My mom loved playing with Barbies, and so did I as a kid. Now one of my daughters really enjoys them as well. It’s a toy that’s spanned generations.
I have combined what I knew and loved about Barbies as a kid with my current mom status and my own daughter’s likes to create the list of the best Barbie toys below.
Whether you are looking for a doll, a playset, Barbie accessories, or Barbie-themed items, I’ve got you covered to save you time searching.Best Barbie Doll Toy: Barbie Photojournalist Doll
Best Barbie Doll Playset: Barbie Florist Playset
Best Barbie Dreamhouse Set: Dreamhouse with Pool, Slide, and Elevator
Best Barbie-Themed Activity: Tara Toys Barbie Necklace Activity Set
Best Barbie Doll Toys
Barbie Photojournalist Doll
The Barbie Photojournalist Doll is one of the cool career dolls Barbie has.
When I was a kid, I don’t think Barbie had a big variety of jobs, but you can get dolls in many career fields now, including many traditionally male ones. This photojournalist doll is a nice addition to the career line that will appeal to kids who are interested in animals or photography.
This white-skinned, brown-haired Barbie comes dressed to explore in a National Geographic vest. She has a camera, a magazine, and an adorable lion cub to photograph.
My daughter’s take: I like it. The lion cub is really cute.
Other options inspired by National Geographic are the Barbie Polar Marine Biologist Doll, Brunette with Penguin, Barbie Wildlife Conservationist Doll, Brunette with Monkey, and Barbie Entomologist Doll and Playset, Blonde.
Barbie Made to Move Doll
If your child is frustrated at the limited movement of a traditional Barbie, check out the Barbie Made to Move Doll. The Made to Move line features dolls with a lot more joints for more realistic movement.
This doll has 22 joints, including her ankles, which allows her to wear flats or heels that your child has for other Barbies. She comes wearing a yoga outfit, which is perfect for how she can move. This doll is Black with medium brown hair.
The visible joints do look a bit strange, but I think kids will have so much fun being able to move and pose this doll that they won’t really care. The joints can be a bit stiff when the doll is first used, so you may want to open up the doll and gently move all her joints a few times before giving her to a young child to avoid breakage.
An advantage to this doll is that she comes with no accessories at all. She doesn’t even have shoes. There are just the doll and her clothes. So if you don’t want a lot of extra pieces to be lost, this would be a great choice.
My daughter’s take: It is cool that she bends so much, but I think it might fall apart easier.
There aren’t a lot of other Made to Move dolls still available right now, but there are some other dolls with more joints than the traditional Barbie, especially sports-themed sets.
Barbie Off-Road Vehicle
Next is a classic Barbie accessory: a car! Barbie Off-Road Vehicle is a purple Jeep-like vehicle with teal and pink touches.
It has seating for two dolls, but it does not include any. There is also some storage space in the back. Your child can buckle Barbie and her friend in with the two seat belts. The wheels roll for lots of play fun.
The doors do not open, though, so Barbie and friends need to be placed in from above. Barbie will need to bend her knees a bit to sit down well. Most dolls have a bit of give in the knees even if they don’t have full knee joints, but it might be tricky for younger kids to get the dolls to fit.
It might also be difficult for the newer curvy body type Barbies to fit in this vehicle.
The vehicle measures approximately 7.25 inches by 13 inches by 8.5 inches.
My daughter’s take: I would like to have that.
For a more classic Barbie vehicle, check out her Glam Convertible.
Best Barbie Doll Playsets
Barbie Florist Playset with 12-in Blonde Doll
The Barbie Florist Playset with 12-in Blonde Doll is a cool combination of Barbie and molding dough (like Play-Doh).
This set comes with a standard size blonde Barbie, one dress (apron is printed on the dress), and shoes. She has a florist stand and two small containers of Barbie Dough to mold into flowers.
There are some molds built into the stand for your child to press the dough into. Flowers can also be made through the two vases. Your child can load dough through the top of the stand (under where the clear bowl is in the above photo), then place the vase or llama bowl on top. When they push down on the folding end of the counter, the dough is pushed up through the slots in the vase or bowl to create flowers.
