Live Your Dream!

The 10 Greatest Barbies Of All Time To Overload Your Childhood Nostalgia

These are the G-BOATs, folks — the Greatest Barbies Of All Time.

For 64 years, Barbie has been an icon, stirring kids’ imagination, ambition, and sense of style. Pretty much any Barbie is a cool Barbie, but which are the best? Who among them are the G-BOATs: Greatest Barbies Of All Time? We have some thoughts, some hot takes, and some very strongly held opinions.

As a rule, I’m excluding any doll that could be considered a “special edition.” So no dolls done in partnership with another brand, no celebrity-branded dolls, or dolls based on movie characters (sorry, Princess Leia Barbie). Because while I respect serious collectors, this isn’t a list for them. We’re interested in beloved children’s playthings. Barbies displayed in boxes aren’t our jam: we want Barbies whose hair is matted or missing through years of adventures. Barbies your mom told you not to take in the pool because they’d get moldy, but you did anyway and she did but regret nothing. Barbies as nature and creator Ruth Handler intended: fabulous but endlessly accessible and always down for an invigorating game of make-believe.

Is your favorite doll on the list? Get ready to bliss out on childhood nostalgia as you take a look at our definitive (but hardly scientific) ranking of the Greatest Barbies Of All Time .


OG Barbie

The doll who started it all.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

Frankly, it would be irresponsible to have a list like this and not acknowledge the doll who started it all: the face that launched a thousand lewks. The OG Barbie of yesteryear (1959 to be exact) looks of her time, but Barbie always does, and that’s kind of the point. While her heavily lined eyes, red lips, and simple black and white bathing suit would give way to a variety of aesthetics over the years, we’d know Barbie anywhere...


Red Flare Barbie

Slay.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

Malibu Barbie would more or less be the doll to solidify Barbie’s trademark looks (long blonde hair, big blue eyes, somewhat tan white skin, and more natural makeup), and until then our girl had a variety of styles going on, including this bouffant. (I am so here for her Balenciaga inspired coat.)

I feel like I know everything about this doll just by looking at her. This Barbie lives on the Upper East Side. She studied Art History at Wellsley. She is not fond of either her husband or children. She has a hippie sister whom she cannot stand. She likes her martinis cold and her disapproving glares even colder.


Superstar Barbie

An icon.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

I feel like this is the Platonic ideal of Barbie. Like, close your eyes and think “Barbie.” You’re probably thinking of a doll kind of like this one, right? Long blonde hair? Check. Bubblegum pink everything? Check. Subtle but distinct makeup? Check. Whatever Barbie Girl black magic went on in the making of this doll I have no choice but to respect.


Day to Night Barbie

We can do anything, right Barbie?© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

Day to Night Barbie makes the list for what she represents: We Girls Can Do Anything. This was, in fact, the name of a campaign released by Barbie the same year. It wasn’t the first time Barbie had been a sassy career girl Having It All™: in fact, within four years of her initial launch, Career Girl Barbie hit the shelves (another legend). But Day to Night Barbie showed a multifaceted Barbie who didn’t have to shy from her femininity to get ahead.

Also she wears hats to the office. Just... Can we bring back wearing hats to the office?! No wonder she can do anything: just look at how she pulls off that jazzy hat!


Miss Astronaut Barbie

To infinity, and Barbie-yond.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

This doll came out in 1965, four years before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, so I think it’s safe to say that yes, Barbie was a contender in the Space Race. I just love the idea that in an age where normal human women couldn’t have their own bank account, Barbie was an astronaut.

(Has anyone done a Miss Astronaut Halloween costume? Someone really needs to attempt this.)


Singer Barbie

Yowza.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

From the start, Barbie was a career girl. The first Barbie was a teen model, followed by a fashion designer, ballerina, and something called “Barbie Open Road,” which I can only assume is either someone who picks up hitchhikers for a living (things were different in the 1960s) or, like something out of Mad Max: Fury Road. (Either way: dope.)

But 1961 also saw Barbie’s first foray into music. Our girl would go on to be a superstar, rock star, pop star, DJ and member of Destiny’s Child (yes, really) in the ensuing years, but I don’t know if anything could ever quite top this vibe. This is clearly a dangerous woman. Probably because this Barbie is clearly* also a spy and being a singer is just her cover. Also probably an assassin? Either way, you know she’s killed before.

*In my legally protected opinion; I’m sure Mattel would say otherwise.


Peaches N’ Cream Barbie

I’m biased.Walmart

Peaches N’ Cream is Barbie at her most ultra-femme and it looks so good on her. The flouncy dress. The partially pulled back hair. The fluttery stole. I don’t know what it is about this doll, but she absolutely bewitched us ‘80s babies. Whenever I talk to people about their all-time favorite Barbie, PnC stands out as a fan favorite.


Magic Moves Barbie

My personal GOATPhoto by Barry Lewis

You probably don’t remember Magic Moves Barbie, whose “magic moves” refer to the fact that she had a mechanical function that would allow her bent arms to move up on their own if you pulled them down which was... pretty dumb and unexciting.


This was probably my all-time favorite Barbie doll, and since I’m making the list I get to say she was one of the greatest (if more esoteric) of all time. First of all, the outfit is a slay: she’s rocking a Winter Wonderland look and I’m here for it. Secondly as a small black-haired child I was always frustrated that I could never find a Barbie with black hair, so when I found this one I got so excited and she instantly cemented herself as my fav.


Totally Hair Barbie

Rapunzel meets Barbie© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

This gal is the best-selling Barbie of all time — a whopping 10,000,000 between 1992 and 1995, which is probably a metric ton of (instantly tangled) ankle-length hair. So even if I didn’t personally love her (and boy did I ever) she’s earned her spot near the top of this list.


Literally The Entire Fashionista Line From 2015 To Present

A Barbie for everyBODY.© 2022 Mattel All Rights Reserved

For years, well-meaning folks have criticized Barbie’s anatomically impossible body as being harmful to little girl’s body image. (I think this argument is overblown — of all the factors that made me uncomfortable in my own skin in my life Barbie doesn’t even crack the Top 100 — but reasonable minds can disagree on this one.) So in 2016, Barbie introduced three new body types — curvy, petite, and tall — “to better reflect the world girls see today.” This led to the Fashionista line, which gave us Barbies with different body types, skin tones, hair textures and colors, and a variety of physical differences (like alopecia and vitiligo) and disabilities (my daughter’s hands down favorite Barbie is one that comes with her own wheelchair and ramp). If Barbie can be anything, it makes sense that she would have a variety of not just outfits but identities.

As a long-time fan of all things Barbie, it’s just nice that this line shows us something about Barbie that we Barbie Girls have known all along: being Barbie is a state of mind, and there’s room here for everyone.

The Barbie movie, with its many iterations of the doll and numerous nostalgic nods to our Millennial childhoods has had us thinking about this a lot lately... and also maybe checking eBay to see if our favs are available. (Spoilers: a lot of them are. Say goodbye to your money now.)