Through computer animation, Барби has become the звезда of several feature films, including “Barbie in the Nutcracker,” “Barbie as Rapunzel,” “Barbie of лебедь Lake” and “Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper.” And she has staked her claim on the Web with the Популярное Make Up Барби Game, which allows girls to alter her hair, makeup and в общем и целом, общая look.

In the late 1990s, computer technology boomed, and in 1996, Mattel launched www.barbie.com, the official Барби website. In 1998, “My Design” was introduced on the site, allowing girls and collectors to decide what their Барби doll friend would look like by choosing her hair/eye/makeup colors, fashion, accessories, and personality traits.

And Barbie’s reach has extended still further, to the vast sub-cult of adult Барби worshippers, those grownups who collect, display, buy, sell and for whom the words “mint in box” have a freighted significance. Today, Барби Collector has a website all its own, www.barbiecollector.com. The collector line now even has a dedicated online store at www.barbiecollectiblesstore.com.

Mattel estimates that there are еще than 100,000 active Барби collectors, 90 percent of whom are women with an average age of 40. Forty-five percent of them spend еще than $1,000 a год on their dolls. Vintage Барби Куклы are the most valuable: a mint-in-box from 1959 sold for $3,552.50 on eBay in October 2004. (It originally sold for $3.)

The highest price so far to be paid for a Барби was at a Christie’s auction in Лондон on Sept. 25, 2006. This was a 1965 Барби dressed in Midnight Red, which had been part of a private collection of 4,000 Барби dolls. The Барби was sold for 9,000 sterling pounds (U.S. $17,000). She was sold by two Dutch women, Letje Raebel and her daughter, Marina.