This set can also be bought with a brunette Barbie whose skin may be a bit darker than the blonde: Barbie Florist Playset with 12-in Brunette Doll.
My 5-year-old got a similar Barbie pizza playset last year, and I was really amazed that no one had thought of combining Barbie and molding dough before! But I was a bit worried we would end up with dried dough in Barbie’s hair or clothes. So far, that hasn’t happened, but I might not recommend the Barbie Dough sets for the youngest Barbie fans for that reason.
The flower functions look pretty cool on this set. I would recommend this set and the other Barbie Dough sets for children 5 and older.
My daughter’s take: Wow. It looks cool. (Even my 10-year-old daughter was impressed with this one.)
Other Barbie sets with molding dough include:
- Barbie Pizza Chef Doll and Playset (dark hair and skin)
- Barbie Pizza Chef Doll and Playset (blonde hair and light skin)
- Barbie Cake Decorating Playset with Blonde Doll
Barbie Newborn Pups Doll & Pets
The Barbie Newborn Pups Doll & Pets will be a fun set for kids who love dogs and pets, but it might be better for slightly older Barbie fans.
This set comes with one standard size blonde Barbie, but she has knee joints to help her kneel by her dog when it’s time to give birth. She has one mama dog that’s a pretty good size, and the set comes with three small (small!) puppies for the mama dog to give birth to.
The puppies fit inside the mama dog, and when you push down on her, a slot in her tummy opens to allow a puppy to be “born.”
After the three puppies are born with their eyes closed, your child can help them open their eyes by using icy water. There is a small towel included for this, or you can pour the water over them. The water will also reveal a pink or blue heart on the dog to indicate whether it is male or female.
I think this set looks very cute and could be a lot of fun for slightly older kids who enjoy pets a lot. Be prepared to encounter questions about how puppies really are born, though. This is not presented graphically at all with the toy (there is a hole in the dog’s belly they come out of), but it may lead to questions if you have a curious kid.
Also, the puppies are pretty small, so I would only give them to a child who would be responsible enough to keep track of them. There are not replacement puppies available if you lose them.
Some parents couldn’t get the color change to work, but try using the coldest water you can or use an ice cube. Warm water will close their eyes again to start over.
My daughter’s take: I wish I had that. It’s so cute.
A bigger playset that would also be good for pet lovers is the Barbie Doll (11.5-in Blonde) and Pet Boutique Playset.
Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Carnival Playset
The Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Carnival Playset is a fun set for kids who like the smaller Chelsea-sized dolls. These dolls are 6 inches tall, compared to Barbie at 11.5 inches.
Chelsea is at the carnival in this set, which comes with a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and three carnival booths. While the set only comes with one doll, there is room for another doll in the bumper cars and two more on the Ferris wheel.
The mermaid photo stand is a piece of cardboard in a plastic frame, and the game and balloon stands are plastic, but still kind of flimsy.
Most of the accessories with this set are on the bigger side (the balloons and stuffed animal prizes), which may be easier to keep track of than some smaller accessories (shoes, food, etc). But they still could be a choking hazard, so it is only for ages 3 and up (or when you trust your kid won’t eat pieces).
This set comes with a white doll with blond hair. Some Barbie sets are available in a variety of skin and hair tones, but I don’t see this one available with a different doll.
I think kids will love putting Chelsea in the Ferris wheel and spinning her around. It is nice that there are five different activities for Chelsea to do with this set, but the rides are probably the most fun.
This set will also probably be more fun if you already have some Chelsea-sized dolls, but I recommend it for kids who like this smaller size doll.
My daughter’s take: I would like to play with it because putting her on the rides would be fun.
Barbie Nursery Playset with Skipper Babysitter Doll
The Barbie Nursery Playset with Skipper Babysitters Doll is a set with a lot of play potential.
It comes with one Skipper doll, who is a little bit shorter than regular Barbies. You also get two babies, a crib with changing table, and lots of accessories. There is a rocking horse, a bouncy seat, and a play gym with hooks to hang little baby toys on. There is also a blanket, bottles, and diaper changing gear.
