Top News

As Barbie turns 60, Newfoundland collector shares some of her special dolls

Rebecca Hollett, of Bellevue, NL, shows off some of her treasured Barbies.
Rebecca Hollett, of Bellevue, NL, shows off some of her treasured Barbies. - Danette Dooley

Barbie is celebrating her 60th birthday this year. With over 200 careers, throughout the decades, the doll has shown girls around the world that they can reach for the stars and choose professions once considered off limits to them.

Rebecca Hollett as a child with a Barbie limo Santa brought her. - Contributed
Rebecca Hollett as a child with a Barbie limo Santa brought her. - Contributed

From biologist to bee keeper; pilot to politician; soccer player to scientist; firefighter to farmer – each and every Barbie helps girls realize, when it comes to careers, the sky really is the limit.

Some children become so taken with the doll that they continue their collection into adulthood.

Rebecca Hollett of Bellevue, Newfoundland is one of those women.

The 29-year-old, who collects both Barbies and Disney Limited Edition dolls, has fond memories of playing with Barbies shortly after she started school.

Her parents are Madonna and John Hollett.

“My mom used to buy me Barbies when I was three or four but my first collector Barbie was the one I got when I was eight,” Hollett said during a phone interview.

“I passed a lot of time playing with my Barbies ... Barbie does expand your imagination because Barbie shows you can be or do anything you want. I used to dress them up in fancy dresses, mermaid outfits, glamour fashions ... my mom always gave me a collector’s Barbie for Christmas, and when I got older, I started buying them for myself.”

Special dolls

Hollett estimates she has over 80 Barbie and Disney limited edition dolls in her collection.

In addition to career Barbies, there are also fashion Barbies, travel Barbies, fantasy Barbies and holiday and special occasion Barbies.

It’s everything Barbie for Rebecca Hollett – even a Barbie-themed Christmas tree. - Contributed
It’s everything Barbie for Rebecca Hollett – even a Barbie-themed Christmas tree. - Contributed

“The one I got this year is the Katherine Johnson Barbie (from the Inspiring Women series),” she says.

Hired by NASA in 1953, Johnson was an African-American mathematician who calculated the trajectory of NASA's first American-manned flight into space, helping ensure that the astronauts landed and returned safely from their moon mission.

Hollett also has a special Christmas tree, complete with a tree topper, decorated with mostly Barbie ornaments.

“The Barbie tree topper is from Hallmark, she has snowflakes on her dress. It also lights up,” she said.

Hollett buys her Barbies and Disney Limited Edition dolls online.

“One of my collections is the Haunted Beauty collection. There’s a vampire, a ghost, a zombie bride and a mistress of the manor,” she said.

Hollett also has several Barbies from the dolls of the world collection.

Among her most treasured Barbie is her doll from Mexico, as it reminds her of the great time she had on a cruise to Mexico. The doll comes with a write-up about the country, noting its beautiful beaches, rainforests, mariachi music and delicious foods such as enchiladas, tamales and tacos.

“I got to see the Mayan Ruins and, when I look at my Mexico Barbie, from the Dolls of the World collection, I always think of my trip.”

In addition to her Mexico Barbie, Hollett said there are others dolls that mean a lot to her as they were given to her by special people in her life.

“My aunt gave me a Canada Barbie from the Dolls of the World collection for Christmas one year. She is dressed in a Mountie uniform and is really special to me.”

Her soda pop Barbie ornament is also a special momentum.

“My godchild gave (the ornament) to me for Christmas one year. It’s very special to me because it came from Blair.”

Rebecca Hollett’s Barbie from Mexico, part of the Dolls of the World collection. - Contributed
Rebecca Hollett’s Barbie from Mexico, part of the Dolls of the World collection. - Contributed

For Hollett, her hobby of collecting Barbies and Disney Limited Edition dolls is one that she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’m always looking to add to my collection. It’s so much fun and other people enjoy coming over and looking at all my different Barbies. I think Barbie will always be a part of my life. I will always keep collecting them,” she said. danette@nl.rogers.com

How Barbie got started

· Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, observed her daughter Barbara playing with paper dolls for hours. This sparked Handler’s vision to create a 3D doll for girls to play out their dreams.

· In 1959, the first Barbie doll - named after Ruth's daughter - made its debut at New York Toy Fair.

· At first, Barbie was received with skepticism by the industry, but Ruth persevered.

· Six decades later, Barbie has grown to become a global icon and continues to inspire limitless potential in every girl.

· From her careers, to her fantasy roles and her countless fashions and accessories, Barbie has always offered girls choices and endless storytelling possibilities.

- Information from Mattel website

RELATED: 

Recent Stories