Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: kp books (August 2001)
Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.6 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #305 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Dolls, Toys & Figurines > Dolls #475 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Popular Culture #1733 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Antiques Care & Reference > Reference
As a collector of vintage Barbie,(with an extensive supply of most Barbie reference books), I was thoroughly disgusted at not only the author, photographer and editor, but publishers need to reevaluate whether 'greed' will bring more customers back to them in the future. Most publishers are well aware that publishing a reference book on vintage barbie will MAKE THEM MONEY and more than likely bring out the masses who are looking for a good reference book, but lying about the contents and writing a glowing review on the book, when it isn't, won't bring us back a 2nd time. (You may pocket our money once, but not twice). The book was a mess from beginning to end. The history of the doll and identification was marginal at best, and at worst, just plain INACCURATE. Grammar and sentence structure was grade school at times. The photos were bizarre and scary, (not something, I would want an aquaintance to pick up and look through) if it was on my coffe table... There are a lot of Barbie reference and collecting books out there, steer clear of this one, especially if you're just beginning to delve into the vintage dolls, you'll be turned off real quick.
Why was this book published? For the asking price, the book should be filled with accurate information. Instead it is a confusing jumble, of often erroneous and poorly organized material written by one of the publisher's employees. And regarding the photographs, I guess the debate will continue whether good photography of poor condition dolls is as bad as blurry pictures of mint dolls, but for the price of this book I expect quality. As a collector I find it continuously frustrating that often "collector books" are really just pictures of someone's incomplete collection instead of reference books. And even if this is is intended to be no more than a coffee table book, it is disappointing that so many dolls in poor condition were included. A rare doll in poor condition may be photographed for a book out of necessity, but there is no reason for the more common vintage dolls to be anything less than mint for an important project. Misinformation makes the marketplace a difficult place to negotiate. New collectors are confused by books like this, and advanced collectors expect substantially more. The book should not be entitled "The Best of Barbie" simply because it isn't. I guess the publishers sell enough of these books to make it worth their while, but if some of us collectors were not so easy to please, perhaps we would have higher quality books on the Barbie doll. We deserve better.
I disagree with another reviewer that all photos should be of mint dolls. This book captures a wide range of Barbie's -- both through the years and through various conditions. As a collector, I find it helpful to see the less-than-perfect dolls. It gives me a far better understanding of different levels of grading. If you are a serious Barbie collector, I feel this book is a "must-have" in your library.
First off, potential buyers should be aware that this is a coffee table book and definitely not useful in any way for identification purposes.Most Barbie books have hundreds or even thousands of color photos but the quality isn't exactly award-winning. Photos are often badly lit, too small, or even grainy. So it was with great joy that I opened this book and saw large full page stunning color photographs of vintage dolls.Unfortunately my joy was quickly dampened as I noticed that somebody forgot to hire a stylist for the dolls. The photos are so magnified and clear that it's impossible to ignore the flaking face paint, the messy hair, and the stained clothing. "The BEST of Barbie" ??? Not by a long shot!I am thankful this book was a Christmas gift and I did not shell out money myself for it. It is SO disappointing to see crystal clear photographs of vintage dolls in a Barbie book only to have those photos ruined by dolls in crummy condition. Apparently all the dolls pictured in the book were culled from one collection. I'd hate to see the dolls that didn't make the cut!I am not a doll snob (I buy dolls from the Goodwill and fix them up myself) but if a book calls itself "The BEST of Barbie" then I expect to see mint dolls in crisp clean outfits.
Reading that this is a collection of photographs of dolls in a Barbie museum, I was immediately excited. I expected to see photos of mint, museum-quality dolls. To my horror, when I received the book I discovered that what it contains is not museum quality but mediocre quality (at best). To have a full-page glossy color photo of a doll with an incorrect hairstyle and rubbed, flaking face paint is downright criminal! (Where are the Barbie police when you need them!) And to another reviewer's assertion that this will give you a better understanding of levels of grading, that would only be true if there was any acknowledgement that these dolls aren't mint. To me this is the most egregious error -- that nowhere is there any indication that these dolls are anything less than perfect examples. After all, they're in a museum, aren't they?There are many books with glorious photos of mint Barbies. This is not one of them. There are also great books with detailed descriptions of how to grade a Barbie. This is also not one of those. If you know what a mint Barbie is supposed to look like, you'll just find this book sad. If you don't, don't mistakenly think you'll learn anything from this book -- except possibly how to make a quick buck off a bunch of unsuspecting collectors.
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