I think any kids who like to take care of baby dolls would also like this set. There is a lot to do with two babies and all the accessories. The details in the baby gear look pretty accurate, and it’s nice to have the seat and horse to put the babies on when they aren’t in the crib.
The downside would be that some of the accessories are very small (like the baby toys that go on the hooks). It would be easy for pieces to get lost, and you’d have to watch any younger children carefully when it is out. It also may take a while to get everything out of the box when you first get it.
Most of the Barbie babysitter sets currently available seem to come with this same brown-haired doll. But there are other doll options if you want additional skin tones and genders:
- Toddler and Baby Dolls features Black children
- Toddler Doll and Baby Doll features brown-skinned children
- Barbie Skipper Babysitters Inc. Doll & Accessories Set includes a Black babysitter
- Barbie Skipper Babysitters Inc. Doll & Accessories Set includes a male babysitter
My daughter’s take: It’s fun that she’s a young babysitter. I would like giving the babies playtime.
If your child loves taking care of pretend babies, they may also enjoy the dolls on our list of best baby dolls for every age.
Barbie Travel Chelsea Doll
The Barbie Travel Chelsea Doll is a cute set of a 6-inch Chelsea doll and all the accessories she needs for a trip. She comes with a backpack, a purple bag/pet carrier, a dog, a leash, a stuffed animal, an electronic device, headphones, and sunglasses.
My 5-year-old bought this set with some of her birthday money over the summer, and she has had a lot of fun using it. I think she really likes the dog that came with it, as she is an animal fan.
I like that Chelsea is wearing a science-inspired shirt with the atom image on it. But only her skirt and shoes come off. The shirt and leggings are part of the doll. But you should still be able to put other outfits on top if you have other Chelsea clothes.
The number of accessories is nice for play. But they are mostly on the small side. The sunglasses in my daughter’s set got stepped on and are bent now. But that could happen with almost any small plastic accessory.
My daughter’s take: I like that it came with a little dog. It’s fun to play with.
Some other Chelsea dolls with different skin and hair tones that come with a few accessories but not a whole playset are:
- Chelsea Dress-Up Doll, 6-in Brunette with Pet Kitten and Accessories
- Chelsea Brunette Doctor Doll and Accessories
- Chelsea Dress-Up Doll (6-Inch Brunette) with Pet and Accessories
Barbie Pets and Accessories
If you want the puppies without the birth experience, try Mattel Barbie Pets and Accessories – Brunette. This set comes with one brunette doll plus three puppies and bath accessories.
The doll’s knees bend more than usual so she can kneel down to give her puppies a bath. There is a tub, soap bottle (soap not included), towel, brush, perfume, and carrying bag. Your child could fill the little tub with water and give the puppies a real bath.
These puppies are pretty small, too, and so are some of the accessories. I think this set would be better for slightly older Barbie fans, maybe ages 5 and older.
My daughter’s take: It’s cool that her knees can bend. You can give the puppies a bath.
Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Aquarium Playset
Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Aquarium Playset is a play set that comes with a brunette doll. Her skin is a light brown.
She comes with a cute aquarium set up and three animals: sea otter, crab, and fish. Chelsea also has a net to scoop and transport her animal friends.
The lower part of the aquarium can be filled with water so the animals can go in it, but beware. The background of the top part of the aquarium is cardboard, so you don’t want that to get wet.
The top part is lots of fun, though, as there is a side for the adorable sea otter to go down.
I would recommend this set for kids who like animals or the ocean, but I wouldn’t recommend putting water in it unless your child is old enough to be super careful to keep it in the plastic tank.
My daughter’s take: I would like to make a zoo with this set and other animal sets.
Another Chelsea set with a darker skinned doll is Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Ballet Playset.
Best Barbie Dreamhouse Sets
Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse with Pool, Slide and Elevator
Next comes the aptly named Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse with Pool, Slide, and Elevator, which many Barbie fans do dream of owning.
