The Best-Selling Barbie Of All Time Is From The '90s

From the time Barbie dolls first hit the market in 1959, the toys have captured the imagination of generations of children, and different versions of the doll and their accessories have become highly sought-after collectibles for young and old alike. Since Barbie dolls premiered, more than 1 billion of them have been sold, according to Business Insider. And in 2022 alone, the Barbie brand grossed nearly 1.5 billion in sales for Mattel, the toy's manufacturer (via Statista).

With 2023's anticipated summer blockbuster "Barbie," Mattel seemed primed to have another banner year as far as sales revenue. In the long history of the toy, the version that sold the most was Totally Hair Barbie, released in 1992, moving more than 10 million units worldwide, according to Business Week. As the toy's name suggests, this Barbie had floor-length crimped hair that was available in different colors. The year 1992 was also the first year Barbie ran for president in a promotional campaign for Mattel.

The toy came with a long list of haircare accessories

Perhaps explaining Totally Hair Barbie's popularity, the doll was sold in blonde, brunette, and African-American versions, and spinoffs of the design were available. A number of brunette Barbie have been produced over the years — the very first version of the doll, in fact, was available both brunette and blonde. And although there were diverse dolls in the Barbie-verse available from the late 1960s, the first Black and Hispanic Barbie dolls came out in 1980.

Also possibly adding to Totally Hair Barbie's appeal, the toy came complete with a number of hair accessories — including "Dep" hair gel — to care for what is still among the longest Barbie hair lengths in the brand's history. Included in the Totally Hair line were different variations on the theme, including Totally Hair Ken and Totally Hair Courtney, among others. The doll also came complete with a number of different wardrobe items.

Among them was Totally Hair Barbie's minidress, developed by long-time Barbie fashion designer Carol Spencer and inspired by the Italian fashion brand Pucci, according to The New York Times. The first run of Totally Hair Barbies was on the market from 1992 through 1995, and it remains one of the most successful initial toy sales campaigns ever.

Totally Hair Barbie was reissued in 2017

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the highly popular Totally Hair Barbie, the doll was reissued in 2017 with similar accessories, Yahoo! Life reports. The original Totally Hair Barbie commercial is posted on YouTube (seen above), along with the jingle, "Totally hot, totally cool, Totally Hair Barbie." Although Totally Hair Barbie sold the most units, the most expensive Barbie ever sold was a custom-designed doll with real diamonds, fetching around $300,000 at auction, according to Guinness World Records

Meanwhile, the Guinness World record for the largest Barbie collection belongs to Bettina Dorfmann of Germany, with 15,000 items in her collection at that time. Though she played with Barbies during her childhood in the 1960s, Dorfmann began accumulating her record-setting Barbie collection in 1993, just one year after Totally Hair Barbie came out. Per The Guardian, by 2023, Dorfmann's collection grew to more than 18,500 Barbie brand-related items. According to Good Housekeeping, certain Barbies remain among the most collectible toys in history.