era, but the dolls are most likely rare as they were manufactured in the millions in the 80’s – the black ones are worth more as they are harder to find. You never know what you’ve got there though, a picture is important.

  3. I have a “solo in the spotlight” Barbie, I believe she is porcelain. She has “Made in Japan” stamped on her lower back along with a number written in gold/bronze paint. Her back also says Mattel Inc. 1958. Is this a reproduction made in the 90’s???

  4. I have two dolls one says “copyright 1996 Mattel inc. U.S patented U.S pat pend made in japan” she has dark curly hair, has real eyelashes and red nail polish. The second one says “copyright Mattel inc. 1966 Taiwan” she has blonde straight hair. They are not in the boxes and they have been played with. Neither of them have the date on the back of the head. What does this mean?

  5. I have this barbie that has ©MATTEL INC. 1966 at her lower back and a really tiny, ©1976 MATTEL.INC on the back of her neck. She has blonde hair, blue eyes. Her arms can just go up and down, twist and turn, her legs are rubber and straight (they’re not hollow) and when I try to bend her knees, there is this click sound, last thing, on the bottom of her feet like a small rectangle. I cut her hair before so, I’m not sure how long her hair is. (I was really young that time.)

  6. I have a blond Barbie, no bangs, hair is a bob. She is a twist and turn, legs bend, arms do not bend. Back says 1966 China and there is no marking on her head. Is she a 1966 Barbie or just one of the common ones?

    • She’s not likely to be from 1966, but she may still be fairly valuable depending on her condition. The description fits several dolls, many from the 70’s spring to mind. At any rate, don’t toss her. 🙂

  7. i have a 1966 on butt 1976 on head made in china blond hair blue eyes is she rare moveable leggs and arms turns at waist

    • She might be rare, but maybe not very popular. If the stamp is on her butt it is a good sign, but with these details I can’t really say. The condition is an important factor; bite marks, pen marks, hair condition, paint, all that sort of thing, does she have her original outfit or not, let alone the box… Even in the BEST of cases, you’re probably looking at around $20 IF she happens to be one of the rare, originally cheap dolls that are hard to find now because nobody thought twice about them back in the day, but even then you might have difficulty finding a buyer because they are not popular. Try your luck on eBay and see what happens.

  8. Hi,

    Yep, I have a beautiful brown skin Barbie and she has 1966 stamped on back, she also has stamped on her bottom letters spelling out the words Barbie and Mattel.
    To me though her head does appear to be rather on the large side.
    I still wonder just what might she be valued at?

    Thanks for any help…

    • From that description, it is impossible to say, as I mentioned in the post the stamp 1966 was used for a long time past 1966, and no dolls released in 1966 were stamped for that year – as it is the year of the patent registration for the body, not the year of release.

  9. I have a doll with dark skin long light pink hair she s wearing a dark pink mermaid dress. The back of her neck is stamped Mattel inc 1987 and on the back it stamp Mattel inc 1966.

  10. I have a blonde barbie no bangs ,back stamp says Mattel, Inc 1966
    Head says
    Mattel, Inc 1976 taiwan
    She has blue and purple eyes and purplepurple eyeshadow just on lids not up to eyebrows…who is she? Help please

    • Impossible to say from the description as a lot of dolls fit it, but she is most likely from the 1980’s or early 90’s. Do a Google search for familiar looking dolls, and pay attention to details like whether the arms are bent or straight, and whether or not the head tilts or simply moves sideways. (Can be difficult to know from a photo, but if the head tilts, the dolls in boxes are likely to be displayed in a way that shows off the tilt.) Try adding the letters NRFB into the search for “never removed from box” to find dolls still in boxes, so you can find the name of the doll easier. Remember that the dolls look VERY similar, and sometimes we count the number of eyelashes to tell the difference between two dolls, so detail is relevant.

  11. Hello,
    I have two dolls. One is a barbie, blonde hair with bangs, she is a TNT her legs bend but not her arms. She is pink color, and has rooted eyelashes. She has 1966 Mattel, INC. U.S. Patented U.S. Pat. Pend. Made in Japan on one buttock and the number 12 on the other. Nothing on the back her head or neck.
    The second doll not sure which friend of barbie she is but, she has brown hair with bangs, she also is a TNT her legs bend but not her arms. She is pink in color, she has rooted eyelashes. She has 1966 Mattel, INC. U.S. Patented U.S. Pat. Pend. Made in Japan on one of her buttocks and the number 3 on the other. She also has nothing on the back of her head or neck.
    Are these dolls vintage?
    Thank you for your time and interest..

    • Umm… Yes. To be specific, they’d belong to the mod-era dolls. I can’t tell you what dolls they are, I am not really an expert in older dolls (80’s kid, you see) but you should find a lot of identification sites by googling TNT mod-barbie identification or something similar. They didn’t make huge numbers of Barbie back in those days so you should find it relatively simple to find an exact match to your dolls and the value of them.

  12. I have a Barbie with markings at the waist Mattel inc 1966 Malaysia and markings on the base of the head Mattle inc. it’s a tnt elbows and knees do not bend but the arms do swivel out at the shoulders she has blue eyes and blond hair there are also small holes in the bottom of the feet and she has hooped earrings and a matching ring on her right hand. Is she really from 1966 and what’s her value?

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Restoring Barbie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.