Barbie’s house is quite large at 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, so you need to have adequate space in your house and your budget if you are considering this house. The house is three stories tall, with a kitchen, carport, living room/guest bedroom, bathroom, pool with a slide from the third floor, main bedroom, and home office. There is also an elevator with room for four dolls to stand on it.
You can also get a wheelchair-accessible version, which I think is awesome: Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse with Wheelchair Accessible Elevator.
The carport space is 8.5 inches wide, but the car is not included. No dolls are included either. But all the furniture shown is included with the house. Some of the furniture does double duty: the coffee table flips over into a bed for a Chelsea doll. And the purple couch can be converted into bunk beds for guests. The 70 accessories also include a puppy.
There are also some lights and sounds that require 4 AAA batteries. There will be some assembly required when you open the box, and anything that snaps together is meant to stay together indefinitely. So you can’t really take it apart for storage.
Another thing to be aware of: it might ship in its own packaging unless you have the option to request another box. So if it is meant to be a surprise, you might need to be sure you can get to your mail before your child sees it.
Some parents also report they got damaged pieces right out of the box. You can contact the seller or Mattel if this happens, but I would recommend you inspect the pieces before your kids even know you have it so that if you need to return anything or wait for a replacement piece, they aren’t disappointed.
I would not want to have a toy this big out all the time for my family and I think it’s too expensive, but I think if your kids are really into their Barbies, this might get enough use to be worth the space it takes up.
My daughter’s take: The coolest parts are the slide and the pool.
Barbie Glam Getaway Portable Dollhouse
If you don’t have the budget or space for the Dreamhouse, the Barbie Glam Getaway Portable Dollhouse is a good alternative.
This dollhouse folds up to about 20 inches by 30 inches by 16 inches and latches shut, and it has a handle for taking along. Despite being smaller, it still has a couple of rooms and furniture.
There are a bedroom and a kitchen along with a small bathroom area and a front door. The furniture includes a bed, nightstand, side table, and two stools for the kitchen. There are also accessories like a blanket, towel, dishes, and alarm clock.
No dolls are included with this set. There is some basic assembly you need to do the first time to get it set up, including placing some stickers. You need to be very gentle getting the stickers off the sheet in one piece.
Parents say this house does travel very well if you want to take it on vacation or to anywhere your child may need some toys to entertain them. Some found it flimsy, but most say it has been a great alternative to a big Barbie house.
Be advised that it may ship in its original packaging, so check your options at shipping and plan to sneak it into the house if it will be a surprise.
My daughter’s take: Its kitchen looks cool, but the rest of it doesn’t.
Barbie ZipBin House Toy Box and Playmat
Another way to give Barbie a house is this storage option: Barbie ZipBin 40 Doll Dream House Toy Box and Playmat. It is a nice 11 inch by 11 inch by 11 inch bin with lid to store Barbie and all her stuff in.
But the corners also unzip to create a playmat version of Barbie’s house. It gives 3 squares of floor and two walls of a house.
If your child has furniture, it could be set up on the floors. The flat sections do have furniture drawn in, though, so it could be played with just as it is with a bit of imagination. The lid of the box has a pool on the underside to give Barbie another place to hang out.
There are a few styles, so you may not get one exactly as pictured.
We have a version of this storage bin, and it gets used mostly as a storage bin. I don’t think my girls really pretend it is Barbie’s house at all, except maybe the pool in the lid. I think it is worth it as a nice storage bin for Barbies, though. You can fit a lot in it and it fits nicely in our wire storage cubes. Some parents say theirs was flimsy and didn’t last, but we have had ours for years and it is in good shape.
If you also want somewhere for Barbie to live that doesn’t come with a bunch of small, plastic accessories, I recommend this option, too. You only get the bin and lid: no dolls, no extras.
My daughter’s take: I like the one we have, but I don’t like the design on this one.
Best Barbie-Themed Activities
Tara Toys Barbie Necklace Activity Set
The Tara Toys Barbie Necklace Activity Set is a fun Barbie-themed gift for ages 3 and up.
