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Barbie Doll: A Rare Beauty [Hardcover]

Sandi Holder
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Nov 2010
What a Doll!

The year is 1959. It is an era of one-dimensional paper dolls and cherubic baby dolls. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, there is Barbie doll. Sophisticated and full of possibilities. Barbie changes everything--forever.

When Ruth Handler created Barbie doll five decades ago she not only introduced a wonderful toy for little girls, she helped create one of the most popular and prized collectibles in the toy market. Imagine, Handler's first doll, a Ponytail Barbie, sold for more than $25,000 at auction; a staggering amount for a doll that originally sold for $3.

Barbie: A Rare Beauty hosts an amazing visual feast of 50 years of beautiful dolls, showcasing more than 500 striking photographs of some of the finest and rarest dolls ever created. Author and celebrated Barbie doll expert Sandi Holder presents a banquet of gorgeous vintage dolls, classic fashion sets, prototypes, one-of-a-kind rarities, Japanese fashions, store displays, licensed products and many never-before-seen items in this stunning presentation of the grandest doll ever: Barbie.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications (22 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440212791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440212796
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 844,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sandi Holder is one of the leading authorities on all things Barbie doll in the world. With nearly 20 years of collecting experience, Sandi has worked closely with Mattel Inc. Her own Sandi Holder's Doll Attic has been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world. Her auctions showcase some of the rarest Barbie doll items. Her website business:, receives 10,000 unique visitors/month

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Book 20 April 2012
By J pl
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book for enthusiasts of dolls. The pictures are very inviting and so detailed. I would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book 5 Jan 2012
This is an incredible book for any Barbie fan to purchase. The pictures are really beautiful, and the whole book is very well laid out.It is far superior to other Barbie books I have bought.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book 7 Aug 2012
By Sue UK
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a well photographed book showing lots of great Barbie dolls. A great visual treat for any Barbie fan. Would recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Barbie 21 May 2012
By Reviewer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Apparently by all the reviews, this book creates some serious emotional passions by those who either love it or those who tear it apart, without absolutely no gratitude for all the effort and amazing photo collection. It love this book and it is a great fun coffee table book. When guests come, they love it and I have not heard a single person complain. It is a source of cultural inspiration for anyone who remembers this amazing doll phenomenon. Thank you for writing a great book, loaded with tons of photos and eye candy. It has made me and everyone who comes over and looks at it smile with great appreciation and gratitude. I wish more positive books were written like this! Lots of fun!
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book IS a rare beauty! 17 Dec 2010
By nancy miller - Published on
It is indeed sad when someone who obviously has an agenda, to take a book apart page by page and write a review that is not factual. Box dates and production or issue dates do differ, but this poster already had their post removed at another site, so please people do not believe everything you read about a book being in error due to a date. If this person was so good at their history, they would have written their own book by now. Holder's book captures the essence of beauty in Barbie, it was never meant to be anything but a coffee table book to be enjoyed, and what eye candy it is! I was so happy for this author to have Good Morning America select Barbie A Rare Beauty as one of their three top picks. If that doesn't say it all, what would?

I have been a hard core Barbie collector for over 20 years. What was so compelling to me is that I saw things in Sandi Holder's book that I never knew existed (and here I thought I have seen just about everything). The title of this book is very appropriate, as this book in itself is a rare beauty and I am sure destined to be one of the best selling Barbie books ever written.

We have had such a huge void in our hobby with the lack of a Barbie magazine and new Barbie books, that I could not wait to get my hands on this book and it was worth the wait. Sandi covers just about everything and with such flare and alluring photos! What really struck me as a collector is that this book managed to peek a bit into each year and was able to do so with such elegance.

I truly miss Sandi's articles in the old Barbie Bazaar and Miller's Magazines. While I love surfing the internet, nothing beats having a exquisite book such as this sitting on your coffee table. Print media is vital to any hobby and having authors in my family, I can see just how much work and dedication goes into publishing a book and putting yourself out there to the public. I am so glad that she did this as our hobby was in dire need of a new book, and done by an author who has such a wealth of knowledge and is a collector herself. Her dedication to our hobby is admirable and when she won Barbie's Best Friend Award, I had to join in the standing ovation as her sprit and enthusiasm to making this hobby the best it can be is evident in everything she does. I hope to someday visit her museum so I can take myself back in time and relive my childhood memories with my children.

I must admit, when I bought two copies of Barbie A Rare Beauty, one was for "show" and one was for me to keep as I had a feeling this book was going to be well "loved" in no time and that was the truth! My second copy fell into the hands of my sister, and just as she did as a child (stole my Barbie dolls), my second copy found its way to her large suitcase she calls a handbag and I know I will never see it again, so I ordered a third copy.

Kudos to Sandi Holder for delighting the Barbie Collecting Community with this unbelievable book!! As a side note, when I took the book to work, my co workers who are not collectors ended up ordering copies of this book as it is such a fun way to spend a few hours or days, as is the case with me, walking down memory lane.

I just have one hope - SHE WRITES ANOTHER BOOK!!!!!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply gorgeous 23 Mar 2011
By Katballou - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an avid Barbie collector who loves both contemporary and vintage Barbie dolls and products, I must say this is the most beautiful book I've ever seen on the subject. If you are looking for an encyclopedia or product valuation type book, there are plenty of others. This book is different. It is the unfolding of both the American culture in general and the culture of female beauty specifically through a unique and enduring venue - Barbie and her friends and family. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and the dolls selected are stunning in every respect. The many close-ups reveal a divine diversity in this doll that often escapes our awareness, countering through the art of Barbie pernicious evaluations of her as false beauty. The author smoothly guides the reader through transformation of dress, appearance, role, and ethnic valuing across five decades of Barbie. She also vividly demonstrates the many varieties of doll mechanics and construction over the years, those that sustained and those that did not, displaying for us the most exquisite and often unusual examples on each and every page. The color and photography are luscious, the narrative crisp and interesting. I will use this publication as a coffee table book that illustrates the art and humanity of Barbie.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book IS a Rare Beauty 16 Dec 2010
By Jef Beck - Published on
What I like most about the book is the unique items showcased inside! Printed on high quality paper, the layout of this book is fantastic...instantly making it a collectible book prized for many years! The photos are gorgeous with a mix of pristine dolls and well-loved dolls, which is typical of most doll collector's collections. This was especially nice to see and also makes this book unique. Sandi's knowledge on Barbie and the luxurious look and feel of this book make it a true delightful to the eyes! Highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Barbies ! 1 Mar 2013
By t49y - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Full of Color Pictures ! Coffee Table Book ! All About Prototypes Never Produced ! And Very Limited Sales ! Even Legally Blond ! Dream of Jeannie ! Bat Girl ! Wonder Woman ! and Even Politically Correct Barbie ! From Boxed To Totally Glammed Up ! Adorable ! And Cute, Cute, Cute ! AWESOME GIFT ! Thank You Amazon ! Thanks Again !
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