Manitoba Museum Discovers Rare Vintage Barbie Collection in Donated Artifacts

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The Manitoba Museum, hailed for its collection of diverse artifacts, is adding to its trove an assortment of vintage gems that have recently surged in popularity – Barbie dolls. The doll with an iconic blonde mop that has embraced the popular culture zeitgeist for generations is back in the spotlight due to a hit summer movie.

By a stroke of serendipity, the museum discovered it was in possession of a selection of retro Barbies, remarkably preserved and complete with accessories. This treasure trove was identified within a larger doll compilation generously donated over a quarter of a century ago.

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Rylee Dejong, the meticulous curatorial assistant, recounted the thrill of her discovery. “Sorting through an extensive collection from an individual donor, I was delighted to find some Barbies nestled within,” she disclosed.

Dejong divulged that while the comprehensive collection was home to a multitude of dolls, the Barbie presence was fairly limited, with only around a dozen of the iconic figures. However, their rarity was further emphasized by their vintage heritage. “An original Barbie from 1960 was truly an exceptional find, along with one of the first Barbie cars from the year 1962. Some dolls were even discovered in their first packaging!” revealed an exhilarated Dejong.

She noted that several of the vintage Barbies were still adorned in their original attire while some flaunted hand-sewn garments. Among these, a Ballerina Barbie dressed in its original ballet gear has won Dejong’s heart, evoking a wave of nostalgia. “Finding it in its original package added a dimension of intrigue,” she further enthused.

Dejong attributed the impressive collection to the lifelong obsessions of the anonymous benefactor who had a profound passion for doll collecting throughout her life.

The Barbies are currently being listed meticulously, with essential details being recorded into the museum’s archives. However, there have been no current plans discussed for these dolls to be publicly placed on exhibit.