It comes with everything your child needs to make 5 Barbie necklaces. There are 5 necklaces, 5 big charms, and 150 additional beads. The charms are a white princess, a Black fairy, a white mermaid, a unicorn, and a rainbow with the Barbie logo.
My 5-year-old got a necklace set like this that is Frozen-themed. What I like about it is that it’s pretty easy for her to do on her own. Some jewelry sets have little beads and tiny strings that are difficult for little fingers.
These rubbery necklaces are fairly thick, and they have an easy push-in clasp on the end. You don’t need to cut them to the right length or try to open little hooks. It is also easy to take the beads off and re-make the necklaces in a new way since they aren’t permanently affixed. The beads will only go over one end, though.
We have had one necklace rip at the clasp, though, so you do need to be careful about how you pull on them. Other parents have said it is hard to get the necklaces to stay clasped. If your child doesn’t want to re-make the necklaces, you may be able to glue them together if they won’t stay.
All the pieces fit in a nice carrying case for storage, which is definitely a plus. We have other bead kits in cardboard boxes and the beads fall out all the time.
I would recommend this for Barbie fans 5 and up who like to do crafts and wear jewelry.
My daughter’s take: You can make it by yourself and not have to follow directions.
Sakar Barbie 21″ Kids Guitar Toy
The Sakar Barbie 21″ Kids Guitar Toy is designed to let your young Barbie fan start to learn guitar as well.
It has a wooden body, a steel-reinforced neck, nylon strings, and tuning gears. But don’t count on this actually being an instrument to learn to play on.
It tends to not hold tuning, and it is not really a good guitar for learning to play.
But as a toy to let your kid make their own music on, this will likely work well. I think many young Barbie fans would love the color and design. They will probably enjoy feeling like a rock star with this guitar. Just don’t expect to teach them to really play.
I recommend this for young Barbie fans and music lovers whose parents don’t mind a lot of noise. (Are there parents like that out there?) If you are looking for a real instrument, skip this one.
My daughter’s take: It would be fun to play.
Barbie Toys Compared
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse with Pool, Slide and Elevator||$$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Barbie Glam Getaway Portable Dollhouse||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Barbie Newborn Pups Doll & Pets||$$$||8.9||9.6|
|Barbie Made to Move Doll||$$$||8.2||9.6|
|Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Carnival Playset||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Barbie ZipBin House Toy Box and Playmat||$$$||9.7||9.4|
|Barbie Pets and Accessories||$$$||3.9||9.4|
|Sakar Barbie 21" Kids Guitar Toy||$$$||8.4||7.6|
|Barbie Nursery Playset with Skipper Babysitter Doll||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Barbie Off-Road Vehicle||$$$||9.9||9.6|
|Barbie Florist Playset with 12-in Blonde Doll||$$||9.1||9.6|
|Barbie Club Chelsea Doll and Aquarium Playset||$$||9.4||9.4|
|Barbie Photojournalist Doll||$$||7.8||9.6|
|Tara Toys Barbie Necklace Activity Set||$$||9.8||9.4|
|Barbie Travel Chelsea Doll||$$||9.8||9.4|
Buying Criteria for Best Barbie Toys
One thing to be aware of when buying Barbie toys is what size the doll or clothes are to make sure they are compatible with each other or what your child already owns.
There are several sizes of doll available now:
- Chelsea dolls are Barbie’s youngest sister. They are about 6 inches tall.
- Skipper dolls are Barbie’s slightly younger sister. These dolls are about 10 inches tall.
- The standard Barbie doll is about 11.5 inches tall.
- Barbie Fashionistas line also features dolls with different body shapes, including curvy, tall, and petite.
When you are buying new clothes, make sure that they match the type of doll your child already has. Many accessories will work with a variety of sized dolls but pay attention to whether there are pieces that may not fit all dolls.
Size and number of accessories
Also, consider the accessories that may come with a doll or playset. Is there enough for lots of imaginative play? Or are there too many to keep track of?
Many Barbie accessories are fairly small, so they may be a choking hazard for your Barbie fan or a younger sibling. They can also be quite easy to lose. You might want to stick to just dolls and large items (dresses, furniture, etc) until the risk of putting pieces in the mouth (or nose) has passed and your child is more responsible.
Barbies are a toy with the potential to be played with for hours at a time. My sisters and I used to play for long stretches. So consider whether the toys have a variety of ways to be played with or if your child might soon be bored with them.
Keep in mind that with a good imagination, your child can play a long time with a few simple dolls as well. I never had a dream house or many plastic accessories, but several dolls and outfits (plus playmates) kept me busy.
Having somewhere to keep all of Barbie’s clothing and accessories is important, too. Think about where you will want your child to store the Barbies and gear before your collection gets too big.
I had an 8-doll case that latched when I was a kid (up until mice got to it in storage a couple of years ago). While you can use any kind of storage bin or box, it can be nice to have something made for Barbie. There are folding closets, cases, and storage bins you may be able to find.
FAQs About Barbie Toys
What ages are Barbies for?
Most Barbie toys are for ages 3 and up, as many come with small accessories that are a choking hazard.
I think Barbies may be best for ages four and older, though. The clothing can be hard for little hands to manipulate on their own. Even four- and five-year-olds may need some help, but they might be able to do some of the changes on their own.
Do 10, 11, and 12-year-olds still play with Barbies?
They certainly can. It depends on the child, of course, but some tweens (and maybe even teens) do still like playing with Barbies. The fashions can be appealing as can acting out a variety of social situations. If your tween still enjoys playing Barbies, there is nothing wrong with encouraging that.
But some children have outgrown Barbies by the tween years. If you aren’t sure whether the child you are shopping for still likes Barbies, I would recommend you ask!
Do boys like to play with Barbies?
Some boys do! If your son likes playing Barbies, there is nothing wrong with that. Some of the sets are really cool, and Barbie has expanded her interests from years past.
But if you aren’t sure whether the boy you are buying for enjoys Barbies, I wouldn’t surprise them with one, especially as a gift. Some people may think of them as girly.
Does Barbie have new body types?
One thing critics bring up about Barbie is that the standard doll has a very unrealistic body type. If she was a 5-foot 9-inch woman, her waist would be about 18 inches.
But in recent years, the Barbie brand has introduced some dolls with different body types. The Fashionista line features curvy, petite, and tall women dolls. Ken also has some new body types and hairstyles. There are also dolls in a wheelchair and with a prosthetic leg. Fashionista dolls also feature a greater variety of skin and hair tones.
What is the newest Barbie line?
Some of the newer Barbie sets are the Color Reveal line and the Barbie Extra dolls.
The Color Reveal dolls and sets feature a mystery doll and accessories. When you remove the doll from the package, she will be a solid color. You fill the tube she came in with warm water and the color washes off to reveal the doll’s looks. Cold water also reveals changes to the doll’s face and hair.
Barbie Extra dolls are dolls that have fashions a bit outside Barbie’s mainstream. They also have more diversity in hair, skin color, and body type.
Do kids today still like Barbie?
The first Barbie doll was released in 1959, and she remains very popular today. According to Mattel, 58 million dolls are sold a year, making Barbie the most popular fashion doll ever.
Barbie has many subscribers and followers on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The brand is known worldwide.
It’s fun to see my daughters enjoying a toy that my mom and I also enjoyed as children.
There are so many choices of Barbie dolls and sets that it is easier than ever to find one to match your child’s interests.
One of the best dolls available right now is the Barbie Photojournalist Doll. There are a few fun accessories, but not too much to keep track of.
For a playset, I recommend the Barbie Florist Playset. It combines the fun of Barbies with the fun of modeling dough to create a set that both my 5-year-old and 10-year-old think is cool.
For storage with play possibilities, the Barbie ZipBin House Toy Box and Playmat is a good choice. It is a nice storage bin for all your child’s Barbie gear and it can unzip into a house and playmat. It won’t be as fun as a Dreamhouse, but it gives some opportunity to play on in addition to storage.